Travis and Sarah Acker met at SUNY Fredonia before moving to Ithaca, halfway between their hometowns of Buffalo and Milford. Sarah is a CPA at Sciarrabba Walker and Travis does GIS for a forestry and environmental firm. You can normally find them at the 5:30PM classes!
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Clea: So, we’ve never done a couples Athlete of the Month before. There’s so many badass couples at this gym, we’d risk just doing a Couple of the Month every month! But, I think what inspired this one, and what led all the coaches to nominate you guys was that you both got your first bar muscle ups on the same day – what’s the back story to that?
Travis: We generally want to get movements down.
Sarah: Yeah, we were working on it– but not for so long.
Travis: We didn’t slave over it, but we did put in some extra credit. It’s good to get some time doing your own thing, practicing your own thing in the corner when nobody is looking.
Sarah: We worked together as a team, giving each other tips. Travis was so close every class. I thought he would get one, but I wouldn’t. His technically came first. We were cheering for him. And then Sue yelled across the gym “Okay Sarah, your turn,” and I was like “yeah, right,” and I tried one time and got it. It was really cool.
Clea: Is there another movement you’re now turning your attention towards?
Travis: There’s always the ring muscle up. I would like to get all the basic movements down, to be able to do workouts as Rx’ed.
Sarah: I’m not really chasing the ring muscle up. It’s out there. Maybe someday.
Clea: Did you start CrossFit together?
Sarah: No, I started at the old gym. I did it for a year. I talked about it all the time. And Travis was getting really annoyed because he didn’t know what was. Then we were going to Colorado to climb a mountain, and Travis wanted to train for that.
Travis: Yeah, we wanted to climb a 14,000 foot mountain. I realized I needed to be in shape for that. We had gone to California some time before that and gone hiking in Yosemite, and I got whooped. It was really hard – and we didn’t even go that far. I was beat. That was without doing any exercise.
Sarah:Yeah, Travis was 6 months into CrossFit when we hiked in Colorado. He got to the summit. I did not . . . I have height issues. It was a sketchy exposure. CrossFit definitely helped us in Colorado.
Clea: What other kinds of sports do you guys do?
Travis: We go mountain biking at Shindagin Hollow.
Sarah: We hike, we play with our dog.
Clea: Since you guys are the first couple Athlete of the Month, can you talk about the difficulties or joys of doing CrossFit with your significant other?
Travis: Doing CrossFit together is great. One thing, not good or bad, is that we’re always looking at each other’s weights, checking on each other.
Sarah: Yeah I’m always keeping an eye on him. We help each other get the workouts right.
Clea: Are there no downsides to doing CrossFit as a couple?
Sarah: When we started I think I put pressure on Travis do things.
Travis: I had a bad attitude at first.
Sarah: I felt like I was forcing him to do it. It took him longer to get into than I did – which was difficult because I loved CrossFit so much.
Travis: Now, its just a habit. I don’t look at the WOD and dread the movements. Now, I find in my workouts, if I have a bad attitude, my workout isn’t as good.
Clea: I think it’s common to see that with couples - that one person is really gung ho about CrossFit and the other is happily along for the ride.
Sarah: (laughing) That’s kind of how we are.
Clea: What do you do when you’re not at CrossFit?
Sarah: We like to make stuff out of wood.
Travis: You make that sound kind of weird. We like woodworking.
Sarah: We made our own bar for our wedding. We made a coffee table. We’ll go to flea markets and find things to fix up. We also like to take road trips. We’ve gone to Maine, Louisiana, Tennessee, Colorado, South Dakota.
Travis: And the Carolinas. America mostly.
Clea: Last question – one for each of you. This one goes back to before Travis started CrossFit. I want you to give advice to an imaginary couple where one person CrossFits and the other doesn’t. Sarah: what’s the most effective thing they can do to get their partner to join CrossFit?
Sarah: I’d say something about physique. Trav got way sexier after he started doing CrossFit.
Clea: And Travis. Imagine you didn’t come to CrossFit. What advice would you give to a non-CrossFitting significant other, on how to get their partner to shut up and stop talking about CrossFit?
Travis: I remember just not listening and asking the same questions over and over like, “What’s a snatch again? What’s a clean again?” and Sarah would just get sick of repeating herself. That worked well!
Clea: Thank you both!