Athlete of the Month - Erin Tobin

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Tell us a little about yourself!

I live in Havertown with my husband, Rob, and two dogs, Chase and Ollie. Our dogs are pretty much our children, for now. I teach second grade at Radnor Elementary School and I consider myself really lucky because I love my job. I am really close with my parents, brother and sister, and besides Rob, they’re my favorite people to spend time with. Except for my brother who lives in New York, my WHOLE family lives in Delco (aunts, uncles, cousins, and all)!

How long ago did you join Del Val and how did you find out about us?

My one-year anniversary is coming up this month! My cousin Kelly joined about two years before me, and she said it was okay. Then, my future cuz Emily joined and she said it wasn’t bad. They kept talking about it nonnnnstopppp and I was like what are they talking about? Who is AMRAP? So, a few months later I figured I would see what it was all about. I was a little hesitant to make the commitment because I always jump on the fit wagon, but then ALWAYS fall off. I’ve never been in a fitness routine for more than a few months, so joining a place that I was told I would love and want to come to each day (that’s what they really said ;)) was what really intrigued me.

Do you remember your first class or first workout?

Oh, yes. It was Angie. I remember looking around and thinking that these people are definitely on something. Nobody can actually do 100 pull-ups, pushups, sit-ups, and squats in one workout. I scaled everything and Julie stuck with me the whole time. I also remember thinking that I will never be able to do all of this stuff and it seemed so out of reach, but this past summer I RX’ed Angie. Everyone there was so welcoming and encouraging. I’ve never been at a gym or really any place at all where everyone is introducing themselves and happy to have you there.

What made you want to continue coming back after that?

Well, I really liked it, so I told Rob I would get the 10-class package that he was offering at the time. The next day, I went to the Y with my Rob, and right away I was like wow, this really sucks. I emailed Rob right away and asked if it was too late to change my 10-day package to a full membership. There was something about the workout, people, music, place, etc. that had me dying to get back there. 

We love how quickly you embraced our culture and community. Since joining you've competed in numerous competitions. Can you tell us what made you want to start competing and what you experience during? Any memories that stand out? Do you have any other competitions coming up?

I started competing because it simply looked fun. Girls on Girls at KOP with Katie Deaner was my first, and we both weren’t too worried about winning, let alone coming close. We both agreed to have fun and maybe hit a PR if we were lucky. We were successful and accomplishing both of those, and after that I knew I would do any other competition that came my way! As far as memories, when I recently did Girls on Girls with Erin (my CrossFit bff, please don’t marry Alex!) at DelVal we were both super proud of ourselves and that was a great feeling. The first workout was brutal and I had it in my head that I was not finishing it, but I did with time to spare, and Erin cleaned and jerked 115# close to 20 times, so cheering each other on that day was really the best part. I don’t have any competitions coming up as of now, but I am definitely looking forward to doing more in the future! 

After only a few months of doing CrossFit, you achieved a bar muscle up! One of the most advanced gymnastic movements. But we know it didn't come to you over night. We watched as you came in early before classes and on the weekends to relentlessly work on progressions. Can you talk about this process and share with us your game plan for achieving this movement?

Jacki once told me that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard and that always stuck with me, especially when I was starting to think bar muscle ups just aren’t for me. I started working on the bmu consistently in May, and mid summer I was ready to give it a break. A few of the coaches told me that it wasn’t time to give up, but to go back to basics. For a few weeks I just worked on getting my hips to the bar and did not attempt one time. Then for a few weeks I started to use a band or a box to work on my hands and the aggressive head butt. After that I was able to put it all together, and after 2 attempts one September morning, I got it! I really believe that if I kept attempting I still would not have one, breaking it down so much is what really worked for me. Also, in the meantime, I was lucky enough to be on summer vacation so that I could go back to the gym in the afternoon and just work on my base strength. I think that was really helpful as well. I have to credit every single cfdv coach for this (Jacki, Travis, Chris, Kyle, Julie, Rob, Justin). Everyone took the time to give me tips and encourage me to keep trying.

Tell us about another important recent accomplishment!

Well I recently hit a one rep back squat at 175. In February, my one rep back squat was 125 and I thought that was great. Any number near 200 was just insane to me, so the fact that I was able to come close to it was pretty awesome! I also RX’ed a workout recently with a 95# clean and jerk, and that was a big deal for me. I really struggle with any sto, so being able to complete this felt pretty good! 

What are some short term and long term CrossFit goals you have?

Long term I would really like to develop more upper body strength so that sto doesn’t make me feel like I’m dying. I kind of get a bad feeling in my stomach when it’s in a wod because I know I am going to struggle. I am also working towards doing more workouts rx. When I don’t complete a workout rx it is usually because of weight, so working towards those weights has been a goal of time. Short term I would like to get a butterfly pull-up. I am doing the pull-up challenge now and working on it, so hopefully that comes soon!

After a few months you convinced your husband Rob and your brother to try Crossfit with you! Can you tell us what it's like to share this with your family? 

Rob was about ready to break up with me because I was teasing him about his gym routine (which was very consistent and he was really dedicated to it) and talking about Crossfit a little too often. He literally told me he was going to try it so that I would “shut up”. Well, his plan didn’t work so well, because now we are both obsessed. My brother would totally be a member if he lived around here, but he knows when he’s home where he can get his butt kicked! I am super lucky that not only do I get to workout with Rob, but that I also have 3 cousins there. There is nothing better than waking up at the crack of dawn to get your ass handed to you with your fam members. Love yas!

Tell us something we don’t know about you!

I am obsessed with 20/20, Dateline, 48 hours, or any other twisted mystery type show.

Fill in the blanks:

Aside from Crossfit, my other passion is… Teaching. As I mentioned above, I really love my job. I have a knack for helping those kids that are “different” and finding what’s going to work for them. 

If I could be transported to anywhere in the world right now, it would be
Sea Isle’s beach (I’m not fancy).

The best concert I’ve ever been to was Backstreet Boys when I was 10 because I don’t really go to concerts. 

If I was stranded on a desert island with only one person, one type of food, one drink and one song to listen to it would be…Rob, mac and cheese, La Croix coconut, and Africa (Toto), or anything by Wale!

My favorite movie:  Stepbrothers!

My ideal weekend includes Crossfit, coffee, donuts, dogs, and Netflix. 

Any extra comments:

This place is life changing! I am so lucky cfdv found me. It’s brought me a lot of happiness and friends. I can’t thank the coaches enough all of their encouragement, but also the members. If it weren’t for some of you, a lot of workouts would have been cut short! This is really an honor and I cant express in words how grateful I am.