April Athlete of the Month: Andy Ptacek

Many of you have seen Andy in the gym. She is usually under a barbell that has weight about equal to her body weight, or she is doing chest-to-bar pullups like nothing, or she is zooming past you on a run….or, she is upset about her double-unders (but, even those are quickly improving:) After watching Andy clean & jerk 95 pounds 23 TIMES in Open WOD 13.4, a visiting CrossFitter from out-of-state labeled Andy, “The Little Bad Ass.” We would have to agree.

Andy started with Incendia in CrossFit 101 as soon as we opened our doors. Her company was instrumental in the creation of our logo and website. She has been a part of Incendia since before the beginning, really. We knew she was a great marketer, but what took us by surprise was her athleticism, determination and competitive spirit. Andy has the drive to achieve whatever it is in the gym she puts her mind to: pull ups, then chest-to-bar pull ups, then butterfly pull ups, followed by rope climbs, muscle ups, pistols, handstand push ups, Olympic Lifts….and double unders. She has mastered almost every “CrossFit Movement” in an amazingly short amount of time.

We are very proud of Andy and can’t wait to watch her compete. This girl is going to knock everyone’s socks off and they won’t even know what hit them! Congratulations, Andy!

When did you start CrossFit:

I started CrossFit when CrossFit Incendia first opened its doors in November 2012.

Why did you start CrossFit:

I was excited to workout in a community enviornment. I’ve never liked gyms so my only alternative after having both my kids was P90X, Insanity and running… which helped me “get back in shape,” but I was so board. I also wanted to push my limits more.

What kept you coming back/motivated:

At first, I had no idea what I was capable of, so just completing a workout felt like I climbed the highest mountain. Then, every time the workout called for something I’d done before, I’d up the ante a little. For example, I started out with a 19# kettlebell and recently swung a 53# kettlebell in a workout – even if it was only for one of the rounds 😉 I just want to be the best version of myself and CrossFit helps me with that physically and mentally.

What is the best thing you have gotten out of doing CrossFit:

Community. Being surrounded by people who care as much as I do about their health and fitness. I am healthier now, at 30 years old and two kids later, than I have ever been, even as a high school athlete or club softball player. I wish I would have found CrossFit back then.

What is the one thing you have done here that you never thought you could do? 

Olympic lifts. I would come to open gym and play with the bar. I was eager, but failing a lot with not a lot of weight. Once I was able to do the lifts safely, I was moved up to CrossFit in January and was sick to my stomach every time I saw the WOD. I never thought I’d be able to RX an olympic lift in a WOD any time soon, but this past month has been a breakthrough for me. I told myself to just chill out and be confident in *my* best… Bruce reminded me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me… I had to get my head straight… this is about more than what I can lift… this is about becoming the best version of myself in everyday life for God’s glory, not my own. Trying was good enough. Then we did 13.4 and I freaking lifted 95# overhead… 23 times.

What is one goal you have reached? And one goal you still hope to reach?

I accomplished a muscle up, twice. Then I hurt my bicep trying and it’s playing with my head. I feel like it was an anomaly so someday I hope to be able to do them consistently.

How has your diet changed since starting CrossFit?

Before CrossFit I was a pasta, pita, pancake fanatic and ate only a little meat, although I still loved my veggies and fruit. Now, I understand food is fuel and am 90% Paleo consistently. I also care a lot about the quality of food me and my family are eating. GMOs and chemicals are out to get us! 

What do you tell your friends about CrossFit?

When you CrossFit, you want the people you care about most to get that adrenaline rush, that body transformation, that mental serenity, or whatever keeps YOU in the box, but the great thing about CrossFit is that it really is for everyone….from the variety of workouts to the variety of physical, mental and spiritual benefits. I just tell my friends and family to try it with me, because I don’t want them to miss out on the experience.