Athlete of the Month: Claire Vorpagel

Athlete of the Month: Claire Vorpagel

Birthday: June 28, 1992

CrossFit Birthday: I started Crossfit June of 2012 with my Mom in Chicago while I was home for the summer. My 515 Crossfit birthday I believe is September/October of 2012.

How did you hear about Crossfit?: My mom got me into Crossfit. A few of her coworkers would go every day over lunch and one day she went with them. She came home and told me right away, ‘I found something you will love.’ I went in and tried the workout with her the next day and was immediately hooked. Before that time, all I did was run and I was getting very bored with that.

How has Crossfit changed your life? Where do I even begin?!? I started Crossfitting at 515 early into my Junior year at Drake. Being from Chicago, I was far from home and didn’t know a single person at Drake before I went there. I really struggled with finding friends at school and with being so far from home – I had every intention of transferring to University of Illinois. Then I started at 515 and went to the members bowling party. Leann & Danielle took me under their wing and we have been friends ever since. The people at 515 truly became my family, my home away from home, and the gym became my happy place. The community that Bobby and Jaime foster in that gym is what kept me here in Des Moines and I am so incredibly thankful to them for that.

Not only did 515 give me a community that felt like home, no one in my life had ever empowered me the way that Crossfit 515 and Bobby and Jaime did. I played soccer my whole life and so to me, running was what I was supposed to do for exercise. No one taught me how to lift or how important it is or anything about nutrition. The mentality that younger girls have is to be tiny, skinny is crazy. We are taught not to put on muscle, not to bulk up like boys or lift weights and gain strength. Crossfit flipped that mindset on its head for me and now I don’t judge my body on how small I am but how strong I am today, and how hard I will work to be stronger tomorrow.

Still to this day, there is something so amazing and empowering about throwing around a barbell and knowing my bodies true physical strength – and constantly trying to increase it! That is another way that Crossfit has changed my life – it has taught me how to fail and that failing is ok and only temporary. It teaches you to be mentally strong and push your body to its limits, and understanding those limits, and then try to push past them the next day/week. That mental toughness in addition to physical toughness as a young female struggling in college has changed my life and plays a role in all other aspects of my life as well. It has changed how I view myself, how I manage my nutrition, and increased the confidence I have in myself and my abilities.

Lastly, one of the most amazing ways that Crossfit 515 has changed my life is that I met my future husband there!! Sean and I still talk about the first workout he did at the gym, the first conversation we had, and the friendship and relationship that grew out of that. Having Crossfit 515 in our lives gave us some of our best and closest friends. Going to the gym every night seems tedious for some, but it has become part of our daily lives and I enjoy going even if I don’t workout – and just hold babies the whole time 🙂 !!

Super corny but..the amazing life I have right now, Crossfit 515 has played such a huge role and I want to thank Bobby, Jaime, and everyone at 515 for that. And to think, I only joined them over Crossfit Des Moines because I liked the layout of their website and their class times! Second best decision I ever made 🙂

Favorite Movement: Double Unders, Box Jumps, and Squat cleans

Least Favorite Movement: Pistols, Muscle Ups, and Push Ups

Family Info: I have one older sister (27) and four parents. My dad, step mom, and sister live in Chicago. My mom and step dad live in Arizona.

Something interesting about me: I met Princess Diana in Heathrow Airport on the way to visit my Grandparents when I was 3. Also, I can play the piano and am really good at knowing lyrics to a song – but I couldn’t tell you the name of the song or who is singing it!

Favorite saying: Your eyes must not determine what you see.

Favorite songs to work out to: When the strength is squats I like listening to some ‘booty music’. But for Metcons I like Hard Rock or Rap.

Favorite Movie: The Breakfast Club

Movement you were most excited about when you were able to get it: Bar Muscle Ups and 100# Snatch

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