Read about how Abbey and Carl have gone from highschool soulmates to gym swolemates as well as how they balance their love for CrossFit with their two daughters, demanding careers and travel!
Q: (Abbey): Who started CrossFit first? How did you guys get involved into CrossFit? Do you or Carl have any athletic background?
A: Carl started CrossFit (CF) first in 2016. We were in Florida for the holidays and Carl was in a rut feeling like he needed to get back into shape. He needed a vigorous workout to kick his butt. His brother had just started CF and wouldn’t stop talking about it. Carl decided to give it a shot and fell in love with CFDV. For the next year until I joined all he would talk about is CF and how awesome it was. I was frankly sick of hearing about it. I was hesitant to go alone but he promised that everyone was so nice and welcoming. He was right! It was an instant fit for me. I have never really been involved in group workout classes and I was certainly intimidated and overwhelmed. I then met some amazing people and things started to fall into place. I love the grueling WODS and pushing myself to the limit.I love the competition aspect of it too, and yes the whiteboard, which just pushes me even more. Now, CFDV is like our second home! As for an athletic background, we both played sports in high school but not competitively in college. We have always been very active and definitely incorporated cardio pieces (ie running, elliptical, etc) and lifting elements into our lifestyle.
Q: (Carl): We all know Abbey is competitive in CrossFit, is she just as competitive in everything else you guys do? Does this make you want to partner with her during WOD’s?
A: Yes; Abbey is competitive at everything she does and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I think her competitive spirit is infectious and pushes her to succeed in her career as well as drives our daughters to always apply themselves fully in school, sports and life. Personally, I think her passion and drive is incredibly motivating. I love to partner with her. Whether casually at a Sunday Boot Camp or at a couples competition, there is not better partner for me than Abbey. I feel that she always makes me try harder and I have often PR’d workouts when we team up together. I mean, seriously, you have seen her...would you want to let her down in a competition?
Q: (Abbey): How important is nutrition to you in regards to your performance in the gym? How do you balance your nutrition with a demanding career?
A: Nutrition is extremely important to me both in and out of the gym. I truly believe that what you put into your body is what you get out of it. I certainly feel much better in the gym when I eat clean. The reverse is also true – when I indulge I can definitely feel the negative effects. That said, it is a balance. You have to live life and enjoy, otherwise it’s not worth it. I have learned, I think -much with the help of the amazing Jacki Bunting Ford- how to do both. I will say that Amplify! has changed my life. Sounds cheesy I know but it is true. I food prep on Sundays and pack my lunch and snacks. I always have food with me wherever I go. If I have to travel for work, or I have meetings or court, then I bring snacks with me. I eat five times a day (roughly every two hours). I log what I eat. I am pretty consistent. But, I am only human, so when I do indulge, I try my best to get right back on track. I know, I’m a big geek when it comes to this stuff but, what can I say, I’m a rule follower and a bit of a perfectionist. Also, I am not doing this alone. I am so fortunate to have Carl who provides me with the accountability that I need. We food prep together and pretty much eat the same things. He can indulge in moderation much better than me so I am a bit more strict with it. That said, it is certainly much easier, in every aspect, with Carl by my side.
Q: (Carl): Do you and Abbey keep one another accountable for coming to the gym? Do you two WOD together on days you can’t make it to DelVal (i.e traveling, up the mountains, ect)
A: We love to push each other to work harder and strategize how to attack WODs. As I usually go in the morning I try to bring back tips for Abbey to work into her PM workout. Often we will discuss how to make our individual work schedules and kids activities so that we can both make it to class. We love how we are able to use CF as our together time. We always look for ways to work on skills together and stay active when we are away from CFDV as well. We actually converted our garage at our lake house into a CrossFit style gym, appropriately named CrossFit Hakuna Matata. We love to design partner WODs or practice Oly lifts together. Often our daughters and friends will join in for a Boot Camp style workout. Yes, our neighbors often slow their walk and get off their bikes to look strangely at us as we are running with weight vests or have a group of kids and adults workout in our driveway. CrossFit, for us, is a stress reliever, a healthy activity, and a great social outlet.
Q: (Abbey): You have two little daughters, how important is it for you to show the importance of exercise to them? Do they ever workout with you (CrossFit or not)? What do they think of the sport?
A: Our girls are the reason why we do what we do. We want to be healthy for them and there for them every step of the way. We want to instill in them the importance of a healthy lifestyle – both with exercising and eating clean. Little girls are very impressionable and a healthy body image is so important. I, especially, as a woman, want to show them that being strong, physically, mentally, emotionally, is beautiful. I think that they get it – they constantly ask me to flex and feel my muscles. They have been annoyed at times with our constant logging and measuring our food; however, we have now learned to eyeball the measurements and log at other times. They are eating, for the most part, what we eat for dinner and they have tried, and very much like, a lot of Amplify! recipes. In fact, our older daughter, Maddie, decided, on her own, to give up all sugar for 6 weeks for her science project. She did amazing with it and has even discussed doing it again because she liked how she felt. Our girls come to CF a lot with us and have even done a few boot camp classes, which they love. When we are in the Poconos, we all do WODs together. They seem to really enjoy it. For us, it is amazing to have them there to cheer us on at competitions, or even in class. I certainly push harder when I know that they are watching. I never want them to see me give less than 100%. And, when we are watching Maddie play in a soccer game, or Blake compete in gymnastics, we know that they are giving their all as well. We are so proud of our girls and who they are and what they will become.
Q: (Carl): There are many times you are out traveling for work or need to eat out for work, what are some steps you take to ensure you stay on track with your nutrition? Do you meal prep for yourself?
A: Honestly, it is hard. Although I have never really had a sweet tooth or cravings for fried/greasy food it is hard to stay away from social drinking. Mid-week is much easier as Abbey and I meal prep on Sundays and our weekday meals are rather standard. Business meals and weekends are much more difficult. One change I have made is to eliminate mid-week drinking and really try to limit the number of drinks at a social setting. On business travel or conferences I just stay away from the buffet line as best as I can. Also I have moved from bourbon/scotch to tequila (which has no sugar - sorry Jacki but it is true...no sugar).
Q: (Abbey): Tell us a little bit about how you and Carl met. What’s it like to be married to a stud like Carl?
A: Carl and I met at a day camp. I was a counselor and he was a lifeguard. I was 17 years old and he was 16 years old. Yes, high school sweethearts. We dated through my senior year of high school and rekindled our flame after college. We actually just celebrated our 15 year anniversary a few days ago. Carl is truly my best friend. We have so much fun together. And, yes, he is an absolute stud, and has always been. He is an amazing husband, father, businessman, and athlete. He is the calm to my storm. He is my rock. Yep, from sweethearts to swolemates.
Q: (Carl): How long have you been chasing after Abbey? What are some things you two do together outside of the gym? If you had to describe her in three words- what would those words be?
A: I have been chasing Abbey for well over half my life. All joking aside, I can’t really remember times before Abbey was a part of my life. The good news is that I don’t think I ever stopped chasing her. That’s the best part. We love to stay active. We have never been sit on the couch or sleep in type people. We are always on the move and generally you can find us outside. She is my best friend and it is a blast just to be with her no matter what we are doing. However, I love our time at our lake house the best. Often it is quality family time with our daughters enjoying nature - sailing, kayaking, skiing, beaching etc. Three words...that is hard. I think there is really a few different sides of Abbey - all of which are amazing. There is the family Abbey, the fun Abbey, the gym Abbey, and the work Abbey. However, despite how different she is in each aspect of her life there are a few consistents. Abbey is always - sexy, fun, and strong.