1. Where are you from? Towson, Maryland
2. Time(s) you normally work out at CFF? Kevin and I go 3 days a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7pm. Sometimes if we cannot make it on those days we will show up to either a Tuesday or Thursday at 7pm.
3. Accomplishment you are proud of? (CrossFit or otherwise) CrossFit Accomplishment: A recent PR in both time and distance for running. I ran my first 5k during the 'Severin' WOD; that is the longest I have run so far! And I shortened my mile time from 16 minutes to 12 minutes. Personal Accomplishment: October 9, 2009 I became a nationally certified sign language interpreter.
4. Skill or movement you are working to perfect? So many! I want to really focus on improving my cleans. I also would love to be able to do a pull up unassisted. (I have a long way to go!) And I’d like to better my handstand pushups. (aka actually do one!)
5. Favorite exercise/WOD? Annie, Angie, and Cindy
6. What got you into CrossFit and when did you starting doing CrossFit? I started February 2014; Marcy and Shana were the driving force behind me walking thru the doors here at CFF. Their encouragement helped me step out of my comfort zone. After my surgeries, I had lost weight and knew I wanted to lose even more as well as tone up. I was very weak and afraid that CrossFit would be too much so soon after surgeries. I was terrified to go in but as soon as I walked thru those doors I felt at ease. Amanda talked with me about my entire medical history and nutritional restrictions. Both Dave and Amanda scaled me way down and in the beginning I was frustrated because there was a lot I just couldn't do. Since then I have made huge strides in the way of PRs and small victories here and there and I wouldn't have it any other way!
7. What is your “why”? (Why do you CrossFit) My why is ‘me’ and ‘Kevin’ I CrossFit because I have this one life and this one body and I want to take care of it the best I can. I want a long, happy, and healthy life with Kevin. CrossFit is something we do together; it's "our time" and to be able to share this journey with each other is special to me.
8. Your occupation/what occupies the majority of your day? I am a sign language interpreter. The majority of my work week I spend as an independent contractor for the government and I also work for a video relay service company (VRS).
9. What is your dream job? I am doing my dream job! I absolutely love it. I go to work each and every day with a passion for what I do!
10. What do you do to relax? I read; nothing educational mind you. I read thrillers: J.R Ward, Robert Parker, John Sanford, Alex Kava, Kat Hopper.
11. Favorite place to vacation and why is it your favorite? Ocean City, Maryland. As a child, my family vacationed there so it holds a certain nostalgia. It is where I saw my first sunrise and sunset. And on August 26, 2015 it is where Kevin asked me to marry him!
12. Favorite cheat food? Because of my medical disability and diet restrictions cheating for me means intense pain and discomfort so it isn’t often that I cheat. But when/if I do it is for a margarita.
13. If you could be a character from a TV show or movie, who would it be and why? Garfield. Because why not!? That cat is living the high life.
14. What is playing on your music device right now? Nothing right now (I'm at work), but the last song I listened to on my way in was Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone.
15. Hobbies/Activities? I love to read. And I absolutely LOVE watching movies. I’m a ‘stay in, order food, and watch movies in my PJs kinda girl’
16. Any interesting/unique/special skills? I am fluent in American Sign Language, Cued Speech and French.
17. What is something we probably didn’t know about you? I have 12 tattoos and 17 piercings
18. Any pets? One cat: Molly (call me biased but she is the best cat in the world!)
19. Favorite toy as a child? I was/am more into games than toys. I used to love hungry hungry hippos. And I still love Clue, Monopoly, and Uno!
20. What cancelled TV show would you like to see back on the air or what movie would you like to see sequel or remake of? TV show: The Munsters. Movie sequel or remake: The Adams Family and Clue.
21. What is the best present you have ever received? My jewelry box
22. What else is cool/interesting/different, etc about you? Due to all my surgeries, I no longer have a belly button. In its place are a lot of abdominal scars.
I am very self conscious about my scars but also very proud of them. They represent how strong I am and what I have gone through!
23. Do you have a story of overcoming adversity you’d like to share? My story/My journey: October 12, 2011, I was at work when all of a sudden I had severe pain in my lower right flank. I went to the hospital thinking it was a kidney stone. It wasn't. I was told that I had a tumor on my right kidney, right ureter, and right portion of small bowel. Soon after diagnosis, I had biopsy surgery and my case was transferred to Johns Hopkins. After a year of unsuccessful chemotherapy treatments I had surgery to remove the tumor. What was supposed to be a 7 hour surgery quickly became 9 hours, and it was deemed a 'success'. In order to completely remove the tumor I lost my right kidney, right ureter, and a portion of small intestines. After a week's recovery time in the hospital, I was sent home. Soon after arriving home, I ruptured internally and began to hemorrhage. I was rushed to the hospital where I was told that my small bowel had ruptured and that I needed emergency surgery. During surgery I had my duodenum patched and lost 2ft of terminal ileum and the entire right side of my colon. In order to heal properly my small intestines was left disconnected. I was given a temporary ileostomy (bag) and my surgery site was left open to heal from the inside out to avoid infection. I was sent home with a wound vac' and a home health care nurse. I had my ileostomy for 5 months until I underwent another surgery "a takedown" to reconnect my small intestines and remove the ileostomy.
Due to the amount of both large and small intestines that was removed I now have a medical disability: SBS (short bowel syndrome). I do not absorb nutrients from either the food I ingest or supplements because the transit time is too fast. I have a very restricted diet because my body simply can not digest a large variety of foods. I can no longer have any forms of dairy, sugar, gluten, alcohol, greasy/fatty foods. I also can not digest most if not all fruits and vegetables.
Because the terminal ileum is responsible for water absorption, my body does not properly retain fluids/water. I have to drink more water than the average person and even more if I work out or sweat. I become dehydrated very easily and for me that means a trip to the hospital for IV fluids.
On top of all that and possibly related or possibly not at all related (doctors are not sure). I was recently diagnosed with renal failure stage 4. Aka my lone kidney is not performing as it should. Current side effects of my renal failure are: renal anemia (iron deficient anemia) for which I receive iron infusions. I am also unable to regulate my body temperature. This is why I am always dressed in layers even on 90 degree days! And, If I do not stay on top of my water intake, I will produce stones and those stones will try and pass. For me because I have one kidney that is in stage 4 failure, passing a stone requires hospitalization for removal of the stone and stent surgery.
My story/my journey has been difficult, but I am proud of where I am right now. And I am where I am because of CrossFit Frederick. I owe a lot to this box, its owners, its coaches, and its members! Six months before I started CrossFit I couldn't even walk up a flight of stairs. Today, I am joining challenges and PR'ing my runs and weights. I got through this journey with Kevin by my side and to be able to share with him all my CrossFit "firsts" makes me so very happy!