When Cassandra moved to Austin in the spring of 2015 she was looking for a gym that had a strong community. After a quick search decided the CrossFit Central was the place for her. Cassandra joined the gym and started getting RESULTS. To date she has lost 20 lbs., 4 dress sizes, and added up to 75 lbs. on her PRs.
Her sister Rebecca noticed Cassandra’s results, and was intrigued, but didn’t think she would physically be able to CrossFit. Rebecca had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that had stopped her from working out, and she didn’t think CrossFit was an option. But in true sister fashion, Cassandra “forced” Rebecca to give it a try. At first she was intimidated but Coach Michael Gregory helped her feel comfortable and gave her the confidence she needed to begin CrossFitting. Since then, Rebecca has lost over 18 lbs., is experiencing better quality sleep, has more energy, and has improved her blood work in areas where doctors told her she wouldn’t be able to with an autoimmune disorder.
Together, the Stoklosa sisters are making big changes, taking on new challenges, and inspiring others to do the same. We caught up with them for a quick Q & A to find out more.
What were you doing for physical activity prior to CC?
Cassandra: Really a huge mixture of things, but mostly I ran, did bikram yoga and attended boot camps.
Rebecca: Before CrossFit, I had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease which had basically stopped me from working out at all.
Tell us the story of how you joined CrossFit Central and what attracted you to the gym.
Cassandra: I had been doing CrossFit for about a year when I moved back to Austin in March of 2015. What originally attracted me to CrossFit was how social all the boxes were – it gave me the opportunity to use my fitness time as both a physical and social outlet. When I looked for gyms in Austin, CrossFit Central immediately stood out to me as a box that took community seriously. That’s what initially got me in the door, but what kept me coming was the quality of coaching – there is not a single coach that I don’t love and really enjoy learning from.
Rebecca: My sister had been going to CrossFit for over a year but given my health problems, I always thought of it as something I would never be able to do until I was better. She was the one who really pushed (forced) me to look at it more as a path to getting better. I’ll admit that I was totally intimidated by it and terrified to even go in and start the elements program, but Mike made me feel like this was something I absolutely could do just by making modifications to the workouts. In the beginning, he (and all the other coaches) would work with me to come up with a WOD that made sense for my level. I really valued the customization and flexibility.
Cassandra: I eventually just forced her to go – I told her that I had already paid for it so she might as well use it. Rebecca hates wasting money so that eventually overcame her irrational fear of dying from doing a burpee.
Did you guys work out together in the past? Ever play team sports together?
Cassandra: Rebecca and I grew up playing basketball together; often on the same team. Luckily our skill sets were pretty complimentary, so I usually played point guard while she’d be playing the 2 or 3 spot. It made it easy for us to train together and push each other.
Rebecca: We played basketball together so we’d train together all year growing up. Later on as adults, when we lived in the same city we’d usually attend workout classes together too.
What results have you seen since joining the gym?
Cassandra: My performance has improved dramatically since joining CrossFit Central. I have added between 25 and 75 lbs to all of my PRs, went from a size 8 to a size 4 after the I Am CrossFit challenge, and lost 20 lbs. I also had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of competing in the Fittest Games this year where I placed 5th in the scaled division. A year ago, I wouldn’t even have been able to complete a single one of the workouts in that competition.
Rebecca: The improvement in the way I feel is tremendous. I have more energy, I have better quality sleep, and have improved my blood work in areas where doctors told me with an autoimmune disorder I couldn’t improve. In 120 days I lost 17.5 lbs., 11% body fat, and 10.5 inches, plus I gained 8 lbs. of lean muscle.
Between you both who would you say is more competitive?
Cassandra: Most people would probably say me, but they’re wrong (and obviously have never seen my sister on a basketball court!)
Rebecca: She is — now.
Describe what it’s like working out at the same gym as your sister – does it make it more fun?
Cassandra: Well the stereotype of CrossFitters talking about CrossFit is probably true so it’s been nice to have someone to talk to about the workouts. CrossFit Central also hosts a lot of events for friends and family so I don’t have to try and convince her to come with me anymore.
Rebecca: We don’t go to the same class a lot because our schedules are so different but since CrossFit is such a community things it’s fun to share it with someone else. She’ll call me when she’s leaving the gym and tell me how bad the workout really was.
What are your current fitness and wellness goals?
Cassandra: My two goals for this year were to fit into a size 4 dress I have in my closet and get a bar muscle up. I put the dress on two months ago so I’m just working on getting over the bar!
Rebecca: My ultimate goal is to get under 20% body fat, but my short-term goal is to be able to clean more than I can bench press.