You may have seen her working hard in the triple-wide – she hits WODs on the regular, typically in the morning. Having graduated from On Ramp in January, Brandy is a newer member with a beaming smile and friendly approach, but don’t let that fool you… since day one we could tell Brandy is a true athlete. We asked her if she wouldn’t mind answering some questions:
How did you hear about CrossFit? I had heard about CrossFit from my friends in different states but never thought about joining until talking with my neighbors Tammie and Bob Jones.
What was your first WOD? My 1st WOD was 14.1!
What is your dream vacation? I would love to go to Atlantis in the Bahamas! Paris is also on the list!!
What is your favorite movement so far? I don’t have a favorite move just yet, but I like to see box jumps in the WOD! Haven’t tore up my shines yet…
What is your least favorite movement? I am not digging the over-head squats (OHS)!!
Starbucks coffee or Dunkin Doughnuts? Or neither? I love coffee, but if I had to choose I would pick Starbucks for the Chai!
You have two children, how do they feel about Mom doing CrossFit? My kids are my biggest fans! We have always been an active family and I know they are proud of me!
How about your friends? Husband? It’s awesome to connect with my friends around the United States that are also on the same CrossFit journey. It’s great to see their accomplishments and share mine! My husband has been a great supporter too.
What would you say is your biggest takeaway from CF so far? I think the biggest take away from CF is seeing what my body is capable of doing. I feel stronger and healthier now. ACF has some pretty awesome people that have pushed and cheered me on!! Can’t leave out the amazing coaching. Thank you to all the coaches. A special shout out to Andrew….Thank you! You have been a big part in my journey at ACF and I appreciate all your coaching.
Did you even have time to watch the Games? I have watched a few events here and there. One word “Awesome”!!
We have a lot of grocery store options, do you have a favorite? I like BJ’s and Price Chopper. I’m excited to see Whole Foods coming to Albany!
Some things we may not know about you: I am originally from New Mexico. We moved here to Albany 2 years ago from China (we were in China for 2.5 with my husband’s work). We have really enjoyed living in NY and seeing so much on the East coast. We’ll be sad when we head on to our next adventure next June. So happy to have joined ACF…just wish it was 2 years ago!!
Editor’s Note: Brandy, we love having you as part of the ACF community, for as long as you choose to stay. Personally, I am so impressed with all of your hard work and it’s such a pleasure getting to know you. Keep up the great work!
Warning: This post will not help your form. This post will not help you mobilize. This post will not help you eat right. This post WILL solidify that you are in the right place for at least an hour a day.
Work suck? Want to slap a co-worker? Argument with your significant other? Is everyone bothering you today? We all have those days. We all have days that just ‘need to end’. Somehow we find at least an hour of our time to walk through the doors of ACF. That hour of the day is a magnificent. Can you think of a time you left ACF pissed off? Nope, me either.
That’s not because of a random act of the lord, Jesus, god, baby Buddha, or the saints; it’s because of everyone you are surrounded by. It’s because you entered a community that only wants to see you succeed. You have entered a space of positivity. A space filled with smiles, cheers, and most of all support. CrossFit is the only sport I know of that an athlete you are competing against will cheer you on when they are done, or even celebrate with you beating them in a lift or WOD.
Albany CrossFit has fostered a community of support. Friday Night Fights for a cause or charity, memorial WOD’s to honor family and friends, birthday celebrations, wedding celebrations, and chalk it up as complete; baby showers! We have been there for each other in sadness; relationships gone sour, deaths in families, and personal struggles. We have and continue to come together to create the best damn community and family around.
#personaltime – Anthony and I cannot thank the ACF family enough for all your support, guidance, and well wishes throughout these past million (I really mean 36 so far) weeks. From coaches helping me to scale WOD’s, or athletes asking how we are doing, and moms and dads giving much appreciated advise; we thank you. As first timers at this thing called parenting, we cannot express our gratitude to this community. We have no immediate family around town, but feel loved and at ease with the family we have supporting us through ACF. Baby DiSpirito is one lucky kid.
Look for announcements and news on the following events:
Friday Night Fights
Summer Blow Out
Fall Face Off
We love the enthusiasm for fitness, now let’s get excited about keeping the gym neat and tidy!
Follow these simple steps:
1. Use disinfectant wipes and sprays to give items you have used a wipe down before putting away.
2. Be sure to put your equipment away where you found it.
3. Help other athletes pick up.
Follow these simple guidelines helps keep our box, clean, organized, and healthy!
As I sit here tonight, unpacking and washing clothes and watching the archived video from this past weekends CrossFit games, I started to process what actually happened this weekend.
I looked forward to this weekend for such a long time. It would be my first time to the CrossFit Regionals, and it would be my first time in the almost 2 years I have been doing CrossFit to go to a big event like this. I was going to Regionals to volunteer, but also because I wanted to see for myself, as a coach what goes on at regionals. We always hear about a CrossFit community, but we only know mostly our community within our own gyms. We hear about the fittest men and women, well I wanted to see this group of fit people and see them go head to head. Such an amazing and big event how is it all done? Well I am going to break down this post into two sections. One will be my experience as a volunteer and just being around CFHQ and many other countless volunteers who gave of their time. The second part will be probably an over emotional sappy description regarding community.
click here to continue reading …
Announcing Albany CrossFit’s first ever maternity leave!
As if you can’t tell…Kat is about to pop! Next week will be her last week coaching, from there she will continue to show up Mondays and Thursdays at 7pm, but in an assistant role for our newest addition to the team, Peter Gannon.
