August Featured Athletes - Ben & Sara Apker

Ben and Sara.jpg

1. Where are you from?
We both grew up about an hour south of Ithaca. We are celebrating 19 years of being together, this month.

2. What do you do for a living?
Sara - I'm an Elementary Art Teacher

Ben - I am the COO of a small biotech manufacturing company, MiTeGen, up near the Ithaca airport. We service a niche marketing by making products for structural biology research being done using X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy.

3. What brought you to Pallas?

We arrived at Pallas when in need of a drastic change of pace, after child #2 arrived, limiting both our time and motivation. Once Ben had been a few months, Sara connected with Janessa and got on board via the BirthFit program, which provided a great avenue for easing into CrossFit and recovering from child birth.

4. What are your goals?

Sara - For 2019 - To get stronger to keep up with my kids and our active lifestyle. Movement-specific - Rope Climb, Strict Pull-up, & Toes-to-Bar

Ben - For 2019 - Continue learning all of the nuances of the highly technical movements. Movement-specific - Bar Muscle Up & 20' HSW. Bigger picture - be healthy and a good role model for my children.

5. What's your favorite movement?

Sara - I really like practicing rope climbs, but I am not quite there, yet. For stretching, pigeon pose for days.

Ben - I would also have to say rope climbs. For some reason I get excited when I see them in the programming.

6. What's your least favorite movement?

Sara - The day we did thrusters felt horrible. I also still hate being upside down.

Ben - Well Sara also seems to hate wall balls, but for me, I currently feel the most defeated, demoralized, and frustrated by the assault bike. My mind is most often willing, but my body just won't keep it in a high gear past what feels like 15 seconds.

7. If you could write a WOD, what would it look like?

Sara -

4 RFT -

400M Run

1 x Rope Climb

10 x Box Jumps

8 x Kettle Bell Swings

A longer RFT partner workout with 4 or so movements that in combination hit the whole body. Being paired with someone that is a fitness level above me really seems to help me find some grit that I might not having going solo.

8. What's a goal you've crossed off your list?

Sara - Box Jumps. Lifting my knees just clicked one day. I now want to get double unders

Ben - Getting dubs was one that took me longer than I thought it would. Still not perfect, but I can get through them. HSW are the current challenge for me.

9. If you could only use 1 piece of equipment for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Sara - The rower is something I enjoy and seems to hit my whole body.

Ben - If the barbell counts, that would be it. I feel like I have so much to learn and develop moving the bar around that it could keep me interested and busy for years.

10. Liquor, wine, cider, beer, all/none?

Sara - Margaritas, Hard Cider at the Cider House, Full-bodied Malbecs, and Wheat Beers.

Ben - A nice peaty Scotch would be at the top. Outside of that, Sara and I have pretty similar drink taste.

11. What's your favorite season.

Sara - Spring - The lengthening of the days and it being neither hot nor cold bring me joy.

Ben - Fall - I enjoy crisp air, fresh apples, colors and anticipation of snow.

12. Favorite place to eat in Ithaca?

Sara - Creekside Cafe in Tburg. I could eat their avocado toast every day.

Ben - Asia Cuisine - Sweet Potato Rolls + Kimchi Jeyuk Bokkeum

13. What do you do for fun?

Sara - I enjoy coffee, walks, Mimi's Attic and constantly rearranging furniture in our house.

Ben - Outside of time at Pallas, I really enjoy finding new places to eat, drink or explore. Making art and listening to music are right up there, too.

14. What's your favorite thing to do in the winter?

Sara - Drink hot coffee, watch it snow, find new shows.

Ben - I really love getting my kids outside in the snow. Sledding, snowmen, building forts,etc. always brings out the kid in me.

15. Tell us about your art!

Sara - I like to incorporate blind contour drawings of familiar things that I see on a regular basis into my drawings and paintings. I'm also very drawn to patterns and repetition. I've enjoyed getting back at it after about a 5 year hiatus.

Ben - Art for me is most often a wind-down, late-evening activity that is semi-mindless and must be coupled with music. I am most often streaming NPR's tiny desk series, while creating. As for the work itself, currently I enjoy making paper cuts. I tend to naturally want to build depth and dimensional illusion from abstract geometric shapes and designs. I also gravitate towards maps, patterns, and non-traditional shape representations of real life scenes. It is

16. What would you tell someone hesitant to start CrossFit?

Sara - CrossFit Pallas is an incredibly accessible and supportive community.

Ben - The first would be an explanation of CrossFit's principles and how it is designed to scale to be accessible to every type of person and fitness level. The second would be that there is no harm in trying. I would also agree to join them for their first few workouts, so they could get a taste of what it is all about.

Tim Paulson