By: Jenessa Connor
Rachel Walther, CrossFit 718 member since December 2011, is a self-proclaimed “Type A” person. And we believe her. How else does a person hold down a demanding job at an ad agency, work towards a Master Health Coach Certification, explore NYC and travel (she’s planning a cross-country road trip for 2016), and get to the box at least three times a week?
So, if you’re looking for time management tips (or vacation ideas or nutrition advice), hit her up. In the meantime, read this Q&A with November’s athlete of the month.
How did you discover CrossFit?
Facebook! In the summer of 2011, I noticed on my Facebook feed that someone I knew from high school went from being overweight to having a SICK body in a very short amount of time. I stalked her Facebook page and found out she was doing this new thing called CrossFit. I researched it and found a box locally within the week to try it out.
Why do you do CrossFit?
CrossFit pushes me out of my comfort zone to work my body holistically. I’m completely capable of building and executing challenging cardio workouts, but I don’t have the same discipline with strength training. When left to my own devices, I will lift the same body parts at a much lower intensity.
How do you make time for working out?
I’m a complete planner, “Type A” person. So if something is a priority to me, I make sure I get ‘er done. Making time for working out is a given to me, just like making time to eat breakfast. It is just a part of my day. I think it may be easier for me than some people because I grew up with this mindset. My dad is a personal trainer, so doing workouts as a part of my daily routine was instilled at a very young age (like 3rd grade…seriously).
You run road races and have competed in triathlons. How does CrossFit affect your athletic performance outside of the box?
I actually run faster than when I first started CrossFit, and I run less! The strength I’ve gained in CrossFit has definitely translated to strength that helps you move faster. I also think it has helped me be more comfortable “in the red” (pretty close to 100%) when doing races, which allows me to push harder for longer.
What’s your favorite lift?
Power cleans. It is probably the only movement that I can do easily and fast without uncomfortable repositioning to keep form (alá OHS, snatches – haha).
What recent achievement are you most proud of?
Doing all the movements Rx for Murph this year in a reasonable amount of time (51:26). The very first CrossFit workout I ever did was Murph (I know, crazy). I had to do most of it modified and I still could barely move the next day…and I loved it. Things kinda came full-circle for me in Rxing that workout this year..although, it was not pretty. My hands were torn to pieces about halfway through the workout, but I sucked it up being that it was a hero workout and all. Plus, I was dedicating the workout to my best friend who lost his legs in Iraq. I kept thinking about everything he sacrificed for our country and figured I could deal with some bloody hands.
What are some of your current goals?
Stringing together strict pull-ups. I can get through workouts with pull-ups by kipping, but my strict pull-ups need some work. I would also like to get my one rep max squat weight back to what it was pre-Half-Ironman (I took off time while training and for the race).
What do you do when you’re not at the box?
I LOVE NYC. I spent my whole life trying to live here…and now that I am finally here I make sure to enjoy it. I figure if I am paying for the city, I am going to use it. I do at least one touristy/cultural NYC thing a week, whether it’s going on a tour, visiting a museum, or just walking around to see specific things. I have a “master” list with everything I want to do/see that I’ve created through tour books, online references, and recommendations from others. So, I try to pick something from that list every week and check it off.
I also spend time with the loves of my life, Mark and Reggie. We live across the street from Prospect Park, so we spend a lot of time there.