Athlete of the Month: Alicia Hartinger

 

Alicia DCF summerThe lean mean metcon machine.  Fresh off her podium finish at Festivus Games, Alicia has been on a tear.  Though she’s not new to CrossFit; she’s been on a whole new level this year.  Alicia has been a morning fixture since day one but now she can be seen fine tuning her craft at Cody’s Oly Classes in the morning.  A regular on the PR board, now that she’s improved her olympic lifting she’s opened a whole new set doors for her improvement.  Aside from her athletic prowess, Alicia is also one of the most welcoming people you’ll meet at DCF.  If you see a scruffy little pup named Teddy tied up next to a blonde pullup machine, that’s probably Alicia!

 

What’s your athletic/fitness background?
A little bit of everything.  I was primarily a swimmer and competitive cheerleader in high school.  And believe it or not, I actually avoided running at all costs.  I was never scared of the weight room, but never really pushed myself.  In college, I missed having some sort of team sport to push me, so I decided to push myself and try something I hated- running. But I didn’t really get into running until after college living in DC. One day I decided I would just run without timing myself for as long as it felt good. Turns out that was 8 miles, and back then, that was huge for me. And so began my distance running days. I ran a few halfs, then ran the Richmond full, then the Philly full where I quaified for Boston. But after Philly, I was starting to get bored with running.  It’s obviously very solitary- which I like sometimes- but my body also wasn’t responding to it anymore and I felt like I was spinning my own wheels with my exercise routine.  I was literally running myself into the ground and not seeing any results and I was getting really annoyed. That’s when I decided to give crossfit a try.

What was your first CrossFit workout and what did you think of it?
It was here at DCF about a year and a half ago! I came in on a Saturday for a free trial intro class. It was a short metcon that consisted of wall balls, box jumps, and burpees.  I loved the feeling of pushing my body to do something it wasn’t used to, and proceeded to sign up right after 🙂

What’s been the biggest change for you since starting CrossFit?
Probably my general level of happiness. Now I look forward to my workouts as a chance to improve myself rather than a chore. I kind of mentioned it earlier, but there was a time when I was getting frustrated with running- I was tired all the time and (looking back) was not fueling myself properly. Crossfit has taught me how to fuel myself for my workouts and that working out does not have to be something you dread.  I also have FUN every time I come to DCF, and it’s a great way to turn my brain off from other things in life that we all deal with.

What’s been your favorite DCF moment up to now?
There have been a ton, but it was probably Festivus just last month.  That was my first competition and I was really nervous, but I ended up doing better than I thought I would with the help and support of all the DCFers who came out to also compete and just to cheer us all on. I don’t think I would have signed up for that without Amon’s pushing!

Least favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?
DEADLIFTS. I know that is some sort of crossfit sin to say, but it’s true. It is the movement that has frustrated me the most (even more than the Oly lifts!) I have pretty decent strength when it comes to squats, lunges, etc etc, but for some reason I still struggle with getting the right “feel” out of my deadlift.

Favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?
I love benching! And squats! And any WOD with burpees/body weight movements/running. One of my personal favorites is Cindy. I love me some Cindy.

When did you know you were hooked?
I’d say I was “hooked” after the first intro class…but I REALLY got hooked starting this past April. That’s when I decided (after the Boston marathon) to put running aside and focus more on strength/crossfit.  Since then, I’ve enjoyed my workouts so much more and have noticed big leaps in all of my PRs.  It’s been a lot of fun!

Any advice for people starting out?
Don’t be scurred! We’re all nice! I’m not a naturally outgoing person and was pretty nervous coming to DCF the first time. But just try to push yourself a little and go out of your comfort zone and say hi to someone.  I can almost guarantee that they will quickly become a friend. Oh, and do the specialty classes!!!

Describe your favorite part about DCF?
I know everyone says this, but I won’t be different just for the sake of being different. It’s definitely the community. DCF is a family and everyone is always willing to offer advice and support. Not only is the coaching amazing, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve been working out on my own and gotten a little nugget of advice from a fellow DCF-er that totally helped me improve what I was doing. It’s a great support system and I can’t imagine my daily life without DCF!

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