Student Spotlight: Alaina Abbott

Alaina back squatting 80 kg (176 lb)

Alaina back squatting 80 kg (176 lb)

Alaina Abbott is originally from Billings, Montana. Alaina was involved in sports throughout her life. She grew up playing softball, from T-ball through high school varsity. Every summer she competed in track at the Big Sky State Games, until she went to middle school. She even trained Tae Kwon Do with her Dad and brother until high school, finishing as a brown belt. Alaina’s first exposure to weight lifting happened in a high school conditioning class.

Alaina first heard about CrossFit from a friend who was training at another CrossFit affiliate. When Alaina met Chad (long time CrossFit Missoula member) he invited her to Guest Days. She had attended several Guest Days before finally taking the leap and giving it a go in April 2013.

Alaina doesn’t remember specifically what her first workout as a member was, but she does recall it having a lot of pull-ups and leaving her arms pretty sore for a few days. She refers to it as her “breaking in” experience.

Alaina’s favorite workout is heavy back squats, specifically our 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 rep scheme, or anything with box jumps and pistols.

Her least favorite workout is anything with muscle-ups because it means scaling with a lot of pull-ups and dips.

** However, since writing this article, Alaina achieved her first muscle-up! So she won’t have to scale muscle-ups in workouts for much longer, if ever!

Since day one, Alaina has been gaining mad strength. According to her, some of her shirts do not fit anymore, “. . . in a good way. My arms are too big!”, she laughs. “The improvement in my strength has made my daily activities easier, like carrying around a backpack full of college textbooks.”

Another benefit Alaina experienced is the realization that everyone excels in some areas and struggles in others. In the gym this shows up as one person being able to lift heavier weights, but might be a slower runner, whereas another might be fast on their feet, but still working on building their absolute strength. The WOD (workout of the day) scores reflect this clearly. Alaina started recognizing this in her life outside the gym, and realized that like in the gym, the competition in the world is most often against one’s self, and that the work is only to become better, every day.

One of Alaina’s favorite moments was when we placed our large, adjustable box jump in the middle of the gym for a couple of weeks. Every few days we would raise the height an inch or so. Along with testing individual abilities, we wanted to see who could jump the highest. Alaina set a personal record with thirty-nine inches!

Our workouts are crafted to be the hardest workouts you will ever do. As a result, many members will continue to feel soreness even after years of continuous training with us. This doesn’t bother Alaina, who trains three to five times a week. In fact, she says “I love having sore muscles every day. I can feel myself getting stronger!”

Alaina believes that anyone can achieve better health through CrossFit, regardless of current condition, and urges people to allow for the initial break in period of muscle soreness before deciding whether CrossFit is for them or not. “The soreness is the worst when you start, but once you’re broken in, it’s a ton of fun, even on the toughest days!”, she says.

Alaina is one of our hardest workers. She shows up and puts in a hundred percent, and her results stand testament to her efforts. But what makes the hardest workout of your life also fun? “It’s the community.” She says. “Whether I go to the morning or evening classes, I am always happy to work out with the people there!”