May 2021 Athlete of the Month – Leeza Zavelsky

Congratulations to Leeza Zavelsky for earning the honor of May Athlete of the Month!  Leeza has not been CrossFitting long, however in her short time at Capital City CrossFit, she has made a significant impact.  Her drive and motivation made her a standout candidate for Athlete of the Month. One notable thing about Leeza is that she is very coachable and willing to work hard to accomplish her goals.  In a short amount of time, Leeza has mastered many skills including chest-2-bar pull-ups, toes-2-bar, and handstand push-ups (a movement that nearly scared her away from CrossFit before she even started).  Leeza recently competed in the CrossFit Games Open, where she was able to complete all workouts as Rx’d.  She also continues to get stronger with all of her lifts.  Her consistency and persistence is clearly paying off!  In addition to being a well rounded athlete, Leeza is also a friendly, good-natured person who brings a positive energy to each class she attends.  We are lucky to have her as a part of our community.  Keep up the great work Leeza!

In general, what is your background?

I was born here, in Springfield. My parents are from Ukraine, and had me and my older sister here! I have done dance practically my entire life- since I was 3. I started CrossFit @ C3 on December 1st 2020 and it was the best thing that has come from the pandemic for me!

Age, Occupation?

I’m 17 years old, and a senior at Springfield High School. At school, I’m the head captain of the Scarlet Line Dance Team, I’m in NHS, a representative for Student Council, and I’ve volunteered at Compass for Kids since my freshman year. I’m going to Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland this fall.

How did you get to know about CrossFit and why did you start?

The Kaisner’s- namely Ian, had been trying to get me to join the gym for a really long time, and I was always intrigued (mostly intimidated) by it. But, my schedule with dance, school, and other activities consumed my life and I had no time to set aside. So, as the school year progressed, and dancing at football and basketball games weren’t in the near future, I knew it would be the perfect time to start! But, let’s remember we are amidst a pandemic and the cases were soaring, thus there was no On-Ramp available. So, Ian had the bright idea that I should just do a 2-day-crash-course in his garage of the intricate On-Ramp course. And that I should start on the 1st of December. And I somehow agreed. It was so intimidating at first, I remember I walked in the first day and saw people doing push-ups upside down and I about broke out in tears. But, I made a promise to myself that I would give it more than a day and I’ve been hooked ever since! The perfect love story :).

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?

I’ve never ever been able to do one regular push up. Ever. I’ve always been known to be the dancer that could do turns and leaps and tricks- the idea of lifting weights was a complete oxymoron. It was a complete culture shock when I traded in my ballet flats for Nanos. But, I would do it all over again a thousand times. I’ve learned so much about my body’s abilities, limits, and how to push myself to achieve things I never knew existed in the first place. I look forward to going to the gym every day, to the point where I get sad if I had dance practice at an inconvenient time and can’t make it in that day. CrossFit has replaced my love for a sport I was nearing the end of my career in, and is my newfound passion.

Name one goal and/or personal record you would like to accomplish through CrossFit.

I really want to get a muscle up! Or anything on the rings. But, that’s a ways away. I’m excited to keep setting PRs and progressing towards new goals!

Favorite CrossFit moment so far?

My favorite moment so far has probably been when I RX’d the workout on my third or fourth day at the gym. It was called Threat Level Midnight I’m pretty sure, and it was 1000m row, 50 cal bike, 1000m row for time. It gave me a huge confidence boost after the not so inspiring days I had before and introduced me to the fulfillment of being able to do a workout prescribed. Granted, it was all cardio and I spent probably a minute and a half trying to figure out how to strap my feet into the rower, but I am to this day so proud of myself for that. I’m also really happy that I was able to Rx all of the Open workouts this year. I even completed 21.2 while using a 35# db for the first time, and I got my first chest to bar pull ups during 21.3!

What is your least favorite WOD to date?

My least favorite WOD happened on the day when Nicole got hurt. I’ll blame my poor performance on being worried about her leg ;). It was 7 rounds for time of 10 cals on the bike, 30 dubs, and 10 target burpees. Another least favorite was the first wod of the Open- I think I had done wall walks at dance and gymnastics before, but clearly the standards were *slightly* heightened haha.

What do you like most about Capital City CrossFit?

I love the energy, atmosphere, and community! I’ve made a ton of amazing relationships with so many people. I love how encouraging everyone is. There’s no pressure, and you can tell everyone just wants to see you achieve amazing things.

Favorite exercise?

I love deadlifts!!

Least favorite exercise?

Me and any kind of press motion, namely bench press and db strict presses are not friends yet, but we’ll get there when we get there.