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Upper East Side Athlete of the Month

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Congrats to our Upper East Side Athlete of the Month, Jamie Held!

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How/when did you get involved in CrossFit?
I was a member of NYSC and running half marathons and I was simply bored. My motivation for working out was dwindling and I needed to spice it up. In college I always found myself in the “guys area” lifting weights so Crossfit crossed my mind. A friend from college was coaching out in NJ and she gave me the final push to try the intro class at EVF.

What has motivated you to stick with it?
My motivation stems from the energy that radiates from this place. The camaraderie is what keeps me coming back each and every day. I feel empowered and strong and knowing there is always room to improve and grow keeps me walking through the door each day.

What do you enjoy most about being a member at EVF?
The people, hands down. The determination on everyone’s faces to dig just a little bit deeper and go that much faster gets me pumped up! The coaches’ programming allows you to scale when needed and push yourself when you’re feeling awesome that day. Especially with my damn broken feet, I always feel supported and safe.

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Do you remember your first workout?
Well I remember my intro class, and it took me 45 minutes to walk home to 89th and Lex. I wanted to cry I was hurting so bad. Some days I still have that feeling.

Looking back how did it go?
I’ve always been active, but this was truly different. I was hooked from that first day. I guess I’m drawn to pain and I could see right away that I would become obsessed.

What were your goals when you first started? How have they changed?
My goals were strength and endurance. They remain the same. After about a year I definitely put a focus on gymnastics and finally getting strict pull ups, chest to bar, and HSPU. Now it’s all about the ring dips. I’m constantly varying my skills and not just focusing on lifting heavy shit.

How have you grown in that time — health, body, mind, etc.?
This may sound cheesy, but I’ve never been so proud of where I’m at. Finally my career is taking off and I’m happy in that part of my life. Spending time at EVF has made me realize how strong I am physically and mentally. I never could have imagined lifting this amount of weight. It’s damn liberating.

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Favorite lift and WOD?
I’m all about the clean. Fight Gone Bad is definitely a memorable WOD. It’s brutal and leaves you on the floor for what feels like a lifetime. Another favorite is Diane. I finally did it Rx this year and it was a huge goal for me.

Least favorite movement and workout?
Snatch. There is so much technique involved and it’s taking a lot of time to feel comfortable in that full squat. I’ll never be friends with Fran. Never.

What drives you through the door each day?
The community. We are in full force and I have my fellow athletes and friends to thank for pushing me every day to be better.

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Do you have any advice for new members?
Stick with it. Don’t get disappointed when it takes a year or two to finally achieve one of your goals. It takes time, but it’s well worth the wait. Some of the best advice I got from a past coach was “I’d rather have you be the last person to finish and push yourself on the weights than go light and be first to finish.” We all have a competitive nature and are sometimes too wrapped up in our finish times. But remember it’s not just about that. It’s about getting strong and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Every day. All day.

What do you hope to achieve in the coming year?
I’d like to hit a 200# back squat and 160# clean. Also focusing on strict gymnastic movements. Other than the actual WODs, I’m all about meeting new friends! We constantly have fresh faces coming in the door. My favorite part of being on the UES is that I’m constantly running into fellow EVFers on the street. Makes me feel like I’m in college again and that is a great feeling!

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