Beth Polisson


Beth Polisson

310409_747908148928_500667864_n-195x300Member Since July 2012

How would you describe your previous athletic background before Strength & Conditioning? What were you doing for exercise before Courage Fitness Durham?
I played soccer, softball, and ran track from the time I was 4 until I graduated high school.  In college, I played both soccer and softball.  Athletics were a huge part of my upbringing, and I became extremely bored after I graduated from college and retired my cleats.  I got into figure competitions in my late 20s, and that seemed to calm my competitive side, but not for very long.  I felt like my muscles were all “show” and no “go” and I didn’t feel like an athlete anymore.  I just felt like someone who had nice muscles.  What good are those muscles if you can’t do anything with them?  In physique competitions, you actually get weaker as you get closer to your show: you lose a lot of weight, you are dehydrated, and you can barely lift an unloaded barbell over your head.  I hated that.  And I also hated having to eat cold tilapia out of tupperware.  No thanks.

What made you want to give Strength & Conditioning a try?
I had done Strength & Conditioning style workouts to get lean for my competitions, so it was a very easy, natural transition for me to make.  I give my trainer all the credit in the world for using this type of metabolic conditioning to help her clients burn fat and maintain muscle mass.  She’s wise beyond her years.  Strength & Conditioning always appealed to me and I had watched the Games the year prior and was incredibly inspired by what I saw.  The athletes seemed so strong, fast, and agile.  They completely embodied what I feel it means to be athletic.  I wanted that for myself.

beth-polisson-spotlight-240x300Do you have a favorite workout?
I don’t really have a “favorite.”  Anything that involves a heavy power clean is my jam.  Also, if it does not include running or rowing, it is also my jam.

What impact has Strength & Conditioning had on your life?
I was intimidated at first, I won’t lie.  I think my first WOD had double-unders in it and I was terrified.  But the group was so welcoming and encouraging and it ended up being a ton of fun.  Joining CFD has been nothing but positive, both for my mental well-being and my physical.  I’m so much stronger than I used to be, in every sense of the word.  I can now lift someone over my head in a bar fight if I need to, and I’m pretty sure I’d live for a long time when the Zombie Apocalypse finally comes to fruition.  I also have a very stressful job, and Strength & Conditioning is an excellent way for me to release all of my stress.  I’m convinced that Strength & Conditioning has saved the lives of many with whom I work.  Surely, I would have strangled someone by now.

How would you describe Strength & Conditioning to someone that had never heard of it before?
A former CFD athlete, once described Strength & Conditioning to me as “recess for adults.”  This description is 100% accurate, and this is how I describe Strength & Conditioning to EVERYONE.  It is so much fun.

555236_993068814988_946770009_n-200x300What is your Strength & Conditioning nememsis?
Rowing and thrusters.  They both make me want to sit in a corner and suck my thumb.

What is your favorite movement?
Clean and jerk.  Nothing in this world makes me feel more like a lady beast than a good, heavy C&J.

What Courage Fitness Durham mean to you?
Community.  One of the things that stood out for me when I was at Regionals this year was the other athletes cheering on those who had not yet finished their WODs.  You don’t see that anywhere else.  Yes, you’re competing against everyone else; that’s the point of group exercise – the external PUSH to keep going when you otherwise would not.  However, everyone knows what everyone else in that room is feeling: the pain, the breathlessness, the desire to stop and rest.  This empathy manifests itself when we cheer on our fellow Strength & Conditioningters during WODs.  I truly want someone to finish as quickly as they can and I want them to always give 100%.  If I yell at you, it’s because I care.

What advice would you offer to others thinking about training at Courage Fitness Durham?
Just do it.  People tell me all the time that they want to get in better shape before they start Strength & Conditioning.  The entire point is to move as quickly as you can with weight that allows you to complete each rep with good form.  If you have to decrease weight, cool.  If you have to scale a movement, cool.  A class can have both experienced and novice members and still be completed by all who attend.  It’s not scary, it’s empowering.  And the people and the Coaches are extremely welcoming, encouraging, and supportive.  There’s no time like the present.