Member Spotlight Interview: Maria Grace Wolk
Started Crossfit: May 2015
Favorite Movement: Back squat
Least Favorite Movement: Wall balls/Thrusters
Tell us about your fitness/lifestyle background: Fitness has been a big part of my life; from childhood to motherhood and as a Mental Health Therapist.
I am the fifth daughter in a household of 6 sisters. No brothers. My parents raised us to be strong and resilient by keeping us physically active. They showed us how to love the outdoors through camping and hiking. Receiving his black belt in Karate, my dad, took time on the weekends to teach us martial arts so we can learn how to defend ourselves. Through these shared activities of exercising, challenging one another, and achieving goals together, we, as a family, bonded and strengthened our relationships.
Now, a mother of 2 boys, I strive to do the same for my children. My husband and I encourage them to stay active and play outside as much as possible. We bike, hike, play basketball, and run races together. My boys ran their first 5k at the age of 6 and my youngest at 4. They were so excited to be handed their first finisher medal and seeing their proud faces is priceless. We also train Shaolin Kung fu. It’s more fun as a family.
In my profession as a Psychotherapist, my first recommendations to clients suffering from illnesses that range from anxiety to depression, is to do something active. To get outside, to walk and move. I assure them that age or fitness level does not matter. You can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives.
Fitness plays a significant part of my life because it is not only becoming physically fit that is important to me, but building and strengthening life-long relationships.
How did you first get exposed to Crossfit?
My niece, Trisha Corpus, who worked out at another CrossFit gym encouraged me to sign up.
Five months after starting my training at CrossFit580, she asked me to join her as her partner to an upcoming CrossFit Throwdown. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to spend time with my niece and share a challenging experience that we can both look back on for years to come. So we signed up as a team and completed our first CrossFit-Rookie Throw-down and killed it! (well… I didn’t die ☺)
What have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit (before/after)?
I have never felt stronger and healthier since starting CrossFit. My endurance is at its all time high. I can carry my boys on my shoulders with ease. As a mother, this is very important. A long day at Disneyland with kids who are a little old for strollers, calls for “super-mom!” ☺
My CrossFit training have given me more confidence physically and mentally to tackle more strenuous adventures. I’ve ran half-marathons, completed Sprint, Super and Beast Spartan Races, and I look forward to finding out what else I can conquer!
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit moments:
Favorite moment #1: I’ve met many amazing and inspiring friends here. CrossFit580 is an awesome community filled with incredible athletes and supportive coaches.
Favorite moment #2: 6am is early, but the awesome people in the 6am class who are supportive of each other’s fitness goals motivate me. They make it challenging and fun!
Favorite moment #3: Every new PR achieved is always a favorite moment 😉
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit 580?
Traveling with my family, Polynesian dancing/Hula, Kung fu, photography, running races, hiking and spending time with family and friends.
Any advice for people just getting started?
Go in the box knowing that you, yourself, are your biggest and only competition. It always gets hard before it gets easier, and when that time comes, you challenge yourself even more.
Be patient with yourself. It will not only be muscle-defining but also a life-defining journey!