August Member of the month EMILY GOLD


Hi! I'm Emily Gold. I'm the person who rolls up to the box at 8:30 most mornings looking like a homeless person. (For the record, I come straight from my 12-hour night shifts at the hospital... so don't judge me.) I will be celebrating my 3-year anniversary at CrossFit TPA this month, and I couldn't be more thankful for my wonderful second home! I am not, by any means, a natural athlete. I used to weigh in at almost 300lbs (which, coincidentally, was approximately equal to my average monthly cheese consumption) and had more chins than muscles. So starting CrossFit was completely intimidating for me. I was surprised by how fast I fell in love with it, especially lifting. With a lot of dietary changes, an enormous amount of sweat, and the help and encouragement of my friends at TPA, I've managed to lose the equivalent of a small person. I still miss the cheese most days... but not so much the chins. I love horses, writing, squatting, and my amazing fiancée, who most of you know as Coach Jeannie. It's been a crazy and life-changing three year adventure, and I wouldn't trade it for the world!


1) Occupation: Emergency Department RN.


2) Favorite things to do (other than CrossFit, of course): My two true loves are horseback riding and whitewater. But I enjoy pretty much anything outdoors: hiking, kayaking, camping, walking my two mutts around Harmony, etc. And I've recently discovered an affinity for obstacle course/mud racing, which is ironic since I detest running with a burning passion.


3) What is your first memory at CFTPA?: After talking myself out of it for several months, I finally gathered up the courage to show up for my first prep class at TPA in August of 2012. My biggest fear about trying CrossFit was that I would be the fat, slow person making a fool of myself in front of a bunch of awesome, buff, thin people. Tammy had assured me over the phone a week before that this would not be the case, and that there would be plenty of people "of all ages, sizes, and levels of fitness." Well, I showed up for day one of prep... and the only other person in my class was Patrick, a 6-foot-something beast who could have picked up my fat ass and thrown it across the gym. So, there was that.


4) What was your first WOD and how did you do?: I seem to have blocked the details of my first post-prep WOD out of my conscious memory. But I do know that it was a "rounds for time" WOD and each round ended with a 400m run. The entire rest of the class was finished before I even started my final round. I was totally mortified, and wanted to cry/puke/quit. But then the lovely Toni Wright ran out to finish my final 400m with me, and talked me through every step of it. She used the excuse of "needing a little extra running," but I knew she was really just being nice to the chubby newbie. And when I finished the workout, the rest of the class was still there, and cheered for me and congratulated me on finishing my first WOD. That was my first real taste of how incredible the TPA community really was.


5) What was your worst workout ever?: In my first meeting with Fran, I slipped off the pull-up bar in a fairly spectacular wipe-out. Fortunately, I was largely uninjured (except my pride), and Tammy was the only witness. But nonetheless, I've hated Fran ever since. Although I have to say, I'm currently in the midst of a 37-day self-imposed burpee purgatory as part of my Spartan training... and honestly, pretty much any workout is the worst workout ever when it immediately follows 180 burpees.


6) How has CrossFit changed your life?: Lesbi-honest... this answer could fill a book. ;-) Seriously, though. I can literally and truthfully say that CrossFit and TPA have changed virtually every aspect of my life for the better. The people I've met there have had such a tremendous impact on my life, and I'm so very thankful for them. I feel like, in my 3 years at TPA, I have somehow discovered who I want to be and what I want to do with this life, and I'm slowly but surely working towards that. CrossFit helped me to lose weight, gain confidence, experience the incomparable empowerment that comes with being physically and emotionally strong, and feel the incredible freedom of letting go of inhibitions and doing what you love, for you and you alone. Plus, I met my future wife and became the reigning Chest Compression Champion of my emergency department, so I guess you could say it's been a productive couple of years.


7) Any advice for those thinking about trying CFTPA?: First and foremost, get over your fear of looking like an idiot. It's going to happen. You're going to screw up and fall down and look awkward and struggle with new skills and fail lifts. You're going to have to scale pretty much everything at first. You're probably going to feel like the slowest, weakest, least competent person at the box, and possibly in the universe. And there's a pretty good chance that you will pee yourself at some point while doing double unders. But, you know what? No one cares. No one is watching... we're all too busy getting our own asses kicked by the WOD. And if someone is watching, I promise you they are not laughing at you. More than likely, they are cheering you on. Because whether you believe it or not, every single person at TPA wants to see you succeed. We were all new once. And some of us have been doing this for three years and still manage to look stupid on a regular basis. :) Don't let your inhibitions rob you of an incredible and potentially life-changing experience. Take the leap. It will be worth it. And, don't be afraid to lift heavy. It won't make you big. But it will make you awesome.


8) What is your biggest weakness in CrossFit and what are you doing to improve it?: Gymnastics movements are the biggest of my many weaknesses. I'm terrible at all of them. As for what I'm doing about that... admittedly, very little at the moment. I've been using my Spartan Race training as an excuse to flip more tires and do fewer pull ups. Come winter, however, I'll be all out of excuses and will have to work on those goats again. Bring it!


Would you rather:


~Be faster or stronger?: Stronger, for sure. I've come to terms with my slowness, but I LOVE the feeling of nailing a heavy lift.

~Eat paleo pizza or drink a sugar free margarita?: Neither. Pizza isn't pizza without cheese, and I don't condone the murder of good tequila by drowning with mixers. If you're going to splurge, go big or go home!

~Do Fran naked in front of all your friends and PR, or do Fran fully dressed and never improve?: I think we've already established that Fran is a dirty bitch and I'd really rather never see her again.

~Do 20 MU or 200 DU?: 20 muscle ups, no doubt. I like double unders almost as much as I like Fran.