By Ray Wolf
I walked into the Etna High School gym one day several years ago, and there was a girl hanging on the rim of one of the basketball nets. She proceeded to do several pull ups, and then hand-walk around the supports, did a few more pull ups, returned to the rim for a couple of more, and then back to the supports, followed by a dismount onto the bleachers. That girl was Sarah Loogman.
I remember thinking, “Not many girls can do that…or, guys for that matter.”
Of course, that’s just a typical Sarah thing. If there’s an athletic challenge available, she’ll probably take it on. I’ve followed her sports career from high school, through college, and now on to CrossFit competition. “Amazing” would be the word that I most frequently associate with her.
Sarah has been competing in CrossFit and teaching CrossFit for a couple of years, and not surprisingly has done quite well. So, I figured it might be time to find out a bit more about the sport and her experiences in it. Below are some questions and answers. I also asked her to list some of her accomplishments in sports. She forgot a couple at the high school level. So, I added them to the list, which is at the end of the interview.
How and why did you get involved in Cross Fit?
I’ve always enjoyed the weight room more than most of my female peers, and it was a great factor to my athletic success through college in both volleyball and track and field. After my last season of college sports in my senior year (fall 2013), I still wanted to workout, but found that it was very difficult to stay motivated if I didn’t have a performance-based outlet.
Thankfully, it wasn’t long before a local CrossFit/weightlifting coach in the area heard about me through some mutual acquaintances and asked me to join his barbell club (as an Olympic-style weightlifter). I had been wanting to try CrossFit for quite awhile by this time, but as a broke college student I wasn’t able to afford it so this ended up being the perfect opportunity for me.
My coach and I quickly realized that I had more promise as an all-around CrossFit athlete rather than restricting it down to just weightlifting, and from there things took off pretty quickly from me getting certified as a Level 1 Trainer to signing up and placing 2nd in my first CrossFit competition.
In one word, describe how you feel during a Cross Fit competition.
Empowered (and completely exhausted at the same time lol). I think maybe that’s more how I feel afterward, just the satisfaction of it all.
What are your short term and long term goals in Cross Fit?
The longer I do CrossFit, the more I’m realizing that my long term goals are the most important. When I first started CrossFit, I was in this huge unnecessary rush to get really good, really fast and not only was that mentally exhausting but resulted in a few injuries that held me back for awhile. That short-term mindset always resulted in discouragement, and I wasn’t allowing myself to actually enjoy the process and be proud of what I was accomplishing, which looking back was quite a lot!
I regret not letting myself enjoy that, but I’ve always been hard on myself like that. Right now, my short term goals would be to clean and jerk over 200lbs, tune in my gymnastics skills and dial in my nutrition.
Long term, my primary goal would be to stay healthy and injury-free since that’s the biggest hindrance to any success I could and want to have in this sport. My plan is to be a solid competitor in our region and get beyond being a participant and move in with some of the top athletes. It’s kind of crazy to me to even be able to say that because two years ago I wouldn’t have dared to even dream that, but seeing how far I’ve come I know now that it’s totally possible if I work for it. I’m actually getting to a point where I can compare myself to some of these athletes I used to idolize and consider myself their competition, and it’s a crazy thing…I definitely never imagined that when I first started.
What is the most fun part of Cross Fit?
Aside from winning? Ha ha. The community. The community of CrossFit is a beautiful thing and I believe the entire driving force behind it. In fact, that was what made me first fall in love with it, beyond it providing me with an avenue of competition.
I remember watching the Nor Cal Regional in 2013, and getting goosebumps when the entire crowd was on it’s feet cheering for the VERY LAST guy. Not only that, but his fellow competitors were cheering him on and guiding him through the event. That was when I knew that this was something special and I just absolutely had to be a part of it. They say that CrossFit is the only sport where the loudest cheers come for the person in very last place, and that’s true and one of my favorite things about it – it still has the same effect on me to watch that happen to this day. (more…)
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