January Female Athlete Spotlight - Ashley Venema

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When did you start CrossFitting? Who/what got you started?Joey has worked out several times at 913 and suggested that I check out the box. I am distance runner and was having difficulty finding a time to get in a workout. 913 had a noon class and that’s where I live now M-F!What is your favorite/least favorite WOD? Ha! I am learning to like the barbell but for the most part still very much dislike anything with weights. I also don’t like 21-15-9 sprint workouts (Fran and some other awful one we did once with thrusters or cleans.. I can’t really remember I basically blackout during those times). I LOVE RUNNING!! Murph was my very first workout back into Crossfit and I was hooked. I like the long, grueling EMOMs and 12-20 minute amraps.What is your favorite/least favorite movement?My favorite movement is running haha but I also like wall balls, box jumps, and rope climbs. My least favorite thing is overhead squats and pushups.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.) Well I live about 90 miles north of here in a little farmhouse with our small zoo. We have a one year old, Atticus and I have two step kiddos that are 7 and 9, Lili and Mason. I grew up in small town Iowa and ran track and cross country in HS and college where I majored in chemistry, religion, and philosophy. Currently, I’m a chemical engineer for Sipp Technologies.What was your workout routine before CrossFit?Let’s see…running.What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?I was so excited about the atmosphere of our community. I loved how patient the coaches were with me and how encouraging all the athletes were to each other.What were your goals when joining CrossFit? Have you achieved any of those goals?I can almost do a pull-up! I really just wanted to run faster and I ran my first sub six-minute mile since college track while training over the summer. It was the most amazing feeling.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?ABSOLUTELY! I am so much happier since I joined 913. I have consequently turned into this ridiculous cheerleader- like YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! I think that comes from getting through workouts that absolutely bury all of us. Oh, and my arms no longer get tired blow drying my hair which is a huge plus.Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?I honestly feel like every day there’s something positive and special I take away from each class. I think my favorite memories are the ones where we are in class together and we are all dying in a workout. And then at the end when there’s someone left I just always jump in with them to finish the workout. I think in terms of achievements I value finishing workouts! Sometimes having Crohn’s means that the workout isn’t going to be pretty or fast but I get through it!What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit 913?Be patient and consistent. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with something that is unclear.Something you might not know about me is?I’m a foster mom to dogs that are on death row

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