May Athlete of the Month: Natalya Walsworth

April 29, 2020

Congratulations Natalya! You are the NoCoast May Athlete of the Month!!!

 

Natalya and her girls have been so consistent with their At Home workouts during this crisis and have done a great job adapting the program to what they have at home. More importantly, we truly appreciate how active and encouraging Natalya’s been within our community on our group page. She has been so awesome keeping spirits high and always has the perfect thing to say to those who are struggling. This isn't anything new for Natayla but in our darkest time, she’s been such a bright light shining through. She has always had a special gift in this area and has always brought joy to our classes and community, but I think we can all agree it is even more apparent and appreciated now. Our community is blessed and grateful to have you in it - thank you, Natalya! We love you!

 

Quotes from Natalya:

“I am a healthy Mom physically and mentally.  Probably more so than I have ever been.  I am not the strongest, or fastest, or able to do all prescribed workouts, but I am happy with where I am at.  As I said before, CrossFit is a gift I have given myself to take care of me so that I can be there for the rest of the people in my life.”

 

“Just go!  Get there!  And.. when you don't, give yourself some grace.  Believe you are capable, and set goals that move you forward.    Believe what you are doing is best for you, and you don't have to do the same as what others are doing.  Believe that others are there with you cheering you on, because we are.”

 

“I don't know about you all, but CrossFit is hard enough for me that I actually have a little anxiety before I start every single workout.  I know it is going to be hard and I also know it is really good for me and that wins most of the time.  If I go in thinking negatively about a movement, it sets me up for even more anxiety and dread and that doesn't help me.  My girls have been such great teachers of this for me.  They are extremely dedicated to their sports and they have to tackle fears and difficult challenges so frequently now that they are at higher levels.  I have to be a model of overcoming fears and pushing through things I don't like so they know they can do the same.”

 

Age/Weight: 

44/130 lbs

 

Athletic/Sports history/highlights: 

I did gymnastics and tennis as a kid.  I was obsessed with gymnastics and my parents were able to support me taking recreational classes.  I didn't stick with it for very long, but it has always been my favorite sport.  I started playing tennis when I was 10 because my best friend played.  We played together all through High School and got to be All Conference our Freshman year.  We thought we were amazing, lol!  Years later after we both had kids, we decided to start playing again and played together for about 8 years and won some tournaments.  It was fun to tell people we had been playing together for over 20 years!!   

 

How long have you been CrossFitting? 

I started Crossfit about 6 years ago this month!!  Whoa!!  I had no idea!!  I keep thinking it's only been 3 years!

 

How did you get into CrossFit? 

My family and I were driving home from the airport after a trip to Mexico and I felt disgusting after eating terribly for a week, and well beyond that.  I said to my husband, "I have got to start doing something to get in shape.  I might try Crossfit."  He said, "Yeah, you should.  I've thought you might like it."  Then we went to get pizza from Abo's.  HA!!

I think his tiny bit of encouragement was all it took.  I started at a gym in Erie called Conviction and met some amazing people who are now at NoCoast, Jen and Brad Borth, Andy and Brooke Long, Lindsay Gorske, Beth Greany, and Kelly Asta.  Some of these amazing ladies and I kept each other moving by texting each other each morning to get our butts to the gym.  We all had little girls and had to bring our kids sometimes, but our friendship and simple encouragements of each other were the start of a long lasting connection with this sport.  

 

What is your favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?

I used to really love kipping pull-ups, and I can't say that as much anymore.  I actually can't think of what my favorite movement is...  I just love the whole thing.  I love the fact that it's always changing.  Each WOD is different and it's so reliable.  I can always know I will get a good workout and feel better when I am finished than I did before the workout.  It is difficult enough that it doesn't allow me to think of anything else but the movement and counting my next rep.  This is what I need in a workout.  I often experience a lot of stress in my work, I perseverate on my to do list, or am pressed to get my kids somewhere. With CrossFit, I can't think of anything else except for the physical movements.  I also struggle with some depression and anxiety and CrossFit obviously helps with releasing the feel good chemicals in the brain.  When I am on a regular schedule, I am much healthier physically and mentally.  

 

What is your least favorite WOD/CrossFit movement? 

CrossFit is just another area of life that demands a positive mental state.  It is constantly a challenge with every workout requiring me to push myself.  For that reason I cannot say there is a movement I don't like or that it's my least favorite.  If I do it sets me up to dread that movement.  I used to say, "I hate OHS."  I can't do that though, because if they are programmed then I don't have a good mindset for my workout. I don't know about you all, but Crossfit is hard enough for me that I actually have a little anxiety before I start every single workout.  I know it is going to be hard and I also know it is really good for me and that wins most of the time.  If I go in thinking negatively about a movement, it sets me up for even more anxiety and dread and that doesn't help me.  My girls have been such great teachers of this for me.  They are extremely dedicated to their sports and they have to tackle fears and difficult challenges so frequently now that they are at higher levels.  I have to be a model of overcoming fears and pushing through things I don't like so they know they can do the same.  

 

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment? 

My most memorable moment was when I got my pull ups.  I was SOOO HAPPY!!!  Beth Greany was at the workout that day and we had to do something around 40 reps/round.  I broke them up significantly and got through all of them.  She cheered for me, encouraged me, and gave me a shout out on FB later in the day.  I was beaming with pride.  It was the first moment as a Mom that I realized I could still progress and do things physically.  It was definitely an empowering moment.  

 

How does nutrition play a role in your fitness and recovery?

One day during my first year, I was struggling to even move through a workout and truly wanted to leave in the middle.  I actually did leave the gym to go outside.  The coach came out and said, "What did you eat this morning?"  I told him I had a chai and a bacon gouda breakfast sandwich from Starbucks.  He said, "Well that's your problem!!  Never eat anything that ends in 'Sandwich!"  It was a gentle slap in the face and the beginning of a shift in my diet.  Until about 5 years ago, I had always been able to eat whatever I wanted because I had a really high metabolism.  That's not the case anymore, and after learning so much more about food, mostly through the challenges at NoCoast, I have been able to realize the differences in how my body feels after eating different kinds of food - Especially sugar.  I personally love cake.  It's the best thing ever!!  I have just learned to eat those special desserts less frequently, and only eat what is truly GOOD, instead of eating it just because it is there.

  

How has CrossFit improved your overall wellness?

I am a healthy Mom physically and mentally.  Probably more so than I have ever been.  I am not the strongest, or fastest, or able to do all prescribed workouts, but I am happy with where I am at.  As I said before, CrossFit is a gift I have given myself to take care of me so that I can be there for the rest of the people in my life.  I work in a helper profession and it can be very draining.  I find that if I honor this time for myself, I am able to sustain the energy I need to be there for others and be a much better practitioner.  

 

How has CrossFit changed your family? 

My daughters' commitments to their sports were truly what encouraged me to find something that helped my overall fitness.  All of us continuing to stay active in our sports communities is valued in my family.  We don't all want to do the same thing, but we do know how important it is to have a community who is passionate about the same thing.  We also all value a healthy mind, body, and spirit and know it is not easy and we have to work hard to make it happen.  It's not something that can be done passively.

 

Advice to new people:

Just go!  Get there!  And.. when you don't, give yourself some grace.  Believe you are capable, and set goals that move you forward.    Believe what you are doing is best for you, and you don't have to do the same as what others are doing.  Believe that others are there with you cheering you on, because we are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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