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“10 Questions” with Emily Kujala Smartt

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Hi folks, my name is Carmine Sarazen. I am a photographer based in town. I am also a member at CrossFit Boynton Beach. In the past 9 months I have had the privilege of making images around the box. Rob and Aline have trusted me enough to give me the freedom to shoot just about anything I want, when I want. The community here is just about the best I’ve seen. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say hi, and let you in on another one of my pastimes, which is writing, I really only learned to write in the past 2 years, so bare with me. I was thinking about what I wanted to feature on the new and improved blog, and the first thing that came to mind was a way to get the members connected to other members. Some athletes train at the same time every week and never get a chance to cross paths and meet new people. I am inspired by many members, and Emily is no exception. The reality of this growing sport is that 99% of us workout for fun and well being. Very few are here to compete. I spent the afternoon with Emily and she has found a way to straddle the numbers. We are seeing her compete in regional competitions, improve her personal health, and lead by example. We had a few moments to chat, and here is her outlook on life, family, and CrossFit.

What is your athletic back ground like, did you play sports in high school?

Growing up I was a figure skater. Then in my teens I started speed skating (on inlines).  Speed skating helped instill self discipline and taught me to push through pain.

 

Are you a native Floridian?

Yes sir, I was born and  raised in South  Florida…

Tell me a little bit about your family, kids, parents, etc…

I’m married to Nate (the Great) he is super with me and amazing with our two lovely, beastly kids. Zadok-4 and Nakota-2. They are sweet and spicy all the way through! I’m so thankful for N8, Z, & K they make my life so rich in so many ways. Also big props to myparents, sisters, and brother who always help out with our babes so I can CrossFit!

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What’s up with Island Living?  Before Nate and I had kids we lived down in the USVI on St. John for 3 years. It was such a great experience for us. It taught me that I can survive without all the things (material) I thought I needed to be happy. We lived in an Eddie Bauer tent for 6 months on the side of a hill, while helping our good friends build a cottage. We lived without electric,  water or a bathroom. It was awesome! We would retreat to Alaska for the summer, it was the one of the most important experiences of our lives.

 

How and when did you start CrossFitting?

I actually started CrossFit when I was 6 months pregnant with Nakota. I couldn’t stand going to the gym (it was so boring for me, and I was going crazy. so I decided to CrossFit. I walked right in and met Rob. He was very cordial. I posed the question, ” Will you take a 6 month old pregnant lady?” He replied “Sure.” I started right away.  Unfortunately I had to stop after I had Nakota, so I experienced a good 3 months of  modified workouts.  A year and a half passed before I could make it back to try and train unmodified. I started back January 15, 2013 and  I’m so happy and blessed CrossFit is back in my life!

What is your favorite healthy and unhealthy snack?

My favorite healthy snack is a huge bowl of salad greens, lots of crunchy veggies, a grilled piece of salmon topped with balsamic vinaigrette! My favorite junk food are  Hoffman’s chocolate covered pretzels!!

What are your favorite and least favorite WOD’s?  

My favorite WOD’s are long and challenging. I have never done a WOD that I didn’t like. I don’t think I ever will (being the CrossFit nerd I am.) Well the worst WOD would be one I quit on (which I hope I never ever do!)

You have recently started competing in regional competitions, what’s that like?

I have done 3 local scaled comps. I enjoyed all of them. I tell myself it’s just going to be another great workout day, so that helps me stay motivated.

How has your life changed since you started CrossFit?

CrossFit has totally changed my life. It has taught me that it’s perfectly fine to do something for myself and still be an outstanding mother and wife. I’m a better balanced person when I train daily. I remember telling Nate ” Babe ,I can either unleash at home or unleash at the box.” He was sold instantly.

 What do you love about CFBB and why?

I love everything about CrossFit Boynton Beach. Rob and Aline are always helpful and encouraging. All of the coaches  me push us to new heights. The atmosphere is welcoming and friendly. I learn a lot from the other athletes.

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