1. Tell us about yourself

I was born in the northern most part of India called Kashmir, a little paradise right in the midst of the majestic Himalayas. I spent a majority of childhood in India and teenage years in the middle east. I moved to the US for grad school 15 years ago. Since then, I have lived in many states across the country – CA, AZ, NJ, WA,OH, NY and finally moved to Texas 5 years ago. I live here with my cozy little family – my husband and 4 year old son. I am an engineer and an MBA and help devise business strategies for tech companies. I am an ambitious working mom who wishes she could clone herself on most days.

I didn’t have too many opportunities being athletic growing up, part of it was the fact that I lived 2 hrs away from school and it was hard to stay back after-school to participate in any sports. In college I was captain of the badminton and basketball teams. I fell in love with lifting after I had my son. Before that I had no exposure to the fact that women should or could lift – it was a cultural misconception since women hardly lifted where I grew up.

2. Why did you decide to pursue Crossfit?

After a couple of years of lifting by myself in a gym, I felt like I hit a roadblock. I wasn’t seeing results and there were some glaring gaps in my fitness. I would avoid any kind of cardio like the plague.I was also struggling with an auto-immune condition called hashimotos which shot down my metabolism significantly and it got harder to stay motivated. The name Crossfit kept popping up here and piqued my interest but I procrastinated to find a crossfit gym for a while. I finally mustered the courage and visited a few CF gyms around me about a year and a half ago. I have been hooked since the day I walked into Crossfit 3040. I am just glad I didn’t give up and run away during the first week. That week was one of the biggest kicks in the behind I had gotten in a while. I so wish I had discovered CF earlier in my life but better late than never!

3. How long have you been a member of Crossfit3040?

I have been a member of Crossfit3040 for a year and a half now. I am just amazed at the passion, skills and grit I see at the box day in and day out. I am so inspired by you all.

4. What is your favorite benchmark/hero Wod and why?

It’s a mystery right now so I am calling it John/Jane Doe J . I have promised myself to do as many benchmark workouts as I can this year so I can discover my favorite one soon.

5. What do you consider your proudest moment or greatest accomplishment at Crossfit3040?

My proudest moments have been squatting and deadlifting over 200 lbs. My PR for both these lifts has jumped up by more than 100 lbs in the past year and all the credit goes to the best coaches ever – Willy and Emily! I would also count my 5k as an accomplishment as running has been a huge weakness. I seriously thought I would drop dead during the 5k that was programmed last year but I managed to complete it and survive.

6. How has getting in shape changed your life?

Getting in shape has changed my life in more ways than I can say. I have lost more than 50 lbs in the past few years and along with that shed a lot of self-doubt and self-loathing. But more than the weight loss, I love how much stronger I am now – both physically and mentally. I feel empowered every time I am working out and love setting new goals for myself. When I started on my fitness journey 3 years ago, I started a health and fitness facebook support group with my friend for Indian women as it was hard to find women from my culture on the same journey as me. That group now has 35,000 south Asian women from all over the world encouraging and uplifting each other daily. I am blessed to be able to play small part in bringing fitness into lives of women who would never prioritize their health otherwise.

7. What are some of your favorite things to do outside of Crossfit?

I love hiking in the mountains and doing anything outdoorsy. I was an artist once upon a time as well as a voracious reader. Most of my hobbies have taken a backseat now as I prioritize and focus on 3 things – family, fitness and work.