Sunday, February 17, 2013 – Athlete Profile: Emma Mattson
1. In general, what is your background?
I was born and raised in Boise, Idaho. I played soccer from about age 5 up until my sophomore year of college. I ran cross country and dabbled in track in high school. I also had a few dark years in middle school when I danced (mostly ballet, jazz, and lyrical.) I don’t regret it, but let’s just say that I’m glad I wasn’t super great at it.
14 year-old Emma had dreams of being a pilot, so I somehow ended up at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland for college. While there I earned a BS in Quantitative Economics and commissioned as an Ensign into the Surface Warfare community in the Navy. The Navy moved me to Hawaii for my first tour and then brought me here to Charleston for a short (but amazing) time, and now I’m on my way to San Diego to be the Training Officer on the USS STERETT (DDG 104).
2. Age, Occupation?
25, CrossFit Coach, Naval Surface Warfare Officer (in order of preference!)
3. How did you get to know about CrossFit and why did you start?
My college boyfriend and his friends would do the main site workouts on their own and send them to each other to compare times. One beautiful spring day in 2008, he asked me if I wanted to come along. It was Murph, and I was hooked. I went to the box at home and they set me up with some rubber bands and tips and sent me on my way. I worked out on my own at school until the spring semester of my senior year. I couldn’t stand working out by myself so I joined CrossFit BWI and snuck out of school every day to get to the gym (we weren’t allowed to leave during the week.) I did a CrossFit Olympic Lifting cert in April of 2010, a CrossFit Level 1 cert in August of 2010, and a CrossFit Gymnastics cert in November of 2010. Since I’ve been done with school, BK has allowed me to coach and finally put my certs to use. Thanks BK!
4. How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?
When I first started at the Naval Academy, I had a hard time passing the run portion of our physical readiness test. (1.5mi in 12:40.) I would run or bike every day just to try to pass that run. I started CrossFit when I was a sophomore but I had a hard time convincing myself that it would be ok to JUST do CrossFit and no longer kill myself on a treadmill or a track. I did a little of both junior year and then when I was a senior, I fully “converted.” My 400m splits improved so much that I never looked back. And I enjoy running again!
Life on a ship was probably the hardest transition for me, especially after coming from the Naval Academy. The food is terrible, and when you’re at sea for 45-day stretches with only a few replenishments, the food gets pretty sad. Sleep is sporadic and you often go 36 hours without sleep and the thought of it is laughable. And when you DO have time to sleep, it’s only 3-4 hours at a time, if you’re lucky. If you try to workout, there’s a good chance your overweight boss is going to say “Oh, you have time to workout? Here, you have time do this paperwork then.” It’s not all that bad. CrossFit has given me kettlebells and abmats and jump ropes and handstands. And a TON of “on the road” or “at sea” workouts. Get creative!
I am the strongest and healthiest I have ever been in my life. I am much more conscious about what I put into my body, and eating and working out is no longer about vanity. I just want to be strong!
5. Name one goal and/or personal record you would like to accomplish through CrossFit.
Short-term: ring dips
Long-term: muscle ups
I feel like I’ve been working on muscle-ups and ring dips for YEARS. And I have. I want to be able to do those SO BAD! But it’s one step at a time, and I have to remember that there was a time when I couldn’t do pull-ups or double-unders.
6. Favorite CrossFit movement so far?
Coaching the Olympic Lifting classes/movements when Brian was sick. I learned so much more in that day of coaching than I have from ever being a student/athlete in a CrossFit class. I guess just coaching in general.
7. What do you like most about CrossFit Integrity?
The community here is amazing. The combination of the southern hospitality and the environment we create is SO welcoming! My least favorite thing in the world is my first day at a new gym (seriously…sweaty palms and a racing heart) but you guys were great to me!
8. Favorite WOD?
It’s a tie! Michael (800m run, 50 back extensions, 50 situps) and Helen (3 rft: 400m run, 21 kbs, 12 pullups)
9. Least favorite WOD?
Karen is probably up there near the top but most of the ones with HSPUs and muscle ups because I have to scale them.
10. Favorite movement?
11. Least favorite movement?
12. Favorite place to eat in Charleston?
Sermet’s Courtyard on Daniel Island (there’s one downtown too!)
CrossFit Integrity, Charleston, SC