Christy Cunningham
AGE: 42    HOMETOWN: originally Brigantine, but now Smithville    OCCUPATION: Associate Director of the Career Center, Stockton University

   My favorite WODs are usually chippers, particularly those with lots of body weight movements because I'm more likely to be able to Rx them. I can't believe I'm going to say it but Murph has been a WOD that has been good to me and I've made a lot of progress over the years.

   My least favorite WOD is usually anything with double unders. No matter how much I work on them (or not) I'm still super inconsistent and they tend to make me angry. Despite that I still continue to see small progress.

   I never did any sports as a kid - not competitively nor for fun. As many of my CrossFit family know competition is totally not my thing. I did, however, take ballet lessons for 18 years and I also did a lot of active outdoor activities like backpacking, hiking, canoeing, ropes courses, etc. When I moved to Philly in 2005 I started taking an early morning Boot Camp class on the steps of the Art Museum and loved it! It was my first real experience with intense workouts similar to CrossFit.

   I still love to do a lot of outdoor activities like canoeing and hiking. Relaxing on the beach is one of my favorite summertime pastimes, and, of course, traveling is still one of my great passions. My goal is to get abroad at least once every year and to make time to visit some of the great places right here in the US.

   I first learned about CrossFit in about 2010 through a story on the news and knew immediately that I...WANTED...TO...DO...THAT, but didn't think we had any CrossFit boxes in this area. When I heard that Ryan (I knew him from Tilton) had opened a box in Absecon I went the very next day, did the baseline workout, and signed up on the spot for the year. Baseline was my first workout and I remember thinking "I'm going to love this!", but at the same time I was a little nervous because I had never done any serious barbell work.

"Today, at 42, I'm in better shape then I ever was in my twenties. I'm stronger and have noticed a big difference when I'm traveling. Hauling my backpack into an overhead compartment or walking for miles with my fully loaded backpack doesn't challenge or wind me the way it used to. I've also become more confident in my physical abilities - when I hear folks say they have to train to do a 5k, I just smile to myself and think, "Pleeez....train for a 5k? I ran that on a Wednesday last week.""
Two big things come to mind when I think of unexpected benefits of joining CrossFit Absecon. First, I didn't expect to have my life turned upside down in terms of diet and food. When Frank first introduced the Whole30 to our box I thought it was way extreme. However, after lots of reading I decided to do it and it transformed my relationship with food, helped me to clearly define what nutritious and healthy mean to me, and opened me up to the whole world of Paleo/Whole30 resources, recipes, and support systems. Second, I didn't expect to find a family when I joined CrossFit Absecon. I liked the idea of smaller classes but I didn't realize how friendly, supportive, and great everyone would be. No matter your age, background, or ability everyone is welcomed, supported, and celebrated. CrossFit Absecon really is a family who knows how to work hard but also knows how to have fun. I feel tremendously lucky and honored to be a part of this community.
Some memorable moments I have had at CrossFit Absecon and with CrossFit in general include:
1) I remember a day, about two years into my CrossFit career, I was the only one in class and Ryan had me working on a 1 rep max push jerk. Heavy overhead stuff tends to intimidate me but Ryan was patient and encouraging and I was able to push 100lbs for a 15lb PR.
2) Looking back, getting my first pull-up was pretty momentous. I feel like I'm in a different echelon in a lot of WODs because I don't have to scale them anymore.
3) Visiting other CrossFit boxes is another one of those unexpected great things about CrossFit culture. I've visited a handful of boxes in other places including Austin, Boston, and Williamsburg, VA. The most memorable, however, was definitely when I visited a CrossFit Tay Ho in Hanoi, Vietnam. Here I was, on the other side of the world doing pull ups and snatches like it was a regular day in Absecon. It really helped me to work out my jet lag and I met some great folks from all over the world (ironically, no Vietnamese just ex-pats from Mexico, Germany, and Brazil working for their respective embassies). Only differences were we did dislocates with bamboo poles and I had to convert the weights from kilos to pounds to know how much weight to put on the bar.