Kylie Triolo: Tell me a little about yourself, where you are from, work, sports, etc.
Laura Hayduchok: I grew up in Westampton, New Jersey -- about 30 minutes east of Philly -- where I lived until I moved to Ithaca to start at Cornell. As a kid, my parents encouraged me to try all kinds of activities, ranging from ballet to bowling, from gymnastics to volleyball, from piano to ice skating. It gave me the opportunity to discover my passions and established a mindset to “broaden my horizons”.
When I got to Cornell, I continued with volleyball as I pursued a degree in Computer Science in Engineering. I also continued trying new activities -- underwater hockey, sailing, inner tube polo, and boxing to name a few.
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Currently, I work as an applications engineer for a company that develops mail processing solutions, but I still make time for volleyball and new activities.
KT: What brought you to CrossFit?
LH: Lyndsey and Mike. I met Lynds through working with Mike, and when she first tried to get me into CrossFit, I was far too intimidated -- she can be a little intense. Once Mike started going, he explained how the classes work, how the movements can be scaled, and I was convinced to give it a go.
KT: What's your favorite WOD or movement or both?
I’m awfully fond of WODs like 16.2. Try to complete a round within a time cap, increase the weight/reps, repeat. Even though the idea to work really hard for four minutes, just so we can work really hard for another four minutes is a bit mental, I enjoy the “last man standing” aspect of it.
KT: What's your least favorite WOD or movement or both?
LH: Rowing and burpees. (Please never put rower-over-burpees in a workout… Please.) In those cases, I find that little dark place, put my head down, and work. Of course, I can always count on a push from the 5:30 crew. During 16.5, I had our whole class right next to me, helping me fight through every rep in those last few rounds. I'm grateful to have such awesome support. Thanks, guys!
KT: What is a goal that you have completed at Pallas?
LH: Pull-ups is definitely one. I got my first kipping pull-up within the last few months, and a few weeks ago, I finally got my first strict pull-up since high school. I’m looking to string five together by the end of the year as one of my SMART goals.
KT: What would you tell someone on the fence about starting CrossFit?
LH: It’s fun. My absolute favorite thing about CrossFit is the community. There’s no way that I would subject myself to 5-30 minutes of torture -- happily, at that -- without the outstanding community at CrossFit Pallas. Working out was something that I used to force myself to do because I knew I had to. Now, it’s my favorite part of the day, and I’m totally bummed when I have to miss a class.
Additionally, the workouts can be scaled to any level. Before I started, I thought I’d be crucified if I couldn’t do 100 unbroken pushups. Just the opposite. For every movement, there’s a scale for everyone, and there’s absolutely no need to be shy about opting for the scale. We have all been at the point when two burpees gassed us and the stripped barbell felt immovable. The workouts are all relative, and by the end, we’re all sweaty, hyperventilating puddles, no matter the scale.
KT: Do you have a favorite CrossFitter and why?
LH: Tim Paulson and Joey Rogan!! It was surreal to see two of our athletes competing in Regionals. And, in addition to being exceptional coaches and athletes, they are exceptional people. Both demonstrated grace in times of success and frustration, and I’m forever proud that these guys represented our box.
KT: Do you have an embarrassing CrossFit story?
LH: Well, the entire Open this year, my mantra was “don’t trip over the bar”. Fortunately, I didn’t do that, but, about a year ago, I did fall during a rope climb. Like total Wile E. Coyotee style: hanging out on the rope, grip fails, pause mid-air before the inevitable fall. Somehow, I managed to backward roll out of the fall and landed right back on my feet.
KT: What do you like to do outside of CrossFit?
LH: Volleyball! I play outdoor in the summer -- grass and beach -- and indoor the rest of the year. I also run a bit, recently started spin classes, and do yoga with Lex! Everyone should do yoga with Flexy Lex! It’s the best. Do it!
KT: What's your favorite food?
LH: I quite honestly like all foods. Seafood is probably my favorite category, with crab and grilled squid at the top, but you can’t go wrong with a juicy burger. And, of course, there’s cheesecake.
KT: What are your future CrossFit goals and how do you plan to complete them?
LH: One of my goals is five strict pull-ups. A few others for this year are a 200# back squat, 50 unbroken dubs, a 7:00 mile, and stretching every day. I normally go to the 5:30 class, so I’ll often stay and stretch or do some auxiliary work during the 6:30 class.
I’m also mindful of my goals during WODs. For instance, when there’s a workout that has both kettlebell swings and dubs, I’ll scale the kettlebell a little more than I would otherwise so I can spend more time each round on dubs.
KT: Anything you would like to add?
LH: I’d like to send a huge “Thank You” to the coaches and athletes at CrossFit Pallas who have welcomed me into such an outstanding community. I love working under the supervision of coaches who care about our safety and growth, and I love