Athlete of the Month - Chrissy Donahue Thompson

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You’ve recently gotten married (congratulations!) and honeymooned in Hawaii. Tell us some of your favorite things you did while you were there. Did you do any CrossFit? What did you do to stay active?

We went to Kauai for our honeymoon. It was beautiful. We hiked the Waimea Canyon Trail and rafted up the Nepali coastline, stopping to snorkel. We also ate delicious food, mainly seafood, throughout the week. Eating is one of my favorite things to do and probably what I was looking forward to the most (hee-hee). I didn't CrossFit the whole time we were in Kauai.. But my husband and I did wake up early several mornings to do yoga along the beach. It was stunning and I was surprised to see how flexible my husband is.

Recently you’ve undertake a pretty serious nutrition change. How has this nutrition program improved your performance in the gym? How are you staying accountable for what you’ve been eating?

I started working with a nutrition coach in June. I needed to make a change and decided this was going to be my wedding present to myself. Everyone told me while I was wedding planning to make sure I have a final dress fitting close to my wedding date, as every bride loses weight the week of their wedding... Not me! I feed my feelings and console myself with food when I am stressed. So soon after returning from my honeymoon I knew I had to make some nutritional changes. My coach maps out macros for me to follow and I log all of my food through My Fitness Pal and my coach monitors what I am eating. My weight has not changed too much but I have dropped inches in my measurements and I have noticed a big difference at the gym. I have PRed in my jerk and just today I had a 10lb PR in my Squat Snatch (105!!) so I am super excited about both and I look forward to seeing what is to come. Rob always says that if you want to see a difference in the gym it starts in the kitchen!

You have been with DelVal for 7+ years, what has been your favorite part about seeing this gym grow, develop and change?

When I first started in the old gym, the 9:30am class was brand new. There were some days when it would be just Rob and I and I would get one on one training! I am so proud to see the 930 class to develop into the infamous Dirty 930. I like to think of us as the backbone to the gym. Ha Ha! But seriously, the gym has grown so much. We literally moved to a bigger, better space. All of the events we put on throughout the year...Girls on Girls, All Y’all, Wod for Beer, Girls Night, Hustle etc and not to mention Barbell Club and Amplify! are what make our gym great. I am truly excited to see what is to come but I am crossing my fingers it will be a shower...Please Rob!

Your day job is very demanding. What are some ways you make sure you make it to the gym or make sure you get a weekly workout?

I have been a pediatric ER nurse at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for almost 12 years. My job can take a toll on me both physically and mentally. The gym is an outlet for me. It's my therapy. I work three 12 hour days, so I usually cannot make it to the gym the days I am working. I make sure to get there almost every day I am not. And if for some reason I can't make it, I will do a short WOD at home. My husband just started doing CF at Brandywine CrossFit (only because Del Val is a bit too far for him and he would find any excuse not to go to the gym) so now I subject him to torture WODs at our house. We have a wall ball and some dumbbells. I am trying to convince him to build a pull up bar out back of our house. We are currently in a race to see who can get a bar muscle up first! Can someone help me?!? I have to beat him!

If you could eat one dessert everyday for the rest of your life (without the calories
counting) what would it be?

Anything with chocolate and/or peanut butter! YUM!

What would you say is one thing that people in the gym don’t know about you?

I am basically deaf in my left ear. So if you are trying to get my attention or cheering for me and I don’t respond...cheer louder! Ha Ha Jk!

Your twin sister has been known to drop into our gym.  Who got started with CrossFit
first? Are you two competitive with one another?

You will find my identical twin sister, Brianne, dropping in usually around the holidays. My sister started doing CF first, out in San Francisco. My sister and two close friends of mine (Monica and Nate who were members at Del Val) would talk about CF all of the time. To me, it sounded like a cult with people who worked out too much and didn’t eat french fries. I was not interested. While visiting my sister in SF she convinced me to take a CF class with her. I still remember what we did in that first class. We did power cleans (my favorite lift) and a couplet of double unders and box jumps. Because I was new, I only had to do singles and use a 12 inch box.. After class I thought to myself 'this CrossFit stuff is easy, I can do this'. I signed up at Del Val for the Elements classes and I was quickly humbled after nearly throwing up after doing a WOD with burpee broad jumps. But I was hooked and soon came back for more. My sister and I can definitely be competitive but when it comes to CF I think we are mainly each other’s cheerleaders. And I only say this because she beats me every time, in every WOD and every lift. I think I have beat her once but she may have been 7 months pregnant. Still counts, right?

What are some tips you would pass onto beginner members who just recently joined

Show up! I think the hardest part about trying something new is showing up. So show up and everything else will fall into place. Find motivation in the small achievements, not just the big ones, such as not feeling nauseous after the WOD, you introduced yourself to people in your class, you liked your gym outfit that day, you knew where to find the specific equipment you needed, etc and the big PRs and RX workouts will soon follow!

What is your favorite part about the 9:30 ladies crew?

Well first, I am going to have to correct you.. The Dirty 930 is not just “ladies.” I think the many men that join us day after day will be sad to be left out of this spicy bunch! Where do I start with this crew.? They're awesome! Over the past almost 8 years I have laughed with them, cried, sulked, been angry, elated and celebrated with them. I have moved 3x since starting at CrossFit Del Val, each time, further and further away from the gym but I will never give up my Dirty 930 crew. They have been my emotional support and therapeutic sounding board. They have been there to cheer me on when I am the last one to finish or throw me a kick ass shower right before I am about to get married. I will be forever grateful for the love they have shown me throughout the years and that is why I keep coming back for more!