Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CrossFit Wichita Athlete of the Month for Nov 2012 - Ashley Nicole Johnson

Ashley Nicole Johnson
Ashley Nicole Johnson
Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow Savages! Today we have an interview with the CrossFit Wichita Athlete of the Month for November of 2012: Ashley Nicole Johnson!!

Every time I do a SVG interview, I'm always pleasantly surprised at what avenues lead people to CrossFit. Ashley, as you will read below, was more of an adventure enthusiast before she came to CrossFit Wichita. She had a slight advantage in that she has lifted quite a bit in her past life - but never in the fashion she's found at CrossFit Wichita!

So READ ON, Savages and help me in congratulating Ashley and check out her interview below!

Matt: OK, Ashley - Tell the Savages a little bit about yourself. What do you do for fun? What do you do? Where did you go to school? Anything like that.

Ashley: Well first off, what a neat honor to be asked to be a part of this! So thank you! For fun, I'm pretty active. I play tennis in my spare time. Last season, I played on 2 USTA team. I'm no pro, but it's still fun!

I like those fun 5K runs: the tough mudder, color splash [run], holiday runs... especially if there are few friends doing it. Scuba diving is also on my list of activities!

My boyfriend and I just finished our Advanced Open Water certification in Jamaica last month! I also enjoy my pups! My boyfriend and I have an English Mastiff and a mutt - I think he's part Great Dane, Part lab, but there's some debate in the house whether he's Great Dance or Grey hound..

I'm a Midwest girl, growing up in Nebraska (GO HUSKERS!), Oklahoma, and Kansas. Graduated from K-State with a background in Dietetics and studied International Business at WSU. I know these two have no correlation to each other, but two of my interests none-the-less. Now I work for Learjet - Bombardier as the training coordination for the L85 composite aircraft.

Matt: How did you get interested in CrossFit?

Ashley: My boyfriend, Jeff. I've always been a lifter, with little cardio (aside from tennis). I would get burnt out frequently and stop, then start up again. Jeff is a former Marine and suggested I try it, so I found CrossFit Wichita and fell in love. There's not a chance getting burnt out with this stuff. It's always changing and always a challenge.

Matt: What is your fitness background? Are you a certified trainer? Any plans to get a CrossFit certification?

Ashley: Fitness... In high school, I was a cheerleader (they do make you stay in the shape for that!), and also played tennis. I started lifting weights with my dad pretty young, too, so that's always been there. I taught fitness classes at the Y for a while, but I didn't carry a CPT. I've thought about getting certified for CrossFit, but I need to be a student for a little longer... I'm still pretty new to this.

Matt: Do you have any opinion (positive or negative) on the attention women get in the CrossFit community?

Ashley: I think it's great! They, we, are strong. We are given challenges to push ourselves and we are succeeding while growing even stronger!

Matt: What are your goals with CrossFit and how has your progress been so far?

Ashley and boyfriend Jeff at the Tough Mudder
Ashley and boyfriend Jeff at the Tough Mudder
Ashley: Right now my goals are to correct my form in my lifts. I always thought myself to pretty flexible, under I was given a bar and told to go low, very low. I'm working on it. My progress has definitely showed off in tennis! My stamina is awesome, and my power has increased. My times are getting better on the WODS, and I definitely feel better as a whole!

Matt: What are some of the biggest gains you've seen with CrossFit so far (doesn't have to be physical gains; i.e. attitude, finding a family of fitness lovers, etc)

Ashley: I've touched a little on the physical already, but I have made some great friends in the gym!! Mollie, in particular, is such the motivated (but I bet she doesn't know that! She makes sure I am up with her at 5 AM working out. I usually protest the time, but I'm always glad she's pushed me. It's so neat to the girls in the gym keeping up the boys sometimes! I would definitely the gym is a family.

Matt: Zone or Paleo or "I eat what I want"?

Ashley: Primal!! I love cheese too much. And I have a fatal nut allergy so Paleo is a bit harder for me to follow - no coconut or almond oils, no raw almonds, etc. I didn't start primal until I started CF, and those two combined have made a huge difference on my body composition.

Matt: How do you describe CrossFit to the "uninitiated"; to those who have no idea what the sport of fitness is all about?

Ashley: Woo! Intense at times, but self-challenging and definitely self-rewarding. We use weights but not machines. Lots up pull-ups, squats, sit-ups, push-ups, wall balls, sprints, running, kettlebells, FUN! :D

I'm not sure if I just made it sound fun, but it really is.

Matt: Have you participated in any events recently you feel CrossFit really helped get you through it?

Ashley: Definitely!! Again with tennis, but Jeff and I just completed the 12-something mile Tough Mudder. I'm not saying I rocked the socks off of it, but there's no way I could have completed the obstacles and finished the way that I did, let alone complete it at all, if it wasn't for CrossFit. It was super tough, but fun (for the first 8 miles... :p)! CrossFit helped me prepare in more ways that I anticipated with all of my muscles being challenged at all times.

Matt: Anything coming up, competition-wise you're looking forward to?

The caption on Facebook says:
 "...if you're not making a stupid face, you're not working hard enough!"
Ashley: I don't have anything on the calendar right now, but I'm thinking about doing another Tough Mudder with Jeff. It's not really a competition with others so much as it is within. Definitely mind and body testing.
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That's it for this Athlete interview! We didn't get any stats from Ashley yet, but I will post them when we do get them - we do know she's an all around stellar athlete who lifts, CrossFits, plays tennis, runs in obstacle races and scuba dives!

Keep it up Ashley, and Stay Savage, My Friends!