Featured Athlete – Maria “Boo” Bekiaris

1. When did you join CrossFit BC?

Wow, at the risk of dating myself, it was March 2012 going into the CrossFit Open. One of my first workouts was 12.1, a 7 minute burpee AMRAP (and yet I still came back for more).

2. Why did you choose CrossFit?

I had done the traditional gym thing for a long time and was beyond bored and uninspired. I’d even worked with the Board of Parks and Recreation and was one step shy of completing my BCRAP training but alas, the lack of inspiration was overwhelming and complete my certification I did not. In fall 2011, I’d started hearing about this CrossFit thing and that December, I connected with an old friend from high school (many of you know Special K) who had delved into CrossFit very early into its Vancouver foray and she was hooked. I started looking into it, tried it out, and the adventure ensued.

3. What changes in your health, physique and overall performance have you seen since starting CrossFit?

The first 6 months into CrossFit were a shift for sure, as any newcomer will likely relate. In addition to the body composition changes, I also noticed that everyday tasks became much easier. I distinctly recall helping a friend move in 2013 where I lost count of the number of boxes I’d carried with the bonus of many stairs. I really don’t think I would’ve gotten through that day had it not been for CrossFit. I also ventured back into snowboarding a few seasons ago after a very long hiatus and think the training made it much easier. That being said, I also have scoliosis which presents a few challenges but I think I now have a handle on it (mostly).

4. What advice would you give to someone with regards to starting CrossFit?

Just give it a shot! I know it can come across as intimidating but everything can be scaled to accommodate your capacity and fitness level. Plus, if you’re looking for a super welcoming and fun crowd, look no further. 🙂

5. What is your favourite CrossFit exercise?

Hmm, it’s a toss up between pull-ups, handstand push-ups and double unders. Could someone please program that workout?

6. What is your favourite activity outside of CrossFit?

Another toss-up – this time between reading and eating!

7. What is your proudest accomplishment at CrossFit?

That’s an easy one: finally crossing the 200 lb threshold with my deadlift! It’s been a long haul trying to strengthen these historically non-existent hamstrings.

8. Have you made any changes to your diet?

Absolutely, and more so within the last year or so. I always thought I ate healthy but there’s been a marked shift in my relationship with food since working with a nutritionist, the ever-patient and wise Annie Tasaka. Last year, I found myself at a stage where my performance was really regressing to the point where I nearly had to quit CrossFit. Annie has helped me find a balance that enables me to keep coming, experience some strength gains, and have fun while still enjoying life’s simple foodie pleasures.

9. Is there something that people would be surprised to know about you?

I spent my twenties dancing and touring the west coast with Vancouver’s first b-girl crew, the Fly Antics. Some of you may have met my fellow dancer in crime, the lively Melissa “Miss Finesse”, at last year’s holiday party where (ahem) some reminiscing of said antics were had. It’s funny because there are some parallels between CrossFit and dancing, especially the competitions (stay tuned for that blog post)…

10. What/who inspires you the most?

Everyone here at the gym is an inspiration. I don’t follow the Games and am living under a rock when it comes to who’s who in the zoo – I’m far more inspired by the challenges and progress I witness by the many amazing people who make up our CrossFitBC community.

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