CrossFit Force Athlete Profile

Sandra Arthur

Hometown: Pinole, CA

Age: 43

Occupation: Scientist I/Team Leader

When did you first start CrossFit?

I tried CrossFit for the first time towards the end of 2007 in Vallejo. I only made it to one WOD after my two weeks intro classes before I moved to Petaluma and could not make it to Vallejo anymore. Sadly, I still have the punch card for classes I never got a chance to use. At the time I moved to Petaluma I wasn’t aware of any CrossFit boxes in the area.

When did you first start training at CrossFit Force?
May 2011

Favorite WOD?
Fight Gone Bad

Least Favorite WOD?
Anything with overhead squats and for the longest time it was Kelly.

Do you do Paleo?

I have been eating Paleo for a year now. In that time, the more I learn the more I love this way of looking at nutrition. The Paleo way of life has completely consumed (literally) and changed my life in the sense that I eat to nourish my body with what it needs instead of using food as a reward for emotional needs. I don’t feel I am missing out (eating junk food) because on special occasions I will drink some alcohol and eat some non-Paleo food (if I think it won’t make me sick). I talk about a Paleo life style all the time at work and with family to get people to change their way of thinking about their eating habits and to help them feel good, specially those that I know have health problems. The hardest part for people to do is try to make a change, especially when it comes to food. Most people choose to make fun of me instead (:o( ). I love reading books about Paleo and all the blogs. After having kids (now 14 and 10 years old), I have had a yo-yo diet off and on, I lose weight, gain weight, etc. I would cut calories (always hungry), gone to Jenny Craig, etc. After everything I have read, I am convinced this is the way we were born to eat. I have never felt better inside and out. I eat like a lot and have maintained my weight. People at work always make comments on the amount of food Peter and I eat for lunch. I really do have more energy and I am usually in a good mood.

Tell us about you sports & fitness background…

I would run occasionally and do group classes like step aerobics. I have never played sports. Knowing what I know now, I wished I would have done gymnastics and martial arts as a child.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit?
Peter exposed me to CrossFit. He would regularly attend CrossFit classes and I would stay home with the kids. Sometimes he would invite me to join him but it would intimidate me a bit since I did not know anybody there.

Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel?

I remember the free trial WOD at CrossFit Force with Sean and Jillann Humphrey. After not really doing anything physically for two years this WOD tore me up (Fake Cindy, 10 min). I could not move the next day. I knew right then I needed to start some kind of physical activity.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before / after)?

I have lost approximately 35 pounds and have been the same weight for 8 months. I started losing weight after joining CrossFit but I made huge changes after going Paleo. When I started, I was scared to do box jumps on an 18″ box due to a previous injury. It took Jillann and someone else holding me and having me jump up to get over the mental block. Now I can do the 20″ box with no problem. This boosted my self confidence in my physical abilities. Seeing accomplishments like this motivated me even more to get stronger, faster, and fitter. After a month on Paleo, I was able to complete and string at least two kipping pull-ups, I started climbing the 15’ rope, and my overall times improved. An added bonus…all my jeans were loose and I had to go shopping. I have never been in better shape than I am now. Before CrossFit I had not lifted a single weight and now I can perform most of the Olympic lifts we are asked to do. When I run now, my cardiovascular endurance is so much stronger. I even ran a half marathon which is something I said I would never be able to do. Every part of me seems to be affected by CrossFit. I feel better and have more energy. I have never looked forward to workouts. I hated them. But now that I have seen my personal improvement, I get excited to see what the next WOD will be and I look forward to seeing everyone. I talk about CrossFit and Paleo all the time. People probably think I don’t have anything else going on in my life. I have just found it to be the most inspiring, life changing event…a life defining event. I have a whole new outlook on what is considered fit and what it feels like to be healthy. I love my CrossFit Force Family and adore Joe and Carol. Thank you Joe and Carol for providing a wonderful journey for me to get fit. You two make the box what it is. I am thankful to Gina Martin for telling us about CrossFit Force and Sean and Jillian for making Peter and I join.

Why CrossFit?
CrossFit fulfills many aspects of my life. You get a community behind you the minute you step through the doors. They cheer you on and suffer along side you. Everyone wants everyone to be better. You know without a doubt that you are improving which keeps you coming for more. Goals are endless in CrossFit. There is always the motivation to come back and your CrossFit box community holds you accountable if they haven’t seen you for a while. You do not get this kind of attention at a regular gym nor do they ensure nutrition to be a part of your learning. It is really hard to stay motivated if going to a globo gym. I guess you can go if you want to read or watch TV while you run on the treadmill. No one cheers you on to push past your limits, oh I forgot you won’t reach your limit if you are reading.

Any advice for people just getting started?
Don’t give up. Give your WOD’s your best effort and stay as honest with the movement otherwise you are just cheating yourself of all the benefits in the long run. Remember that being fit is not 40% Gym and 60 % Diet it’s 100% dedication. Fit is not a destination it is a way of life.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
My interests used to be golfing and dancing Hula. Now my interests are all health related like doing runs (all kinds), hiking, and cooking healthy Paleo meals. I also enjoy reading too. During football season…I am not available. I love football and baseball, more specifically the San Francisco 49ers and SF Giants (World Champions!). I also love spending time with my family and friends.

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