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Featured Athlete: Danielle Gates

By Audrey W. | In Featured Athlete | on February 28, 2014

Name: Danielle

Member since: January 2012

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I work in Sacramento for an animal rescue nonprofit, and foster pets for the Sacramento SPCA (if you’ve ever met me, you know I can talk about animals for eons). I’m the proud pet parent of Huckleberry, a Brazilian mastiff/hound dog, and Toma$ a giant chip-stealing kitty. My boyfriend Matt and I just bought our first house together this past year, so I enjoy getting that in shape, as well as long walks on the river with my knuckheaded pup!

How did you get started? And when?

I got started with CFE in January 2012. I had been a member of a 24hr gym, and just wasn’t getting the challenge or community aspect I was looking for. I joined CFE 2 years ago and have never looked back!

What keeps you coming back?

I keep coming back for two reasons: a commitment I’ve made to my health, and my friends. I’ve formed so many amazing relationships with like-minded people at CFE, that one of the best aspects of coming to the gym is getting to see and workout with my friends. You’re a lot less likely to skip a workout if one of your gym buddies is counting on you to be there!

Favorite WOD/lift/movement? Least favorite?

Favorites: I love clean and jerks, and I think tire-flipping is super fun. I also think man-on-fire burpees are hilarious, so I enjoy those. For a WOD, I love me some Grace! 30 clean & jerks for time – Bring it on!
Least favorites: Overhead walking lunges and wall walks. Mostly because they both require a little bit of balance.

Is there anything you have accomplished that you didn’t think you could do? Biggest surprise?

When I was first able to complete a WOD with kipping pullups with no band, that was really exciting for me. One of my biggest surprises, that I still revel at to this day, is how quickly I can recover from a workout. Even after a grueling, murderous workout that you think you’re going to die when you’re finished, most people that CrossFit regularly will be able to recover extremely quickly. This felt really good when I did a 5k in November, and once the race was done, I felt fine within 30 seconds. Such a great, underrated benefit of CrossFit!

What has been your greatest challenge?

After two years with CFE, and loving every minute of it, my biggest challenge has been trying to find a good balance with working out and everything else on my plate. When I was brand new, I wanted to go 6 days a week and exercise like crazy, and I eventually wore myself out. 

After taking some hiatuses and experiencing some ups and downs over the two years, I’ve been able to find a rhythm that works best for me, and have stopped guilt tripping myself when life gets in the way of going to the gym. I try my best to incorporate the values of crossfit into all aspects of my life, and I look for ways to maintain good health and fitness, even if I can only make it to the gym 2-3 days a week or less.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

Considering that many of my really close friends are people I’ve met at CrossFit Envy, I’d say it’s impacted my life in a massive, positive way! I can attribute many positive changes that I’ve made to Crossfit; I eat healthier, I have a sense of awareness of my nutrition and fitness that I’d never had before, and my priorities have straightened in terms of what things are important to me. I have a sense of pride in the capabilities of my body that I’ve never had before, and my self esteem has skyrocketed. Though I experience challenges at CrossFit on a daily basis, I know that my confidence levels and overall happiness is very closely related to being a member at CFE.

What’s your next goal/s?

I want to learn how to do handstand walks and more gymnastics movements, and hit higher PR’s in my back squat and snatch. As a continuing goal, I am striving to find balance with fitness, health, work and everything going on in life; CrossFit has really helped me to do this, and I can’t wait to continue the journey!

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