September Female Athlete Spotlight - Reena Thomas

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When did you start CrossFitting? Who/what got you started?I did my Fundamental class with Ben in December 2016 but then went to India for vacation, came back and joined in Feb 2017(I pretty much had to learn everything again☺)Blue Valley Cross fit had this rowing machine challenge at their tent for one of the Price Chopper block parties. Whoever rowed the most in 1 minute got like a month of free membership. Of course I did not win but that definitely got me curious about Crossfit. I did some research and decided to check out Crossfit913.What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?Even though it feels like I am dying every single time at the end, I actually do enjoy EMOMs. I don’t want to call them my least favorite but the WODs where I still have not got the movements down (like the ones with pull ups, DU, HSPU etc.) are definitely not my favorites ☺ What is your favorite/least favorite movement?I love Deadlifts, the only one (for now) where I have gone over 200#. Close behind it is back squats.My least favorite for now is Snatches. I somehow still have not got the technique down. I will get it figured out one day.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)I was born in Tripoli, Libya and spent the first 15 years of my life there as my parents were working there at that time. I completed my Junior and Senior year of School and got my Bachelors in Engineering from India. I got married to Shibu in 2002. Since Shibu was already working at Sprint in Kansas, I got to move here after our wedding and this has been my home since. I actually have spent most years of my life in KS than anywhere else. I got my MBA from KU and have been working in the IT industry last 12 years. We have 2 kids Joshua (8) and Rachel (4). Most of our weekends revolve around their activities. We hang out with our friends a lot and I love listening to Indian music. Growing up I never really got to play sports so have no idea if I would actually been good at any sports ☺. I did learn to play some tennis after coming to US but never pursued it.What was your workout routine before CrossFit?I actually did not stick to anything for long till I joined Crossfit. I had tried Taekwondo, Jazzercise, Elliptical machine (in our basement) etc. One of my colleagues at my old workplace used to have bootcamp classes very Wednesday during lunch at our office basement. I used to enjoy those classes but then I changed jobs. What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?I walked down the stairs sideways for 2 days (I was that sore). I thought to myself if this is what Crossfit will do to me, I am definitely going back. What were your goals when joining CrossFit? Have you achieved any of those goals?I had never done any strength training in my life. I had “0” upper body strength. I wanted a workout routine that I would enjoy as well as stick to and that is Crossfit for me.I can definitively see a huge difference strength-wise and endurance-wise. I used to only workout with the 15# bar but now when I accidently pick it up, it feels so light. Every time I get to add an additional 5# or 10# to what I have on the bar, it’s an achievement for me. When I hear the coaches tell me – “Reena that looks so good”, it puts a big smile on my face.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?Crossfit definitely has become a part of my life. I have told my husband several times how Crossfit keeps me sane and helps me to be physically and emotionally strong. And I have made tons of friends here. It’s amazing to see how the people in our gym are always out there to help you inside the gym and outside. Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?I loved participating in the Open this year. It was so good to know how I placed in different workouts. For someone like me, showing up every day and doing all those workouts is an achievement. I have had thoughts of not showing up certain days just because the workouts looked difficult for me but I have showed up and completed them (scaled of course).What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit 913?Keep showing up. It is ok to scale and use a 15# bar or a 6# wallball (I used them for a long time☺). Always work at your own pace but definitely try to push yourself a little more than what your comfort zone is. Don’t get intimidated by how some of the athletes lift or perform. We have a lot of rock stars in our gym. For me personally it’s the best motivation. I love to watch how my fellow athletes perform.Just remember you are surrounded by the best coaches in the world and people who are ready to help you get better. Something you might not know about me is?Shibu and I got married in 2002. It was an arranged marriage. We got to meet each other and chat for like 30 minutes and decide “yep, we should totally get married☺”. So glad to have found that special person I can annoy for the rest of my life!!!

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