Step into a 7:30 PM class at CrossFit ABF and you’re likely to hear squeaky screams from Kristel Lugo. Kristel, like several of her 7:30 compatriots, hasn’t been a CrossFit devotee for long, but that hasn’t stopped her from progressing quickly.
While some athletes look at a box’s equipment, coaches or location, Kristel’s decision on ABF boiled down to a pretty easy answer: her schedule.
“Thank goodness for the 7:30 PM late class,” Kristel says. “That late class is the biggest reason I chose ABF.”
Class timing may have kept her here, but a bit of research is what got her through the doors. Kristel knew there were, at least, 3 CrossFit boxes in here erea, but she wasn’t really sure which one to choose. After a bit of online research, she came to the realization that ABF aligned with her goals and, truthfully, just sounded the most appealing.
Kristel explains, “I decided to make ABF my CrossFit home because of the atmosphere and the people. Everyone was so nice, friendly and encouraging. The personalities that come out of that gym are something out of this world. That made ABF the perfect home. ”
Yes, box atmosphere is important. However, a great coach is needed to truly progress.
“Ryan instantly offered tips to improve my form. At the commercial gym, that just doesn’t happen,” Kristel says.
First Time for Everything
Progression has been the name of the game for Kristel. This year, that progression reared its head even more during the CrossFit Open. During the third workout of the 5-week competition, Kristel, somehow, figured out how to do pull ups.
“This year was my first time in the open,” she says. “It was far more stressful than I expected. The anticipation to find out the workout each week and the immense suffering that these workouts cause is insane! I’ve never felt such a combination of anxiety and adrenaline.”
The Open may have made her anxious, but it hasn’t slowed down her CrossFit aspirations. Kristel has signed up for two competitions. She, along with fellow ABF alums Amy Bell and Alyssa Dunlap, will be taking part in WOD Wars Fit Fest in April. After that, she and Amy will reunite once again for ABF’s own Beauty is a Beast II.
Never too Early for Some Competition
“After WOD Wars, Amy and I are giving ourselves a much needed beach day. Then, we’ll hit the ground running for BIAB II. The workouts are nontraditional, which means specialized training. Luckily, we have a home turf advantage.”
Kristel, an Associate Television Producer at HSN, has been a key cog in the Beauty is a Beast wheel, having developed a couple videos for the competition. When asked what exactly she’s looking forward to, Kristel has a harder time pinning it down.
“Everything! I’ve been very involved behind the scenes of the competition and it really has me excited. Pulling a giant truck like that? It’s such a cool idea! Really, I’m just excited to compete will all kinds of strong women. That’s motivating in itself,” Kristel says.
As a participant and a member of the development crew, Kristel has a unique voice on the existence of an all-female competition.
“Even now, it’s still frowned upon for women to be strong and ‘look like they lift’. I’m wholeheartedly against that. This competition, specifically, promotes strength in women and it doesn’t involve any comparison to a man. Instead of seeing men and women both complete the same workouts and feel that underlying scale-down for the women, we will see the untested potential of a woman.”
As for her expectations of her performance at Beauty is a Beast II, Kristel isn’t putting any undue pressure on herself.
“I know Amy and I want to do well,” she explains. “But, realistically, it will be our second competition to date. I think we just want to have fun and do the best we can. We just want to enjoy ourselves.”