Lindsay Prajza - #inthis2gether

It took her 9 months to enter the Academy of Lions after hearing about it, but one day she tried a class and never looked back. Lindsay has been a very involved member since Day 1. She’s one of the amazing Social Committee (SoComm) members, she has participated in many competitions inside and outside the Academy and when she’s not competing, she’s on the front-lines cheering fellow Lions on. A leading role model of the Lion Family, today we get to know a bit more about who Lindsay is and what the Academy is for her.

1.How did you discover CrossFit and the Academy of Lions?

My cousin brought me to the Academy for a coconut milk latte one Saturday afternoon in 2012. I can't remember who was working in the café that day but they told me about the free class. I thought about it a lot in the 9 months between that day and then I finally took my intro class.  It was something I wanted to try but it took me a long time to feel "ready."

2.What was your physical background prior to joining our community?

I was more of a bookish, academic kid growing up so I never did team sports. After university I lived abroad and focused on my career, travel and partying. It wasn't until I came back to Toronto that I decided to change my lifestyle and get moving. I started running, culminating in 3 half marathons and unfortunately, a back injury. From there I started spinning and got really into yoga. By the time I joined the Academy, I had hit a plateau and was getting bored. I knew I needed to get stronger and CrossFit seemed more interesting than lift weights at the gym, which I'd always thought was boring.

3. It can be really intimidating and tough when you begin at a new gym. How did you overcome these obstacles when you started?

OMG I was nervous every time I came to the Academy for at least the first 3 months!  Between the workouts scaring me and not being sure if I'd know anyone in the class to partner with, I had butterflies every time!  But I always left feeling like I accomplished something (I still do).  That, in combination with the friends I was making and the encouragement of the coaches, kept me coming back. I guess I just decided to focus on the positive things and ignore the fear.  Plus, the FOMO was real!

4. What kind of changes has your training had on your day to day lifestyle?

It's funny how, now that I think about it, and it's happened gradually, training and the ethos of the Academy community has had a huge impact of my day to day lifestyle. Of course it's changed the way I work and my eating and sleeping habits.  But mostly it's changed the way I think about things:  I have always been a pretty driven person but training has taught me how to focus.  It's taught me to be patient with results. It's also taught me how to take pause and withhold judgments like "I suck" or "I can't do that." And weirdly enough, I'm far less competitive than I used to be.  I think all of this makes me a happier person, which makes my life all around better and easier to deal with.

5. You are a part of our amazing Social Committee (SoComm). Why did you join and become a more involved, vocal member?

At the end of the Open in 2013, Freya called up all the volunteers and members of the SoComm committee to be cheered and thanked by the participants.  I don't think I had registered that there was a committee of volunteers making things happen at the Academy until that point.  That Open was such a big turning point and I felt like joining SoComm was a way for me to give back and to get to know everyone better.

6. You have done a few competitions in the past including the CrossFit Open. What was your first comp like?

It was the hardest thing I've ever done but it changed everything.  I signed up for the Open in 2013 not really knowing what it was.  I didn't have half of the skills necessary to compete and it was a real test - mostly for my ego - to show up every Sunday and struggle in public. But I learned 3 things from that experience:  1. that all I really have to do is show up, suck it up, and do my best; 2. that the only way to get the skills is to do the work; and 3. there is no finish line - it's about progress, not perfection.

7. Do you plan to compete in the near future? Do you have any fitness goals that you wish to achieve this year overall?

My goal right now is to add muscle ups to the repertoire.  As for comps, I'm captain of the cheers squad for Beach WOD in July - does that count?!

8.Could you tell us something that we may not know about you?

I really like to play board games and cards. And I'm totally addicted to Solitaire on my phone.  So dorky!

9. Is there anything fitness related that you want to try that you have not tried yet?

Swimming.  I'm a champion sunbather but maybe it's time I actually get in the pool...

10. Being a newbie at one point yourself, any advice you would give to someone starting out at the Academy?

Even if you're shy, try to talk to people.  Just a little hello to one person in the locker room, or at the start of class.  Pass someone a dowel, or help them put away their weights.  Stick your big toe in the community part because that's where the magic really happens at The Academy.

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