CrossFit Gym In Overland Park

July Female Athlete Spotlight - Becky Dowden

September 1, 2020

When did you start CrossFitting? Who/what got you started?December 8, 2012 – Crossfit913 grand opening, baby! I had actually done a couple of classes with Brady at Meshuggee about 6 months prior to this. For all of you newbies, Brady is the mythical minotaur who pops in from time-to-time aka the other OG founder of 913 (Tj being the other one). I went to high school with Brady and he had posted on Facebook about a free inaugural workout at the grand opening of the new gym he and a buddy were opening. I decided to go & was instantly hooked. What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?Favorite – Anything with barbell cycling and rowing. I’ve loved the ones that have been programmed lately. “The Gut Check” and the faux DT that were programmed recently were my jam! Least favorite – Anything with gymnastics or running. I am not a graceful butterfly. I try to be, but I’m kinda tall af & that doesn’t fare so well in gymnastics. Running and I used to be semi-friends, but as I’ve gotten older and have avoided getting my knee fixed it’s just really hard on me for multiple days afterward. What is your favorite/least favorite movement?Favorite movement is definitely any sort of clean. “We like cleans! We’re good at cleans!” – Coach Benny’s best coaching moment in my world. Least favorite – C2B pull-ups. I’ve never been able to do them well enough to string more than 2 of them together, even when I was actually putting conscious effort into them back in the day.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.) I live about a mile from the gym with my little family and our three dogs. My husband Ryan and I both grew up in this area. We’ve been together for 13 years & married for 5. Ryan actually used to come to CrossFit with me. He was a member for a couple of years. I’m still working on getting him to come back & play. Our family grew to include a baby girl back in September. Zoey is my little gym rat—you may have seen her hanging around 913. I wasn’t ever sure I wanted to be a mom, but holy moly has she made me love it more than anything. I have undergraduate degrees in Athletic Training and Kinesology with minors in psychology, chemistry, and biology from MidAmerica Nazarene University. I practiced as a Certified Athletic Trainer at every level from youth-semi pro for 4 years. I’m now a Certified Physician Assistant. I got my Master’s Degree from UMKC School of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Program in 2017. I currently work full-time in Orthopedics, but will also be starting part-time jobs in Hospitalist medicine and Trauma Surgery next month. I absolutely love working in medicine & my goal in life it to continually be learning more. Sadly, I don’t play soccer anymore. There are times when I really miss it & would love to, but I have a kneecap and cartilage injury leftover from my college soccer days and Granite Games 2016 that I haven’t ever taken care of. I plan on possibly going under the knife after the Open this Fall to get it finally fixed once and for all. Priorities, ha. I do LOVE to swim and bicycle. Ryan and I love to take Zoey for bike rides. I just did my first triathlon as an adult with Terry S, Emily B, Anthony, and Nick S in April and had a blast. What was your workout routine before CrossFit? *crickets*…I was an athlete my whole life. Gymnastics & swim team as a kiddo; then soccer starting in middle school. I played soccer all the way through college. I also did Olympic weightlifting in the summers through high school and in the offseason through college. Fall 2011 my athletic career ended with having a knee surgery early in my senior soccer season for a kneecap that liked to dislocate anytime I tried to cross or shoot the ball. After this, I rehabbed my knee, but otherwise really didn’t do much as far as designated exercise. I played weekly indoor soccer, walked my dog, and occasionally hit up Lifetime for a session on the dreadmill; but when it came time for graduation in 2012, I was a 30 lbs heavier than I had ever been. What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?“HELL yes. Give me more of this. Oh wait, it costs how much?” It took me 6 months between my first CrossFit workout and starting at 913 to get my priorities straight. I wasn’t making much money, and I was more concerned with shopping and partying than I was with taking care of myself. I can honestly say it’s the best investment I’ve ever made and was completely worth it. What were your goals when joining CrossFit? Have you achieved any of those goals?My initial goal was to be able to do a pull-up. I had never in my life been able to do one. It didn’t take terribly long before I was able to do my first Fran with kipping pull-ups! I also got engaged shortly after joining CrossFit, so a major goal of mine was to lose weight and look good in my wedding dress. My goals have continued to evolve with the seasons of my life.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?Tremendously. I cannot overstate how much it has affected my life. CrossFit has greatly affected my physical health. Competitive soccer and my education laid a good foundation for knowing what I needed to do & having the “suck it up & get it done” mindset, but CrossFit gave me direction and guidance for doing so. Just as importantly, CrossFit has GREATLY affected my mental health. I suffer from anxiety and was also diagnosed with ADD during PA school. My anxiety had reached a point that I was having panic attacks and episodes of passing out. I started taking medication which helped, but I also started doing ROMWOD on a daily basis and worked on focus/calming my mind during workouts. Coach TJ with his “You’re fine, Becky!” and Jess with her “We are not going to die today!” got me through many a workout and also through the most stressful time of PA school. Surrounding myself with good people who understand my crazy has done wonders for my mental health. I DEFINITELY encourage anyone to lean on our community here at 913 in any time of needing support. I’ve never seen a crew step up more quickly to help. Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here? One of my biggest workout-related goals was making the gym’s competitive team to compete at Granite Games in 2015. I worked my ass off to achieve this. I was in my first year of PA school & training harder that I’d ever trained for anything before. It was incredibly satisfying to achieve the goal of making the team & being satisfied with my performance throughout the competition weekend….other than getting passed by a lawn mower on the 5-mile run, but we’ll leave that one alone ha. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss training more competitively. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit 913?Jump all the way in! Don’t tiptoe. Don’t test the water. Don’t be afraid to be new. We were all new at one point. It’s just a learning curve that you will get the hang of more quickly than you think. Just keep showing up & working hard. You get out what you put in. Also – HYDRATION! Sorry, the healthcare professional had to throw this in. Wanna help with soreness? Drink more water. Wanna help with fatigue? Drink more water. Wanna help with that omg-I’m-dying feeling during your workout? Drink more water. Yes, recovery drinks & caffeine are great. I have an 8 month old & I work in healthcare… I pray to the coffee god multiple times per day; but water is what’s ultimately best for your health & recovery. Fight me on this. I will win. Something you might not know about me is?I love the F work. Oh wait, everyone knows that. Something you might not know is that I actually have incredible social anxiety. I love to talk. I could talk to a wall…as long as it is the wall that initiates the conversation. I’m horribly awkward when it comes to striking up a convo. I swear I’m actually nice, despite my expert-level RBF. So please, come talk to me!

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