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Athlete finds many sports rolled into CrossFit

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Scott

Sam Whiting
Monday, July 27, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle

CrossFit sounds like something to get you in shape for competition in your sport. For Apollonia “Polly” Helm, 23, of Richmond, CrossFit is the competitive sport.

Why: I started about a year ago and it encompasses almost everything I have ever wanted to do in one sport. Any given workout of the day will incorporate one or more movements from diverse disciplines. It is competitive, challenging at any level and functional.

Greatest accomplishment: Being one of only five Northern California women to qualify for the 2009 CrossFit Games a few weeks ago near Santa Cruz. Athletes were scored or timed in a variety of events that included an uphill sprint carrying a 35-pound sandbag and a sledgehammer stake drive after a 500-meter row.

Gear you can’t live without: Groove Pants by Lululemon Athletica. Durable, comfortable and the most flattering piece of clothing I have ever owned.

Where you train: I train with CrossFit East Bay (the motto is, “It hasn’t killed me yet”).

Time you get up in the morning: Constantly varied, just like the workouts. Usually around 6 a.m.

Best time to train: The time I like best to train is in the morning, but the evening classes are awesome because I get to spend more time with the people, instead of rushing off to work.

Most annoying thing people assume about athletes in your sport: That the methods and exercises tend to be dangerous or too intense. By educating yourself, doing it with good form and knowing your own risk factors, you can minimize the dangers inherent in any activity.

Advice you’d give a rookie: In the beginning, it is easy to go too hard too fast. If you take it a little slower, gain strength and learn the correct form, you will improve faster and be less likely to lose time and cause an injury that could hold you back.

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