Well, i'd be willing to bet almost everyone knows Valerie, and if they don't, they at least know her husband (He is the one yelling 'Cheese Dip').
Valerie has been crushing it at the gym for a few years now and, while always improving, she has lately been taking extra time after class, at barbell seminars, and on open gym times to improve her movements. Outside of the gym, I can vouch for the fact that she is usually the girl at the bar around a bunch of drunk dudes, drinking La Croix Seltzer Water — and for that we commend you!
When you see Valerie at the gym, be sure to congratulate her on being this month's Member Spotlight. Now enjoy her very entertaining interview.
You and the ole hubby, Dustin, have been doing CrossFit for quite a few years now. What initially got you through the doors?
Well to be honest, I really didn’t have a choice. Dustin had been doing CrossFit for about a year before I moved to Charleston so he was set that I was going to at least try CrossFit. However, I didn’t put up an argument. I used to love lifting, it was actually a class at my high school, and I was used to working out although it was more running and P90X/T25.
How would you say that your outlook on fitness, nutrition, daily exercise has changed since you met Kyle Frazier and he made you a better person?
I’ve always known fitness and nutrition were important – I even took a nutrition class in college, which I aced by the way. But joining the gym and meeting Kyle has definitely driven the importance home and has helped me to make some important lifestyle changes. My workouts have probably increased from 2-3 times a week to about 5-6, I started recording each workout in my weekly calendar and it made me realize that I really wasn’t working out as much as I thought I was. I have also changed my eating habits quite a bit, which Dustin isn’t always too happy about! I try to meal prep every weekend because I know if I don’t, slip ups are so much more likely to happen especially after working all day.
In all seriousness though, you work really hard in the gym during classes, always at open gym, barbell class, and putting in the time after class to run, stretch, etc. What keeps you motivated to keep working out each day?
Living in the shadows of an Olympically trained athlete has really been my biggest form of motivation. When you live with such an exceptional athlete, it puts a lot of pressure on someone to become better. But seriously, it took me a while to really get motivated, like two years. But one day I finally got pissed off at myself for not being able to do freakin’ double-unders (2 hours prior I was pissed off at Kyle, Brian & Dustin for not being able to do double-unders). Dustin ended up buying me my own jump rope and I just started to slowly work on them day-by-day. I’ve yet to string them together but it’s getting better. Each day I just find something that is a weakness and I just find myself wanting to get better at that movement. I have about 20 different things I need to work on…
If you were to put one suggestion in that suggestion jar, what would it be?
Only one? Haha. I would suggest more Girl/Hero WODS!!
What do you like most about your workout crew?
There are so many great personalities and everyone is so encouraging! I love that we can all work out together and then go grab a few drinks together later ☺
What do you like most about CFJI?
Outside from the sweet coaching staff and amazing athletes, I love getting to work out with my husband. I used to judge couples in college when they’d go out for a run or workout together (imagine that, me judging someone). I’m not sure if I’d like it as much though if he wasn’t so much stronger than me.
What are 1-2 of your goals for 2017?
To finally get a strict pull-up and to clean 130#.
Cleans for sure.
Least favorite Lift?
Press because it is one of my weakest lifts.
Least Favorite Gymnastic Movement?
Toe to bar for sure – that movement almost caused me to have a mental breakdown during the 2017 Open. Luckily, Jenna was standing right next to me so I couldn’t let myself cry. But really, I dislike any movement that makes me hang from the pull-up bar.
Favorite “Girl” WOD? / Hero WOD?
Probably Lumberjack 20 – I like Chipper type workouts.
Good ole Hebron, Ohio.
Favorite Charleston Restaurant?
Bowen’s Island Restaurant. Dustin and I went for the very first time back in 2008 after one of the fires so the only dining area open was the boat dock and they were playing live music. I fell in love with the restaurant and oysters that night. It also happens to be the place where we had our wedding reception.
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
I’m not sure exactly sure what you do, but it seems like fun. You’re always taking pictures and riding bikes around town!
What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
To R-E-L-A-X...even at age 13, I already was developing a Type A personality. I used to always get anxiety the first week of school because I wasn’t sure how I was going to have enough time to get off the school bus, drop my Oboe off at the band room, go to my locker, and not be late for class.
What is the best book you have ever read?
The Heart and the Fist
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
General Tecumseh Sherman – I love learning about the Civil War so I’m sure he’d have some pretty great stories to tell.
One thing about me people would be surprised to know?
I killed a 10-point buck with a crossbow when I was 20.
If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., what would it be and why?
West Virginia – for being such a small state it takes a lot of freakin time to drive through. The drive to Ohio would be so much shorter.
If the CFJI coaches came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare?
Pizza – but with cauliflower crust (Thanks Jay), a beet sauce, topped with chicken, arugula, and onions.
What movie would be greatly improved if it was made into a musical?
With the exception of about 2 musicals, I hate musicals so I would NEVER turn a movie into a musical.
If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?
I imagine bears to be pretty rude, especially if you would catch one right after hibernation.
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
The code developed by the Navajo Code Talkers was the only code that couldn’t be cracked by the Axis Power during WWII.