This week we are honoring an athlete who is dedicated, inspiring, and continues to see great results. This week’s member spotlight is Sophia Kang! In the first week of the Open, Sophia and Fei were on a snowboarding trip but still managed to complete 13.1 before a full day on the slopes! This hard work and commitment has really payed off at the gym. Read on for some insights into Sophia’s CrossFit journey.
The Foundry: You’ve trained at a few other CF gyms and live in Bucktown – what drew you to The Foundry?
Sophia Kang: I initially came because it was close to my work and I was curious about CF, but stayed because of the people and the coaches. At other gyms, I’ve seen trainers and CF coaches facilitate workouts with little regard of the athlete’s form and capacity. However, The Foundry coaches emphasize on the what, why, and how on form and skill building – something I truly value.
The Foundry: As the holder of one of the top C+J at the gym, you’re not afraid to be strong. What advice do you have for other women who are new to or intimidated by strength training?
SK: When I first started lifting, I was pretty intimidated so you are not alone! Hang power squat clean snatch what?? I could barely keep the lifts straight, let alone all the CF acronyms. And yes, I’ve hit my chin with the bar – maybe more than once. Strength training is more than just lifting weights, it’s a skill in which technique is just as important. I think having a clean slate is to your advantage, so learn how to lift correctly from the start. As a visual learner, I watched youtube videos outside of class and sometimes even practiced in front of a mirror. This helped me become more comfortable with lifting. Also, don’t be afraid to ask someone to watch you and receive feedback.
Once you get over the intimidation (don’t worry you will), you’ll learn that Olympic lifts are actually a lot of fun, strength training burns off fat much faster than running 5 miles, and achieving that PR is extremely rewarding!
The Foundry: You came to the gym with an endurance background. How has our program improved your endurance and what are your plans for the upcoming race season?
SK: After every marathon and triathlon I have raced in, I told myself – I’m never doing this again. I’ve also told myself the same thing during 150 wall balls, the last mile of Murph, and the final 5 minutes of 13.2, but – for some crazy reason – I’m always back for more. I think that mental toughness is like a muscle, and these ridiculous WODs have definitely strengthened that muscle allowing me to increase my pace for longer distances. Also, I’ve noticed that my body recovers a lot faster after long runs.
The true test will be this summer. I signed up for the Racine Half-Ironman in July, which will be the longest race I have competed in. If you are interested, I’m still looking for training partners…
The Foundry: You’re among the leaders in referring other people to The Foundry, what makes you want to recommend us to your friends?
SK: I am doing unassisted pull-ups for the first time in my life. I am eating healthier and actually cooking at home. And overall I’m just feeling great. Not only that, I’m seeing amazing results in everyone else at the gym, so The Foundry must be doing something right! It’s been a rewarding experience so far, and I just want to share that to those I care about.
Thanks for sharing with us Sophia! Be sure to congratulate her and continue to WOD hard!