If someone was on the fence about starting CrossFit, what would you tell them?

Just do it. I make impulsive decisions all the time and thus far they have been the best decisions of my life. But seriously, if you don't try it you won't know for sure whether or not you like it. Plus, who doesn't want to live a long, healthy life, look amazing, pay low medical bills, and become part of the best community in Ithaca? In my opinion it's a win win situation.

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You are from Russia. That is awesome. Tell us about what it's like there.

Growing up in the US, in a Russian household, has been a very special experience. Being multicultural has made me more open minded and has given me a whole new perspective on the world. I think Russia is beautiful, the culture is amazing, and the food is to die for. My favorite part of Russian culture is by far the music and the ballets. I love the Nutcracker and Swan Lake ballets, and Tchaikovsky is my favorite composer. In terms of weather, winters are cold and miserable, but that's ok, it builds character. If you can make it through a Russian winter, there is little you can't survive.

When did you move here?

I moved here when I was three years old so I have spent most of my life in the US.

Have you been to Russia recently?

Yes. I went this past summer to Moscow and we have been going back every summer for the last couple of years.

What brought you to CFP?

I played tennis competitively for 12 years and as part of my training I spent a lot of time in the gym working on strength and endurance. After high school I stopped playing tennis but still wanted to continue working out; however, going to the gym got very monotonous very quickly. I missed the competitive aspect of tennis and wanted to find something that would allow for me to combine my passion for fitness with my competitive drive. CrossFit presented me with the perfect opportunity to do so. At Cornell I was fortunate enough to meet a fellow CrossFitter through a mutual friend. She highly recommended that I try CFP. After hearing from her the positive impact CrossFit had on her life and seeing how passionate she was about it, I decided to give it a go. Sophomore year I came to CFP for the first time and now I call it home.

What are your CF goals?

My life goal is to make it to the CrossFit games. Luckily, there is a 60+ masters division, so I might actually have a chance.

What goals have you crossed off?

Many of my short term goals have been things like PRing my olympic lifts or learning a new gymnastics movement. A recent goal I am super excited to have been able to cross off my list is a 135# clean. For a year I had a huge mental block that prevented me from cleaning more than 120#. The moment I knew the weight was approaching 120# I would freak out and get stuck on the bottom of my squat. In order to overcome this mental block, I began working on front squats every week. All those squats must have payed off because a couple weeks ago I hit 125#, then magically got 130# the following week, and 135# the week after that. I think it is fair to say that if you are willing to work hard, you can accomplish anything you set your mind on.

What's your least favorite CF movement?

I don't really have a least favorite movement because I enjoy everything. The more it hurts the better because that means my body is getting stronger.

What's your most favorite CF movement?

My favorite movement is most definitely hang power cleans because I don't have to squat.

If you could write a wod, what would it look like?

No running, or rowing, or wall balls. It would probably be an AMRAP that would include heavy hang power cleans, rope climbs, pistols, and hand stand pushups. With this being said, it's probably a good thing I don't do anyone's programming because I have a tendency to completely underestimate every CrossFit workout I have ever done.

What's you major at Cornell?

I am an Electrical and Computer Engineering major at Cornell.

What's your dream job?

My dream job is to be an FBI special agent. 10 years from now I want to be running my own task force either in Counter Terrorism or Cyber Security at the FBI.

What's your favorite food?

My favorite food is sushi.

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall?

Winter is probably my favorite season because I love snow and all the holidays that are around that time, but I also am the one who shovels the driveway at home, and our driveway is at least 800m long, and that's no fun.

Favorite band/musician?

I love Tchaikovsky, but I listen to all music except country.

Who's your favorite CrossFitter and why?

My favorite CrossFitter is Leslie Brunker because she is amazing in every single way possible. She is an incredible athlete, a brilliant student, and one of the kindest people I have ever met. She is an inspirational person who has been there for me from the beginning of my CrossFit journey and I am very thankful to have her as a friend and workout buddy.

What do you do for self care?

In order to take good care of my body I do my best to eat healthy and get enough sleep. They say you are what you eat, which means I am 80% coffee, 15% chicken, and 5% bananas. I try to avoid sugar as much as possible and processed foods. In terms of sleep, that is something I need to work on. As an Electrical and Computer Engineer at Cornell sleep is a bit of a luxury, but that's ok because now I am an expert power napper.

What do you like to do outside of school and CrossFit?

I enjoy traveling with my family to other countries and experiencing new cultures. Thus far I have visited Germany, Austria, Italy, Turkey, Costa Rica, Mexico, Turks and Caicos, Belize, Honduras, and other countries as well. Seeing how other people live all over the world has given me a whole new perspective on life and has taught me to be more open minded and take nothing for granted.

What is your proudest CrossFit moment?

My proudest CrossFit moment was when I PRd my clean a few weeks ago because I was able to overcome a huge mental block and prove to myself that I could accomplish anything if I was willing to work for it.

What's your go-to coffee order? If you don't drink coffee, what's your favorite thing to drink in winter?

I love coffee. In the summer I usually go for cold brew. In the fall I am a big fan of pumpkin spice lattes, and in the winter I usually order an eggnog latte. However, when I am not drinking the aforementioned beverages I can usually be seen with a thermos of vanilla coffee. I probably shouldn't drink so much coffee but when school starts I don't really have much choice.

If someone was on the fence about starting CrossFit, what would you tell them?

Just do it. I make impulsive decisions all the time and thus far they have been the best decisions of my life. But seriously, if you don't try it you won't know for sure whether or not you like it. Plus, who doesn't want to live a long, healthy life, look amazing, pay low medical bills, and become part of the best community in Ithaca? In my opinion it's a win win situation.