Athlete Spotlight: Ann Connelly

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We very excited to announce that we are bringing back the athlete of the month profile. Congratulations Ann Connelly you are the first Athlete of the month for 2017. The coaches have selected you because you are a shining example of what we believe to be the essence of the gym. You show up every day and continue to make yourself and everyone else around you better. Thank you for contributing to our community in such a positive and thoughtful way.

Friend and Member: Ann Connelly

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.

Occupation: Teacher

Age: 66

When did you start doing CrossFit?
I have been at CrossFit since June 2013

What is your favorite CrossFit Movement and Why?
Favorite movement: The squat – its the movement that has allowed me to get better lifting weights.

What is your least favorite CrossFit movement and why?
Least favorite: no surprise, box jumps. I still get nervous with every jump.

What is your sport, health or fitness background?
I have done some type of exercise for most of my adult life – I’ve probably done all of the latest exercise buzz.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it and how did it feel?
I started with CrossFit after running into Linda at the grocery store. My gym had just eliminated classes. I had used some machines at that gym but it was boring and I didn’t feel that I knew how to use the machines. I was looking at other options. Linda actually tried to talk me out of coming to CrossFit. Linda talked about CrossFit not being anything that I have ever done before. I was really looking for an opportunity to lift weights with instruction. By that time I was concerned about bone density and I knew that I needed to do more weight bearing exercise. I knew that just doing classes was not what I needed to be doing. I came because Linda stressed the importance of lifting weights right. I started with the foundations class and learned how to lift with the bar starting with the body bar that is still there in one of the corners. At that time there was an intermediate class where we did a modified WOD. I remember walking the hallway before the first class being so nervous and wondering if I could do it. I survived but that feeling lingered for the next three months. Then it was announced that the modified class was being eliminated. Everyone would do the WOD of the day. By that time I had learned how to lift and how to modify the workout myself if I needed. Sometimes it was too easy, so I knew I could bump it up the next time. Other times I took on too much and lessened the weight…or Stefan or Kevin would take off the weight during the workout. For a long…long time Stefan checked every weight I lifted during the WOD or suggesting that I adjust some part of the workout. Now he doesn’t give me a second thought. But he always seems to be watching that one time when I am not using the right form.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit? (Before and After)
I have had changes both inside and outside. I am still wearing the same size as I did when I was in high school. I am still the same height as I was in high school. On the inside the results have been remarkable. Since 2013, my cholesterol has decreased 30 points. My blood sugar is 20 points lower. My good cholesterol is up 20 points. My bone density has remained the same.

Share with us your favorite Canandaigua CrossFit memory/moment?
I guess one of my favorite moments was the first time I rang the bell. Then I transitioned from the body bar to a real bar. Of course, my video was a lot of fun. My man said that he has never dated anyone who could beat him up. He said he watches what he says to me.

Do you have any advice for people who are just getting started?
People have all kinds of ideas about CrossFit. If you are looking for a personal challenge that you should give it a try. Every lift, every WOD is a personal challenge. It’s not about what everyone else can do. It’s about what you can do.

Outside of CrossFit what other hobbies and/or talents do you have?
In real life, I am like any other grandmother. I spend a lot of time with my grandchildren. My granddaughter and I have a small business selling art and restored furniture. I quilt. I just started keeping bees last summer.

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