Athlete of the Month: Nicole DiFabio
Nicole is without a doubt one of our most hard-working, bright-spirited, encouraging members, and we’re delighted to name her our Athlete of the Month for April! Nicole embraces the challenges she faces every day at Praxis, and has seen lots of improvements since August as a result. Read on to hear more about her story!
How did you get started with CrossFit?
In January 2016 I started going to a personal trainer at a neighborhood gym/fitness club, and she had a CrossFit background. She challenged me with workouts that I now recognized as being heavily rooted in CrossFit. I truly enjoyed our workouts and learned so much from my experience with her. As our sessions were coming to a close she suggested CrossFit as the next logical step for me. She recognized my desire to be competitive, my attempts at always trying to be stronger and faster, and thanks to her, she absolutely pushed me in the right direction. Thank you, Sarah Miller!
How long have you been an athlete at Praxis?
I joined Praxis in August 2016. I haven’t been there for an incredibly long time, but long enough to be hooked and come to the gym 4-5 times a week.
Did you have prior athletic experience?
Since elementary school I was always trying to keep up with the boys. That desire for competition evolved into devoting my energy to volleyball in high school and softball in high school and some of college.
What is your favorite/least favorite type of WOD?
This will be the first time confessing this in such a public space, but I really enjoy burpees. I can’t explain why, but I do. I’ve also learned to love single-arm dumbbell snatches. I can’t seem to ever learn to love running, although I’ve tried. I do it when I absolutely have to, but it’s just not for me. I also don’t particularly enjoying rowing or wall balls.
What has been your greatest improvement and/or achievement since joining Praxis?
PULL-UPS!!! I couldn’t do a single unassisted pull-up when I started, but now I can do a few in a row. Of course, I won’t be satisfied until they feel a bit easier, or until I can increase the reps, or until I can do a weighted variation. Additionally, my body has changed a bit since starting at Praxis, and I’m thrilled to see a transformation.
What advice do you have for Praxis rookies?
CrossFit is hard for everyone. It may seem like some movements or weights come easy to others, but everyone starts at the beginning. Keep your own goals in mind and embrace the hard work it takes to achieve them. It feels so good to see improvements, even if they’re small milestones that eventually amount to something much bigger.
What is your fitness diet like? Favorite “fun” food?
I can’t ever say no to pizza, or pasta, or a huge chipotle burrito, or doughnuts. I. love. food. For a few months I’ve been counting macros, and it’s made a significant difference in both performance and physique.
What do you like to do with your “free time” outside the gym?
I feel like my “free time” is typically spent at the gym. Outside of Praxis, I like traveling with my partner, visiting family, being outdoors in nice weather, and watching good films. At the same time, I’m also really good at being lazy and introverted.
What motivates and pushes you to continually improve?
So many things…depending on the day. First, seeing people in the CrossFit environment who are superior athletes motivates me to push harder. CrossFit is fun, but workouts can also be painful, and watching someone push past mental and physical barriers makes me want to do the same. Support is also a big motivator…Praxis friends are incredibly encouraging and are there to genuinely celebrate your achievements with you. Good coaching is an amazing thing to have access to; it’s great when an expert can give you pointers that can contribute to your personal improvement as an athlete. And while I could keep going, the last motivator that I’ll mention is old-fashioned sibling rivalry with my younger brother, who also started CrossFit around the same time. 🙂