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Athlete of the Month: Danika

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Danika is such a positive part of the Columbus Circle community. She’s always smiling, comes to class consistently and crushes it (though never admits that she does). Thanks for being part of Team EVF, Danika!

How/when did you get involved in CrossFit?
I was a runner, mostly 5Ks and half marathons, but my heart just wasn’t in it anymore and I needed a break. I still wanted to be actively involved in some sort of athletic activity. I did some HIIT training and spin but wanted to incorporate more strength. About six months ago, I started to look into CrossFit gyms in the city. After a mediocre visit to another gym, my husband found EVF online and suggested I check it out. I came to an intro class and knew this was the gym I wanted to join. I told my husband that night that I was going to join. He decided he wanted to check it out too. So, we tried a 360 class and immediately got signed up for On-Ramp!

Do you remember your first workout? How was it?
Yes! It was a 360 class with Coach Ashley. I don’t remember the details of the workout but I remember that I loved the class, couldn’t wait to come back, and I was excited to try CrossFit.

What were your goals when you first started? How have they changed?
When I first started, I didn’t have clear goals and I think that was a hindrance. I wanted to get in better shape and I also wanted to be really good at everything. CrossFit challenged me because it’s way more technical than I imagined, so it was impossible to be “really good at everything.” I’m now focused on being more consistent and really trying to learn proper technique as opposed to just trying to throw more weight on the bar.

How have you grown in that time — health, body, mind, etc.?
The obvious answer would be that I have definitely become physically stronger. However, I think my experience with CrossFit has also positively affected my mindset. I have learned to slow down and trust the process and to acknowledge my weaknesses and work on those.

What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?
I love the workouts — I love the variation and the challenge. They push me to be better. Even if I enter a class not in the mood to workout, I leave feeling great. More importantly though, the community at EVF is awesome! The front desk staff, the coaches, and the other members make coming to the gym that much more enjoyable.

Favorite lift and WOD?
Lift: Power clean. WOD: I liked 19.1 in the Open because I could actually do the workout Rx. If I could figure out double unders, I think my answer would be Annie!

What about your least favorite?
Snatch. Specifically squat snatch because being in the squat position with anything over my head feels impossible. (So, also overhead squats!) It’s definitely the lift that challenges me the most. However, I’ve recently vowed to stop skipping snatch class, because if I don’t show up I’ll never get better!

What motivates you?
PRs. Meeting new goals. There is something so satisfying about working toward something and then finally achieving that thing.

Do you have any advice for new members?
Don’t feel intimidated. Everyone was a beginner once and everyone is working on improving something. Be consistent. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Have fun!

What do you hope to achieve in the coming year?
There are so many things, but I think my immediate goals are to finally figure out that snatch technique and to be able to do strict pull-ups and double unders!