I've never done CrossFit: book a free trial

Member of the Month: Cynthia Kapfer

Our Member of the Month is usually someone who's been doing CrossFit with us for a long time. This month, we wanted to change that and get the perspective of a brand new member. CrossFit has grown enormously over the last five years and, as the number of participants increases, so does the fitness level of those who train. This is great to see, but it also makes things more difficult for beginners as it becomes more and more intimidating for the uninitiated. Cynthia started training at CrossFit GVA just three months ago and has managed to fully integrate herself into the community. We sat down with her to discuss her experience of CrossFit and how she managed to overcome the various barriers/clichés and sign up with us.

Where do you come from and how long have you been in Geneva?

I'm Moroccan and Swiss. I was born in Geneva and have always lived here.

What do you do for a living?

I'm a social worker for the City of Geneva and, on top of that, I'm doing a Master's degree in legal studies.

What exactly does a social worker do? 

Actually, it's another term for social worker. More precisely, I work for the Gérance immobilière municipale and I intervene on behalf of social housing tenants in difficulty, i.e. when a person finds themselves in a particularly difficult situation, and otherwise for other things such as neighbor disputes. 

What's a typical day like for you?

It usually starts with the alarm clock ringing for long minutes, followed by a good breakfast. Then it's off to work or class until 5 p.m., when I head to CrossFit. Once I've left the rest of my energy and finished everything I've got to do, I slump down on the sofa and watch a series. And the next day, I do it all over again.  

How long have you been practising CrossFit?

I started at the beginning of November 2019, barely 3 months.

Why did you start?

For the past 3 years, I've been doing fitness and I just couldn't take it anymore. I felt I'd done all I could do and, above all, that this activity no longer suited me at all. I was looking for a complete physical activity that would enable me to get out of my comfort zone and improve my physical performance. That's when I became interested in CrossFit, particularly after getting positive feedback from people I knew who were doing it.

Did you find CrossFit intimidating at first?

Totally! That's one of the reasons why I didn't start sooner. I felt I didn't have the level to do it. When I first started, I was impressed by the loads the other members were putting on. But very quickly I realized that all the exercises could be adapted to my level, allowing me to progress at my own pace.

What surprised you most about CrossFit? 

I'd say accessibility. I didn't think it was possible to adapt wods so easily and still be in the game. It also makes me think of adaptive CrossFit, specifically designed for people with disabilities. A great initiative that only confirms my impression.

The community spirit is well known in CrossFit, even if it can be difficult to fit in. What was your experience and feeling when you arrived at CrossFit GVA?

It's also one of the elements I was looking for, that famous "community". Going from an individual activity to a group activity, which certainly has an individual side - the aim being to surpass oneself - but always with a team spirit. And for me, the CrossFit GVA community has been welcoming. The members are for the most part very open and easy to talk to, which meant I quickly felt part of it. What's more, I love the encouragement/congratulations we exchange with other members during classes. 

Was there anything you weren't expecting?

Yes, two. The first is the atmosphere during the wods. During the trial class, everyone is very quiet, the exercises are really an introduction, the atmosphere is not like what really happens in the classes. In fact, I'd say that during the classes, there's a lot of good humor, laughter, perspiration and encouragement, a bit like a big framed playground where you'd better go in the spirit of having fun. Let's face it, it's much more fun to learn and progress in an atmosphere like this.

And the second is how busy classes can get. It really depends on the timetable, but I wasn't expecting classes to fill up so quickly sometimes. 

What other sports have you played in the past?

When I was little, I danced and played volleyball for several years. Then fitness and running, which I still do today.

What frustrates you most during training?

Gymnastics! The slightest exercise is difficult, but little by little, you get the hang of it.

What progress are you most proud of?

I don't see any particular progress, but I'd say more my general physical condition. In just 3 months, I've seen an evolution both in my ease of doing the exercises and with the loads I use. It's a real motivation to keep going. I also see progress when I'm running. It's amazing, I never thought that CrossFit would be so complementary to my other activities and bring me so much.

Are you one of those people who start annoying all their friends talking about CrossFit? Or are you holding back J?

Oh yes, of course, but I don't seem to spend my time talking about it. I do it more from the point of view of trying to convince them to come and try it and have a good time, but for the moment I haven't succeeded yet.

What are your hobbies apart from CrossFit?

Mainly travel. Discovering new places and activities

Not sure if CrossFit is for you? Come and take a free trial class, discover our 2 gyms and ask us all your questions.

Visiting our region? Come and drop in at one of our two venues

CHF 30 / drop-in or CHF 40 with a box tshirt