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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Hello Again

Hi friends. It's been a while so let me reintroduce myself. My name is Allie Echeverria. I started this blog in 2010 when I was an elementary school teacher in the New York City Department of Education and a Teach For America corps member. I turned to fitness to manage the stress and anxiety I felt from feeling like an underprepared teacher who would never be good enough to measure up to TFA standards. I lost over 20 lbs from a lot of group fitness and a pretty strict diet. No one seemed interested in listening to me talk about what I was doing, eating, or reading so I started writing about it. And people seemed to really like that. My friend Trevor named my blog In Shape Out of Mind. He was the wittiest person I have ever known.

photo credit: Evan Torch

Sometime during my first year in the classroom, so 2008-2009, I learned what a dietitian is and that you can actually have a job in nutrition outside of being a personal trainer. No shade on personal trainers - that's just not a job I wanted and now I know how limited the scope of practice in nutrition is for fitness professionals. Back then, TFA teachers weren't expected to stay any longer than two years in the classroom (I lasted three) and I was looking for what I should do after my commitment. Many people went back to school or completely changed careers. I looked up what it would take to become a dietitian and I didn't have any of the math or science courses needed. I had actually never taken chemistry, even in high school. I wasn't ALLOWED to take precalculus in high school because my math grades weren't very good. I'd like to point out that I went to one of the most competitive boarding schools in the country, Choate Rosemary Hall, and being a not great student there was probably being above average in a regular high school where anyone can attend as long as they live in district. But as a recent college graduate with a sociology degree and a minor in writing rhetoric, I was convinced that I could not do well in math and science courses and decided that being a dietitian wasn't in the cards for me.

Trevor and me on his birthday in 2010.

I got into running. I got into long distance running. I ran ultramarathons. I decided that that much running sucked and threw myself entirely into CrossFit. CrossFit changed my life. It made me a better person, brought me back to God, and triggered major changes. I found the confidence to finally leave New York and I moved to Atlanta. I found a great CrossFit gym called CrossFit Identity and I've been there since 2014. 

photo credit: Rock the Ridge 50 Miler

I transitioned to working in education nonprofits after the classroom. I continued that kind of work while living in Atlanta. I worked remotely and I traveled a lot for meetings and conferences. I kept telling myself I loved my job and my field, but it wasn't true. I listened to a CrossFit podcast with Nicole Aucoin as the guest and I started thinking about becoming a dietitian again. Within one week, circumstances allowed me to leave my job and enroll at Georgia State University as a post-baccalaureate student. I was finally taking chemistry at 32! I spent two years completing the math and science prerequisites and last June I was accepted to the coordinated nutrition program that combines a masters degree in nutrition and the dietetics internship. I will be eligible to sit for the registered dietitian exam when I graduate in August 2022.

photo credit: CrossFit Hell's Kitchen

My favorite parts of CrossFit have always been lifting heavy and odd object training. Turns out those are the Strongman components of CrossFit. I attended some Strongman Saturday classes at CrossFit Syosset back in New York (thanks Chad!) but I didn't really get into it until a Strongman competitor named Andrew Hanus started training at CrossFit Identity. He hosted an in-house competition and I fell in love with the sport. I also won, so that might of helped. I now get to train at Growler's Gym with a great community of Strongmen who have welcomed me to the sport and teach me so much each week. I've had some injuries and setbacks that prevented me from competing at a sanctioned Strongman competition until this past March (so 2.5 years later). I thankfully figured out that my copper IUD was causing my back pain (for the past 7 years!), had it removed, and now I am hungry to throw myself into training, hit crazy PRs as a 35-year-old (birthday is in August), and achieve freaking greatness. 

photo credit: Blackjack Images

Old friends - Thank you for being on this journey with me for the past 11 years. From step aerobics and classroom antics to log presses and internships, I appreciate your support. New friends - Welcome! I'm glad you're here.

I started this blog before Instagram was even released. That's crazy to think about. You can find my daily check-ins and training videos over there at @inshapeoutofmind. I'm thinking about how to repurpose this space now that Instagram is the better platform to connect and communicate with internet friends. I'm leaning towards using this for education and competition related content. Don't worry, it will still have that In Shape Out of Mind flair.

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