Athlete of the Month – Ashley Zavala
Hey! My name is Ashely Zavala and I have been doing CrossFit since early 2012. I can’t remember exactly why I started CrossFit because I’ve been doing it for so long now but it was most likely because of the group atmosphere, competition, and the familiarity with some of the movements from my high school track workouts.
A little bit about myself: My husband, Charles, and I have been married for a little less than 2 years. Other family members include three cats, two dogs and a fish. My husband and I travel as much as possible during our free time. We have really been on a roll these last couple of years. When in Houston, I try to stay active, explore the city, go to shows and spend time with friends. Something that people would be surprised to know about me is that I used to have a hard time staying put for more than 2 years. I have lived in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Houston.
The impact CrossFit has made on my life outside of the gym is that it contributes to my sanity given a high-stress career. Sometimes you just need to throw a few weights around. It has also connected me with some wonderful people who are now great friends. My favorite WOD is “Grace” because you can test that benchmark at all stages of your CrossFit journey and make a lot of progress as you go. My least favorite movements are any that require kipping to string together – I still have not figured out that coordination. May be a weird choice, but my favorite lift is the overhead squat because is it SO hard when you start out and REALLY rewarding when you finally sort out the core strength and flexibility. My least favorite lift is deadlift. I am unexplainably weak at deadlifts and not for a lack of trying over the years!
My CrossFit goals change from time to time. Right now, I am trying to improve my cardio capacity by training for a half marathon. The Open exposed that as one of my weaknesses. I guess I was having too much fun trying to get strong (which I plan to re-focus on as soon as I am done with the race in January)! My proudest CrossFit moment/achievement was recently when I broke 2:00 splits for 500m rows on a semi-regular basis. I struggled with rowing for years, so that is serious progress!
My favorite quote to live by is, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”. Advice that I would give to CrossFit newbies is to stick with it and be patient with building a good foundation. There will always be something to improve, so enjoy the ride.
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