Congratulations to Sami Saddiqui from Printers Row and Art Schneiderheinze from Union Station! They are The Foundry’s Athletes of the Month for August 2015! Sami has been a staple member at the gym since summer of 2013 and has learned that when the workout starts to hurt/get tough, that’s your cue to keep pushing through! She’s applied that concept of persistence to daily life and accomplished many things she never thought she would otherwise. Art has been a member with us since fall of 2014, and has taken his fitness to a whole new level in the past few months. He’s set a 2015 goal (and is well on his way) of completing at least 10 athletic events (including 10k runs and obstacle courses). He is also one of the most welcoming and friendly people you’ll find in class–towards fellow athletes, new athletes, and drop ins alike!
Sami and Art demonstrate that consistency, fun, fitness, and hard work in the gym are directly applicable to life outside the gym. Get to know them better by checking out their “Member Spotlights” below and at the gyms!
Get to Know Samiyah Siddiqui
Member Spotlight August, 2015
Occupation: Public Accountant – Tax
In general, what is your background?
I played a lot of sports when I was younger because I had an older brother and that is all he wanted to do. My dad played college basketball back in the motherland, so we were a basketball family. I also played volleyball and powderpuff football at school. I was never really aggressive. Therefore, as everyone else grew and my height pretty much stayed the same, I gradually started playing less and less. My husband and I would go to the gym to lift weights and then we joined The Foundry.
How long have you been a member at The Foundry? What is your CrossFit story? How does sharing Crossfit affect your relationship?
I have been a member at The Foundry since July 2013. My husband wanted to join a CrossFit gym the first time he heard about it. We moved downtown in June 2013 and The Foundry was just a block away so I encouraged him to join. He, in turn, convinced me to try out the intro class. I decided to join because I knew he would come back after every class, tell me how awesome it was, and I would eventually join anyways!
How has The Foundry changed your life/lifestyle/level of fitness? What do you like most about The Foundry?
I think my perspective in life has changed immensely since I joined The Foundry. For some reason, I grew up thinking that when your heart starts beating and you are out of breath, then you have had your workout! I didn’t realize that you are supposed to push through it. The thing I love most about CrossFit is that I walk in thinking, “you want me to do what” and at the end of class leaving have it done it. It is empowering in so many ways. I have also applied that systematic persistence in other aspects of my life and have accomplished more in two years than I ever have.
What are your short term goals (gym or personal)?
My short term goals for the gym are to get stronger and be a better me! I was studying for the CPA exam this past year and I didn’t get to focus so much on myself. I am done with the exams now and want to be more involved with the gym. I want to be healthier!
What are your long term goals (gym or personal)?
To be healthier, I joined the Healthy Habits group. I have learned so much about what to eat and seen so many great results! It is amazing to me that I am able to work out more and yet be less sore. I have lost weight and I am able to lift more! I am the healthiest in just two months than I have ever been. I also joined the Endurance program recently because I have always wanted to run but was terrible at it. I want to be a lifetime runner so I thought this would be a great way to accomplish it! Besides it would be comforting to know that I could potentially outrun the police if I had to…..j/k
What is your proudest CrossFit accomplishment thus far?
Getting my first pull up was pretty awesome! However, just a week ago, through the Endurance program, I was able to sprint faster than I ever have. It was an amazing feeling! I have struggled with running all my life and to feel like I was flying was just incredible!
What is your favorite movement?
I love snatches! It took me a year to be able to do anything that even resembled a snatch but once I got the hang of it, it felt pretty natural and powerful!
What’s your least favorite movement?
I hate thrusters! Just pure evil!
What is your favorite WOD or type of workout?
I like Annie because you can do it anywhere w/o a gym or really any equipment.
What WOD or type of workout would you rather avoid but you know is good for you?
Anything with rowing or wallballs.
What is your go-to post-WOD meal/snack/beverage?
Protein Shake- I love the VP2 brand.
What is your favorite movie?
In the Loop
What is your favorite book?
Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
You get to choose the music your class listens to this month! What is your favorite style of music, or who is your favorite musical artist?
I listen to a lot of different stuff. I am more alternative though. My favorite band is Tool but I grew up listening to Sublime, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, RATM, etc. More recently I like to listen to Cage the Elephant, Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, and Young the Giant. I also love Lauren Hill, Gwen Stefani, Fergie etc.
Do you have a favorite quote or words to live by?
Hard work ALWAYS pays off
What is your spirit animal and why?
After much soul searching, my spirit animal is the owl. The owl represented Athena in Greek mythology. Athena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, mathematics, strength, war strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Who wouldn’t want to be that?
Finish this sentence. I’m passionate about…girl power!
