Posted by Andy Petranek : Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012
ATHLETE PROFILE: Rachel Mattila
Hometown: way up north in Ferndale, Washington
Occupation: actress in the upcoming film "Gimme Shelter." Who wants to put me in another movie?
When did you first start CrossFitting?: May 2010
When did you first start training at CFLA?: May 2010
Favorite WOD: Helen. Push-ups, kettle bells, running oh yes please!
Least Favorite WOD: Karen, wall balls are the death of me
Tell us about you sports & fitness background: I knew at a very young age that I was going to be a movie star. I loved (and still do love) acting! I was the actress in the family, always putting on shows, writing plays and letting my imagination run wild. So sports always came 2nd for me. My sisters were sports all-stars. While I was on the varsity soccer, cheer and track team, I was never the star athlete. No matter how hard I would push myself I was always 2nd string. I took on figure skating for a big chunk of my life because I wanted a sport that was mine. It was the first sport where I was actually really good but had to quit because it got too expensive. I moved to Seattle to pursue my acting career further but I got sucked into playing soccer at a junior college, and I quit a year later because my heart wasn't into it (my heart is into acting.) From there I took on a full and half marathons. I never went to the gym because I hated working out indoors. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, the outdoors is your gym.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD... what was it, and how did it feel? Few years ago I wanted to even further my acting career so I packed my car and moved to LA. I quickly discovered that the outdoors wasn't my gym anymore and I got a membership to LA Fitness and got a trainer. My trainer was great, but he got me on a get quick skinny diet and worked me out to look "Hollywood skinny." Which works for some people, but after awhile I got tired of it. A friend of mine told me to find a CrossFit gym, so I did. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was completely humbled and dead after my first WOD. I remember kettle bells being involved but its a blur- not enough oxygen was going to my brain after that WOD... I thought I was fit going into it, but boy was I wrong. Skinny does not mean fit. And I was hooked after that WOD, I was back the next day and haven't stopped since.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? "When I first started CrossFit it was quickly discovered that I was not fit at all. I was skinny and weak but determined to change that. I am the strongest I have ever been in my life. I have muscles! I am now rx-ing the majority of my work outs, and I used to struggle picking up the lightest kettle bell. I may not be the best, but damnit I try my hardest and best at each WOD. I don't want to just be strong for a girl, I want to be f***ing strong (and the next tomb raider actress!)
I try to eat paleo the majority of the time, but I love vino and pie. "
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I have gained a mental toughness that I never had before. Because of never being the best at sports, I used to settle with my WODs. One day coach Kenny told me to bring out my inner animal (which is a cougar) and completely dominate my work outs. From being a deer in head lights to a cougar was quite the transformation. I allowed myself to mentally realize that I can accomplish & conquer my WODs and whatever else in life seems like a mountain to me.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: I was on location in New Jersey for a film and I was at CrossFit Ignite and the coach there would not let me go back to LA still doing banded pull ups. He told me to get rid of the band. Scared as I was, I let go of my "security" band and proceed to do the rest of my pull ups on my own!
I have lots of favorite moments at CFLA: Saturdays during the open doing the cupid shuffle, Murph, being number 1 on the board for double unders!!
CFLA is not just any CrossFit gym, we are a family and with that we enjoy life together and make some pretty amazing memories.
Any advice for people just getting started? Always show up and don't quit. I think of that Nike quote "I really regretted that work out, no one ever." Keep coming. No one said it was going to be easy. There are times during WODs when I want to quit and just lay down but I don't. We are not quitters, we are conquerers who strive to be the best we can be!
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Acting, I think I have already made that pretty clear. I love to act. It's what I've done my whole life and it's who I am. It's what I've been called to do. I love the outdoors, I wish I could fly up North every weekend and play in the woods and see my family. I enjoy watching soccer, going to hot yoga, the beach, eating a good steak and I love my husband!
Tuesday's Workout (NO CAP)
Five rounds for time of:
12 kettlebell swings (32/20)
6 bar muscle ups
... and coming Wednesday (NO CAP)
Complete as many rounds as possible in 13 minutes of
2, 4, 6, 8...
kb sumo deadlift high pull (24/16)