Lover of Back Squats,
Take a moment to get to know this month’s Featured Athlete- Alex Clouse!
What’s your athletic background?
I was always involved in some sort of sport/activity. I did gymnastics in elementary school until I broke my arm. I played basketball in middle school, volleyball 5th grade through Freshman year of high school, and soccer 1st grade through Senior year of high school.
What was your first experience with CF?
I had absolutely no idea what CrossFit workouts were like. My first time hearing about CrossFit was from my sister and she was telling me a story about how my cousin was doing the “guys weight” during a WOD (I didn’t know what difference that meant at the time) and that she had puked mid workout, but immediately continued on and finished the WOD. I was somehow in shock/scared at the thought of doing a workout that could make you throw up, but also intrigued to learn more about what CrossFit was. That cousin is a coach at another box so I agreed to try out a class after constantly being heckled about it by her, my sister, and my other cousin who all went to that box together. They would always make fun of me for going to my gym and having “leg day” or “back day”. Let’s just say, we all ended my first WOD laying on our backs, yet I decided to keep going back because I found it was just what I had been missing since high school sports ended.
When did you start CF?
Why did you choose CrossFit Memorial Hill?
I felt bad leaving my old box and even paid for both gyms at one point, so my excuse for why I switched was because of location since I had moved closer to Memorial Hill. I honestly just loved the coaching styles and programming more. Everything made more sense at this box rather than just random WODs written on the board each day and the same warm ups. (And the fact that my boyfriend Kiefer already went there and was continuously trying to steal me from my old box may have had some influence on my decision).
What keeps you coming back?
I’ve met some pretty amazing people from this gym. Also, how invested our coaches are in the members. I love that they explain why we do what we do for warm-ups, the WODs tie into an overall program that makes sense and helps us progress in our goals and performance, the specialty courses and progression programs available, the community and gym vibe, making new friends in all of the different class times, our awesome gym events where we can socialize with those we workout with outside of class… I could keep going on.
Why do you live in KC and how do you like to spend your free time?
Born and raised in KC and I can’t seem to leave because I love it so much, plus most of my family lives here. A lot of my free time I spend at the gym or out with friends at our favorite restaurants, patio drinking, or at the many sporting events and activities that are constantly available.
What do you like about KC?
I love the energy around KC sporting events and the tailgating that goes with it. I also love how close everything is whether you want to be downtown, in the crossroads, Westport, plaza, etc. they are all within 5-10min of each other and there are so many fun local shops and restaurants.
What are one or two improvements you have seen in your life since starting CF?
Right after joining CrossFit Memorial Hill, I learned that I can back squat a person! My overall confidence in movements that scared me at first like overhead squats and snatch has improved. I have slight scoliosis so I was nervous to have heavy weight overhead since I had some back problems growing up. I didn’t start CrossFit until I saw a chiropractor (Dr. Heather) who made me feel comfortable in trying out the WODs and confident to know she would be there for me if anything happened. I feel stronger in my core when I do the workouts or every day things and haven’t had back issues since starting CrossFit. Also just my technique improving along with weight increasing in movements. PR’s always make things more exciting! Plus the physical improvements have been an added bonus :).
What are your goals for 2017?
Focusing more on my nutrition and consistency. I used to tell people that my diet could best be described as “an unchaperoned child at a birthday party”. I would eat and drink what I wanted when I wanted. I’ve never been committed enough to my nutrition and be disciplined in my food choices. I can make an excuse for any reason to eat something unhealthy or to have a drink since there’s always something to celebrate :). The whole life challenge really made me prove to myself that I could stay committed to my nutrition for 8 weeks which was a huge deal to me. I loved having a team from the gym to support one another and go through those 8 weeks together. I continue to learn more about nutrition and it’s something I’ve noticed has a big impact on my improvements in lifts and my performance in the gym.
What would you say to someone thinking about starting CF?
Just try it. Don’t let what you see on TV with The CrossFit Games or what you hear about it intimidate you. There are scaling options and progressions for every movement and you have a coach at every class to help you. Plus you’ll make new friends and it’s nice not only working out with other people, but also surrounding yourself with like-minded people. It may not be for everyone, but it’s the best kind of workout I’ve found.
What’s your favorite & least favorite CF movement?
Favorite: back squat & butterfly pull-ups
Least Favorite: burpees & thrusters
What’s your favorite cheat meal?
I love food so choosing one cheat meal is difficult, but for awhile I’ve been obsessed with gyros!
Anything else you would like to share with The Hill family?
Thank you everyone who comes into the gym with a great attitude and is supportive of those working out around you. I have days where I start taking too long of breaks during WODs and hearing someone say “you’ve got this” or “keep going” is really helpful to get back on that bar or pick up the barbell. Love our community!