Wednesday Wins are BACK! For those of you who are new, you already know that we are all about celebrating victories every day. BUT Wednesdays are the day we shine a special light on an athlete who has experienced a personal ‘win’ (big or small) as a result of the support of this community. Today we shine a very bright light on the amazing athlete: Anna B.

Funnily enough, “Athlete” is a word Anna would never have used to describe herself. But after being at the Cove, she’s starting to get used to the idea. When she was younger she was what we like to call a ‘serial dabbler’, doing everything from ice-skating to softball to ballet. By high school really committed to music and theater and also began to test the waters with swim team. We’d argue she’s a real renaissance woman!

And now this renaissance woman is having… well, a renaissance.

“If someone came up to me and said “Anna, you are an athlete”, I would have laughed and run for the hills. I’ve never seen myself as athlete. There are the things I am and there are the things I’m not. It’s something I accepted. 

I was always the big hitter, but needed someone to run the bases. Swim was hard, but I loved that it was an individual sport and at least no one was depending on me. Meaning, my performance wouldn’t make or break a meet. Every practice I was in the slow lane – and a ‘13 year old you’ does NOT want to be in slow lane! But being an ensemble musician, I have always held teamwork as an important value and I did my best. “

In college Goucher, music and language took the lead. “I had such a transformation. I went to Argentina for a year. It completely challenged my perspective on the world and on myself. For example, I was always really good at Spanish but you find out quickly when you live abroad, you are actually not good at it!” In her mind, she was ‘back in the slow lane’.   “I had to rebuild my identity at something I thought I was good at.”

“Goucher had a CrossFit Club. Being a ‘non-athlete’ I left my PE requirement until my senior year of HS. My PE teacher used CrossFit methodology in her classes. I found some success there. Or, rather, I felt more successful there than anywhere else. I knew it was the right thing for me to do, so I gave it a go.

I say I loved it right away, but I actually had so much anxiety. I had an actual imagine in my head that people would laugh at me. Everyone was so supportive, though. Slowly, I saw there were things I was good at.   And other cool things started to happen. It really helped me start to question the mindset of “this is what I am”. Just because I had never been it, doesn’t mean I’m not.”

She graduated, started a job as a teacher (that first year is ROUGH!) and moved to a new place. And then she found the Cove.

“I had moved to a new place. Started a new job and was away from my family. In teaching you get in this bubble world. People tend to be similar to you with similar lifestyles. And with similar mindsets. But I come to the Cove and think to myself ‘this is so cool’. We have everything from a 12 year old to people in their 70s. Everyone is so different. I love talking to people and hearing their stories (I never knew anyone in the military before!) and soak in the diversity. It broadens my life perspective that this is hands-down my favorite thing about this place.”

Your goal is to get a little bit better every day. It doesn’t matter if it looks different from the person next to you. But at the same time there’s the community atmosphere of “we’re in this together”. Unlike swim team, there’s no slow lane. Everyone’s doing it in a way that ‘s manageable for them.

I also love that it feels like an individual sport but in a team setting. If someones’ having a great day, you cheer them on. If someone’s having a bad day, you cheer them on.

This place has changed me. I’m an athlete. In fact, I’m actually now a gym rat.   The coaches here are amazing. Even when I had an ankle injury they were so good at finding different things to do. When my ankle healed I was back to hitting PRs without skipping a beat.

I still have things I struggle with. Runs and endurance, specifically. So I thought to myself, “maybe it’s not just the time spent here. Maybe it’s the nutrition piece too. Maybe that’s my next change.

“One weekend (pretty recently) I was at home and it hit me. The nutrition piece REALLY mattered. I started working with Coach Brittany. I felt different immediately. And now I love macro counting. To me, it’s not even a diet. This is about eating to fuel my body and fuel my workouts. That has been such incredible motivation. And I saw the changes right away. I made a plan. I Googled meals. I figured out what to eat every day in the beginning. It’s so funny… every time I did nutrition plan, it was always about eating less. But what Brittany helped me see was that I actually needed to eat more. It required a lot of careful planning for the first month – now I just know what my body needs and how to fuel it.

I’ve lost weight, which is fun. But what’s more exciting is the mindset transition. I feel like people have trouble looking at a person who looks like me and fully believing that person . I think people struggle to understand it’s not about the scale. But it doesn’t bother me. Rather, it’s now a gateway to a conversation. People are like “wow, you look so good”. But what I want to tell them is that I FEEL good all the time. I have so much energy. I used to eat a piece of fruit for breakfast, lunch at 11 and not eat until 6. Now I eat every two or three hours. I’ve basically doubled the number of meals I eat now.”

And CrossFit certainly delivers on her ‘serial dabbler’ tendency. “I love that I get to do everything at the same time. It’s a sport of serial dabbling! I get to do very different things all going towards one goal. And the best part is that I get to do it with such amazing people with such incredible knowledge.”

Thank you, Anna, for sharing your journey. When you see her, tell this incredible ATHLETE to keep up the amazing work.  And for the rest of us — please remember Anna’s wise words:  “Just because you had never been it, doesn’t mean you are not.”