This week, Box Stalker brings you an interview with Allie Bourdon. She tells us all about her life outside of CrossFit, including her dog Murph, what foods are on her plate each day, and what she does for work. Read on to learn about what really got her into CrossFit, what she thinks about the idea that CrossFit is a cult, and why she can finally say that she is proud of her body.
So, Allie - what do you love most about CrossFit?
Oh, this question could possibly be never ending!
Well first, you can tell us a little bit about yourself before you became a CrossFit athlete.
I was a collegiate soccer player whose career was ended abruptly because of a knee injury. You fall into a funk when you hear that you will never be able to play the sport you love again due to your body’s inability. My funk lasted all of three years…I gained 30 unwanted pounds and had become okay with my few miles a week of running at the park. But something was always missing. I could never find anything to wear, I was not happy, and that all changed when I was introduced to CrossFit.
And how did you get involved with CrossFit?
I got involved in CrossFit not by choice - it was more out of guilt than anything else. Lindsay, my older sister, had been doing CrossFit with my mom in a local gym in Cartersville. I thought they were crazy and stuck with my running routine of two or three miles a couple of times a week. It was not until Lindsay partnered with the co-owner of CrossFit Adrenaline, Clifton Bennett, that I felt obligated to give it a try.
So you got involved with CrossFit to support your sister?
Well, I figured that if she believed in something so much as to make it her life, it was probably worth giving it a shot. I knew that the worst that could happen was that I would hate CrossFit and not want to do it. But deep down inside, I knew that would not be the case.
Lindsay and Allie, on Lindsay's wedding day
Many people who are just beginning CrossFit say that they’re so sore that they can’t move after they work out. Was this the case for you?
The aches and pains tend go away quicker the longer you stick with it. And the longer you stick with CrossFit, the more you want to come back.
What CrossFit stigma have you heard before, but found to be untrue?
This question makes me laugh because you hear so many!
Well, what about the stigma that when women do CrossFit, they will end up looking like a man?
This is the one I hear the most! Women will say they will never try CrossFit or do it regularly because it will make them bulky or “manly.” Yes, you will develop muscles - I like to call them lean muscles. Yes, you will be able to see your veins in your hands and arms if you eat clean - and eat enough. Yes, your skinny jeans may squeeze your thighs and bottom a little bit tighter. Last but not least, you may lose some of your womanly assets because those are the fatty parts of your body.
So what do you do when someone tells you that they’re not going to do CrossFit because they don’t want to bulk up like a man? That’s got to be an odd conversation for a CrossFit athlete to have.
I have asked woman who have said this to me, “So do I look bulky?” and I’m secretly hoping that they tell me yes, because I would totally take it as a compliment. All in all, ever since I was 14 years old I cannot say that I have been happy with my body. I never really let it get to me, but I never looked in the mirror and thought super great things. Now, at my age of 24, I look in the mirror and feel proud.
Wow – that is an awesome thing to be able to say!
I’m proud of the hard work I have put into looking “bulky.” I am proud of my muscles that I didn’t even know existed anymore. Nothing will ever change my mind about that.
Some people say that CrossFit is a cult. What do you think about that idea?
The main thing I love most about this sport is the fact that it really does change lives. If you do not know what CrossFit is, or why people do it, then yes, you may look at it as some sort of cult. In reality, it is a bunch of people who like to work out and hang out. It makes past athletes competitive again, it makes 60-year-olds do the unthinkable, it makes kids learn the value of a healthy lifestyle, and most importantly, it makes you realize that you are never alone. The person next to you is feeling the same thing you are. It’s a good feeling.
Tell us about what you do when you’re not CrossFitting.
When I am not CrossFitting I am usually at work. I work for my brother-in-law, TJ Menerey, at H&R Block in Acworth as the Marketing Coordinator for five offices. I love my job. It truly is a job I like to go to everyday.
Being busy with work, how do you find time for your WOD?
During tax season it is hard to catch a break at work, so getting to the gym in early mornings or later in the evenings is usually the case. It makes for a great night of sleep!
What about hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your off time?
As far as hobbies, I love to be outside. I enjoy hiking or just working in the yard. My fiancé and I have a pretty cool dog named Murph. He is 2 and makes me laugh with his personality. He takes a lot of my free time also. But I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Murph and Allie, on the day she got engaged
Tell us what’s on your plate. What would a typical day look like for you, food-wise? Any favorite meals or snacks you would like to share with us?
A typical food day for me would start out with breakfast, of course. In high school and college, I thought skipping breakfast worked. Boy, was I wrong!
Well, they do say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What do you do for breakfast now?
For breakfast it is usually two eggs, scrambled or sunny-side-up, two pieces of bacon, two applewood sausages, and some fruit…a banana, apple, pineapple, or grapes normally. This holds me off until lunchtime which ranges anywhere from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
Then what do you have for lunch?
For lunch I usually eat protein on a big salad with all sorts of veggies in it. When I say protein I mean MEAT. Some chicken thighs, chicken tenders, or steak are my favorites. A salad is not complete unless you have 10-15 ounces of meat on it, or more.
That’s a serious salad!
Well, when you train a lot you need more calories. So eating a lot of food is necessary. I top lunch off with another piece of fruit for that sweet craving I always get.
Then what about dinner?
If I am planning on an evening at the gym I will pack a Larabar and eat it an hour or so before getting to gym. Dinner consists of meat, 15 to 20 ounces, a salad, and a side. Usually the side is grilled or steamed veggies. If I am still hungry after dinner I will eat some more fruit at night. Sometimes I will get really crazy and eat almond butter on a banana!
It’s got to be important for you to stay hydrated, too.
I drink water all throughout the day...I can’t get enough! But I usually try and limit myself to four cups of coffee. I love the So Delicious Coconut Creamer for my coffee, but I do use normal sugar.
Do you get “cheat” days?
I cheat one day a week normally. I love French fries, macaroni and cheese, and Chex Mix the most!
So, back to CrossFit for a minute - what is the CrossFit-related accomplishment that you’re most proud of?
This is a no brainer! My team from CrossFit Adrenaline took third place overall at the CrossFit Games last year. Words cannot describe the feeling of accomplishment standing on the podium with them. We clenched the third-place spot by winning the final workout at the Games last year. Talk about an emotional moment! We were shocked that we were capable of doing that. We have been competing together for almost three years now and we are going to our third Southeast Regional in a week. I am excited to put in one more year with these people. They truly are the ones who keep me going.
Speaking of competitions, anything that you would like to share about CrossFit Regionals, which is coming up soon?
We are so excited about Regionals this year! I think after doing what we did last year we have a lot expected of us, but we are really going to go out and do the best we can. With the team we have I truly believe we can make it back to California, but only time will tell!
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