CrossFit Gym In Overland Park

November Female Athlete Spotlight - Alissa Zerr

September 1, 2020

When did you start CrossFitting? Who/what got you started?I started Crossfit at 913 in August 2018, so I just celebrated my 1 year anniversary! One random Sunday I met Emily Hensley at the Lifetime pool. We were both there with our boys and just began chatting about our workout routines. Have you seen her abs?! I’ve been in the fitness industry for 15 years and haven’t found anything that does that! She said, “I crossfit.” I joined 913 the next day!In all seriousness, Crossfit was intimidating to me (still is) and I believe we grow as individuals when we challenge ourselves to step out of our comfort zone. What is your favorite/least favorite WOD? My favorite workout is definitely Murph. It was my first big crossfit workout and this year I improved my time by 6 minutes! Least favorite is definitely anything involving a front squat. My body feels like it’s going to collapse forward and then I question if I’ll be able to stand up! That probably means I need to do more of those.What is your favorite/least favorite movement?Favorite movement is handstand. I’ve been working on handstand for YEARS in my yoga practice with little progress but Crossfit has made a major difference. Aside from front squat, snatches are hard for me. It’s mental, but something about throwing weight over my head that doesn’t feel comfortable. Again, that probably means I need to do more of those.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)I am mommy to twins Henry and Caden, who are the craziest, messiest, most loving little boys. If you need to find me you can usually do so at the gym (Lifetime or KSAC) or a local kiddie attraction, like Deanna Rose or Prairie Fire Museum. I’ll be the one chasing two rugrats and yelling at them over the crowd. A nurse by background, I somehow managed to end up in the insurance industry and responsible for the Clinical Operations of a growing local company. My world is generally chaos, but much of it is self-induced. I teach cycling classes and am two semesters into my doctorate at Baylor University. What was your workout routine before CrossFit?I’ve been a cycling instructor for around 12 years, teaching 1-5 classes/week at any given time. Pre-crossfit I was also running about 25 miles per week and was always training for something (marathons, duathlons, time-trials). The balance for me was, and continues to be, my yoga practice. It’s like church to me in that it requires a degree of introspection and self-awareness that you don’t get with other things. Yoga is also preventative against many injuries, which I attribute to my mostly positive track record in that area. Seriously, Crossfitters…you need yoga in your life!What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?I had a blast! It was hard as hell, but I genuinely believe the best things in life are the hardest things. I’m also ultra competitive and HATED that I was weak in several areas. Although I still have many weaknesses as a Crossfit athlete, I am a different person than I was a year ago. I learned that the competition is with myself. What were your goals when joining CrossFit? Have you achieved any of those goals?My goal was to gain strength. Since my primary exercise routine consisted of running, cycling, and yoga I had a decent cardio base with great flexibility but couldn’t help move a piece of furniture. I need to be able to carry my kids up the stairs…both at the same time and I have certainly achieved the ability to do that and more.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?Besides introducing me to some really amazing people, CrossFit has given me physical, mental, and emotional strength. Knowing that I can achieve a physical goal helps me to realize I can achieve other things as well and whenever I doubt my abilities I think of the encouragement I receive by everyone at the gym. The individuals I am closest with at the gym have become my cheerleaders in more ways than they will ever realize and I have also become more of an advocate for other women. Where else do you see badass women cheering one another on, genuinely complementing, and building one another up? We need more of that in the world. Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?Achievement - I have gained 10 pounds since joining 913! The fact that I can say that and be proud is MAJOR for me. I am comfortable in my own skin for the first time since growing two babies and I have CF to thank for that. Memories – The spring comp with my partner Sophia, who is so inspiring and incredibly strong! The 37 year-old me can’t wait to watch her grow up, knowing the discipline and drive she has today as a teenager. So cool! I also love Sunday morning endurance with my pal Mitch and look forward to it every weekend. We’ve been able to get more folks to join, which has been great fun…in a tortuous way. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit 913?Don’t quit and don’t half ass. Cuss the whole time but don’t ever give up on yourself. The coaches and the entire crew have your back and if you ever doubt, just give me a call and I’ll talk you out of it. ☺ You are capable of so much more than you realize and this ‘workout’ will help you to find your limitations and push through them.Something you might not know about me is?I eat the same thing for breakfast everyday. With the exception of maybe a half dozen mornings, I have eaten toast with peanut butter/jelly and yogurt every morning for the past 10+ years. Breakfast food is quite possibly my favorite (waffles, biscuits and gravy, crepes) but in general I feel like crap when I start my day eating that way. So I started my breakfast routine when I began getting into early morning training and haven’t looked back.

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