September Athlete Spotlight: Abby Gerding


Tell us something about your life outside of CrossFit (career, family, hobbies, etc).

I am a Registered Vascular and Cardiac Ultrasound Technologist. I graduated from Thomas Jefferson University with a Bachelors in Radiologic Sciences, and now I work for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Capital Health. I have been working in the field for almost 7 years, and I take a lot of pride in my work! No, I cannot tell you if you are having a boy or a girl, but I can help in identifying cardiovascular diseases and abnormalities of the heart and blood vessels, as well as assist vascular surgeons and cardiologists in surgical planning for possible interventions and sometimes even assist in procedures. It can be a stressful job at times, but I really enjoy what I do. I have two older brothers, an older sister, and an adorable 3 year old niece who keeps me on my toes! In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, yoga, going to the beach, hanging out with my dog Reggie, or anything outdoors! I also enjoy baking or anything involving food!

My favorite book or movie:

I never get tired of Wedding Crashers and Stepbrothers! But I am more into TV series! I’m obsessed with, The Office, Parks and Rec, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and Dexter.

My favorite local restaurant:

Erinis! Amazing appetizers and cocktails! They also have a nice outdoor tiki bar in the summer and beautiful holiday lights in the winter!

Tell us something that we don’t know or would be surprised to learn about you:

Over two years ago I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease which is an autoimmune disease that causes hyperthyroidism. These past two years have been a struggle to get back to feeling like my normal self. For awhile I had to take a break from working out because my resting heart rate was so fast and with any type of exertion I felt like I was going to pass out. It was scary! But with medicine, making changes to my diet and lifestyle, and listening to my body I have been able to find a good balance. I find I get fatigued much more easily now which is hard because I am not one to quit but I have learned when I need to scale the workouts (which is most of the time) or take a rest day.

How I was introduced to CrossFit:

I tried a few CrossFit gyms in the past but never committed. Unfortunately CrossFit gets a bad reputation and I was mostly scared about getting injured! CFN is very competitive but in the safest and smartest possible way! The coaches have really helped me learn u capabilities and when to push myself and when to scale back.

My fitness routine before CrossFit:

I played soccer for most of my life. In college I only played in pick up leagues but started running a lot and began training for a few races! I did the Philly half marathon and the Broad Street Run 3 times now! A goal for the future is to run a full marathon one day. A few years back I started doing Boot Camp and HIIT classes and fell in love with group classes. After a few years of that I decided to finally give Crossfit a try!

My thoughts after my first CrossFit workout:

What the hell have I gotten myself into!!

My proudest CrossFit accomplishment is:

Completing the Spartan Race with my new CFN family supporting me all the way!

My favorite WOD is:

I’m still pretty new so I don’t have one! But I love WODS with box jumps and KB swings!

My Favorite Lift is:

Back Squat and Shoulder Press.

My next goal is:

I have a lot! Double Unders (getting closer thanks to coach Michelle), pull ups, handstand push ups, and snatches.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

I definitely feel more energized and stronger than ever! There is such an amazing sense of community here at CFN!l They host a lot of great events outside of the gym including hikes, happy hours, runs for charitable causes, and other fun outings! In my short time here I have already met so many wonderful and inspiring people and their families!

What I love most about CrossFit Newtown:

The dynamic and uplifting atmosphere! I usually come right from a long day at work/commute so most of the time I feel pretty tired or frustrated when I walk in but I always leave feeling a thousand times better both mentally and physically!

What advice I would give to someone just joining CrossFit Newtown:

Keep showing up and take advantage of the amazing coaches! It can be intimidating to be surrounded by so many incredible athletes of all ages and levels of fitness but you have to start somewhere and you will only improve. Do your best and be ready to fail miserably! Don’t give up!

Do you have any diet/nutritional advice:

Dieting is not necessarily my strong suit but I try to eat organic when possible, stay away from sugar and processed foods, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, eat whole foods and healthy fats, along with grass fed meat, and I try to stick to water and coffee.


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