Kat has been an amazing and such a trooper these last 8 months…from Jason calling her chubby, to Mo being a jealous pup, to her scaling every workout as best she can, we are so proud of her, and can’t wait to welcome her and Anthony’s newest addition to the world!
Maya Angelou passed away today. As I read through highlights from the huge volume of inspirational work she produced during her lifetime, I’m overcome with total admiration for one woman who could come from so little and do so much, dig so deeply and touch so many.
If you are familiar with Dr. Angelou you know she survived a turbulent childhood, never attended college, and as a single mother worked through a long series of varying occupations. She became an author, a teacher, a Poet Laureate, and received 30 honorary doctoral degrees. Through her body of work she expresses so eloquently what it is to live, to rise again and again and to live.
“Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise” – Maya Angelou
Pardon the indulgence but I’m about to draw a connection between Dr. Maya Angelou and CrossFit.
While our struggles may differ in detail we are all the same. We are human. Sometimes you’re cruising along in life and you’ve just received a promotion, your diet is in check, you remembered your spouse’s birthday, the car has been inspected, and life seems pretty damn good. Then there are those other times when it’s everything you can do to resist the doughnuts in the break-room, or you’ve been laid off, or you’re injured, or you rush from work to the grocery store and wait in line just to rush home and get dinner on the table for your family just in time to go to bed and wake up and do it all over again.
You’re not present in your life but being run over by your life, consumed with an endless stream of tasks and worry. It is precisely during those moments when it’s everything you can do to get out the door that it is most important of all to be courageous and show up.
“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” ― Maya Angelou
If you’ve gritted through a WOD where you thought you might never survive, then you’ve reached that place, you’ve dwelled in that space that reveals who you are. That moment where the room and all the noise and the music and the clock fall away and it’s just you and the work in front of you. You know what it is like to be in the moment. You reach a place where you think that you can’t but you do despite anger or loss or injury or heartache or worry. You remember what you’re capable of and fall in love with your own heart all over again.
That zone of digging deep and stepping up – that zone is where you remember who you are. That pristine place inside of you comes to life. It’s a tiny victory in the scheme of everything that the day has thrown at you and it’s worth it. Hard physical work challenges us to get in touch with what we’re capable of being. You are true to yourself, to your family, to your integrity. You know that the only way out is to push through. Because that is what you do. You are a person who shows up. Showing up takes courage and grit. Grit gets you out of the rut.
“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We cannot be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” ― Maya Angelou
It may seem trivial to compare physical work to the words of Maya Angelo, but the place where the ability to continue to rise comes from is the same. It is the place within.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angelou
What goes through your head before a big lift? Chances are the answer will be very different depending on what you have going on inside your pants.
Have you ever seen DM Blomquist, Andrew Moritz or Nike Germano attempt a PR? If you have, you’ll know it. Each of them let out this savage shout, grunts, walks up to the bar with purpose and unleashes a tsunami of brute force energy as they get that barbell to obey their command. Seen Kevin Seaman lift? I need to say no more.
Me, I’m a little different, and chances are, you might be too.
The clean and jerk is my favorite lift. To me, it is the most impressive show of strength for a woman and I fought hard to break the three-digit barrier on the bar. That morning in July of 2013 I strapped the weight belt down hard, I took a deep breath and locked down my midline and thought to myself “I don’t think this is going to happen”. If there was a worse way to begin a lift, I don’t know what that would be. Eventually, attempt and attempt, and much encouragement from Viv, I hit 105# but the voices in my head remained.
Fast forward to Friday Night Fights: Clash of the Classes. Audra and I were the ladies repping the 6pm on the clean and jerk. The music was blaring, the weights were clanging and banging – it was PR city. Audra addressed the bar, hit a few good lifts and then went for a PR. Let me say a few things first, in case you are unfamiliar with the beauty/beast that is Audra – she is amazing. She has put in serious work as a CrossFitter and has made tremendous gains in both strength and skill work. To see her attempt this monstrous clean and jerk with the same apprehension as I had made me think – are our brains sexist?
Time after time, I have seen strong, powerful, beautiful women get inside their own heads before their hands even touch a barbell. We are defeating ourselves with “I don’t know” self-talk before we even start the lift. I have rarely, if ever, seen a male lift this way. Maybe they are better at hiding their insecurities, maybe it has to do with playing with G.I. Joes when they were little, maybe it is yet another evil side effect of the male dominated culture we live in (kidding, kind of) but these men approach the bar with an “I’m going to fucking lift this” attitude – and it works!
Let me put this challenge out to all of the ladies at Albany CrossFit – kick that negative self-smack-talking bitch out of your head and don’t ever let her back in. Christmas Abbott, a well-known female CrossFitter and box owner, has a video on YouTube of her performing a metcon. Before she starts, she shakes out her arms and yells “Get big! Get bit! Uh!!” I have taken this on as my personal motto; my own little rally cry before I start something I think is scary at the box. I encourage everyone to find one for themselves and say it, out loud, before everything you do that scares you. Not feeling particularly strong today? All the more reason to say your mantra out loud. Fake it ‘til you make it; say it out loud and you’ll start to believe it. Fill your head with such positive self-talk that there is no room for doubt. Will this guarantee a PR every time you encounter the barbell? No, but it is a great first step in evicting that negative self-talker and making a stronger, better, beastlier you.
*Unless otherwise noted, the statements in this article have no scientific or psychological backing other than the author’s own life experiences and observations. But she’s pretty smart, so it’s all good.