Monthly Member Spotlight

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Anna & Paul - September 2018


1. Where did you meet?

Anna: It was the week after I took the bar exam. I had moved back home to Tennessee after 3 years of law school in Florida. I liked Florida a lot, but I decided that being so far away from my family wasn’t for me. I guess God had other plans! My mom and I came to New Jersey to visit family friends. My family friend was dating Paul’s brother at the time. The day that I arrived in NJ, I went out with our friends for coffee and Paul was also there. Paul managed to find a way to see me every day of my visit-- from taking me to Hoboken to see the NYC skyline and Astoria for pastries and Greek coffee, we were together every day that week. After I went back to Tennessee, it was only a matter of time before he came to visit me and we started dating. The rest is pretty much history!

2. How long have you been together?

We have been together for 8 years.

3. Was fitness a part of your lives before you met?

Anna: I played on the tennis team in high school and worked out a lot in college. However, when I got to law school, I struggled with consistency. I loved working out, but I had difficulty sticking with any program due to a busy lifestyle.

Paul: I was always pretty athletic and played high school football. I continued to work out in a traditional gym after high school, but my workouts lacked structure. I also had difficulty staying consistent.

4. Did you start working out together or separately?

Paul: When Anna moved to NJ in 2012, she signed up at my gym and we worked out together on occasion, but neither of us was consistent. It was too easy to find excuses with our busy work schedules and other activities, and we did not work out as much as we would have liked.

5. Why did you choose CrossFit?

Paul: We initially tried out CF in 2015 after Anna found a Groupon for a local gym. Naturally, she could not pass up a good deal! We had heard a lot about CF, but we didn’t anticipate how much we would enjoy it. We loved the community and loved being able to work out together and push one another.

6. What has your fitness journey been like individually and as a couple?

Anna: Throughout the years, we both wanted to be the healthiest and fittest we could be, but somehow, we had a hard time making fitness our priority. When Frank was advertising regarding the opening of STRC in the winter of 2016, I was really interested in signing up. However, after Paul and I discussed it, we were worried about the financial commitment (given our lack of consistency in the past) and did not initially sign up. In the spring of 2017, we were both looking for the motivation to get back into a workout routine and healthy eating program. This is when we saw an advertisement about the 6 week challenge. The timing was perfect. We went to an orientation session and knew right away we wanted to sign up. The challenge was an amazing experience. We loved the workouts and meal plan, and we both had success with the program. After the challenge, there was no question regarding whether we would join this wonderful fitness community.

7. How has having a child changed your lives, specifically, how has it affected your workout routines etc and how do you manage that?

To be determined! Baby Papamarkos is due in the end of October.

8. Why is CrossFit important to you?

Anna: I love CF because it makes me feel like I am doing something that is really good for my body (and now my baby). There are a lot of mornings that I do not feel like getting out of bed to go to the box. When I don’t make it, I always regret it and feel like my day overall is not as productive. However, I can honestly say that there has not been one day where I got out of bed to make it to a workout and I have regretted it. I always feel great after each workout, even now as the baby is growing and I’ve had to take it easier during workouts. We both want to continue to live healthy lifestyles and to instill in our little one the importance of health and fitness, as well as the importance of hard work.

Paul: I believe that as we get older, it becomes even more important to be healthy. CrossFit is a fun way to continue to be active, while getting to spend time together and supporting each other in reaching our goals. Especially with a baby on the way, we want to make sure that we live long and healthy lives and we are able to be active throughout our child’s life!


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