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Athlete of the Month: August 2016

Chrystie O’Brien

By: Jenessa Connor 

Chrystie started working out with Tammy and Iz when CrossFit 718 was just a twinkle their eyes. She was there for the very first workouts in the park, the Brooklyn Fitness Factory days and the gym’s eventual CrossFit affiliation. As a loyal member of the community, she’s supported the box’s constant evolution, but she’s also experienced her own personal growth as an athlete. Gone are the days of “cardio + light weights” workouts. Over the last six years, she’s focused on building strength, speed and stamina (and she’s got the muscles to show for it).

If you haven’t had the opportunity to chat with Chrystie, it’s definitely due to a scheduling issue. Chrystie is one of the friendliest members of CrossFit 718, and she always makes time to get to know her fellow athletes.

Read our Q&A with August 2016’s Athlete of the Month.

When did you join CrossFit 718? 
I have been with Tam and Iz since before they affiliated. So it has been almost six years of perpetual soreness.

How did you discover CrossFit?
Izzy and Tammy wanted to take their fitness business to the next level and affiliate with CrossFit. I wasn’t sure what it was and told them not to bother since I was already a fan of what they were doing. I had no idea this CrossFit thing would be so much fun, up my fitness level and bring so many more people into my life.

 

What kinds of changes have you noticed since starting CrossFit?
CrossFit has allowed me to put muscles on my small frame. I have always been active but didn’t know how to put on muscle. I used to believe I couldn’t gain muscle, but I really just didn’t know how. Like most women, I was doing my cardio and light weights at the gym. I was always doing the same exercises without leaving my comfort zone. I thought I was in shape but, looking back, I know better.

Working out helps clear the stress of my day. It’s my transition from work to home. CrossFit gets my mind to release the stress of the day so that, by the time I get home, I am either relaxed or just too beat to bother worrying about work. The social aspect is one of my favorite parts. I love chatting with members before or after the class and hearing about their accomplishments at the box or work, or their latest adventures.

How do you make time for working out?
I take a look at my schedule for the coming week and plan how I’ll get in at least three WODS plus another two days of other activity. It doesn’t always work out, and sometimes life gets in the way. But, for the most part, as long as a WOD is scheduled, I view it as a “must make” appointment. I believe being active is just as important as any other appointment on my calendar.

What’s your favorite lift? WOD?
My favorite lift is the clean. As for WODs, I like Annie. I have gotten faster every time I do it, and it’s something I can Rx since there are no heavy weights involved.

What recent accomplishment are you most proud of?
I recently stopped using an abmat for handstand push-ups. Whenever they were programmed in a WOD I would grab the mat for fear that I’d burn out and fail. Iz saw me doing this, called me out and took the mat away from me. Now I am able to complete 10 handstand push-ups in a row without a mat.

What goal are you currently working on?
I have been working on kipping my toes-to-bar for months. My kip is not the most efficient, so it takes more energy than it should.

What’s your Fran time?
A lady never tells……

What do you do when you’re not at the box? 
I am a water lover and enjoy going on scuba diving vacations with my husband, Cory. Being underwater is so relaxing and such an adventure at the same time. You never know what you will see. I love to take photos of my underwater safaris, especially the macro critters. I enjoy taking topside photos as well and am mostly passionate about coastal landscapes. I am a novice photographer and hope to take additional classes and improve my skills. So much to learn… So much to see… Too little time…

 

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