Kipping it Real with Elizabeth!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. September’s Athlete of the Month is Elizabeth Dollins. She was chosen because of her evident commitment to her health and fitness. She puts this on display by making class attendance a high priority, pushing herself to do heavier weights and more difficult gymnastics movements in metcons, and constantly striving to improve her technique. She is super encouraging to all of the members in her class and her positive attitude and awesome dance moves shine through! Her hard work is paying off and we love having Elizabeth as a part of our OPCF community!

1. How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? October 2020

2. What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? My first weekend as a CrossFitter, the gym was closed on a Saturday. They wrote a workout we could do outside. It was shuttle runs, every ten yards, down a football field followed by a 100-yard bear crawl….do it all three times. I remember thinking “I’ve been bear crawling forever, I have to be near the end” and I would look up and it had been like 10 yards!
3. What has been your favorite workout so far? I’ve found that I prefer the long, chipper type of workouts where you pace yourself and just keep moving. Especially if there is a run involved so I can use that to catch my breath!
4. What is your favorite cheat meal? Ice cream, always.
5. What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? I wanted to be a physical therapist…then I realized how squeamish I am with blood/injuries/wounds, so that got discarded. I now lead a Catastrophe Response Team, responding to natural disaster events around the country (floods, hurricanes, wildfires, etc.).   
6. What do you like to do outside of work? I like to travel and adventure, especially outside!  I like to run, hike, or paddleboard as often as I can! We are also a big music family… band, choir, show choir, musical theater… all the things… so I get to support my kids in those endeavors as well.
7. What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? Give it 30 days. I know it is overwhelming to start. So many humans. So many words that don’t make sense. All the loud noises. Trust falling to the toilet because your legs are toast. I Googled every movement in the workouts for at least the first month before class. The coaches are so helpful. Ask questions, take feedback, and interact with strangers. You won’t regret it! Come to 9:30! We are a hoot!
8. What is your favorite/least favorite movement? My favorite movement is anything with machines! I love workouts with a lot of biking or rowing! Of the lifts, cleans are my favorite (preferably power). I’ve improved my cleans so much, even just in the last few months since focusing on it in the new Barbell classes!
My least favorite movement is wall balls.  Gross.
9. What’s one CrossFit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year? I really want to focus on being more intentional with gymnastics movements, just the very basic ones. I’ll go through periods where I work on them consistently and get so close, then I move onto other things and by the time I circle back I’ve lost that momentum. I want to get to a point where I have the ability to do the movements in most of the Train track workouts, even if it is at a reduced quantity.
10. What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? I’ve gained more confidence in my own abilities, both in and out of the gym. Knowing what my body is capable of, and how far I can push it to do hard things. Whether it is taking third-place in a (scaled) CrossFit competition, hiking across the Grand Canyon, or running a half-marathon, I have more confidence in setting goals, working towards those goals, and crushing those goals.
11. What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far? Joining OPCF has had positive ripple effects through every area of my life. The easy answer is to say that I’m stronger. I can lift heavier, push myself harder, and I’ve learned so much from our (very patient) coaches about my body and how to use it correctly and efficiently, and how to fuel it appropriately. But more importantly, I’ve also found the most amazing community of people who are also trying to take care of themselves, and have fun doing it. The relationships I’ve made in my time here have been so awesome! I have a built-in group of friends who willingly (and enthusiastically) say “yes” when we want to do an obstacle course mud run, or when we suggest a 25 mile hike across the Grand Canyon. I have people that encourage and support me, in life and in the gym. I started my fitness journey alone, spending hours on a treadmill in my basement. Trust me, it is better with friends.
12. How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? If I’m being honest, I build my schedule around working out as much as possible. I have young kids, a demanding job, and life is super hectic, but being at the gym is as much a part of my mental health as it is my physical health. If I miss several consecutive days, or have to take a break for whatever reason, I feel the effects of that in my day-to-day life. Sometimes that means functioning in a heightened state of anxiety, sometimes it is not sleeping as well, and other times it is just having less ability to exercise patience with the people around me. Recognizing that it is about so much more than just working out makes it easier to prioritize it! I want to give the people in my life – my family, my employees, my friends – the best version of myself, and working out is part of achieving that goal!
13. What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet? I want to do more international travel. I’ve really hit all the areas of the United States now, so I’m ready to get out into the world and see the rest of it!  Let’s climb some mountains!!!!!!!