Get to Know Art Schneiderheinze
Member Spotlight August 2015
Occupation: Educator/Instructional Designer/Graphic Communicator
In general, what is your background? I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and completed my undergraduate degree in elementary education and graduate degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of Missouri in Columbia. After teaching in an elementary school for 8 years in St. Louis, I completed by Ph. D. in learning technologies at the University of Missouri in Columbia. I moved to Chicago in 2008 and work in higher education, primarily in teacher education programs. I have an older sister and younger brother. Since my mom battled muscular dystrophy her entire life, I was always thankful that I never had to deal with the physical limitations she had in her life.
How long have you been a member at The Foundry? What is your CrossFit story? I started weight training in high school using a minimal amount of equipment in the basement of my parents’ house. I continued to lift weights for many years but wanted a new challenge (i.e., something to push me through plateaus). I had heard great things about CrossFit, so I decided to call a few places in Chicago in November 2014 and discovered that a Foundations class started that evening at a place called The Foundry. I decided to try it out. I remember walking in and seeing a guy squatting what looked like a ton of weight (in retrospect, I think it was just a bunch of 10-pound plates on either side of the bar). I was so impressed by how welcoming the person was at the front desk (it was Kara Albert) and how enthusiastic the Foundations coach was (it was Maria McIntyre). I was hooked immediately.
How has The Foundry changed your life/lifestyle/level of fitness? What do you like most about The Foundry? I love to work out because of the physical and mental challenge of pushing myself to achieve short- and long-term goals. I have no problem admitting that I also enjoy the social aspect of working out with others who have similar goals. The Foundry has been by far the best environment for helping me achieve my goals and for providing a community of people who support each other, push each other, and genuinely care about each other. I feel like I have made more gains in my short time at The Foundry than I ever have at a traditional gym. I am so motivated to come to class not only because I absolutely enjoy and respect the people in the classes and the challenge that each workout presents, but also because I highly respect the coaches and the way they motivate everyone to push themselves to achieve incredible things. The coaches are athletes themselves, and for me that is important because it establishes credibility. They continually demonstrate good form and carefully watch you so you lift safely and efficiently. They also take the time to get to know you, know how to scaffold your workouts, and celebrate with you when you achieve personal records.
What are your short term goals (gym or personal)? For 2015, I set a goal to complete at least 10 athletic events (10K runs or higher, stair climb events, obstacle runs, etc.). I want my work outs to support my endurance, strength, and flexibility needed to successfully complete these events. CrossFit does this for me. I don’t have to do any additional training because the classes kick my butt and get me in shape to successfully complete all of these events. In terms of specific CrossFit skills, I am determined to string together double-unders and toes-to-bars. Damn them to hell!
What are your long term goals (gym or personal)? I know too many people who are my age who have “let themselves go” for variety of reasons. As a result, I hear them complain about not being able to do things “like they used to”, such as climb a flight of stairs or run a short distance without being out of breath. I work out regularly to maintain a healthy lifestyle so I can live a full life full of energy and avoid, God willing, any health issues that come from a sedentary lifestyle. I also want my niece and nephew (and other children and youth that I work with) to always see how much I value being active and adopt a similar view about physical fitness.
What is your proudest CrossFit accomplishment thus far? I was “pressured” to participate in the Trodo games in early May 2015, but it was one of the best experiences I ever had. (I participated in the games again in July without a second thought.) Not only did I enjoy working with my team to complete the workouts, but I was also so motivated by the intensity of teams from other boxes that were also working so hard to achieve great things.
What is your favorite movement? I love the Metcon workouts! I love the friendly competitiveness with other athletes (it is friendly, right?) and the personal competition to complete each new workout in a shorter time, with more rounds/reps, and with more technical efficiency.
What’s your least favorite movement? The least favorite moment is also my most frustrating moment—that is when I look over the results at the end of the day and discover that another athlete beat my time or completed more rounds/reps. I think to myself: “If ONLY I hadn’t stopped for those few seconds during the workout for a break!”
What is your favorite WOD or type of workout? I love partner and team WODs! I am so motivated by others at the gym that I know I will be pushed even harder when I am accountable to another person.
What WOD or type of workout would you rather avoid but you know is good for you? Since I am not technically efficient yet with double unders or toes-to-bars, I do not look forward to workouts that include either of these.
What is your go-to post-WOD meal/snack/beverage? Water without a doubt! In addition, I always come home and have a chocolate protein shake with peanut butter.
What is your favorite movie? This is always a hard question to answer! Dead Poets Society inspired me to be an educator. In general, I love horror movies, superhero action movies, and psychological thrillers.
What is your favorite book? Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
You get to choose the music your class listens to this month! What is your favorite style of music, or who is your favorite musical artist? I love going to electronic music festivals and love 90s alternative rock (Green Day, Bush, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Stone Temple Pilots, Smashing Pumpkins, etc.).
Do you have a favorite quote or words to live by? “Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” —Swami Sivananda
What is your spirit animal and why? Wolf. Loyalty is very important to me. I create incredibly deep emotions and relationships with people near me. I feel I have a deep connection with my instincts, and I have an appetite for freedom.
Finish this sentence. I’m passionate about… The welfare of children.