First up in our series of CrossFit Sandpoint 5 Year Alumni Profiles, we have Val Bucholtz.
Val has been here almost daily since we first opened to the public. She only misses when she's out of town, and even then seems to find her way into another gym whenever she can.
I remember the first time I recognized that Val was in here with a slightly different motivation and intent than the rest. While most others were here for a great workout, she was here to find out what she could do, what she couldn't do and test those in competition. I remember one day early on where she was the only one who showed up for class. We got to get really in-depth on rowing technique. She wanted to know everything she could about improving something she had never really done before. That really impressed me.
Over the last 5 years, I've witnessed her progress from total CrossFit newbie to internationally ranked CrossFit Competitor. More importantly and more impressively, she's been able to take her knowledge and experience and pass that on to others. This truly shines in competition, where she has a unique ability to help others find that extra gear they didn't know they had. I've lost count of how many times I've heard people say to her, "I couldn't have done that if you weren't there cheering me on."
Without further ado:
What brought you into CrossFit Sandpoint in the first place? I was looking for a more intense workout. It seemed that all of the gyms in town focused on the general public, or the beginner. I wanted to push my limits and feel that "I think I'm going to die" moment. I found my place.
What do you remember about your first experience (class or other)? We were a chatty, giggly group of women! The 3 women I didn't know yet, that were part of our small class that week, have most definitely become forever friends. Lissa and Jenn were so proud of you, Kenny, and tried so hard not to giggle. Aleya hung from the pull up bars and did a monkey routine. Not one of us could do a pull up. What's not to love!
What’s your favorite memory over the last 5 years? There are so many, but a couple favorites that come to mind are the first competitions, the one held at Northern Quest and also Fittest in the Park. We were a great group of athletes, killing it from Sandpoint, both in competition and the fun afterwards! Team dinner, pull ups in the trees, rainbow glitter sparkling unicorn poop shots, dancing .. We were WOD drunk and loving life. And, if I may add a few more significant memories, I would include my first legit rope climb, someone telling me it looked like the bar was bending over my back from all the weight I was back squatting, Adam's first muscle up in his snow boots, Chad's first bar muscle up, the first Murph we all did together, rowing a half marathon with Terri, the 12 WODS in 12 hours at Predation CrossFit where I won a giant pack of bacon, and all the adorable babies that have been born into the CrossFit family!
What are you most proud of over the last 5 years? I am most proud of my 2015 CrossFit Games results. 1st in Idaho, 152nd in the World, and I made it to the Master's Regional Level.
What keeps you coming back? It seems that I come back day after day for many different reasons. Fitness, mental health, and friendships top the list. I like to say that we solve all the world's problems while we lift in the morning. Overall, I keep coming back because it's 'my gym'. I belong there.
What is still on your list of things to achieve? There is always the elusive muscle up, and certainly butterfly pull ups would be great to dial in as well, but I am aware of the work and effort to get there, and for right now, I'm pretty content. Ask me tomorrow, and I'll probably answer this differently.
Anything else miscellaneous you'd like to add? Five years can sure go by fast. It's nice to reflect and cherish the memories. I've laughed, cried, been embarrassed, been jealous, and angry, elated, sad, exhausted, grateful, and proud. Thank you to Kenny, his family, the coaches and all of the athletes for keeping it alive! Cheers to another year.