Tell Us A Little Bit About You…
Hi! I'm Lauren. My friends call me "lolo" or "lo". I will answer to any of the three and have no preference. :) I am 28, live in Colorado with my partner (along with our cat and dog) and have been doing CrossFit for a year.
Where Did Your Fitness Journey Begin? How Did You Get Here?
Man, my athletic journey has been quite the experience (in the best way possible). I am an adaptive athlete and was born with a hip deformity and limb deficiency know as PFFD (I am missing my right leg and wear a prosthetic).
I have always been passionate about expressing myself through movement and pushing the boundaries of my physical and mental being. Growing up, I played volleyball, basketball and golf on able-bodied teams. I loved the way sports gave me an outlet to not only challenge myself, but to prove that us humans are capable of so much more than we often give ourselves credit for.
When I became a "real" adult and realized my time playing on teams sports had come to an end, I knew I needed to find another way to continue feeding my competitive spirit and incorporate fitness into my life. Over the years, I dabbled in general strength training and bodybuilding style workouts, but felt I got stuck in mundane gym routines and wasn't truly advancing my fitness in a way that was fulfilling.
When I eventually discovered CrossFit (after stumbling upon the CrossFit Games documentaries on Netflix and following a few of the elite athletes on social media), I knew immediately I wanted to be a part of the sport and do so in a serious way. I called up a box local in my area, met my coach, and it was history from there. My first-ever time competing was at the 2023 CrossFit Games within the Women's Lower Extremity Adaptive Division.
Being so new in the sport, I don't have tons of medals yet, but certainly plan to change that as I continue advancing on my athletic journey.
One "accolade" I am truly proud of is the immense amount of growth I've had as an athlete just in one short year and my ability to qualify for the Games—which was a huge dream of mine. There were lots of long days during this process, a lot of failures, a lot of getting back up again, a lot of reminding myself that all good things take time, and a LOT of hard work. I feel proud of myself for never throwing in the towel and often find that to be one of my biggest wins. I am one to always keep a strong dose of determination in my back pocket and credit so much of the support I had from my coach, family and friends to my success thus far. As they say, it takes a village, and I am very fortunate to have one behind me.
Oh, and CrossFit also filmed this video of my story and titled me as a "changemaker" within the sport. That was pretty rad. :)
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I was awarded a full-tuition and housing scholarship to college from being a golf caddie! Check out the full story here https://vimeo.com/244682813
Do you have a favorite dessert or cheat meal?
Ice cream. Hands down. 100000%. I am a sucker for some 'scream.
What does your diet/nutrition look like? Any advice to others on things that you've had to learn the hard way in this are of your health and fitness?
The best advice I have learned about diet and nutrition, especially as an athlete, is that it is okay to eat and it is okay to eat MORE. CrossFit has been pivotal in shifting my mindset about body image and the relationship I have with food
When I was in middle school and going into high school, I struggled pretty severely with anorexia and had multiple stays in the hospital because of it. For a long time, I tied the success of my fitness to having a slim figure and eating as little carbs as possible. CrossFit for me has been almost....freeing. Freeing in the sense that I am now more concerned with what how my body performs rather than what it looks like. I am excited to fuel my body with foods (and lots of them) because I know that it will only make me a better athlete and provide me with the energy I need to perform at a high level.
I work with a nutritionist not necessarily to restrict myself with a calorie or macro count, but really, to ensure that I am consuming enough food and doing so on a consistent basis. The knowledge I have gained about nutrition through my journey as an athlete has honestly been a beautiful thing, and I must say, it's one to thing look strong, but a whole other thing to FEEL strong.
Tell us a little about your training regimen - do you follow specific training program(s), coaching/coaches, etc.? How do you prioritize your training over other aspects of life to reach this level of competitiveness?
Well, given I do still have an 8-5 day job, I train for about three (sometimes four) hours per day, broken up into two separate sessions (morning before work and evening after work). My morning sessions usually consist of weight lifting and accessory work, and my evening sessions are typically metcons, EMOMs, skill work, etc. I train six days a week (rest on Monday's), with one of those days being more cardio/zone 2 based (swimming + bike erg, etc.).
Every minute in a day counts for me and I do my best to make life easier by meal prepping, carving out specific date nights to spend quality with my partner, keeping a consistent sleep schedule, giving myself grace if I am having a hard day mentally or physically, etc. My ability to prioritize training is definitely a mixture of motivation, dedication and creating a routine that is almost "mindless" to execute on a day-to-day basis.
What’s the biggest piece of advice that you’ve been given, that’s made an impact on you as an individual, that you wish to share with others for their journey?
That it is, in fact, "that simple".
I once heard someone say that people, or perhaps society at large, will try to scare you out of doing new things by telling you "it's not that simple".
Many times in my life, especially as an adaptive human, I have been told "you can't do this, you can't do that, you will never be able to XYZ". And yet, every time I have gone on to do the things I was told I could never do, I ended up succeeding at them or figuring out ways to make it work for me specifically.
At the end of the day, I always feel worse not trying at all rather than trying, probably failing a few times, and then getting back up and trying again. My advice to anyone would be to believe in yourself and don't be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. Will it be uncomfortable at first? Hell yeah! Will you make yourself proud by your willingness to do a hard thing? Absolutely.
You got this. Go do the thing.
What are some of your goals for yourself in the sport?
My goal as a competitive CrossFit athlete goes far beyond just the simple act of competing and becoming the best athlete I can be.
My goal is to create change for our next generation of adaptive athletes. To encourage other individuals to take a chance on themselves through the world of sport and fitness. To serve others and make impact for the greater good of our entire CrossFit community.
If I can make even the smallest influence on the inclusivity of our sport and show others following in my footsteps that they are capable of accomplishing anything they set out to do— I will walk away from my journey with a full heart and the biggest smile on my face.
Why do you choose to partner with Swolverine?
For me, when it comes to partnerships, it is critical that I believe in the brand I am involving myself with and that they foster the same type of belief in me.
This is exactly what I have found with Swolverine.
From the get go, I could tell that Swolverine was genuine in it's mission to create clean and safe products for athletes and non-athletes alike to consume. I have tried MANY performance brands over the years and none have come close to the kind of quality I have found with Swolverine. The culture of the brand puts it's community first and doesn't try to sell you products that are expensive and unnecessary for you to implement within your daily routine.
I am very glad that I have found Swolverine and would recommend their products to anyone.
What are your favorite products to use from Swolverine?
Let's see....Collagen, ZMT, Greens + Reds, and Clean Carbs!