It took a while for Tanya to pull the trigger on signing up for basics. Months before joining, she’d occasionally Google “CrossFit,” and then immediately talk herself out of the whole thing. But we’re so glad she caved! As the “resident midwife,” Tanya has been an incredible resource to all of our kick-ass CrossFit moms. And her energy and enthusiasm are contagious; she’s always setting new goals and encouraging those around her to do the same. This June, she’ll have been a 718 member for two years, but it feels like she’s been part of the family forever.
Read our Q&A with April’s athlete of the month.
How did you discover CrossFit?
I used to live down the street from the old location and saw all of you badasses working out. But every time I considered it, I would google “CrossFit” and read something that scared me. (I have two herniated discs in my neck that I was terrified of hurting). Anyway, I moved to 3rd ave, and so did CrossFit 718. It started to feel meant to be.
Meanwhile, I was getting just a tiny bit chubby around the midsection and someone at work asked if I was pregnant. Enough was enough! It was CrossFit or a personal trainer. I realized CrossFit would be cheaper, and I trusted myself enough to determine if it was safe or way too risky with my neck. Coach Iz taught most of my basics and he was so conscious of my concerns and made me feel so safe. I quickly realized that there is some inherent risk to anything that is intense but that it was largely up to me to manage that risk. At that point, I was all in.
What kinds of changes have you noticed since starting CrossFit?
Well, I am stronger for sure but, more importantly, I feel so good about my body. I’m 37 years old and in the best shape of my life! Generally speaking, coming to class in the mornings before work makes me a better person/midwife/mom. I am just happier after I have worked out and I can take on more stress and give more love and support to others than on days I don’t get to class.
How do you make time for working out?
I come before work on my office days (I love the 7am class), and I try to come on my post-call days either right when I get home from the hospital or at 5pm if I am desperate for some sleep (but that’s not easy). I work lots of little side jobs, but I can usually squeeze in a workout those days too. I’m trying really hard to find the time to step it up from 3 times a week, which I’ve been doing all along, to more like 4 or 5, but it’s hard.
What’s your favorite movement?
I’m really digging all the gymnastics moves right now. I like that there is so much going on in these movements. It’s not about pure strength, but momentum and coordination too. Probably because I was a dancer when I was a kid, so it feels just a little more familiar. And I’m still a little afraid of a barbell over my head.
What recent PR are you most proud of?
I guess it would be my bench press and my pull-ups. My 1RM is now 110. It went way up when I was preparing for the Brick Midtown Throwdown, which was my first ever competition. And I’m up to 8 strict pull-ups on a good day, and I’m beginning to work on all the other variations more.
What goal are you working on?
Now I’m working on muscle-ups. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting closer each day.
What’s your Fran time?
I don’t have one. I don’t have many of the benchmark workouts recorded yet, and I’ve been considering coming to open bar and starting to work through some of them.
How do you feel about this year’s Open and your performance?
I had a blast! I’d never even touched the 35 lb. dumbbells before and never thought I would. I didn’t know if I could survive the workouts, let alone feel proud of my performance. I felt really proud of my 17.1 and 17.2 times. My score improved by 20,000 spots from 17.1 to 17.2, which was a super cool feeling. But then 17.3 happened and I just can’t snatch. I’m terrified and convinced that I lack the mobility. Not sure where the truth lies yet, but that’s another story. So, I did 6 CTB pull-ups and walked.
What do you do when you’re not at the box?
Well, I think everyone knows that I’m the resident midwife. Other than that, I started rock climbing recently and that’s been really fun when I need something less intense than CrossFit or midday when CrossFit isn’t an option. I also dance Argentine Tango, but it’s become quite rare over the years because I want to go to bed when most people are ready to put on their dancing shoes.