Rachel and Corey Stender
Please tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, military, interests, etc.) I am in franchise sales and work for a company that is based out of Chicago, IL, allowing me to work from home when I’m not traveling for clients. Married to Corey and have a handsome ‘son’ that is a Brittany Spaniel named Jameson.
When did you start doing CrossFit? I initially joined CrossFit SISU in the fall of 2012 and left February 2013. After training and running my first half marathon in 2013, I joined up again at the Excelsior location in April 2014 and wouldn’t have it any other way! Now, I’m still going to be running another half in the fall and have started cycling in conjunction with CrossFit.
What were you doing before CrossFit?
Why did you start doing CrossFit?
What made you decide to come CrossFit SISU?
What apprehensions did you have before starting?
Prior to Crossfit, I was doing Vinyasa and Bikram style yoga about 4-5 times a week, taking kettle bell classes, some TRX, and just body weight workouts. I was bored with my current program and didn’t feel like I was where I really wanted to be physically as well as mentally. Corey started to go to Crossfit SISU and after some months talked me into coming in. Never having used a barbell, this was the most intimidating experience for me. I took a hiatus in between, ran my first half, but then was still bored with the typical gym. I’m excited to be back at SISU – I know I am in the best shape I’ve been in my life and still have goals to work towards. The coaching at SISU is phenomenal and has propelled me to work harder and keep pushing.
What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? “What did I get myself into?” Kidding…CrossFit is for everyone – all levels, ages, and sizes. I loved the sense of accomplishment at finishing a workout that sounded a little intimidating on the board. The most memorable part of my first workout was everyone cheering each other on and the support of the group down to the last person – whoever that may be. Everyone is accepted and everyone is achieving something to be commended.
What’s the greatest benefit you see so far since starting CrossFit and SISU? I’m stronger and starting to see my skill level increase as I work more at it. I feel amazing and love the benefits it has on other sports and activities.
Are there any special memories/ achievements during your time here that you would like to share? I really enjoy being able to come to a workout with my husband and know that he is in sync with me and pushes me even harder. It’s fun and it’s sometimes annoying all at the same time! J I love it. The best example of it was the Memorial Day Murph – special since he was in the Army and also special because we did it together.
What advice would you give to a person just joining CrossFit SISU? Stick with it and laugh at yourself. Get to know the crew and be part of the community.
Something you might not know about me is? For some reason, most people are surprised I’m a farm girl at heart, growing up in SE Minnesota. 4-H for twelve years, seamstress all my life, love to bake, and even competed in Miss TEEN MN in high school! (3rd place) I danced in a competitive salsa group years ago and love anything related to food, travel and wine – but I think everyone knows that!
Favorite WOD? Murph, Barbara and really liked one called The Chief that we did not too long ago. …and yes, I know that is more than one.
Least Favorite WOD? Any WOD where I rip my hands!
Favorite Lift? Back Squats
Least favorite lift? Overhead Squats which leads me to Squat Snatches– but I will conquer!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, military, interests, etc.) I joined the Army right out of high school and spent four and half years doing crazy stuff. It is where I learned what it was like to be cold, wet, and miserable and love every minute of it. I have worked for the same company since college as a hotel broker. I managed to out punt my coverage and marry a hot ass woman who has it all and is also a damn good CF athlete.
When did you start doing CrossFit? I started doing CrossFit about two and a half years ago. I took a yearlong break from it because I thought I wanted to be one of those Lifetime fitness people, that didn’t work out for me.
What were you doing before CrossFit? I was and still am an avid endurance athlete. I would say my true passion is running ultra marathons. I have completed all major distances from 50k, 50 mile, 100k, and 100 mile runs. I did not do much for strength training and would log between 30-75 miles per week.
Why did you start doing CrossFit? I think fitness should always be fresh and should never feel like it is a burden on your life. By only running all the time I started to get burned out and not enjoy it as much. Also, have you seen what those women wear at CrossFit?!!
What apprehensions did you have before starting? Some of the Olympic lifting can be very intimidating but those apprehensions where quickly relieved by the coaches.
What made you decide to come CrossFit SISU? The first time was because SISU was the first one that came up on a Google search. The second time probably had something to do with Pat Crosby’s constant badgering and pressure. The new Excelsior location is pretty awesome too.
What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? I knew right away that the type of workouts and the culture was something that I wanted to be a part of. Suffering as a group is much more fun that as an individual.
What’s the greatest benefit you see so far since starting CrossFit and SISU? The strength training has allowed me to cut back on the miles I run and still maintain the positive gains in all areas of my performance.
Are there any special memories/ achievements during your time here that you would like to share? I absolutely loved Memorial Day Murph!! Being a vet made it an extra special event for me. I am looking forward to next year! A recent happy hour cruise was a close second. We need to do that again soon!!
What advice would you give to a person just joining CrossFit SISU? Jump into it with both feet and be aggressive with your workouts. Embrace the culture and the people. Rachel and I have made some great friends through SISU and continue to meet new and great people. Also, make friends with Amir Abdelwahed and Mike Smith. They have big boats and that is a lot of fun in the summer.
Something you might not know about me is? I have jumped out of an airplane 156 times and am still scared to fly.
Favorite WOD? Murph
Least Favorite WOD? Fran
Favorite Lift? Power Clean
Least favorite lift? F&%$ing overhead squats