We, the Solace coaching staff, are very excited to award our November Member of the Month to Christine Knudson!

Christine started with us almost two years ago – taking three back to back strength cycles. It wasn’t until much later (and a lot of pushing from Coach Kenny), she tried Crossfit and became a full member. Despite her initial resistance, Christine is now a regular in Crossfit, Body and Barbell classes, and was even a superstar in the Nutrition challenge, truly taking advantage of all Solace has to offer.

Crossfit did not come easily to her, and like most competitive individuals, Christine hated being bad at the movements. Instead of looking at her inexperience as weakness, Christine now looks forward to the challenge. Regardless if she is good at the movements or not, Christine shows up for every WOD. Progress not perfection is the goal. She shows up to work on her weaknesses just as much as her strengths, really embodying the spirit of Crossfit.

Coach Wolf recalls her journey through strength cycle. “Christine started with several strength cycles, took her squat from something like 85 lbs to 175 lbs, and then became a regular member and took Crossfit and Body classes almost every day.  She thrived, continuing to get stronger while also developing her broader Crossfit and Olympic lifting skills. She’d go out of her way to walk all the way to the back to say hi to me almost every day, a year after I last coached her!  And now she’s back in strength and crushing it again.”

Whether it’s her hard work during Crossfit or Body class or just cheering on her fellow athletes during the Best in the Box competition, Christine brings a tremendous energy to the community. She has come a long way as an athlete and is constantly looking for ways to improve. From the entire community and staff at Solace, it is an honor to have you a part of the Solace family and we want to thank you for sharing your journey with us. So what are you waiting for?! Keep reading to learn more about our November Member of the Month!

Want to become a part of the Solace family? Click HERE  to sign up for a free introductory CrossFit class this week.

Member of the Month
Name: Christine Knudson
Hometown: Hazlet, NJ
Age: 40
Occupation: Compensation Director at PwC

How long have you been doing CrossFit and how did you get into it? I started doing CrossFit around January/February of this year. Last year, I did three Strength Cycles in a row with Wolf and it was great. After that, I knew I couldn’t go back to my old gym routine. I was always intrigued watching everyone do CrossFit from the back racks, so I finally decided to give it a shot.

What were your thoughts after your first CF workout? I hate this. Literally. I hated it.

What were your goals when joining CrossFit? Just the basics, I guess… to progress, get stronger, and challenge myself.

How did you find Solace and what has kept you with us for so long? I knew Coach Kenny pre-Solace so when he started Body, he told me to come check it out. He had been trying to get me to do CrossFit for a while, but I was resistant (sorry, Kenny, I hate that you were right). It’s really a combination of the people, both the coaches and members, as well as everything that Solace offers that has kept me here. I love mixing it up with CrossFit, Body, and Barbell. And I’m currently doing my 4th Strength Cycle. It’s really amazing that no matter how horrible my mood is or how awful my day has been, I leave this place in a better mood. Also, there are a lot of really strong people here! I enjoy going to the gym and working out with all these incredible people who push continually me to be better every day.

You have improved tremendously since starting with us. Talk to us about that. It’s interesting to think about. I wasn’t kidding when I said I hated it in the beginning. I do NOT like being bad at something and holy hell, I’m bad at a lot of CrossFit movements. The first month was a real struggle. I remember thinking that maybe it just wasn’t for me. Then, something changed and I stopped caring about what I couldn’t do and started to enjoy just being there. The coaches helped a lot and now I love the challenge and look forward to continuous improvement.

What or who was the biggest motivator/inspiration? There’s something about finishing a workout, as scaled as it may be, that makes me feel good. It’s also seeing all of the strong people around me and what they can do, especially the women. Instead of being discouraged because I’m not as good as them, I find it motivating. Coach Chelsea posted a video on Instagram a couple of weeks ago from her first CrossFit competition and I loved the shit out of that because it’s what I look like now and it’s great to see a person’s progression.

What has been the most challenging part of your journey? Biggest obstacles? Not getting discouraged and working on my weaknesses. It’s human nature to avoid what you don’t like so I’ve been trying to change that mentality. Obviously, I know I’ll never get better if I avoid what I suck at, but man, it is frustrating!

What changes have you made to your daily life, diet & workout routine that have been the most successful for you? Consistency doing workouts has been key for me. Slacking off really isn’t an option. Sure, I have some bad weeks, but then I get right back to it. I’ve also been trying to eat more and I’m working on getting more sleep. It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do for a person.

How has Solace positively affected you both inside and outside the gym? I’ve met some really great people and love that feeling of accomplishment when I’ve finished a workout. Also, like I mentioned earlier, it’s such a mood changer. I practically laugh the entire time, even when I’m almost dying. That stays with me even after I’ve left the gym.

