September Athlete of the Month: Tiffany Tasset
Congratulations, Tiffany! You are our September Athlete of the Month!!
Tiffany is a 10+ year CrossFit veteran and we have been lucky enough to have her as an integral part of our NoCoast community for the past 7 years. Even with life's ups and downs, phases of chaos, changes, etc., She has always made it a priority to find her way back to the gym and to her health each and every time! Her approach to listening to her body, modifying accordingly and taking each day in stride, allows her to continue to get stronger physically, mentally and emotionally! We appreciate Tiffany’s commitment to her health and fitness, and to our community. She has recently recruited her awesome brother, Clint and his wife, Chrystina, whom we are super excited to integrate into our community even more and get to know better as well. Thank you for all you do for all those around you, Tiff! You are truly a gem :)
Quotes from Tiffany:
“Back when I started CrossFit in my 30s, I didn’t pay much attention to my nutrition and really only felt the effects at the gym when I made really poor choices. Recently I’ve done a couple InBody scans and realized that despite the work I was putting in, my muscle mass was not moving. Sam pointed to my protein intake, which I started tracking and realized is not optimal, and is particularly challenging for me as I eat a mostly vegetarian diet. I started being intentional about adding more protein into my diet, and although I haven’t had another scan yet, I am already feeling the positive impact of my change in diet.”
“CrossFit has always been a buoy for my mental health and increased energy levels. At one point during a particularly difficult time in my life, however, it also became the bellwether that I needed to do something more to address the depression I was experiencing.”
Unlike many others I did not play ANY sports growing up and didn’t get into anything athletic until my 20s when I started doing a bit of running and yoga. At that time I also spent a lot of time outdoors with my boyfriend (now husband) hiking, backpacking and rock climbing. Nowadays, I’ve picked up running again after a bit of a hiatus, and we’ve replaced the more intense outdoor activities with family bike rides around town.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
Off and on for almost 11 years.
How did you get into CrossFit?
My brother, Clint, introduced me to CrossFit in the fall of 2012, when I saw him one day and noticed how fit he was looking. Around that same time I also happened across the CrossFit Games while sitting alone in a hotel room on a business trip and watched Annie Thorisdottir win her second games. Seeing the transformation my brother experienced in such a short time period and watching the amazing and strong women on TV at the Games were both just so inspiring that I had to give it a try myself. I love challenging myself and was immediately hooked.
What is your favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?
I have so many! But I would say, rope climbs because they make me feel capable and young, deadlifts because they make me feel strong, and recently, I’ve had a fondness for overhead squats, just because.
What is your least favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?
Handstands/wall walks scare me, and I still can’t really do them. I’m always certain I am going to fall on my head. And there is no love lost between me and burpees or wall balls.
What is your most memorable CrossFit moment?
Definitely the first time I completed Fran Rx. I couldn’t believe I was able to do 45 pull-ups in a work out, plus all those thrusters. That was about 6 years ago and I’ve lost a decent amount of fitness and strength since then. But I have a goal lingering in the back of my mind to do it Rx again. It will take me some time to get there, but if I put in the work, I know I can do it!
Second most memorable CrossFit moment is taking a double under clinic one Saturday morning, right before getting on an international flight to Sydney, Australia later that night. Turns out, sitting on a plane and not moving for like 20 hours straight after all that double under work will cause your calves to completely cramp up. I spent the first 5 days of our big, expensive, international trip hobbling around and barely able to walk. Whoops! But I learned double unders, so I guess it was worth it?
How does nutrition play a role in your fitness and recovery?
Back when I started CrossFit in my 30s, I didn’t pay much attention to my nutrition and really only felt the effects at the gym when I made really poor choices. Recently I’ve done a couple InBody scans and realized that despite the work I was putting in, my muscle mass was not moving. Sam pointed to my protein intake, which I started tracking and realized is not optimal, and is particularly challenging for me as I eat a mostly vegetarian diet. I started being intentional about adding more protein into my diet, and although I haven’t had another scan yet, I am already feeling the positive impact of my change in diet. I also find that doing CrossFit just naturally encourages me to eat cleaner, not overeat and drink less alcohol. It’s just not worth suffering through a tough workout feeling bloated, weighed down or with a hangover!
How has CrossFit improved your overall wellness?
CrossFit has always been a buoy for my mental health and increased energy levels. At one point during a particularly difficult time in my life, however, it also became the bellwether that I needed to do something more to address the depression I was experiencing. Prior to that moment, no matter how stressful life was, I would always feel a boost of energy after hitting the gym. But then one day I noticed that it wasn’t providing me that boost anymore. This became a tipping point for me and my therapist to realize that I needed something more to help address my depression and went on antidepressants. Fast forward 4.5 years later to this last spring, and I was ready to go off my antidepressant medication. CrossFit has been a cornerstone in my toolkit to keep my mental health strong as I tapered off my medication. I’m happy to say that from a mental health perspective I feel better than ever with the help of CrossFit, cold plunges, a healthy diet, and sunshine.
How has CrossFit changed your family?
I have a 9 year-old son, and I love that I am able to be a positive role model for him. There’s an extra level of pride I experience as a parent when he sees me practicing pull-ups on my home bar and says “Wow, mommy, you’re strong!” I’m also super excited that my brother and sister-in-law (Clint and Chrystina) have joined NoCoast! Clint and I were at the same gym for a short time when I first joined CrossFit, and we’ve been bonding over workouts from a distance ever since then, so I’m super excited to have the opportunity to suffer together again!
Advice to new people:
In my 10+ years doing CrossFit, it feels like I have stopped and restarted at least 10 times. Sometimes I’m hitting workouts consistently 3-4 days/week, other times it’s a success if I make it into the gym 3 times in a month. Sometimes I’m at the top of my fitness and PR’ing workouts, and other times just dragging myself through the motions of a 20 minute WOD feels like the hardest workout of my life. So my advice to everyone, no matter if you are brand new or started 2, 5 or 10 years ago, know that CrossFit and the community is here to meet you wherever you are! Whether it’s showing up for that first workout after 8 months away, or having a baby, or recovering from an injury, it takes courage to walk through those doors and face/accept that you’re human, life and fitness isn’t linear and you may not be lifting that same 1RM you did before. But the beauty of CrossFit (and especially NoCoast!) is that every time you walk through that door, you’ll be greeted by smiling faces and encouraging words no matter what.