December Member of the Month: Hillary Shusterman
Thank you for your time and for accepting to be our “Member Monday.” Before we get into your story, let’s start with a brief introduction…(age, town, family/kids, occupation, etc.)
I am a 25 years old living in Weymouth, MA and I work as a marketing strategist in the Financial District in Boston.
What did you do for your health and fitness before you started at RCFBC?
My family was always pretty active, and my mother had introduced me to indoor rowing pretty early on in my teenage years. Once I got into college, I was introduced to weightlifting and obstacle course racing. I had endurance on my side, but not a lot of strength. I see pictures of myself from a few years before starting at RCFBC and I definitely was lacking muscle.
Can you talk about your first exposure to CrossFit here at Reebok CrossFit Bare Cove and the emotions that followed?
I remember for years I’d drive past RCFBC on 3A and kept telling myself to go in – but never brought myself to go for it. What pushed me to finally walk in those doors was a YouTube video where Andrea Ager, Jackie Perez, and Rita Benavides were lifting heavy, and talking about how CrossFit had made them feel more confident in their bodies – despite popular belief that CrossFit makes women look “bulky”. I’ve struggled with body image all my life, and the first year or so at RCFBC was a real struggle for me to come to terms with the fact that I was building muscle on a frame that really hadn’t had that before. So yes – finding blazers that accommodate strong shoulders, and finding jeans that can handle thick thighs and a small waist are difficult – but feeling like a badass amongst your community and building a better body every day is something much more special and rewarding.
What is one way CrossFit has positively impacted your regular/daily life?
To continue on the thread of self confidence, I have learned to embrace my strength and body composition – which has been a struggle for me since childhood. I don’t look at my body as something that needs to fit the traditional mold of “femininity” – but instead look at what my body can accomplish and I can proudly say I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life.
What’s your favorite CrossFit movement?
Triple-way-tie with burpees, squat cleans, and rope climbs.
What are your 3 LEAST favorite exercises?
Squat snatches, jerks, and anything involving running with an object.
What advice would you give to a new member at RCFBC?
If you are new to RCFBC, or fitness in general, or even if you are a seasoned fitness junkie but are new to Crossfit – at some point or another you will want to quit. I have seen so many people come and go in the nearly 3 years I’ve been here. Just know that the results you want will not be overnight – and like anything it will require persistence and consistency. Your body is changing and that’s AMAZING. While the end result may seem like a far away dream, cherish the journey. There will be setbacks – hell, I am still dealing with the repercussions of an Achilles and knee injury – but I am working through them – yes I scale – and I constantly strive to be better. And that mindset will translate into every facet of your life. It’s a magical thing – don’t forget that.
If you could sum up RCFBC in one word, what would it be?