Leah Ziamandanis’s Story.

537329_740559575651_1880593812_nThe people are what I enjoy most about Albany CrossFit. There are talented, dedicated, and positive people coming in and out of the doors every day. Whether its some ninjas/beasts killing WODs, someone right out of bootcamp, or my favorite 6:30 a.m. crew, I feed off the energy that everyone brings in. The coaches are knowledgable and supportive – somehow they always know what to say! They have been through what you are going through and live CrossFIt excellence as a lifestyle. Coaches might give some motivation when you are on the brink of exhaustion or help you get past some fears of weight or inversion.

Andrew never hesitates to give "the look" when I am about to sell myself short and hit the wod too light! I have developed great friendships with the people in my classes and a sense of trust where we are all in it together. It's great atmosphere to work out in!

On second thought, forget the people, they come second – it's the CrossFit body that I enjoy most! CrossFit yields results like nothing I have done before and when summer rolls around and it's time to put on shorts or a bathing suit, I am feeling confident.
There is no better accessory than a CrossFit body.
What keeps me coming back is definitely the post-wod enthusiasm that hits me. It's like a high I want to keep chasing. Early morning classes before work can be brutal, but once that workout is complete and you just PR'd or performed like a champ, no one can touch you for the rest of the day. Even if I didn't PR, I still got up and put the effort in. It feels good to start the day doing something right. I literally get in the car pumped up, singing and dancing after I leave Albany CrossFit. It's a sure-thing cure for any case of the Mondays.
I have personally seen the biggest improvements with my strength training. As a long time gym-rat, pilates, spinning, running, tried everything type of person, I would never have guessed that barbell work would become such a big and important part of my fitness. The more I olympic lift, the leaner I get and better I feel. I haven't hit that 100# snatch yet, but I am more comfortable moving weight than ever in my life. Its good to know the safest and most efficient ways to move heavy weight. 
Crossfit helps me physically in everyday life in many ways. I can carry luggage, move furniture and do handstands with my niece and nephew. More than the physical improvements, The CrossFit lifestyle/mantra is something I can carry with me on a day to day basis. Challenges at work or at home don't seem as daunting when you minimize the fear of failure or hard work. Taking pride in what you do and doing it with integrity translates to every aspect of life. I try to live with an attitude of leaving everything on the field – and its contagious. I don't get it right all of the time, but keeping that mentality is huge. It may sound cheesy, but there are not many places where you can be surrounded with so much positivity. I need that and I think other people do too. It's one of the things I value most about Albany CrossFit.
Although there are lots of great stories of adversity and accomplishment at our gym, my favorite stories are the ones behind the wods. When we hit a hero wod and take a couple minutes to remember a real hero from the military and their personal story of bravery and sacrifice, it reminds me of the bigger picture. It's amazing what people are capable of and their courage is pretty inspiring.
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