A perfectly timed Member Feature for this month of May: Colleen O’Brien. She recently turned year older (Happy Birthday Colleen!), and is sorely missed these days (particularly by that 9am crew!). Colleen arrived in Hanoi and CFTH in August 2019. Though with us for only a short time, she made quite the impact on coaches and members.
Colleen is a literal ball of light. Her constant positive energy shines bright on everyone she meets. According to Coach Rebecca, Colleen is one of the most graceful people around. When she walked down the ramp at 77 Xuan Dieu, or made her way to the board, it was as though she was floating. Colleen is also very keen to improve. Despite a prior injury, she was always ready to embrace the work and improve in all aspects. Colleen had to leave Hanoi earlier than anticipated, though she continues to be an active member of CFTH. She made a lasting impression on all of us during her eight months in Hanoi.Here is what Colleen has to say about CrossFit Tay Ho:
CFTH is a community of incredible human beings from all over the world who have provided so much support, wisdom, and encouragement inside the box and out. CFTH has allowed me to connect with people who inspire me and hold me accountable to being the best version of myself, both physically and mentally. I am so grateful for all the laughs, cheering, tough love talks, and camaraderie I have shared with this awesome group of humans. I have never once walked out of the box without feeling lighter, more joyful and stronger than when I walked in.”
How long have you been doing Crossfit/how long at CFTH?
I was doing CrossFit for about 2 years back in the 'States before I moved to Hanoi in August 2019. I've been doing CrossFit as long as I've been teaching--it's a much-needed outlet for a tough job!
Favorite movement/WOD and why?
Sandbags! I can't get enough of a good sandbag clean, sandbag carry, or even sandbag hold. It's such a functional movement, and chucking a heavy bag of sand over my shoulder makes me feel extra badass. It's also an awesome stress release.
Something positive Crossfit has taught you?
I can be incredibly hard on myself, and ruminate unproductively on where I want to be next instead of where I've been or where I am now. One thing I really appreciate about CrossFit is that you can actually see yourself get stronger over time as you can move more weight, run faster, or access movements you previously couldn't do. CrossFit has helped me remember to celebrate the distance between who I was and what I used to be capable of, and who I am and what I can do now. Keeping that in mind sets me up to keep moving forward instead of getting stuck.
Any advice for someone just starting?
It's really easy to look at the weights other people are choosing for their WODs and get discouraged instead of inspired. Remember that you don't know what anyone else's journey (fitness or otherwise) has been. In all likelihood, they were once right where you are. Choose to be grateful you get to train alongside such badasses and let yourself progress one day at a time toward where they are (and beyond!).
How long have you been in Hanoi?
Since August 2019.
Favorite thing to do in Hanoi (outside of Crossfit)?
Kickboxing! I often double-up and head to kickboxing right after CrossFit. I also genuinely love my teaching job and get excited to go into work most days, as nerdy as that may be.
Favorite thing to eat in Hanoi?
I'm vegetarian and gluten-free, so when I find places that accommodate those needs, I usually become a regular. I am obsessed with La Studio in Tay Ho, and I absolutely adore the gluten-free pastries at the nearby Easter Oriental Teahouse and Coffee Parlor.