Our October Member Spotlight is NAJAH! When we think about Najah, a few things pop into our minds immediately. She is a super hard worker and she is driven to become stronger, more flexible and as healthy as she can possibly be. She is also ultra humble….almost TOO humble. She sometimes doesn’t give herself enough credit for how far she’s come. As she mentions below, her plank hold was around 5 seconds when she first started with us. Now (in addition to a plank hold of over a minute these days) she is snatching, doing clean and jerks, and everything else we do here at CrossFit 203. She continues to work relentlessly on her technique and knows how important it is not just for safety, but for her performance. We could all take a cue from Najah….she has done such a tremendous job of stretching after class, sometimes sticking around for an extra 30 minutes to stretch her hamstrings and hips and roll out her back. Najah quietly does her work and asks questions to make sure she is doing everything correctly, and is overall a pleasure to have in class. For all these reasons, we wanted to spotlight Najah this month for how far she has come and how hard she continues to work. Keep it up Najah!!!!!
Name: Najah Almonte
Where are you originally from? Chekka, Lebanon, born and raised.
What high school and/or college did you attend? Bishmizzine/Koura high school in Lebanon and finished junior and senior year at Danbury High School (transition was tough). Then went to Western Connecticut State University (life got better).
Favorite sports teams: Don’t follow sports, but if I watch a game, I go along with the crowd.
What do you do for work? I am a medical nurse.
When and why did you start CrossFit? I started Cross Fit in November 2015, Kasia Ross convinced me to go. I told her I love to lift weights and after a couple months of encouragement and convincing, I finally visited a class, it was very intimidating and I was barely able to perform any of the workouts but Melissa who was the coach that day made me feel very comfortable and not silly, she guided me through every stretch and movement, I felt really bad because I wasn’t even a member yet. But she took the time to help me; it felt, as if it was a one on one session, I’ve been hooked ever since.
Favorite and Least Favorite Lift: Favorite lift is whatever I can do that day without messing up. Least favorite lift anything clean from the floor, somehow knees, hips, back and shoulders don’t communicate with each other, it’s a lot of physical and mental communication that I have not mastered yet.
What was your first workout, and what did you think after finishing? I don’t remember my first workout exactly, but I do remember we did handstand push-ups that day. I couldn’t even lift my legs up the wall at all. My hands and arms felt like jelly and I thought to myself “you’re going to make a fool out of yourself, don’t even try.” So Melissa told me to do a plank, which lasted about 5 seconds, to give you an idea of how out of shape and weak I was when I first started CrossFit.
Greatest CrossFit Achievement so far: I lost 10 lbs. since I joined CrossFit. I still can’t do HSPUs but I can move my legs up the wall a little and I can hold a plank position for about 1 minute. The weights that I started with a year ago, I have doubled almost by now.
CrossFit Goal for 2017: My fitness goal is to continue getting stronger, and work on my stamina. Thanks to CrossFit I started eating healthier, but I’m addicted to junk food. I would like to lose another 10 lbs. I believe that between working out and eating healthier I should achieve my goal.
One interesting thing about yourself not related to CrossFit: I like to travel, it’s not always easy because life gets in the way but if I can, I try to visit a new a new place every year.
Complete the sentence, “CrossFit should……” CrossFit should be part of everybody’s life because It helps individuals be strong; mentally and physically. I was diagnosed with thyroid and Lymes disease in February and that has caused a lot of weakness and pain especially in my knees, setting a lot of limitations up for me. I continue to battle against these two illnesses till this day but CrossFit has helped me through it. I believe if you put your mind to it, you can do it. At CrossFit I have met many amazing people that care and help you through anything. They’re not lying when they say CrossFit will become your second family.
If I’m not at the box, you can probably find me: Working, spending time with friends and family or binge watching my favorite shows at home.
Other comments? Thank you to everyone at the box and especially the coaches, without you I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am grateful for Kasia for pushing me to try it. God puts people in your life for a reason, and I feel CrossFit has saved me from a lot of bad things.
Crissy finishing a dumbbell snatch
Mike Leo getting heavy with those pause squats
Great to see Jami back in action!!!!
Tony settling into this pause squat
Mel with a snatch while Stephanie works through a set of sit-ups
The 6 am crew starting a set of strict pull-ups
Ihab getting ready for a lift
Andy ready to lift heavy