Athlete of the Month – August 2014 – Emily W.

We are excited to announce Emily W. as Blackbird CrossFit’s Athlete of the Month for August 2014! The look of apprehension on Emily’s  first day is still fresh in my mind. She came right out and told me that she was there only because her husband was an avid CrossFitter and wanted her to give it a shot. For not having a prior fitness routine, she gave a solid showing her first class, but I felt that we might not see her again. Then she showed back up with a smile on her face and gave it a go again. The rest is history. Since that first week, Emily’s evolution has been great to witness.  She started as a woman battling the typical body image demons with only weight loss in mind. Over the course of just a few months, she has transformed into a confident athlete. She works hard and has a positive attitude, which are all reinforced by her strong determination.  Emily has gone from a reluctant participant to a CrossFit ambassador. We love a good “180 degree turn” story! Your Blackbird family is so proud of you Emily! Keep up the good work.       -Coach Matt Titus


DSC_0342Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

My name is Emily, and I am 27 years old.  I have a Masters degree in speech language pathology from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. Currently, I work at a private speech clinic in the area.  I was born and raised in New York (no, not the city-think closer to Canada), and have landed in Carroll County for my husband’s job.  My husband, Jake, and I have two corgis that are completely in charge of our household.

What made you want to start CrossFit? How long have you been doing it?

I did not want to start CrossFit.  I avoided it for a very long time.  My husband has done it for a few years and always tried to get me to participate in workouts.  I somehow always found a way out of that.  When he found out that Blackbird was opening up around the corner from our house, he kept nagging me to go and check it out for him. Our conversations were dominated by this for weeks, so I finally ran out of excuses and gave in.  I showed up in March and now I’m hooked.  I’ve been doing CrossFit for about 4 months.

DSC_1112What were your thoughts after your 1st WOD?

I don’t remember my first WOD exactly, but I remember that it had double unders.  I was so overwhelmed by the fact that I had to do triple the amount of jump ropes because I couldn’t do a double under, that blocked most of it out.  When I finished, I first thought, “Wow. That sucked.”  Which quickly brought me to, “But I survived it.” And then, before I knew it, I thought, “I wonder what we are going to do tomorrow?”

What were your goals when you 1st started?

My first goal was to keep coming back. Again and again and again.  You have to start somewhere, right? That was big for me because I was quick to give up on hard workouts in the past.

DSC_0238What are they now?

I am still fine tuning my big, overall goals in my head.  I do set little goals every day: finish this workout under 15 minutes or get in 8 rounds of this workout today.  I want to get my double-unders, and at this point I’d be thrilled to get even one.  The first day I complete a Rx WOD will also be a very exciting day for me.

What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?

The sense of accomplishment I get when I finish a WOD.  It feels so great to do something that I never thought I’d be able to do, and know that I gave it my all.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement/lift? Least favorite?

IMG_20140610_054527I love deadlifts, and I think it is because it was the first thing that I got a PR with. There are other lifts that are growing on me, but I’m always happy on deadlift day.

I hate the shoulder press.  And dips.  Clearly, my arms need some work!

What is the one tip you would give someone considering CrossFit or new to CrossFit?

If you are thinking about starting, just do it.  It is much more intimidating when you are outside looking in, than when you are actually in there, doing it.  I was intimidated by it for so long, but starting was one of the best things I’ve done for myself.  You’ll never know if it’s for you if you don’t try it!

Results? Tell us about your results!

DSC_0402Since I started at BBCF, I have lost 10 pounds, but I know that I have lost body fat and gained so much muscle! During the 4 week paleo challenge, I lost 2% body fat. I have seen a definite change in my muscle mass and definition.  I could care less if I ever lost another pound, if I could keep seeing improvements in my tone and definition! I see progress with my abilities every week, which is so exciting.  It is a great feeling to get new PRs, and then beat those PRs.  One of my biggest surprises was being able to run a mile with no direct training.  As someone who was never (and may never be) a runner, 1 mile was always a daunting task. But I was able to run a mile with out stopping, and to top it off, I took 30 seconds off of my mile time in a month.

What has CrossFit done for you in and out of the box?DSC_0364

I have really gained a lot of confidence in and outside of the box.  I am more confident in my abilities, and it has made me more open to trying new things.  I am also more active-I’m not content sitting around the house anymore! It has also changed my outlook on what “being healthy” means.  I’m not so caught up with being or feeling “skinny” any more.  Now, I am excited about being healthy and strong. It makes life so much happier.


It sounds so cheesy to say, but CrossFit has really changed my life for the better.  The BBCF community is made up of such supportive and encouraging coaches and athletes, they made me feel like one of the group from day one.