WOD Wednesday, January 7

January Athlete Spotlight!


Congrats Drea A.!!!

What are your favorite hobbies, talents, skills outside of CrossFit?

I believe variety is the spice of life, so I like a lot of different things! I enjoy horseback riding, dancing, basketball, football (so long as it isn’t tackle… :)), volleyball, track&field… (almost any sport, although I am not as capable at the ones that include bases) I also enjoy media production, writing, spoken word, public speaking, singing, traveling, eating, hiking and basically anything that includes activity and people! 🙂

What motto or phrase do you live by?

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

What is something we might not know about you ?

I was on a reality television show (MTV’s College Life) my freshman year of college and 2 years later I lived in Bethlehem, Israel for 5 months to film a Bible study series with Questline Productions.

What is your favorite music to listen to while WODing?

Happy music!! Haha! I love girl power songs and anything positive and upbeat. 🙂  DSC_0051

What recent adventure are you planning?

When I graduate in May, my parents and I are planning to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail to celebrate. (I tried to convince them to do the whole thing with me, but apparently that takes a few months, and I am supposed to be getting a job before then…) 🙂

Do any of your family members CrossFit? If so, where?

No. I have a really healthy and active family, but none who have caught the CrossFit bug 🙂

Where are you originally from?

I was born in Milwaukee and grew up in Oak Creek and Mukwonago.

What is your occupation?

I am a full time student at UW majoring in Communication Arts (Radio/Film/Television emphasis) and a Digital Studies cert. I am also currently working part time at HotelRED as a front desk representative.

What is your athletic background?

I focused on horseback riding and dance until high school and then shifted into basketball, cross country, and track. In my first years of college, I played intramural sports (basketball, flag football and softball), and now I keep myself entertained with lots of outdoor activities, races and CrossFit 🙂

How long have you been with CrossFit Connex?

This month will mark my 1 year anniversary with Connex! 🙂

What is your favorite WOD?

I don’t know that I have a favorite, but I enjoy longer WODs with a variety of movements. I get really excited when bodyweight movements, box jumps, double unders and/or running is involved because those are things my body can do to a rhythm.

What is your least favorite WOD?

Again, I can’t think of a particular WOD, but I have trouble when the WOD is based around lifting heavy in ONE spot! I get super antsy when I lift heavy, and I have the urge to run or move my muscles somehow between lifts.

DSC_0057What is your favorite lift?

I think the classic power clean/squat clean is my favorite.

What is your least favorite lift?

The squat snatch. It has good days, but it is something I am always working on.

What is your favorite paleo meal/snack?

I am actually a vegetarian and I am primarily vegan (sometimes I eat eggs or yogurt and every now and then I will eat some cheese) However, I have realized that paleo and vegan eaters have some fundamentals in common….we both emphasize clean eating and unprocessed foods. 🙂

My favorite go to foods are tomatoes, mangos, or apples. (I LOVE open faced sandwiches on sprouted organic bread with vegenaise, sliced tomatoes, and avocados with sea salt :))

What is your favorite cheat Food(s)?

Chocolate. OR Cookie dough! I have the most obnoxious sweet tooth! My body thinks dessert should be a part of every meal…I am working on this…:)

What would your perfect WOD look like?

Dre’s perfect WOD: 21-15-9 Power cleans. Box Jumps. Pull ups. Air squats. Run a 400 between every round 🙂

What is one thing you have done at CFC that you never thought you would do?

I lift WAY heavier than I ever have at CFC. I am inspired by watching women like Emily, Nadia, Laura, Alyse, Ellyn…goodness, I could name SO MANY! There are some strong women at CFC and they have encouraged me to lift heavier, and I never thought I was capable of lifting as much as I do (even though it is still far from their abilities!)

What motivates you during a CrossFit WOD?

I KNOW this sounds crazy, but often, I like to pray while I WOD. I try to be in communication with God throughout the day (1 Thess. 5:17) and I fully believe that working out and taking care of the bodies He created is a spiritual experience. When I am working out, and I feel like quitting, I like to thank God for my health and abilities, and pray for friends or family who are struggling. Prayer gives me peace, focus and purpose, and helps me not to focus on the pain! 🙂 So if you ever have any prayer requests…tell me before my WOD and you can believe they will be placed before the throne of God. 🙂

I ALSO love the encouragement and cheers from other people I WOD with! Our coaches are AWESOME at keeping us going, but next to them, Nadia is one of the most encouraging athletes to train with!

What do you eat pre/post WOD?

I have never taken a pre-workout in my life, I avoid all caffeine for the most part (unless it is in chocolate…LOL).

