Our athlete of the Month for May is… CHARINA!!! Charina has been one of the Niche groupies for a long time now. I guess we see her as our resident ‘mum’ as she’s always the first to lend a helping hand, suggest a better quality magnesium supplement and always has a handy stash of bandaids on her! Charina has also been awarded this month’s AOTM because of her intelligent approach to training. She is consistent with her training, gets business done, and also knows how to listen to her body and take the foot off the pedal when needed, which is something everyone should learn to do. Well done to our May Athlete of the Month. Thanks for looking after us Charina.
Why did you start CrossFit?
A friend competed in Primal Throwdown and posted a photo of some gnarly torn up hands saying something like “love CrossFit”. I had no idea what it was so I googled and found the women’s final of the 2012 CrossFit Games. I had no idea what was going on but was so intrigued and knew it was something I would (possibly) love. At the time I was bored of being a cardio bunny (swimming, running, cycling, gym aerobic classes) and didn’t feel like I was getting any “fitter”. So I started up at The Cell and was totally hooked from the first class. About 2 years later I did a gymnastics workshop with Jen and knew this was the training that I needed to progress and to also sort out some long term injuries. I was completely stoked when she then went and opened up a Box five minutes from home!
What is your most memorable moment to date?
I have a few to choose from but the standout was at the Affiliate All-Stars Competition last year where I managed to bang out 5 consecutive pull-ups….I’d only just gotten one before that! It was also the first team comp for Niche so it was a great weekend with an awesome new crew.
What is your most and least favourite WOD or movement?
Favourite movement would have to be cleans. Hero WOD “DT” is probably one of my favourite WODs, good old barbell complex of 5RFT: 12 DL, 9 Hang Power Cleans, 6 Push Jerks.
Least favourite WOD would have to be my first WOD back after a month trekking in Nepal….hit me like a tonne of bricks. I was still recovering from a cold and the WOD was an EMOM of 5 ground to OH, then remaining time rowing for cals. I have never felt that way in a WOD ever, and hopefully never will again!! Least favourite movement…wall balls.
What tip would you give someone just starting in CrossFit?
First off: book in, turn up and be consistent!! Next: listen to your body. I didn’t do this for a long time and kept pushing through the niggles, which in the end only got me hurt. Work on moving properly and keeping form because when you get tired, bad technique can lead to injuries. I now approach training in a way that I’ll be able to do CrossFit for life, not just a few years. One last thing….work on keeping off that pain face. Your mind will usually give up much earlier than your body. Letting the pain face come out is the first step to letting your mind win!
What is one random, non-CrossFit interesting ‘thing’ about yourself?
No matter how hard I try to click my fingers, it just doesn’t happen for me. I’m also hugely passionate about improving health and human performance, and love learning – especially in the area of integrative medicine in treating human disease and dysfunction. Basically I’m your ultimate “forever student” geek.