19 August 2010

My CrossFit Athlete's Profile

Aug 18th was the 1 year anniversary of my first WOD at CrossFit Las Vegas. I finally submitted my athlete's profile.

First and Last Name
Holly "kona" Brewer
Where ya from originally?
Santa Monica, CA (then San Diego & Salt Lake City)
How long have you been with CrossFit Las Vegas?
My first Elements was Aug 18th (just saw that on my calendar and decided it meant it was time for me to fill out this profile).
What's your favorite WOD?
Fight Gone Bad (cause I've been able to see the improvements and I love doing different exercises). Any chipper WOD. And box jumps (it's a love/hate relationship right now).
What's your least favorite WOD?
Right now Kettlebells are making me cry. And I won't go back to the rings (cause of my shoulder).

What were you doing before CrossFit? How did you hear about CrossFit and/or CrossFit Las Vegas?
TV nerd and bookworm in school. Started swimming in high school and while not athletic (ie. I was the often the slowest), I was stubborn (still am) and had a decent stroke so I got to stay on the team. I was good at pacing in the distance events. Swam in college & even played a little water polo. After that jogged a bit, then got certified to teach aerobics for about 10 years.

Found CrossFit while in Balad, Iraq - wanted to lose weight and P90X looked silly (can't exercise to a video when the guy looks like the host of Survivor; and I hate repetition, seeing people doing exercises improperly in the class watching the video, and it seemed so boring). I think my first class was Filthy Fifty (I only did 30 of each and even that was too much - I was limping ALL week, my calves were killing me, probably from jumping pullups and box jumps). Did the class 3-4 x week for two months and at the end redid the 50 (this time the whole thing. I have my time and equipment used written down some where. Just remember that my time was comparable to the 30 as far as pacing but I was stronger (i.e. higher box, used band for the pull-up, heavier weight, etc). Lost about 5# on the scale but probably gained muscle. I looked and felt great! Wore a two piece bathing suit for the first time in years.

When I got home I tried to keep going using the main website for workouts. But the place I went was missing some key equipment and it wasn't the same (though I got compliments on my lifting when doing Bear Complex). Internet search "cross fit las vegas" and you know what comes up first. Only 4 miles away, Kismet! First evaluation and then Elements started. I was in heaven!

Give us some insight as to your thoughts after your first workout at CrossFit Las Vegas.
Loved it, of course. Shorter than the WODs we were doing in Balad, but here I was getting good instruction for proper lifting (I knew I had some bad habits or lack of knowledge cause in Balad there wasn't any training for beginners).

Tell us a little about then vs. now with regard to your performances on a couple of the benchmark WODs, ie Fran or Cindy.
I keep surprising myself. Beginning of the year I set a couple of goals (10 pull-ups, 20 burpees without getting dizzy) and now I have to find new ones. Funny thing is some times I'm jumping up and down all excited when I do a PR, other times I'm just quiet and smiling to myself. Then there are the times I freak out at what I've been able to accomplish (climbed halfway up the rope last week and got a little scared when I looked down).

I'd love to see more opportunities to compare or measure progress, like offering one benchmark per week. My favorites are still chippers. "12 Lifts of Christmas" was so much fun. I think next Sunday open gym I want to do Filthy Fifty just to see how I compare to the end of last summer.

Do you have any special or favorite CrossFit Las Vegas memories/moments?
1. First time I did 5 pull-ups in a row; and then again when I did 10 (it was sort of a surprise to me - I'd been working on them after the WODs and when I did it, believe it or not I didn't jump up and down, I just quietly walked up to Zach and smiled).
2. Passing Tier 2.
3. Meeting so many new & awesome people.
4. The most recent FGB when I improved my score by 30.
5. Doing 30 double-unders in a row (again, surprised myself).
6. Shooting in the desert.

What advice would you give to a newbie or someone just joining CrossFit Las Vegas?
You don't have to "be in shape" or "young" to do this. We don't bite, kick, or snicker about what you are wearing. OMG this place is so *non*judgemental compared to globo gyms. Trust me, I used to teach aerobic, step & cross training classes. This is the only place where other people are working out WITH you, not you working out with other people around you. So cool how supportive everyone is and love how we socialize before & after classes.
You don't get that at most globo gyms.

This is about improving yourself. This is about your own self-esteem. This about listening to your own body and watching some amazing things change. The only competition with within yourself. Embrace the challenge and love the results.

And finally (and most importantly) Who is the best and most incredible coach at CrossFit Las Vegas? Explain/defend your answer.
Zach is precise, but my hip is still mad at those GHD back extensions/wall balls you set for me that Sunday.
Vili knows me so well now (all those early mornings together).
Mike is precise in his cues to get me back in proper alignment.
Lauren is so supportive and really does have the best warm-ups/stretches. Nice to see we're getting more of the stretching after class.
And then there is Joe, damn I enjoy the sarcasm, really, I do!

But what I love the most is that little push. Yeah, I know I'm tired and when the muscles fail I don't want to do the lift improperly, so I have to stop for a sec, but then you guys yell "get moving kona" or tell me "you have 30 sec" and I find the strength to pick it back up again. Thank you all!

Please pick out a cool picture :)


  1. What a great story. Really enjoyed reading about the changes to your life. Especially love the quote "OMG this place is so *non*judgemental compared to globo gyms." How true it is.

    We'd love to have you tell your story to the world. Check out our project www.crossfitstory.com

  2. Comments made on the CrossFitLasVegas.com blog:

    1. Kona you have pushed yourself so hard to get to the point that you are. Keep up the good work....and no we're gonna keep the boxes the way they are.....if I eat it as well....then I guess I have to better my coordination. LoL! J/K!
    Comment by Vili@CFLV — August 18, 2010

    2. That is a cool pic- I like the ponytail! You are one strong woman and your progress speaks for itself!
    Comment by Lauren — August 18, 2010

    3. Kona - congrats on all your accomplishments. You have been so dedicated and is shows!
    Comment by Nicole — August 19, 2010

    4. Yay kona! I love working out with you. Your attitude is awesome. See you soon.
    Comment by kimpossible — August 19, 2010

    5. Thanks so much for your kind words. I really look up to you gals (idol worship???). I keep saying "I wanna be like them when I grow up" (then I have to remind myself I'm one of the old ladies).

    Thanks for picking a cool picture (I've already copied and reposted everywhere). Surprise: My husband (you know, the guy that tries to sabotage my workouts and hates CF) read the site today and told me "good job"!!!!

    I really wanted to do the WOD today but "Kettlebell Cindy from Hell" has left my biceps pissed off at me. Yet I cannot wait for it to come around again cause I want to improve my time.

    Comment by kona — August 19, 2010

    6. Way to go Kona! You are always in the middle of it. Save some kool aid for "anonymous ". We all have our reasons to be there. Keep getting better, faster, stronger!
    Comment by shawn callahan — August 20, 2010

  3. So proud of you Holly - - what fun Crossfit Beginnings!

  4. Thanks Jim - means a lot coming from my first coach/trainer! Beautiful wedding photos :)