Congratulations to our August Athlete of the Month, Erin Conn!
Its well known that at Hierarchy we pride ourselves on the connections we have as a community. Athlete to athlete, coach to athlete, or just person to person the relationships we forge here are amazing. We love that as coaches, but it also makes it hard to choose an Athlete of the Month.
However when we sat down to discuss the candidates this month, there was one athlete to whom the response was a collective "Wait, she must have been Athlete of the Month before right?", which I think is a strong indication someone has been doing something special for quite awhile. Once it was confirmed she hadn't been it was a unanimous decision, and thats why is it my pleasure to announce that Erin Conn has been named Athlete of the Month for August 2018!
Everyone knows Erin, and not just because she's been a member since February 2016. Everyone knows Erin because she has an infectious positive attitude, and kind and caring demeanor, and an undying love of Beyonce. Shes a regular in the morning, though will still visit her 7 and 8pm crews every once in awhile. Luvean Myers described her well saying "Erin is one of those people who leads by example for her friends and others in the gym. She is funny, engaging, caring, and isn't afraid to push herself or others to achieve more." Shes an essential assent to the Hierarchy community.
A former college athlete, Erin came to us looking for a new challenge and hasn't looked back for two years. You want perserverance in your athletes and Erin has it in spades. A major ankle surgery not long after joining couldve derailed her, but instead Erin continued to come and do anything she could to keep going. She couldn't lift heavy, so she worked on her form. She couldn't move well, so she worked on her mobility and flexibility. This type of hard work isn't flashy or sexy, but it's essential to getting better.
Erin is now reaping the rewards of that hard work as she hits PR after PR, particularly in Barbell club. Her Clean and Snatch look better than they ever have before. She also continues to get fitter as she works on things shes not as fond of such as running and burpees. Workouts that would've stymied her a year ago she now grinds through. It's been an honor and a pleasure seeing her thrive as she has and we can't wait to see what she does next. Read on below for our interview with her!
When did you start CrossFit?
I started for real in February of 2016.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.).
I grew up on Long Island, played lacrosse in college, and moved to DC right after graduation in June of 2014. I’m working on a PhD in cell biology at Georgetown. My thesis is mostly on chemotherapy resistance mechanisms in Ewing sarcoma, and, as long as things go as planned, I’ll finish up in March/April. Now everyone please go knock on wood.
What were you doing before CrossFit?
The stupid elliptical. I capped off my senior season with a nice little hip surgery and had to move here just three weeks after. Once I was cleared, I was so afraid to do ANYTHING other than that by myself.
How did you find CrossFit?
My best friend Kate started CrossFit after high school and would always invite me to go with her whenever I was home, but I couldn’t “risk an injury” (lol) while I was playing lacrosse and never went. After a year and a half of grad school, I was so lost. I was sad I wasn’t playing anymore and I was also realizing I didn’t want to stay in research, so I was desperately in need of a community where I felt I belonged. Kate is a heaven-sent angel and finally convinced me to go to one class while I was home for the holidays and that was all it took to get me hooked. As soon as I finished my qualifying exams I joined Hierarchy.
What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout?
That was terrible and I loved it
I should’ve come here with Kate sooner
I think there’s a CrossFit under Harris Teeter, I should start going there
What were your goals when joining CrossFit?
Just show up for myself and get moving again.
Have you achieved any of those goals?
I’m still here, still moving!
Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?
Yes, in almost every way imaginable.
What does CrossFit Hierarchy mean to you?
I can’t fully articulate what it means and do this question justice. This is going to sound dramatic, but it’s 100% true: I would’ve dropped out of grad school by now if I never found Hierarchy. Coming to the gym is the best part of my day, I’ve found the most wonderful friends here, it’s my happy place, and it means a lot.
Do you have any other special memories/achievements during your time here?
I had ankle surgery in March of 2017 and the whole process of coming back from that was something really special thanks to the entirety of Hierarchy. I’m still so grateful to everyone who took time to check in on me or help me carry groceries, and especially to the coaches for modifying all the workouts as I was recovering so I could keep moving. My goal for myself was to clean 200+ within a year and I did it at 11 months, so that was a very good day.
What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Hierarchy?
Just keep getting yourself through the door and be kind to yourself. Your workouts are for you. It doesn’t matter how much you scale or when you finish, if you’re showing up and giving it your 100% for that day, then you’re doing phenomenally and I’m proud of you.
Favorite WOD (Girl, Hero, or just a type of workout)?
I LOVE BARBELL CLUB. Does that count?
Least Favorite WOD?
If there are burpees, I’m probably not a fan.
All of them.
Least favorite lift?
Lifting my body off the floor during burpees.
Something you might not know about me is…
My parents had me studying ballet under a former NYCB soloist until I was 13 and I played every children’s role in The Nutcracker.