CFE Member Spotlight: Cherie Abadie

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Cherie Abadie had known about CrossFit for years before she made the decision to join. She’d read online about emerging and popular workouts and new sports, and even remembers seeing a YouTube video of a WOD. She was intrigued, but something had held her back from taking the plunge and signing up.

One day, knowing that CFE was in her neighborhood, she decided to make the trip to the box to check it out. “I was on my way home from work and decided to make the turn to CFE at the last possible second. I yelled, ‘It’s now or never!’ and the rest is history,” she says. “Best left turn of my life!”

Rie, as she’s known among her friends at the box, is a hard worker and is relentless when it comes to finishing a WOD and giving her all. As an athlete, Rie tends to gravitate towards sports and workouts that push her to her limits. “Before I joined CFE, I knew CrossFit seemed super hard, which I knew meant it’d be super fun for me. I don’t really enjoy anything that doesn’t require 100 percent of my mental and physical attention.” Rie enjoys that CrossFit classes at CFE are not only challenging, but are also varied. “I get bored very easily, but never with CrossFit,” she says.

As a newer CrossFitter, Rie has been focusing on learning the movements and lifts central to CrossFit, and has dedicated herself to improving her running, something she never felt good at or enjoyed before joining CFE. Rie faced this perceived weakness from her very first WOD, which incorporated running, and she remembers the struggle to face her demons that day. “The WOD was ten rounds with a 100-meter sprint in each round. I scaled back to five rounds so the workout was right for me. I ran the first and the second round, then walked rounds three, four, and five. My ankles hurt so badly and my feet were burning—it was terrible! I hated running at the time,” she recalls.

Always one to rise to the challenge, however, Rie recognized an opportunity to get better. With the encouragement of other CFE athletes, particularly Anne Mancheski, Rie signed up for her first 5K and began training. “I was terrified. I didn’t want to train, but ran every morning. Every day after the WOD, Anne and I would run, even if it was just 800 meters, just to help me get better. Occasionally other people would join us, which motivated me even more.”

As her training progressed, Rie began to see improvement in her running, especially during WODs. She remembers a particular WOD where things began to click. “We were doing several rounds of 100-meter sprints,” she recalls. “The first sprint, more like a jog for me, took me 24 seconds, and so did the second. As I kept going and kept pushing, I started getting excited for absolutely no reason, and each sprint I was knocking a second off every time! I was running faster and faster, and even though I was tired and it was hard, I was doing it.”

Not long afterward, Rie was ready for her first official 5K race. “After a month of training, I did my first official 5K and had a 7-minute PR. It was awesome! Although I still need lots of work, I’m improving immensely.” she says. Rie has set her sights on the Crescent City Classic 10K and will be running the annual road race the day before Easter 2014.

Rie recognizes how critical the support and encouragement of her CFE family was to reaching her goal and how important the community atmosphere is to her continued improvement and motivation. “I love my CrossFit family, and I feel a connection with them because we are doing something that is so raw and real and honest,” she says. “There is nowhere to hide in CrossFit. You get to know people in a different light, and they are simply amazing people.”

Thanks to CrossFit, Rie has seen improvement in ways both physical and mental. “CrossFit has made me strong,” she says. “I’m stronger in every way, and I’m happier and more positive, too,” she says, recognizing how her focus and determination has paid dividends in other areas of her life. “CrossFit has given me something to look forward to. It’s always the absolute best part of my day!”

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