Athlete Spotlight: Desta Long

Name: Desta Long                                    desta_long
Age: 36
Occupation: Stay at home mom of 3
Which class time do you usually attend? 9:30
Favorite WOD: Anything with pull-ups and cardio
Favorite Lift: Snatch
Deadlift Max: 165
Back squat Max: 145
Favorite Food: Mexican and sweets
Favorite Movie: Pretty Woman
Favorite Athlete: Chris Carter (retired MN Viking Wide Receiver)
Dream Job: Dolphin Trainer
Dream Vacation Destination: Safari in Africa

How long have you been CrossFitting?
“10 months.”

What keeps you coming back/motivated?
“First and foremost the community & friendships I’ve made! But seeing results- both weight loss & increase in strength. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been!”

How did you find CrossFit?
“I’ve known of Crossfit for some time, but it wasn’t until after my third baby that marathon running wasn’t quite as feasible, but I badly needed to get back into shape- and I finally decided I’d give Crossfit a try- albeit reluctantly at first :-)”

What is your athletic background (If applicable)?
“I dabbled in long distance track in HS, played Volleyball throughout HS, and skied growing up (in MN). But it wasn’t until I took up running in 2008 after my second baby that I became much more athletic & ‘caught the bug’ for exercise & athletics in general. From 2008-2011 I ran countless 5 & 10K’s, a dozen or so half marathons, and 6 full marathons. On my 6th marathon in 2011, I finally reached my goal of qualifying for Boston.”

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?
“I’ve never been stronger! I thought I was in good shape when I was running, and although I had great cardio, I now realize I had very little strength. I feel much more balanced athletically now & really in my day to day life in general.”

What is the one thing you have done here that you never thought you could do? (muscle up, double unders, heavy deadlift, run a mile, etc.)
“Definitely a HSPU! And Pull-ups, and C2B, and Rope Climb, and… 🙂 A lot! I continue to be amazed at what this 36 year old mom can do!”

Who or what motivates/inspires you? Everyone at NECF!
“I’m inspired by the beginners (their courage). The performance athletes (their drive & dedication). And everyone in between (grinding it out week after week)! Most recently, I’m inspired by Anne B., NECF newest & oldest Master’s athlete at 76 years young!”

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?
“Making it into Fitness, and participating in my first competition (team) just a few months after joining this last fall at the Garage Games. I was the epitome of a ‘newbie’ but it was so empowering & inspiring & fun, not to mention way out of my comfort zone!”

Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve through CrossFit?
“Double Unders!!!!”

Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit?
“Ummmm…. Naps 😉 Between Crossfit and three kids ranging in age from 11 years old to 15 months- I could always use a nap! LOL.”

Any advice for new members?
“Stick with it and be consistent! I know the beginning can be overwhelming & even feel defeating, but one day it will just ‘click’ and you’ll be hooked! The community at NECF is second to none, as are the coaches! The programming is set up to help you succeed! Push yourself out of your comfort zone & you’ll be amazed at all you can do! Never say never!”

Coach Laura’s Take:
“Desta jumped in with both feet after she realized she really did like CrossFit.  Desta is hard working, consistent and has pushed herself to become the more well-rounded athlete she is today. She came in with a great running background, but has since added to her fitness with pull-ups, handstand push ups and barbell movements she had never done before. She is still relatively new to CrossFit and I know that she will continue to see improvements. To top it all off,  she is one of our most out-going and enthusiastic members. She brings a personal comedy show to every class she attends and is the ringleader of the talkative “9:30 ladies”. Her enthusiasm for CrossFit and for people make her a great asset to No Excuses.”