January Female Athlete of the Month – Iwona Lacka!

1.    How did you get started with CrossFit, and then with CFNH?
I started with CrossFit here at CFNH over 1 year ago when I moved back to CT. I was really bummed about leaving my barre exercise group in PA because I really loved it and thought I would never find something again that I liked so much until I came here! I was depressed looking around at all the typical gym options. When I passed CFNH on the road, all I remember is a bunch of shirtless guys pushing sleds outside!  While that caught my attention, it took me 2 months to really get hooked.  Once that was the case, I have never loved something so much. It fits my personality so well and I think that's part of why CrossFit is such a perfect match for me. When my husband and I discuss buying a house, my husband pitches proximity to other CrossFit gyms, but I say no way, I’m not leaving my CFNH family!

2.    Humble-brag time.  What are some of your recent accomplishments of which you're most proud?
Rocking some kipping pull-ups! Also the day I dead-lifted 215 pounds. I felt ecstatic and I swear I walked and talked for the rest of the day as if I owned the world.

3.    The new goal board is up.  What are some of your short-term and long-term goals for 2016?
Short-term goals are butterfly and chest-to-bar pull-ups, which will hopefully lead to muscle-ups in the future. I recently ran my first run probably since primary school (LOL, there is a reason I hate running) and, since then, I have registered for my first half-marathon, for which I solely blame Jennifer O'Brien!  Short story: when I was in high school I would actually lie down in the grass when the coach was not looking and would wait for other girls to finish their laps on the track and then join them at the end.
Long long long term goal, possibly in the next lifetime, is the Patagonia Expedition Race!! Oh what a dream.

4.    Do you follow any specific diet or regimen to fuel your Athlete of the Month-level CrossFit performance? 
Do you mean other than pierogi and polish kielbasa?? In all honesty, for the past 3 years or so I have definitely changed my diet around a bit. Really I concentrate on eating whole foods that I cook myself and I stay away from anything that is prepackaged, made with preservatives, etc. I try to eat a very healthy, well balanced diet and, for the most part, I actually adhere to a diet that is referred to as “the blood type diet.” My sister-in-law actually wrote a cookbook about options for “the blood type diet,” and this is what sparked my interest.
What does your dream cheat meal/day look like?
Well, Polish kitchen isn’t exactly known as the pinnacle of health foods but wow, sometimes I just have such an urge to go back to my roots and get some good Sour rye soup, then some pierogi, and herring dish, topped off with paczek (polish donut)… yes, all in one sitting… without Mylanta… but I have a well- trained Polish stomach so warning: Don’t try this at home!!

5. Design 2 WODs:  1 that is your bread & butter, filled with your movement strengths; 1 that is all goats (movement weaknesses you feel you need to improve).
Something like that:
LOVE:  4 rounds for time – 10 pull-ups, 10 back squats at 60-70% followed by 10 tuck ups, 100 m run
HATE:  4 rounds for time, 90 sec break between rounds- 12 wall balls, 9 burpees, 10 cal AB sprint
AB and WB top the hate list 

6.How do you spend your time when you're away from CFNH?
I spend a lot of time exercising these days. Other than CrossFit, I am a Pilates regular.  I am also trying to slowly learn more Russian, my mother’s native language, and I picked up guitar AGAIN so my “Nothing else matters” intro is almost recognizable. You may not see me at the gym during the weekend especially if the weather is nice. I will hopefully be somewhere outside, but I will try to make it an active recovery day, I promise wink

7. What is one fun fact people may not know about you?
In my late teens and twenties I was spending most of my free time learning English. One can say I was pretty motivated, if not slightly obsessed with it. I loved the British accent (who doesn't, right?). I spent way too much time trying to pronounce the words the right way, listening to the melody of the language, repeating movie linesvie and even working at McDonald's in London for 3 months, all to sound like a Brit (OK, I moved to London for other reasons but you get my point)!  I admit it may have been a bit odd how I would actually force the British accent. In fact, in 2010 when I came to the US and interviewed for a job, the interviewer interrupted me and asked, “Forgive me for asking, how did a Polish girl end up with a British accent?!!” hmmmm…. silly I know, I stopped trying since then and lost it in few weeks but I did get that job!

8.  Do you have any motivational thoughts or suggestions to folks just getting started at CFNH?
Stick to it. Don't look for it to get easier; it won't. Just accept the challenge and know that each day at CFNH, you will become stronger; make new goals and it will make you feel amazing.  Getting stronger and healthier is so worth it. The fun part is, you are going through all of that with a bunch of really cool people who completely and utterly support you. Talk to them, talk to the coaches, ask them questions, observe, listen and learn.  With time, I'll bet you'll be as surprised as I am as to what your body can do. It really feels fantastic.  Enjoy every second!
Most importantly, CrossFit should be called Brazilian butt lift work out.  Thank you squats…. wink

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