Athlete Spotlight Charlotte Mace

Athlete Spotlight: Charlotte Mace

You’ve seen Charlotte shrinking and gaining strength over the past several months!  We were all compelled by her efforts and wanted to get the scoop on all things Charlotte!

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I started CrossFit a little over 2 years ago, but I have probably only been doing it for a year and a half.  A couple months after I initially started I was in a car accident and ended up breaking my arm.  Unfortunately the injury required surgery, so I was out of commission for approximately 6 months.  Once the doctor cleared me though I was at the box the next day!

What was your first big CrossFit goal?
I have a lot of big CrossFit goals (being able to do a pull up is one!), but the first big one I achieved was probably consecutive double unders.  I never thought something that looked so easy, when others did them, would be so difficult!  I achieved this goal a couple months after joining NOVA when we had Jump Rope June.  I could do 2 or 3 in a row, but I wanted to be able to do at least 10.  The coaches at NOVA offered me advice about my form and shortly after I was able to do 10.   I never thought it would take so long to achieve, but it was worth all the practice.  My PR is 34 double unders and I am aiming for 50, followed closely by 100!
What are you setting your sight on in 2014? 
In addition to being stronger and healthier, I want to be able to do a handstand push up by the end of 2014!  I want to continue making double unders PRs and increase my 1 rep max on all movements by 15%.  I would also really like to finally reach my goal weight!  I keep a list of personal goals for each CrossFit movement and call these my benchmark goals as they help me gauge my overall progress.  For example, I know I have a lot of work to do before I reach my first strict pull up goal, but I can tell from my benchmark goals that I am making progress.  I started having to use two bands (and struggling) and now I am able to do multiple reps with 1 band fairly easily.  I always look at these goals whenever I get discouraged remind myself where I started.
How long have you been doing crossfit?
I started CrossFit a little over 2 years ago, but I have probably only been doing it for a year and a half.  A couple months after I initially started I was in a car accident and ended up breaking my arm.  Unfortunately the injury required surgery, so I was out of commission for approximately 6 months.  Once the doctor cleared me though I was at the box the next day!
Did you do any sports/activities as a kid throughout school?
I grew up mostly in Europe and went to a local international school instead of a DoD school.  Unfortunately, the schools did not have organized sports so opportunities were limited.  While living in the Netherlands, I was able to start horseback riding at the age of 5 and I continued until I was 20.  I competed in both dressage and show jumping competitions, but never had enough courage to try to cross country!  I was able to participate in basketball and softball for the 3 years we lived in the US as well.
What made you decide to give crossfit a try?
I have always been a fairly active person and I was getting tired of doing the same workout every week in the gym.  You know, the normal: cardio on the treadmill or elliptical, a few aerobics classes and a bit of strength training.  I wanted to be challenged and learn new movements.  The ‘constantly varied’ aspect of CrossFit is what really intrigued me and I have never done the same workout twice (except the benchmark and Hero wods of course).  I took an intro class at a CrossFit box close to where I lived at the time and never looked back.
What is your favorite CrossFit movement? 
I can definitely tell you it isn’t burpees! I would have to say my favorite movement is the Clean and Jerk. I really like all the Oly movements actually.
Describe yourself in 1 word?
Patient.
How has your approach to diet and nutrition changed since starting Crossfit?
I have been eating a lot more protein and vegetables than I had before. I also cut soda out of my diet entirely. I have learned to be  much more conscious about what I put into my body.
What do you do outside of the gym to pay the bills?
I am an IT Security Specialist at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and I focus mainly on Identity Management.  I know it sounds so very exciting, but it pays the bills and lets me enjoy things like NOVA!
What do you do outside the gym that you do because you love it?
  Two things immediately came to mind when I read this question:  hiking and reading.  I absolutely love hiking.  Chimney Rock in NC is probably my favorite hike, but Old Rag is my favorite route in this area.  I can also read for hours and not even realize that a whole day has gone by.  I love books that come in a series because then they seem to last longer.
What was your first big CrossFit goal and when did you achieve it?
I have a lot of big CrossFit goals (being able to do a pull up is one!), but the first big one I achieved was probably consecutive double unders.  I never thought something that looked so easy, when others did them, would be so difficult!  I achieved this goal a couple months after joining NOVA when we had Jump Rope June (or was it July?).  I had already been able to do 2 or 3 in a row, but I wanted to be able to do at least 10.  The coaches at NOVA offered me a few pieces of advice  about my form (arm placement etc) and shortly after I was able to do 10.  I had been working on double unders since I had started CrossFit so it was one of my oldest goals.  I never thought it would take so long to achieve, but it was worth all the practice.  My longest streak is now 34 double unders and I am aiming for 50 next (followed closely by 100!)
What is you goals for 2014 (now)?
Overall I just want to get stronger and healthier, but I do have some specific goals in mind.  I would love to be able to do a handstand push up by the end of 2014!  I also want to increase my consecutive double under count (see question 9) and increase my 1 rep max on all movements by 15%.  I would also really like to finally reach my goal weight!  I have a list of goals for each CrossFit movement that I constantly adjust once I have achieved the last one (ex: increasing consecutive DU count).  I call these my benchmark goals because they help me gauge my overall progress and it is encouraging when I reach one of the goals.  For example, I know I have a lot of work to do before I reach my 1 strict pull up goal, but I can tell by my benchmark goals that I am      making progress.  I started having to use two bands (and struggling) and now I am able to do multiple reps with 1 band fairly easily.  I always look at these goals whenever I get discouraged remind myself where I started.
What is your favorite sport and why?
Definitely soccer!  I grew up in Europe and that is the only sport they really have over there.  The fans are so passionate about both their national team and favorite club that it is hard to not get sucked into the soccer obsession 🙂
Why NOVA instead of any other gym?
The knowledgeable coaches (especially for the Oly lifts) is what initially attracted me to NOVA and they have helped me a great  deal.  I also really like that NOVA has Strongman and Olympic lifting options and coaches encourage athletes to try the different classes if they are interested.  There is something for everyone.
Whats your favorite meal?
Garlic Shrimp
Who/what inspired you and gave you motivation when you first started?
I was motivated by all the other athletes who were/are working along side me.  I am so happy when others reach a specific goal or accomplish something they didn’t think they could do.  It motivates me to work harder!
What is one quality you admire most in other?
Confidence
What’s a tip for someone juggling getting a gym habit going with a busy life?
Start small until you are used to fitting exercise into your schedule and then start increasing the time.  Every little bit helps, even 10-15 mins of intense exercise, is better than sitting on a couch or at a desk for that amount of time.  My work schedule has been crazy the last few weeks and sometimes I’m only able to do a 20 min workout at my work gym.
What is the single greatest benefit you’ve gotten from CrossFit?
Confidence. Since starting CrossFit I have felt stronger, healthier and more confident in how I look.
 If you had to take 3 things to a desert island, what are they?
A kindle with a tons of books, photo album with pictures of family and friends, fishing spear (gotta eat! I’m sure I would never catch anything though).
What advice would you give your ten year younger self? 
Don’t over analyze everything, trust your instincts and don’t sweat the small stuff.
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