Alexa M. - Becoming A Division 1 Rower

CrossFit has impacted my life in so many ways. It’s given me a lot of opportunities and through them I have met a lot of amazing people. I started doing CrossFit about 5 years ago and never would I have imagined it would be this big of a part of who I am today. When I first started CrossFit it was just to help gain strength for hockey, but then it became something so much more that I loved just as much as being on the ice. I looked forward to doing it everyday and getting to compete against myself and others at the gym. It has also taught me a lot about body mechanics, eating right and mental toughness. CrossFit has given me some very important people in my life, friends who I couldn’t imagine without and a family.

Alexa Rowing on the Charles River.

Alexa Rowing on the Charles River.

My first “Ah-ha” or bright moment was sophomore year, I competed in a CrossFit teens competition at CrossFit Cynergy, my first ever competition. The night before I was talking to my dad about it and he asked me how I would think I would do and I said, well there’s about 30 girls in my division, and who knows how strong or fast they are. So maybe top 10. When it came time for thee awards ceremony, my heart was racing and then they called my name. I’d won. From that moment on I think it changed the way I saw CrossFit, I’d now seen it as a sport, as a competition. It opened it up to a new way of looking at it. And I think it was what gave me a new drive and increased my motivation to be better at it.

After rowing this fall and placing third at the Head of The Charles and winning The Head of The Fish, my team and I are working towards getting to Youth Nationals in the spring and hopefully placing top 3. So everyday I push myself a little more, making sure to give it my all in each and every workout.

Alexa - 1st place in her first competition

Alexa - 1st place in her first competition

I think my favorite memory would be back at the old gym, it was my 14th birthday and the same day as the first internal team throw down. I was on a team Adam Hunter and Bullet (David Mendleson.) Our team name was Pump City. We made team shirts with the sleeves cut off, wore red bandanas, american flag socks and jorts. I must say running and doing air squats in jean shorts were probably the hardest thing and after the running I remember Adam just decided to cut the middle out of his short  and made them into a jean skirt. We ended the night with a birthday cake and a win for Pump City.

When I started rowing in the spring of my sophomore year I noticed right away that I was stronger than a lot of other girls who’d been rowing for a while or who had just started like me. I was able to pull numbers they weren’t. I also had a very good understanding of body mechanics and how to move correctly. Most people on the team didn’t really even know how to do an air squat. CrossFit has also allowed me to take rowing at the junior/high school level to the next step. It allowed me to build and gain strength and endurance to go faster on the water, pull faster times on the erg, make faster boats and take me to selection camp for the Jr. National team. For being a fairly new rower it gave me the ability to compete at the level of some of the best rowers in the state and country who have been rowing for years.

School comes first, but of course there have been times where I’ve wanted to push it to the side and stay at the gym for an extra 30 minutes or an hour, but you have to have priorities and school is definitely on the top of that list. I try to get the majority of my homework done during school that way by the time I would get home from practice or CrossFit I would have little or none to do. When I am in season for rowing, I lighten up on CrossFit, I’ll typically do 2-3 CrossFit workouts a week in addition to 2 hours a rowing everyday 6x a week. During the off season, CrossFit becomes my main sport and row 3x a week on top.