As Real Xtreme Rx continues to grow through increased awareness in the CrossFit community, we count ourselves lucky that it has given us the opportunity to cross paths with the quality of people and caliber of athletes that this sport has in such high concentration. One of those individuals is Nellanna Kurylo whom we had the pleasure of meeting at the @CrossfitGames – Canada West Regionals where she was competing earlier this year.
Check out Nellanna’s journey from high level University athlete to constantly improving CrossFitter.
I have played soccer competitively for as long as I can remember. I am a graduated member of the @UVicVikes Women’s Soccer team on which I played and started as a defender for 5 years. As soon as my Vikes soccer career ended I began training with the Victoria Highlanders Semi-Professional Women’s soccer team in 2010 & 2011. In 2011, the Women’s Highlander Team joined the United Soccer Leagues W-League, the highest women’s league in North America, playing teams such as Colorado Force, Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders. However with only one year of schooling left before becoming a Registered Nurse, practicum requirements and hospital shifts started conflicting with Soccer and I was forced to leave it. Without soccer, I felt lost, searching for something to fill my competitive void.
After tagging along with a friend to a couple of CrossFit classes I was shocked to find how unfit I really was. At the beginning, because I was very cardio based, I would boycott certain workouts and attend workout days when there was running in the WOD. I was intimidated at first, as there where so many things I couldn’t do. I was so excited about my first pullup until I realized that I needed to do them without using a band as a trampoline. Eventually I did my first ‘kipping pull-up’ and there was no turning back, I was addicted. Everyday athletes from my gym push me to become better and challenge me to exceed my limits. Instead of being intimidated by the heavy weights and movements, that I cannot do, I now feel motivated and driven to work harder to conquer my weaknesses. Now that I have been doing CrossFit for about two years, I can push myself to beat my previous WOD scores/times showing that I am getting fitter and stronger. I may not be where I want to be as a CrossFit athlete yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday and I will be even closer tomorrow.
Additionally, I have always had a reason or a specific goal as an athlete; this was lost when I left soccer. The CrossFit Open and Regionals gave me back specific goals to help motivate my training. With a little extra focus and effort, my abilities as a CrossFit athlete steadily grew, as I set new personal records (PRs) each week and acquired skills in movements such as pistols, hang cleans and muscle ups that I never thought possible, all in just over a month. The Open and Regionals this year gave me that adrenaline and competitive rush that I thrive on and that I missed in my life. The exhilarating competition environment and required workouts created such an amazing experience that I can’t wait for next year. Now that Regionals are over, I am looking to set new and ambitious goals for next year. I am so excited to see what lies ahead for me in CrossFit as I still have so far to go and so much to work on. Instead of saying that I am soccer-fit, I am proud to say #IamCrossFit.