Christine “Teen” Gemmell has been a member of CFQS for over 3 years, but had to take a bit of a hiatus while she was at Western studying nutrition. Now Teen is back in town, and spends about 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, making it count at the gym! Teen has been kind enough to share with us some information about her nutrition, her fitness goals, and mindset. If you would like to learn more about Christine and try some of her (delicious) recipes, check out her website: www.nutritiousfuel.com
How does training/CrossFit fit into your life?
CrossFit is a huge part of my life. I make it a priority every single day and I love it. It's something that makes me happy and I know impacts my health positively so I continue to do it. Also, exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand so it's important that I practice what I preach! I choose CrossFit because I love the intensity, the grind, the goals but most of all I LOVE the community. Everyone at CFQS is so supportive and fun to be around it's honestly the highlight of my day.
What reasons did you have to train when you started CrossFit? Have those reasons changed? If so, how?
I started CrossFit to try something new. My brother actually introduced me to it. During high school I trained in Cross Country and the long distances in Track and Field. When I started university I wasn't staying as active and missed the hard workouts. After my first workout I was instantly attached. So my reasoning for doing CrossFit was to get a good sweat on every day. Now, with a more competitive and passionate mindset my reasoning is to get stronger and become a better Open athlete!
What would you consider to be your greatest strength as an athlete?
I LOVE walking on my hands!! I remember right when I started CrossFit, seeing the top athletes effortlessly handstand walking and I wanted to be able to do that like you wouldn't believe, so every day I practiced. When I started, I was actually very nervous to go upside down and everyday was a struggle to just kick up to the wall because my upper body strength was basically nonexistent. I eventually became more comfortable and then it was just kicking up freestanding over and over again every day for like a year before I could actually walk maybe 25ft. Now I can walk 100ft unbroken!
What improvements have you made in the past 6 months that you are most proud of?
I've been really trying to work on my mindset with training. I can very easily fall into a negative mindset if I didn't perform how I wanted or I missed a certain piece of the programming. So I'm trying to stay as positive as I can. Two books that I've read to help me with this is Ben Bergeron’s Chasing Excellence, and The Fearless Mind by Craig Manning. Both are short reads but I highly recommend!!
Do you currently have a main focus or goal(s) with your training?
My lifetime goal with CrossFit is to make it to regionals. So my main focus right now is to get stronger with gymnastics movements and lift heavier! I am also really focusing on improving my muscle ups, both strict and kipping. The gymnastics extra work is helping so much!
What do you eat on a typical day?
Every morning is the same. I make my Cinnamon Swirl Oatmeal (from my website) before the 10am class. Then I usually eat a piece of fruit at the gym after the WOD and then my smoothie while I'm doing ROM WOD. Then at home I'll have two meals, one being a batched cooked meal I made earlier in the week and the other being eggs, toast/bagel and fruit. Then I'll have a peanut butter and banana sandwich after I train in the evening (I live for these!) and then while I'm at work, I only really have time to munch on snacks that I pack like granola bars, carrots, yogurt parfaits, energy balls...etc. Then I finish off the day with my second batch cook meal when I get home from work.
Have you changed the way you eat since you began CrossFit, If so, how?
Oh totally, well, when I started CrossFit, I was also just starting my degree in nutrition. So learning more about nutrition naturally led me to change my diet. I also grew a huge passion for sports nutrition and I would use myself to experiment with what I learned. Before CrossFit and my degree, there was a lot of things I thought were "healthy" and I also used to track what I ate. I listen to my body A LOT more now and eat a lot more natural, whole foods.
How do you like to rest and recover?: Sleep and ROM WOD (when I can). With my commitment to training and being a server in the evenings, sometimes my schedule can be pretty busy but when I have time to nap I never miss the moment! Thankfully I work at a restaurant that doesn't close too late and I can get to bed at a decent hour. For Sundays when I'm not in the gym at all, I like to relax as much as possible like reading, watching movies/documentaries, cooking, or working on my website.
What is one thing that you do every day that you feel is essential in contributing to your success in the gym?
After every workout, I think about one thing that made me proud and one thing I could have improved on. That way when I approach a similar workout I know what I can do or what I can aim to do.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice when you started CrossFit, what would it be?
It really doesn't matter if you miss a lift. Don't let it get to your head. Stay as optimistic as you can, it'll help you grow into not only a better athlete, but a better version of yourself.
Do you have a favourite quotation or mantra related to training?
"No deposit, no return." This is what my running coaches told me on day one of practice and at every single race.