MOTQ: Danielle Gambardella
Q: When did you first hear about CrossFit and how did you get started?
Way back in December of 2011, a friend told me about this crazy thing called “CrossFit” that he was using to stay in shape. I had never lifted weights or been a member of a gym before, so I was definitely intimidated. But it sounded like a fun challenge, so I joined a local CrossFit box that next month and have never looked back since.
Q: Why did you stick with it?
I was a skinny 110 pounds when I started. I thought I was strong, but I quickly realized that I had very little muscle, and I wanted to change that. Seeing some of the other women throwing heavy weight around like it was nothing helped inspire me to continue.
Q: What do you enjoy most about Bell City CrossFit?
I came to Bell City CrossFit for the programming, which was great at the time and has only improved since. I stayed not only for that, but also because of the people. The community is welcoming, supportive, and not cliquey at all, which is refreshing.
Q: Most and least favorite lift?
My favorite lift is the clean. My least favorite is the snatch, because I struggle to wrap my mind around throwing all that weight over my head directly from the floor. But with the help of the awesome BCCF coaches, I’m slowly but steadily conquering that mental block!
Q. What do you train for?
I train because it’s fun but also because being fit and healthy helps me get more out of life. I’m also less likely to hurt myself while performing an everyday task, like picking something up from the floor, because I understand and practice proper lifting mechanics, and my body is ready for it. In short, I train for life.
Q: What is your greatest CrossFit success story?
I’d love to share a really inspiring story, but the first thing that comes to mind is when I successfully performed my first ring muscle up. It’s tough not to view that movement as “the holy grail” of CrossFit, so I was stoked when I finally achieved it and then did it again and again after that.
Q: What do you do for work?
I’m an electrical engineer.
Q: What do you do for fun with you’re not at the gym?
Those who know me know that I spend a lot of time at my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy (Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy Connecticut). I’m a fourth-degree blue belt, and I love to compete. The strength and conditioning gains I’ve achieved through CrossFit help me do that successfully.
Q: What advice would you give to someone interested in CrossFit, but not sure it’s the right fit for them?
CrossFit has become so popular over the years that it’s relatively easy to find someone who does it. Talk to us, ask us questions, and then sign up for a fundamentals class at a reputable location. Understand that it’s going to be intimidating at first but that we’ve all been there and pushed through it. Be consistent without burning yourself out, and stick with it!
Q: Favorite breakfast meal?
I always enjoy breakfast no matter what, and there are always eggs involved. However, I look forward to eating at “The PepperPot” in Southington every Saturday, where I get a big, cheesy omelette. It’s my treat to myself for getting through the work week.
Congratulations, again, Danielle and thank you for sharing your story! When you see Danielle at Bell City, be sure to congratulate her!!!