Artika Wadhwa: Vagabond of the Month for November

Where you are originally from and/or where do you live now:

I was born in India, grew up in Stoughton, I’ve lived in a lot of different places, some of my favorites being outside of San Francisco and on a farm in Switzerland.  I moved back to this area 3 years ago and live in Easton now.

 Month you were born in:

September

 What days/times you typically train at VBC:

Usually, I train 6 days a week with Saturday being my rest day. Typically Mon-Fri 6:30pm or 7:30pm group classes, in addition to Olympic Lifting on Tue at 6:30, Yoga on Wed at 7:30 and Power Lifting on Sundays at 10.

If I can’t make an evening class, I come in the morning instead.

 Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like to share:

I just became Reiki certified and am looking to work with a local hospital that allows volunteers to give free reiki treatments to chemo and hospice patients.

 In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…

A very lucky daughter, sister, friend, proud aunt of two wonderful nephews, attorney, business owner, real estate broker, former software developer, and Vagabond’s infamous party animal.  J

 My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…

Considering I was never an athlete having never played any sports growing up, everything I do at Vagabond is an accomplishment for me.  To see myself continuously improving, getting stronger, faster and staying consistent with my training all makes me proud of myself.

 Some current training goals and/or personal goals are…

Some training goals would be to continue to build my upper body strength so I can do pull-ups with no bands one day, continue to improve my form and get the movements correct, build my stamina and endurance, improve my horrendous hip mobility and overall flexibility.  A personal goal has always been to write a book.  It’s been in the works for about 9 years, I just need to put it together and finish it some day.

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?

I don’t believe in coincidences and really think I was meant to find VBC at the point in my life that I did and to say that I fell in love with Crossfit would be an understatement.    I was in my first year of starting my own practice and financially in a really tough position.  I was trying to remain positive, but actually really depressed, unhealthy and probably at one of the lowest points ever in my life.  However, since starting everything has come together for me.  My mind is clearer than ever before, I feel great, I have so much more energy, I sleep better, physically I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, my diet has completely changed and instead of eating out and being unhealthy, I’m cooking daily, eating real, unprocessed foods, drinking loads of water, and actually wanting to stay away from sugar, grains and dairy, all the stuff I used to love. Of course everything in life is relative and if you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen… I never thought I would be able to afford to join for too long and just wanted something to kickstart my personal routine of working out again, but my love for VBC completely prompted me to shift my priorities and I decided that instead of spending money on things I probably didn’t really need or going out as much, I would rather put that money towards my monthly membership and the time into regaining my health and sanity, which turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

 I believe the positive impact it had on me physically, carried over to every other area of my life as well.  Professionally, my practice has really taken off in the last few months and suddenly I have more work than ever with an amazing long-term career opportunity that also fell on my lap sooner than I could’ve ever imagined at this point.  The state of my life and all my concerns and worries when I started seem so foreign to me now, yet it was just seven months ago that things were probably the worst they had ever been for me. I can say that I truly feel happy, content and balanced in all areas of my life and I don’t think I would be at this point today had I not found Vagabond.

 So to finally answer the actual question….what is the best thing about Vagabond?  I think it starts with the passion, consistency and dedication Kevin himself brings to running the gym, building the community and staying on top of all members by checking in on us if we aren’t in for a few days and making everyone feel like their presence really matters….then the passion, motivation, humor, time and effort all the coaches bring to working with everyone old and new, helping us improve and actually caring whether or not we do….also the great programming of workouts which never once in 7 months have ever felt boring….and most of all, the sense of community and caring everyone else brings.  While recently competing in Garage Games, I failed miserably on two of the workouts, which left me feeling humiliated and really bummed because I felt I trained so hard leading up to it, but my fellow VBs were so caring, supportive and encouraging, which not only helped me get over it very quickly, but also meant the world to me.

 So in closing, first a wholehearted THANK YOU for the honor of being Vagabond of the Month!  Then even BIGGER THANKS for the excellent coaching, tough love, constant support, encouragement, compliments, shit talking, teasing, fun times, some memorable, some I can’t remember J, daily inspiration and most of all the great friendships I’ve made along the way.  You guys are the best extended family anyone could ever ask for and I’m truly proud to be a Vagabond!!!

Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:

I was born in Brockton, lived there for 13 years then I moved to Easton where I still live today.

Month you were born in:

November

What days/times you typically train at VBC:

I usually train 4 weekday evenings then Saturday and Sunday.

Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like to share:

I’m pretty boring . . . I love my job, working out and spending time with family and friends.

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…

An attorney who specializes in real estateand probably a little too competitive for my own good.

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…

Without sounding to cliché, just being better today than I was my first day.

Some current training goals and/or personal goats are…

Consistently stringing together kipping pull-ups and performing better in a competition then I did in the Garage Games (I was pathetic).

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?

The people.

Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:

I was born and raised in Taunton, Ma. and I presently reside in East Taunton.

Month you were born in:

I was born in January.

What days/times you typically train at VBC:

I do my best to train 5 days per week and I typically like to train in the evening. I do switch it up sometimes and come to an earlier class but my favorite class is the 6:30pm.

Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like
to share:

I love to draw and paint! I have been working on a mural for my daughter’s bedroom for about a month now. I feel so relaxed and happy when I am painting.

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…

I am a registered  nurse, a sister, a wife and first and foremost a proud mommy to 3 beautiful daughters.

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are… 

When I started at Vagabond last December I struggled to clean 35lbs! I felt so defeated each time cleans were part of a workout because I was so bad at them. I just kept coming in and working at it and now I can clean 105lb. I still need a lot of work but I know that when I come in the trainers are always so willing to help me correct my flaws.

Some current training goals and/or personal goats are…

Currently my biggest goal is to be able to master kipping. I also would like to improve my rowing form. I have so many things I could do better so there is always a new goal to work on. I just signed up for climbing/mountaineer classes so I can climb Mount Rainier next year.

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?

The best thing about Vagabond is the community. Everyone here is just so inspiring. Vagabond has become an important part of my life and I look forward to coming in everyday!

Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:

I’m originally from
New York, NY and I live in Sharon now.

Month you were born in:

November

What days/times you typically train at VBC:

Sundays, Mondays,
Wednesdays and Fridays, but I may sneak another day in there from time to time.  Generally, I go to the 6:35pm classes.

Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like
to share:

I play the guitar.  I’m a pretty good cook.  I’ve been on TV briefly a couple of times, but in a post-Jersey Shore world where swamp loggers and mean children’s dance instructors get their own shows, that’s hardly worth mentioning.

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…

A husband, father of
two, and a lawyer.

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…

Where do I start?  Just finishing the on-ramp was huge for me.  I basically had zero fitness when I started at VBC, and I feel like I’ve been breaking through a series of personal barriers ever since.  Getting through on-ramp, going to that first group class, participating in my first team workout, completing the WinterFest competition in February, participating in the 2012 CrossFit Open, going to the Ocean State Master’s Throwdown in June, cracking a sub-30 minute 5k, getting my first pull-up, being a part of the 24 hour Race Around the Lake relay team, recent PRs on deadlift and high bar back squat where I beat my old PRs by 30 and 40 lbs. respectively….These are all things I would never have dreamed of doing as recently as last October.  And getting my first handstand holds – that was a pretty awesome feeling.  I’ve also lost about 40 lbs. since I started here.  VBC has helped me come so far and do so much, it’s tough to choose, but I think my proudest accomplishment is probably my
consistency.

Some current training goals and/or personal goats are…

I’d like to improve my lifting technique, and I’m always struggling with cardio, so I want to keep working on that, with an eye to maybe running a 10k in 2013.  Also, I’m still looking to get an unassisted pronated pull-up.  And I’d like to complete Karen at some point before the end of this year.  Pick almost anything we do at VBC, and I’ve probably got a goal connected to it.  I’d also like to get under 200 lbs. by the end of 2012.

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?

Coaches and community.  I’ve met so many great, supportive people at VBC, and everybody is so willing to pitch in, offer advice or encouragement, and basically push people to better themselves every day.


Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:

I’m originally from Stamford, CT, I’m currently living in Stoughton.

Month you were born in:

June

What days/times you typically train at VBC:

All days, usually the evening classes

Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like to share:

I bought a foreclosure in Stoughton in November of 2011, my wife and I gutted the whole house and then rebuilt the entire thing.  We put up walls and ceilings, put down floors, built a second bathroom, painted, did trim work, I never knew I was capable of some of the things I did.  I consider it my biggest accomplishment.

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…

A critical care nurse, a wanna be baker, an adrenaline junkie

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…

Improving my lifting technique, doing more than one double under and handstand holds

Some current training goals and/or personal goats are…

Unassisted kipping and regular pull ups, to become a better runner, and ultimately become a

part of the competition phase

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?

The great community and coaches!  I used to belong to the Y and when I would go there to work out I never said anything to anyone, just go about my uninspired workout and leave.  Now I really look forward to coming to the gym and doing the workouts.  It’s great to be able to get to know the people who you’re working out with, and the coaching staff is awesome, no matter how long it takes you to finish there’s always someone there pushing you till the end.  I’m really glad I found this gym, I hope to be a part of it for a long time.

Where you are originally from and/or where  you live now:

I am originally from Stoughton, MA and currently live in Middleboro, MA

Month you were born in:

April

What days/times you typically train at  VBC:

All different times morning, afternoon, and night

Anything else interesting/unique about you  that you’d like to share:

I love cooking and planning parties

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…

A mother and hair stylist

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my  training so far is/are…

To have improved and become more comfortable in my lifting techniques and I feel like I have so much morestamina in my workouts I could hardly do a burpee or squat when i started and used to cringe when I saw them as part of the workout but now I don’t even flinch.

Some current training goals and/or personal goats are…

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?

My personal goal is to lose 10 lbs and to work toward one day becoming a part of the competition phase ! The best thing about vagabond is the sense of community and family you become a part of. Vagabond has literally changed my life when I needed it. After losing my mother to cancer 3 years ago and having 2 babies back to back I felt lost and overwhelmed. I decided to join vagabond to boost my confidence and I got that and so much more. I want to thank all the coaches for being so supportive and personable and all the other vagabonds who are now friends! You keep me coming as much as I can and I couldn’t do it without you all!