What keeps you motivated? I love seeing progress, even the littlest bit. I am getting better and stronger and I feel great, so I want to keep going. Of course, there’s the physical aspect too. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m motivated by the desire to look good.

Biggest achievement at Solace so far? Anytime I can Rx a workout I count it as an achievement, but I was really happy when I hit that 200 lb deadlift!

Current goal you’re working on? I want a damn muscle up. I almost had a ring muscle up a couple weeks ago, but needed some assistance (thanks, Coach Dariel).

Something no one at the gym knows about you. I was a toddler model. Haha, true story, I was in magazines and department store print ads. Then I stopped growing, so there went that career!

When you’re not at Solace, where are we most likely to find you? Probably out and about walking my dog (unless it’s winter, then catch me inside).

Pre and post workout meal of choice? I am horrible at this! I just want someone to tell me exactly what I should be eating before and after a workout. Right now my pre-workout meal (a snack, really) is a smoothie bowl with fruit, protein, almond milk, almond butter and post is whatever I can get my hands on that’s relatively healthy. My quick, weeknight meal hack is ground turkey or chicken with salsa and quinoa.

Favorite WOD/least favorite WOD: Don’t kill me, but I still don’t know the names of the WODs. There was one horrible-sounding WOD that had descending jerks combined with ascending pull-ups (the last round was 20 pull-ups). I was sore for days, but I loved that one! I also like the EMOM with 3 cleans, 3 front squats, 3 jerks and the AMRAP with power cleans, box jumps, and toes to bar. My least favorite is anything with wall balls (because I hate them) or double unders (because I still can’t do them).

Favorite lift/least favorite lift: It’s hard to pick a favorite because I like a lot of them, but I’ll go with the deadlift. Least favorite requires no thought whatsoever… snatch.

Advice for someone looking to start CrossFit? Just try it and don’t worry about what other people are doing, focus on yourself.

Knowing how far you’ve come, if you could give your past-self advice, what would it be? Ugh, this kills me…. start sooner! Even just weightlifting, if I had started in my 20’s damn, who knows where I’d be. Lol.

Rapid Fire Questions
(I feel I need to point out that I really hate answering questions like these!)
If you had a theme song, what would it be? Here I Go Again – Whitesnake

What is your spirit animal? I took a quiz once and it said cat because I’m independent and curious. Both of those are true, so I guess I’ll take it even though I’m a dog person.

Drink of choice: Red wine (or Tequila, if I’m really going for it)

Last picture you took on your phone: Selfie of my Halloween costume

Last book you read: My Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Favorite reality show: Don’t really have one, but maybe The Voice because I wish I could sing.

Last concert you went to: Billy Joel

Favorite pizza topping: Pepperoni

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? The most practical choice would be flying because I’m tired of taking public transportation everywhere, but I’m going with healing.

One thing you couldn’t live without: Music

Favorite emoji: Without a doubt the eye roll emoji

Last song stuck in your head: Too Good – Drake (ft. Rihanna)
Most important item in your gym bag: It’s a toss up between my Bear Komplex grips or Genie tape. Without it, I rip my thumbs all the time when I snatch.

First album/CD/cassette you ever bought? I have no idea! The first recollection I have of getting a cassette was “We Built this City” by Starship (it was a gift from Santa, though).

Favorite hidden gem spot/restaurant in NYC: Bo’s on 24th Street is still somewhat unknown. Maybe not a hidden gem exactly, but it has a cool vibe, live music on the weekends, good food, and great cocktails.

Favorite healthy snack: Green apple with almond butter. I’m obsessed with the almond butter from Whole Foods that you grind yourself.

Go to karaoke song: Trust me, you do NOT want me to sing!

Hidden talent: Wow, I think I’m talentless, I can’t think of anything. When I was growing up, I would always find mistakes in movies and TV shows and for the longest time, I wanted to be an editor. Next time you watch Home Alone, notice when the girl is doing the headcount by the van… she counts the neighbor (who she thinks is Kevin), but she also counts herself twice. LOL talk about a useless talent!!

Someone you could party with for a night dead or alive, who and why? My uncle. He passed away last year. He was only in his 60’s and it happened so fast that I still don’t think it’s real sometimes. He was a character, I would love to be able to hang with him again, and he loved that I was into weightlifting (he was a lifter as well).

Anything else you’d like us to know? Aren’t you sick of me by now?! If you’ve made it this far, you deserve a prize. Seriously though, thank you to everyone at Solace who has coached me, pushed me, encouraged me, inspired me, made me laugh, almost died with me, etc.