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Friday, August 31st 2012/Athlete Profile: Nora Iliakis

Athlete Profile: Nora Iliakis Hometown: Vancity Age: 34- old enough to know better, young enough not to care When did you first start Crossfit?: CFK Elements November 2011 When did you first start training at CFK?: December 2011 Favorite WOD: Crossfit Total, I like to know my maximum strengths and anything with wall walks. I know brutal, but I LOVE THEM. Least Favorite Wod: ANNIE always makes me cry and BARBARA makes me sick. Tell us about your sports and fitness background: Growing up I was in gymnastics for 14 years, hence my ability to do handstand walking. I spent many years in dance and on team sports – volleyball & soccer. In my twenties, I spent some time in woman’s only gyms, community center gyms, aqua size classes and yoga. My early thirties have been spent as a very big pregnant woman and a big non pregnant woman trying to loose the 60-70 lbs that I gained during pregnancy….TWICE! Before Crossfit, my exercise routine was spent at mommy gyms, bootcamps, and at playgrounds running after my kids. How did you first get exposed to Crossfit? Take us back to your first WOD…what was it? How did it feel? My best friend and her husband have been doing Crossfit for 3 years in Whistler and they just WOULDN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT! They kept telling me how great it is and to try it out. I was already eating Paleo – another great recommendation from the same couple. While I was reading “The Paleo Solution” by Rob Wolf I knew it was time to drop more of the excessive baby weight with some intense work outs. I contacted CFK for an intro. Fynn introduced me to 7up and severely kicked my ass. Feeling barfo and breathless – that day I had to take the bus. I remember telling my self NORA don’t puke… don’t puke… do not puke! What sort of changes have you seen in your body,health and fitness since starting CF? Overall my body is leaner, toned and tighter. The 2 to 3 days a week at CFK has helped me lose most of the excess weight. I have gained the ability to run faster than when I first started. Im not a fan of running….. I AM ALWAYS THE FIRST OR SECOND ONE OUT THE DOOR AND USUALLY THE LAST ONE BACK IN THE DOOR. I try to make it to running WOD’s cause I want to improve my cardio. I still have some areas that I would like to target, but I’m stronger and more powerful than I was back in my younger/skinnier days.  I am now addicted to the health, nutrition and fitness. It’s beneficial for my family, to be a role model for my 2 kids. I think it’s important for them to see us active and eating healthy. It’s nice to have them come to the gym once in a while and be able to watch and ask questions. Functional movement is key. What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like Crossfit that were totally unexpected? I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with such a sport. Weights and bars over my head? Um, no thanks. What I was expecting was to go a couple times a week, be a member, walk in, walk out, do my thing, go home. Well, I was surprised and glad with the sense of community and cheering on and constant reminder to do better from all the members. Growing up as a competitive gymnasts- I have that sense of competition instilled in me and I think it’s was drives me to be faster, stronger and better. I wasn’t expecting to build relationships with new people. Spending 3 to 4 hours a weeks with some people over and and over again screaming and cheering each other on – you are bound to connect. CFK has some amazing athletes that I look up to and I am wowed every time I walk in and someone is PR’ing a WOD. As full time stay at home mom of 2. CFK is wear I go to get out of the house during the week and spend time on me. It’s my “me time”. When I started elements class, I got home and told my husband Steve that he should really try it out. He agreed, which was unexpected :). Now we both train and are committed to better self improvement, fitness, and health. Please share with us any favorite Crossfit moments: I’d have to say getting a 500 on my Crossfit Total, which was a 40 lbs improvement in 4 months was up there for me. Oh and being told that my double under’s look frantic and spastic….At CFK you got to be able to laugh at yourself. Some of my favorite moments happen every time I walk into the BOX and everyone is staring at the board with a look of fear, and right after the WOD when all you hear is pure exhaustion. Any advice for people just getting started? It’s ok to get emotional, BUT always remember THERE IS LIFE OUTSIDE OF THE BOX. Run harder each time, lift better, and focus on the movements… RX means nothing if you aren’t doing it correctly. I have to remind myself that from time to time. Diet is huge! Take part in Paleo challenges to see a difference and try to stick with it. One last thing – dip and drive! What are your hobbies, interests and or talents outside of CF? I grew up in the food industry. My family has owned Romana Pizza for the last 39 years. With that being said, I have a passion for good food and wine, especially  Greek and Italian cooking. My new talent/hobby is converting old recipes into Paleo or gluten free meals. Although, I still really do enjoy a nice pizza pie or Moussaka. I have a serious love affair with my slow cooker. I highly recommend one for busy families and or busy professionals. It has saved me from carb overload dinners. I have been eating and trying to live a Paleo lifestyle for the last year now. I have seen big changes in me mentally and physically. “Im a facebook addict”- if you want to see pictures of delicious Paleo and non-paleo food and my kids, then add me. If you don’t, then don’t add me. 🙂