I typically work out in the morning and before I come I always drink a quart of warm water with some lemon juice. I work out best on an empty stomach, so I never eat right before a work out, but I love eating a huge bowl of oatmeal with chia seeds, raisins, vega protein powder, hemp seeds, almond milk and granola alongside some toast with peanut butter and bananas on top 🙂

OR my day is MADE if I can have Thai food after a nighttime workout…yum!! (my favorite).

What results have you seen so far in coming to CFC?

I am noticeably more muscular and I am getting more flexible, like I was in my dancing years! I have always been thin (even though I have a HUGE appetite and can out eat the best of eaters) and I have always had trouble putting on muscle-even when I wasn’t vegetarian, but this summer a lot of family and friends have told me that I look more muscular. Yay!

What was your main reason for joining CFC?

I moved back to Madison after 3 1/2 years off of school and I realized I didn’t know very many people in the area. I was also looking to take my fitness to the next level, as I have always been active, but I have never been very good at pushing myself past that “comfortable” threshold. I found a community of like-minded people at CFC and I was DEFINITELY pushed past my comfort zone!

Give us some insight as to your thoughts after your first workout at CrossFit Connex?

Emily and Kief often joke that our warm up is other people’s work out and it is TOTALLY true. I have worked out at so many gyms and even other boxes, but the warm ups at Connex require a lot of mental toughness! I love that Em and Kief spend a lot of time on getting us super warm and mobile before we lift heavy loads or compete in a WOD. It took me at least 2-3 months before I felt like I could “keep up” in the warm ups!

Another thing I noticed about CFC in my first few workouts was their ‘team’ approach. DSC_0082Within a week or 2 of me being there I needed to know all the names of the people I was working out with, and they needed to know mine. IN addition, I remember a warm up where I stopped doing double unders and started doing Singles because I was tired, and Kief punished everyone working out with me, by making them do 2 extra minutes of DUs, for my laziness! I felt so awful!! LOL! But it helped me understand that we are a family and a team, and we should not just be in there looking out for ourselves. We are competing with each other to make each other stronger, and encourage one another, and I have loved seeing that lived out at CFC.

Tell us a little about then VS now in regard to your performances as a CrossFit athlete

I am still very often caught in the “comfortable” zone of a work out…I VERY rarely push myself with heavy weights or extra reps. HOWEVER, I have definitely noticed that I am becoming braver! I find myself shocked when I can add 5 or 10 pounds to a lift! There are little things, every day that I find myself capable of that I never used to be (like handstands or pull ups). 🙂

Do you have any special or successful CrossFit Connex memories/moments?

I loved the day that I realized I could do pull ups!! I was super excited about that! I have done the Tough Mudder twice and the first time I did it, I could not do many of the upper body obstacles, and in this last race, I did them ALL– with ease!! 🙂 I was like, “Maybe I should go to Connex after the race and get a REAL work out…” haha!

What advice would you give to a newbie or someone just joining CrossFit Connex?

– Leave your pride at the door. Be ready and willing to learn and take direction.

Start with light weights and make sure your form is correct.
Coach Kief actually likes you, even when he doesn’t act like it. :)) haha
Learn EVERYONE’s names 🙂
Remember that if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

What sort of life changes have you experienced because of CrossFit that you didn’t expect?

I plan a lot of my day to day activities around CrossFit, and it helps me stay organized and healthy while I am in school.

What does CrossFit mean to you?

CrossFit is an answer to my prayers of wanting to keep my body the healthiest it can possibly be. CrossFit has become a place that combines my favorite things: health, fitness, and community. I am usually the type of person that pushes away from trends or fads, and that is why it took me so long to try CrossFit. Now, after doing it for about a year and a half, I realize that CrossFit is something I would participate in regardless of its popularity and bandwagon appeal. I KNOW this will remain an integral part of my life, as I have both seen and felt its effects.

35 color

2 rounds
2 min max dumbbell box step ups
2 min max cal row
2 min max strict HSPU/wall climb
2 min max hang power clean (155/115)
rest 3 min between rounds


ATTENTION:  A big thank you to Laura, Jenna, Bryan and April for all stepping in and helping keep the class schedule up and running these next couple of days!
There will however be one schedule change!  This Thursday (Thursday, January 8) there will be no Olympic Lifting Class!  There will be Open Gym from 5:00-6:30 and then Stretching and Mobility from 6:30-7:30.
The new Thursday Schedule (Open Gym from 5:00-5:30, OLY Class from 5:30-6:30, Open Gym/ Stretching and Mobility from 6:30/7:30) will go into effect on Thursday, January 15.
I am so sorry for any confusion I have caused!!!!!!