Our May Athlete of the Month is Rachael Bainbridge. Rachael's progress and trajectory is what keeps us all coming back for more CrossFit. Each day she walks out of the gym having achieved her goal of being stronger and/or more skilled. She's nothing short of inspiring to us as coaches. 

What initially got you into CrossFit and what keeps you coming back?

I started at CFHE last September after a small group boot camp class I had been going to ended. I was looking for a local class based workout that would continue to build my strength and endurance. Wow, did I find it! I keep coming back because I love the challenge and variety of the workouts and seeing the results of my hard work. I also love the non-corporate gym atmosphere and continually mastering new skills thanks to the encouragement of the coaches.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do outside of the gym?

I’m the English one! We moved here 4 years ago for my husband’s job and are going to be calling the US home for now so I am busy house hunting. Outside of the gym I can be found watching my son play soccer and baseball, hanging out with other local Brits, online shopping like a crazy woman and generally keeping our family organized! I think it’s also important to share that I have type 1 diabetes and this does NOT stop me from doing CrossFit, in fact exercise combined with using an insulin pump and wearing a continuous glucose monitor enables me to maintain pretty steady blood sugar numbers. I do get it wrong sometimes though and can be seen stuffing myself with glucose tablets and secretly hoping there is a medical professional in class!

What’s an accomplishment or goal you’ve reached due to CrossFit that’s made you the most proud?

I’m most proud of the confidence I’ve gained with all the lifting moves. I had never picked up a barbell until I started CFHE and was a nervous and cautious beginner. I have since discovered I love deadlifts and that getting stronger as a woman doesn’t mean I’m suddenly going to look like a bodybuilding freak! It does mean I can easily lift the packs of waters in Costco now. I also never thought I would be excited to order a pair of lifting shoes….who am I??? 

If there was one CrossFit movement you’d like to perfect, what would it be?

That would be my OH squat! I struggle with anything that involves squatting but I literally cannot do a single OH squat properly even just holding a pvc pipe. One day….

Any advice for someone interested in trying out CrossFit?

Just try it! The most nerve-racking part is walking through the door the first time but once you’re there you are in safe hands. The workouts are fully scalable for any age and ability. Follow CrossFit on social media and you can see so many inspiring examples of this within the community. As long as you are open to learning and receiving feedback then you’ll be fine!