Name: Stef Tani
Crossfitting Since: November 2011
Attends Class: 5 times a week
Favorite Quote: “If you choose to push yourself to do that which you never thought possible, chances are you’ll surprise yourself.”
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT CROSSFIT?
One of my very close friends has been crossfitting for about 3 years in Long Island. She had casually been trying to convince me to try it out for a while. I was doing one-on-one boxing at the time and liked it, so I wasn’t really motivated to try something new. When after a year I was still hesitant she sat me down (intervention style) talked to me about what crossfit was, why she thought it was the right choice for me, and then made me promise her that I would try it just one time. Four days later, I made good on my promise. I thank her for this every single chance I get.
WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS WHEN YOU STARTED CROSSFIT?
Honestly, my first goal was just not to die. I walked into CFH for my first beginners class just as the 6pm was finishing up Randy. The entire box was shaking from what seemed to be a collection of the strongest most intense people on earth throwing huge barbells around a warehouse to blaring rock music and loud screams of C’MON GET ON THAT BAR 3-2-1!! To say I was intimidated would be the understatement of the century (enter: thoughts of killing above mentioned friend). Against all odds, by class number 2, I was hooked. After 8 weeks of fundamentals and surviving my first real WOD I started to set general goals for myself, like I want to get stronger, faster, and more fit, and eventually graduated to goals like I want to have 17+ rounds of Cindy. I am happy to say I have achieved all of that!
HOW HAS CROSSFIT DIFFERED FROM YOUR FORMER TRAINING?
Simply put: intensity and passion. Before crossfit, working out was just the means to an end. Except for sparring, which I still do on occasion, it wasn’t something I enjoyed, but rather something I needed to do. I didn’t care how “good” I was at it, how much weight I could lift or how fast I could perform the movements. It was purely about burning calories. Crossfit is about community, about testing your inner strength as well as your physical strength. I look forward to setting a goal for myself every day and pushing myself to meet it. It makes me want to be better.
WHAT TYPE OF RESULTS HAVE YOU SEEN WITH CROSSFIT?
The results have been better than I could have imagined. Over four years ago I very badly injured my ankle. No matter how much PT I did, regardless of how long I wore the leg brace, I was unable to perform standard daily tasks. By the time I started crossfit I had been working on strengthening my ankle for well over 3 years. I tried everything, yet still couldn’t even briskly jog to catch a bus, let alone do impact exercise. After just a few months of crossfit (which I scaled appropriately for my injury) I started to show the first ever signs of progress. Fast forward 10 months, I can do almost everything. It makes everyday living 10 times easier. And that’s just my ankle. Generally speaking, I am probably twice as strong today than I have ever been in my life. I have never had the level of energy or enthusiasm that I have now. Coming from a place where for years I couldn’t walk down the stairs without being in agonizing pain, I’d say the results have been outstanding.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT HOBOKEN?
AMAZING. I truly can’t say enough about the place. First of all, the insanely skilled athletes that coach at CFH take their coaching very seriously and coach from the heart. They care about the members, their health, and their development. The members are always ready to do whatever necessary to help, whether that be to stand by your side and root for you when all they want to do is lie breathlessly on the floor, push you to get back on the bar for those last reps when you think you might not make it, call you to make sure you are icing/resting/showing up, whatever. I have never met a more collegial group in my life. It’s because of this atmosphere that people are able to succeed. It is this attitude that changes people’s lives because the crossfit “you can do anything” mentality inevitably spills over into other aspects of life. For this, and more, a huge thank you to every CFH member, staff member, and coach (present and past) that has enriched my life and continues to do so on a daily basis. What the Crossfit Hoboken community brings to the table is unique, much appreciated, and never once taken for granted. You guys ROCK!
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH IN THE NEXT YEAR IN YOUR OWN FITNESS?
Unassisted pull ups, consecutive double unders, handstand push ups, RXing strength WODs – the list goes on and on. These things would have seemed impossible to me a year ago, but that’s just another example of how crossfit has changed my perspective… I know now that if I want it, and I work hard enough for it, I will make it happen. No questions, no excuses.
WHEN DID YOU START EATING PALEO?
The day I signed up for my first Paleo Challenge, January 9, 2012 (not like I remember the exact moment of my life that I last ingested wheat or anything…).
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY OF FOOD LOOK LIKE YOUR YOU?
For breakfast I mostly eats eggs and/or leftover meat (admittedly sometimes I even cook meat at 7 am on purpose…). For lunch I’ll usually eat a salad with chicken or tuna, avocado, and tons of veggies. For dinner I eat a good amount of meat or fish (all of the organic, hormone/antibiotic free, wild caught, grass fed variety) with some form of vegetable. I’ll have a handful of nuts and/or piece of fruit for a snack. When I’ve had a particularly grueling workout I make sure to follow it with some sweet potato or a banana. Coffee, 85% dark chocolate, red wine and tequila are also my friends (happy to report that some things never change).
HOW DID PALEO ACCELERATE YOUR WEIGHT LOSS?
Going Paleo literally transformed my body. It’s much more than pounds on a scale. Shape and muscle wise it’s a whole different ball game.
HAVE YOU FOUND IT HARD TO ADHERE TO PALEO DIET?
Not really. I read the Paleo Solution early on and about a million articles and blogs. Together they helped me understand the scientific reasoning behind Paleo principles. I don’t eat Paleo to lose weight (though it has been a welcomed side effect). I eat Paleo to be healthy and feel good. When you’re doing it for those reasons, it becomes an easy choice. Also, it’s hard to complain when everything you’re eating is delicious.
OTHER THAN PALEO WHAT OTHER DIET TOOLS HAVE YOU USED?
None. Besides trying to be reasonably conscious of my carb and fat intake, I eat Paleo when I’m hungry until I’m full.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF GOING PALEO?
Prep time, planning ahead to be out of the house, and the significant bump in cooking. However I have discovered that I actually really enjoy cooking and am pretty good at it if I do say so myself! Life might have been easier before, but it sure wasn’t better. Then again, when did doing what comes easy ever pay off?
DO YOU PLAN TO CONTINUE WITH THIS WAY OF EATING PERMANENTLY?
Absolutely. I feel better, happier, and more energetic every minute of every day. I can’t imagine not wanting that forever.