Name: Amy Wilke
Hometown: Greenfield, WI
Crossfitting since: August 2013 (October 2013 at BCF)
A little about yourself: In my time not spent at BCF, I work in the control room for an electric utility company that services SE Wisconsin. (No, I’m not the one that shuts off your power. No, I can’t get you a discount.) I work a rotating schedule that includes days, nights, holidays and weekends. I enjoy spending time outside, eating brownies (not paleo) and I am also involved in muay thai kickboxing. I’m secretly 85 years old because I don’t like going anywhere after 8PM. I also secretly want to learn how to play the guitar. (Shhhh.)
Background before CrossFit: I was involved in Martial Arts since the age of 6. That continued into college when I transitioned into mixed martial arts training. I was also certified in Les Mills teaching BodyPump (weightlifting) and BodyCombat (martial arts) group exercise classes at a local health club for a few years. (Due to my work schedule, I have recently let those certifications lapse.)
How did you get into CrossFit: I’m a really competitive person and was actively training for MMA fights while I was living in Joliet, IL. I was captain of the women’s fight team and spending 15 hours a week in the gym preparing myself mentally and physically for these fights. While I was strong, I wasn’t doing a lot of heavy lifting as part of my routine. This (probably combined with some form of over training) led to me developing sciatica and severely limited my training. I came to accept that any form of throws or jiu jitsu was going to continually aggravate my back so I decided to take a break from MMA and figure something else out. At first I turned to running because I didn’t know what else to do. A few of my coworkers at the time were into Crossfit and talking with them made me realize that I really needed the strength training if I was going to get healthier again and the competitive draw of the sport was an added bonus. I initially joined Crossfit Plainfield before moving back home and haven’t looked back since.
Favorite WOD or movement: Favorite movement is wall balls but favorite WOD, hands down, is DT.
How has CrossFit changed you outside the gym? This has really only happened over the last 6 months – 1 year or so but I’ve really calmed down mentally. Throughout my MMA training and working out at a health club I always felt like if I didn’t workout I was “going to die.” It became a bad habit and I gave up having a social life for a long time because I thought my training was more important. I was using it as an excuse in a negative way. After transitioning to Crossfit and learning different ways to nourish my body for the type of training I’m doing, I’ve been able to let go of all the negative thoughts and guilt I was having about being less of a person because I didn’t make it to the gym one day or I only trained for 1 hour instead of 3. I also realized that my competitiveness was adding a lot of unneeded stress to my life and as a result, I’ve decided to only workout for me and not to compete.
On a more positive note, Crossfit has helped me become an awesome tall ships sailor! I gained the nickname ‘Wonder Woman’ on one of the boats I work on because when the captain was sizing up the crew before a man overboard drill, it was decided that I would be most likely to easily pull someone out of the water and onto the rescue boat.
What makes Badger CrossFit unique? The coaching and the camaraderie. I’ve made a lot of really close friends because of BCF. It’s hard enough to complete a grueling workout alone. When you have the support of other athletes, you naturally become closer to one another. I also think the coaching staff is phenomenal. They all genuinely care about our goals and strive to correct what things they can. I also know that if there’s a specific goal you want to accomplish, you can feel comfortable chatting with a coach about it and getting a plan of action set to accomplish it. Everyone is there for support and it’s a really great feeling.
What time do you WOD? All times. My rotating schedule at work means I fit in a class wherever I can. 🙂
Advice for people just getting started: Don’t be afraid to scale something. Sure everyone likes those two letters “Rx” next to their name but it’s better to be safe and get a good workout than it is to struggle through something that’s too difficult or too heavy and risk injury. On the flip side, don’t be afraid to finally move up a kettlebell weight or add the little 2.5# plates on the end of the bar! You can always strip weight off the bar or switch to a lighter dumbbell/kettlebell halfway through a workout if you need to.