NAME: CHRISTINE PARIZO
BOX: CLEAR LAKE CROSSFIT
Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, hobbies, interests, etc.).
By day, I'm a freelance B2B technology content marketing writer (I write marketing materials for enterprise software companies). I've been married to my college sweetheart for 17 years, and we have two children and a cat. When I'm not working, hanging out with the family, or at the box, I like reading, cross-stitch, and watching really well-written TV dramas (like Game of Thrones). Oh, and I'll take any excuse I can to fly to Manhattan, drink lots of coffee, and wander around the city.
Which class time do you usually attend?
I'm usually at the 8 am class
When did you start doing CrossFit®?
How did you hear about CrossFit® and what was your first workout?
When I lived in Massachusetts, my running friends kept telling me how awesome it was. But I was in the middle of getting ready to move to Texas, so I figured adding in something new wasn't a great idea. When we moved to Texas, I contacted a couple of boxes, liked how quickly Holly (the owner of Clear Lake CrossFit®) responded to my inquiry, did my free trial class (it had kettlebell swings, and that's all I remember), and signed up. I very quickly drank the Kool-Aid.
What were you doing before CrossFit®?
I came into the box as a late-in-life half marathoner. I ran three times a week and lifted weights three times a week in a strength and conditioning class before CrossFit®.
How has your approach to CrossFit® changed since first starting?
Before, I was fixated on arbitrary training numbers, like what the RX weight is or how much other people were putting up. Now I'm more focused on working on my weaknesses and scaling appropriately. If I can RX, GREAT! If not, or if I have to take a mod, there is NO SHAME in it.
Favorite WOD or movement / Least favorite?
Oh gosh. I love power cleans. LOVE them. Give me a WOD with power cleans, running, and box jumps. My least favorite are high-volume wall balls. (Karen, I'm looking at you.)
What types of changes have you seen (mentally, physically, and/or lifestyle) since starting CrossFit®?
I could write a dissertation on this! CrossFit® has boosted my confidence so much. Getting stronger physically made me stronger mentally, so I can handle tough requests or say no to things that could make my life miserable. (I speak mostly of work stuff here.) And I'm so much better at standing up for myself. Physically, when I came into the box, aside from running for a few years, I had almost no athletic background. I wasn't very strong and had skinny little runner's legs. I could lift a bag of cat litter, but it wasn't pretty. Now it's pretty effortless. And most importantly, seeing what my body can do - really do - has helped me heal from my decades-long battle with anorexia.
I went all in with CrossFit®, nutrition included, and seeing my progress keeps me from sliding back into destructive behavior like restricting. I stopped focusing on the number on the scale so much and instead focus on what percentage of my body weight I'm putting on the barbell. It's really empowering.
What helps you get the most out of your CrossFit® Workouts?
Without a doubt, my kids motivate me the most. I want to show them that you can do anything you set your mind to, whether it's in the gym or in life. If you’ve ever been a fan of LOST, then you know the John Locke quote, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.” In the box (and out), I’ve done things people told me I couldn’t. That’s the attitude I want my kids to have as they make their ways through life. The best way I can show them that is to get up and put in the work and let that carry through the rest of my life.
What would you say to someone starting CrossFit® for the first time?
Stop saying "I can't." Listen to your coaches (especially if you're at CLCF because Holly knows what she's talking about). Keep track of your progress. One day you'll look back at your first WODs and be amazed that you're lifting twice that much. And most importantly, HAVE FUN! CrossFit® is for blowing off steam and hanging out with awesome people.
Something you might not know about me:
I'm a Toastmasters Competent Communicator working on my Advanced Communicator Bronze. Basically, it means I've given 10 speeches in Toastmasters and am working on 10 more, varying in length from five to 20 minutes. I used to HATE public speaking, but now I'm on the lookout for speaking opportunities. It's all that CrossFit® confidence 😉
Thanks for reading my untold story,