Congratulations to Katherine Friedrich for being CFR’s October Member of the Month. She is a loyal member of ALL classes besides the morning, but most likely 6pm class! Cheeseboard Influencer by day, CrossFitter by night; Katherine loves the Arts, Italy and a being outdoors! Come learn more about her! Congrats again Katherine!
1) What are your hobbies/interest/talents outside of CrossFit?
The short list:
I like bird-watching, cats, hiking, cooking, baking, coffee, body form and function, geology, oenology, Islay (nature and whisky), painting, drawing, St Lucia (band), Formula 1, manual transmissions, single-origin chocolate, sleeping, the smell of rain on concrete, Ben’s Cookies, laughing.
More specific, slightly longer version including most current fascinations:
My strange, collective identity and interests come from my experiences growing up in England. I loved playing sports. To me, hiking in Islay and Sweden during summers is synonymous with happiness. Anything that leads me to the outdoors and nature makes me feel most human. I would say a lot of the feelings I have towards nature transcend into much of my artwork (I dabble). It can be hard for me to find a sense of place since I still feel very much like a foreigner, but nature is always grounding.
When I take nature and translate it into an abstract work, I attempt to combine perspectives by blending planes and including multiple viewpoints. It’s a constant battle between my past and my present, plus I aim to challenge the viewer to take a look at the subject from another point of view. It’s good to be slow and see the other side of the story before coming to a conclusion.
I like learning so if anyone displays a passion for something I will easily be engaged and want to know more. Since studying in Rome during college I have become an Italophile—be it the food, values and passions, history, grand artwork painted in situ,… and one of the things that stuck the most is the study of wine, vinification and sommelier-type learning, sampling included. I love that in every bottle of wine there is a story, the earth where the grapes were grown, the climate at the time, when the winemaker decided to harvest, the choices in the fermentation process, ageing in what kind of oak or not. It’s a relationship between the artist (winemaker) and the canvas (grapes). Performance art with a snapshot into history.
2) Share with us one thing that most people do NOT know about you?
Most of the above? But in addition, I am currently working as a Cheesemonger. I like drawing connections across mediums, so I have found many connections between winemaking, cheesemaking, and art. I think I can say I am a cheeseboard influencer at this point. I did not plan for this, I studied art and the environment at university, but it’s a fun journey, nonetheless. Food pairing is also a fun activity! Everyone needs to eat so I like to make it as interesting as possible.
I am also very introverted and struggle taking the first step. Ask me questions if you want to learn more of the above. I like making friends, I am a just a cake with many layers. Victoria sponge cake.
3) How long have you been with us at CFR?
I joined a week before the (first) 2019 Open. I was in the process of moving down to West Hartford and I needed to find a box before the Open started because I LOVE the Open. I have done it every year since 2015, and I wasn’t about to miss it this time. It’s an opportunity to test yourself, and to me it’s always a win-win. Don’t do as well as you would have liked? Then you have something to work on! Do better than you thought? That’s great! Hard work pays off. While you are testing yourself on a personal level, you are also participating in fitness on a global scale. I think it’s amazing to be a part of something bigger than yourself, and it’s not often you get to interact with people across continents.
4) Take us back to your first week here. How did you feel? Remember the workout?
Terrified. I love CrossFit and what it’s done for me, and it’s one of the only things I have been able to commit to while having extreme anxiety. Playing sports is in my blood and it’s nice to feel like I am on a team again. The workout involved rope climbs which is all I really remember about it, because I love rope climbs! Sometimes (rarely) it helps to be tall.
5) What moment/achievement are you most proud of at CFR?
I like to do well, and I always try my best, but I struggle with perfectionism and I think that puts a lot of stress on certain workouts where I feel like I should be performing. I have been working on trying to relax and just enjoy the process. Just last week during 20.2 was one of the first times I felt absolutely calm during a workout. I struggle with TTB, so I decided there was no point worrying about them and I needed to focus on my strengths. DUs are the opportunity to breathe and be consistent, and thrusters are fun! Tie it all up and I had the best time during that WOD. Could I have pushed a little harder? Probably. But I wouldn’t change a thing because of how happy I felt just being able to be present and consistent.
I also FINALLY PR’d my deadlift recently (sumo style). I had been stuck at 255 for over a year and I didn’t know if I was going to get any stronger or be confident in my back again (continuously working against bulging disc issue). So, 260! Woo!
6) Design your perfect workout?
50 WBs @14
50 Cal Row
50 C+J @95
50ft Handstand Walk (in case your shoulders weren’t already toast).
7) What is your least favorite movement?
When I first started CrossFit, I would dread having to run, do burpees, box jumps, and wall balls. I had a break during college where fitness went out the window so when I started up again these movements completely winded me and they were demoralizing to me. I don’t hate these movements anymore, since the more I have done them, the better I have become. Upper body movements are always a struggle, but just as above I don’t dislike them because every time I do them, I give myself a chance to get better.
8) Summarize your lifestyle in 5 words or less.
Always observing, thinking, creating, caring.
9) Have you experienced any changes in your lifestyle now that you have been a CrossFit athlete?
I am much more interested in how food functions as fuel and nutrition than I used to be. I could burn anything off during high school, so I never realized how addicted I was to carbohydrates and specifically sugar. Compounded with low-blood sugar issues, this was a terribly challenging and still is a task to overcome. Working out in the afternoon actually helps me keep on track during the day, since I know I need to eat well in order to feel good for WODs. I’ve been able to lose some weight and gain muscle, even with a very fat-heavy diet, so this has helped me perform better in upper body workouts. Nutrition has also been so important to me when it comes to promoting healthy brain chemistry. Eat well = feel well = perform well. I’ve been a lot happier in my own skin. I want to keep that going!
10) What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking about joining or who has recently joined?
You may be afraid, intimidated, feel like you’re not good enough, but you are. Give yourself the chance prove to yourself how amazing you are, even if it’s just for showing up. You’ll come out of the best hour of your day thinking, wow, I didn’t know I could do that! This will only translate to bettering the rest of your life. Plus, you’re guaranteed some new friends in the process!