Islip CrossFit Member Spotlight July 2018


Islip CrossFit Member Spotlight

July 2018


Tara is one of our 6am beasts who shows up everyday with a smile and encouraging word for all.  She is 6 months into her Crossfit journey and her achievements and progress is more than noteworthy.  She has lost over 25 pounds and went from never lifting a barbell in her life to really improving her barbell abilities in both technique and weight.  Tara is dedicated and a delight to WOD with in those early morning sessions. Congratulations to Tara on her Member Spotlight for July 2018 at Islip Crossfit!


A Word From her Coaches…

Tara’s the most determined person I know.  She doesn’t care about the clock or weight and always tries her personal best.  She’s constantly trying to improve and better herself. Her consistency has been proven by recently getting her first few sets of toes to bar.  Congrats Tara! –Coach Trish

Tara is amazing! She was in one of first classes I ever coached. She does everything that is asked and gives her all during every class. Her dedication and energy are infectious as she always shows up with a huge smile every morning.  She is always eager to learn new things, if it’s diet or exercise she is constantly seeking out ways to improve and push herself. Keep up all the hard work Tara and Congrats!–Coach Pete

Let’s learn more about Tara…


  • Tell us about yourself?
    • Hello! I have two energetic kids Reid (8) and Kaia (6) who are 20 months apart and I have been married for 16 years to my husband Billy.  I grew up in Islip and made the big move to East Islip.
    • This makes me sound really good on paper: I have a Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders; a dissertation short from my Doctorate; and received my School Building Leader and School District Leader Administration Certificates in 2017.
    • People person who feeds off other’s positive energy.
  • What do you do out in the real world?
    • Oh the real world! I have been the co-owner of Kids In Action (pediatric agency that provides speech, occupational, and physical therapies, as well as, special education) for 15 years.  As a speech-language pathologist I provide services to babies and preschoolers. In my opinion, kids are the most rewarding to work with because you can witness progress first hand. I love my job (not the paperwork) and I enjoy going to family’s homes so that you can develop relationships with the parents and children in their natural environment.  On a daily basis I wear many hats- therapist, administrator, supervisor etc. I am fortunate to be able to work in the town I grew up in so I can give back to the Islip community.
    • My other job is a chauffeur to my kids!




  • What brought you to Islip CF? How long have you been doing CrossFit?
    • Lisa brought me to CF!  We were out for our annual high school friends Christmas get together.  I was complaining to her that I needed to get back into shape and she said “Why don’t you come to CF?”  I told her I can’t do box jumps because of my knee and she said “Oh you can modify everything!” She was a good saleswoman…I hope she earned her commission.  
    • Been going to CF for 6 months.


  • What was your first CF workout? What did you think after it?
    • My first workout was with Nick and it involved a lot of rowing. I remember he asked when the last time I rowed was and I responded “Oh, not for a while.”  Try like 1984 when my parents had the Nordic Track rower. Everyone said that it was a great first workout to try because it was “not so bad.” I was leery of the WODs to come.


  • What changes have you made in your workouts that have been the most successful?
    • Continue to push myself by increasing the weight or the pace.  Try not to let my mind psyche me out of achievement.


  • Most embarrassing/funniest gym moment?
    • Funniest was when I pulled the barbell so hard I fell back.  All good!


  • Favorite movement? Least favorite? Benchmark WOD?
    • Love to do abs or pushups.  Not a fan of burpees especially with a sweaty floor).  I liked the Lurong WOD with 5 DL, 4 HPC, 3 FS, 2 OHS and 1 Floor to Overhead.  It was awesome to see the gains.


  • Favorite memory OR most memorable moment at Islip Crossfit? (could be a PR moment or an event etc.)
    • The Murph! I started seeing people wearing their t-shirts from last year and thought to myself I would love to have complete that WOD and earn one of those shirts.  Lisa had asked if I was planning to do it and I told her maybe next year because I don’t have pull-ups. She said “You can definitely do it and you can modify.” I just needed to hear that someone else believed in me which gave me the confidence to go for it! It was such an accomplishment; even with the modifications.  I am proud to have that t-shirt!


  • If you could program it, what is your perfect workout?
    • A chipper with some running, pushups, abs, and/or Strict Presses.


  • Favorite workout music?
    • Gangsta Rap or 90’s.   In the beginning I always heard the music but now I am more focused on the WOD than the tunes.


  • Advice for a new member or someone thinking of trying CrossFit?
    • Just Show Up!!!!  No excuses if you are sore.  Do not look at the WOD because you may talk yourself out of going.  Try to compare yourself to only you. Take stock in Advil in the beginning.  Listen to the coaches! Push yourself.


  • How do you find/make time to get your workouts in?
    • 6 am!!!!  I never woke up this early in the past but that is the only way for me to fit it in right now.  It energizes me for the rest of the day. I am half asleep when I arrive but fully awake after the WOD.


  • What is your favorite part of Islip CrossFit?
    • The people!  Everyone is very encouraging and the coaches are the best!!! Every coach really provides you with tips on how to improve movements and they are all very supportive! Thanks so much guys! I love being around like-minded people who are vested in health and fitness.  The workouts vary so much so you never remain static. One day you may rock it while another day you have a baseline to improve your skills for the next time.


  • What motivates you to keep coming back each day?
    • Being able to wear what you want and feeling confident.  After working out it is easier to keep eating in check because you just worked so hard in a WOD and don’t want to waste it on making poor choices.  


  • What is your greatest achievement in your fitness so far?
    • Since this past December I have lost 25 pounds and more than 12 inches.  I really started to see changes after the Challenges (Feb- Organic Clean Eating and May-Lurong).  I wanted to step it up and prove to myself that I can play with the big dogs. My will power is stronger than my physical strength. Also, I have more than doubled the weight I am able to use during workouts.


  • What has been the most challenging part?
    • Letting my mind not psyche me out or thinking I am broken when in reality I am just sore.  I never picked up a barbell before CF (maybe to move it out of the way) so learning the form was challenging but so much fun.


  • Short term goal? Long term goal?
    • Pull-ups; 6


  • What/Who motivates or inspires you?
    • I am inspired by bright classy ladies who are selfless and do good for others…Maria Shriver, Princess Diana, Lisa Muurisepp etc.


  • Favorite Cheat Meal?
    • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Sundae (can’t remember the last one I had! God damn clean eating.)


  • What changes have you made in your diet that have been the most successful?
    • Uhh everything! Working out is awesome but making the right eating choices is the true catalyst for changing your physique.  I try to eat clean whole foods. Never been a bread-eater but no more pasta, dairy, or fried foods. I try to eat more of a Paleo-like diet.  More veggies, chicken, beef, and fruits. I try to keep cheats for the weekend such as sweets.


  • What is the worst “diet” you’ve ever been on?
    • None.  I grew up in a house with a mother who was an over-weight kid who turned thin because she lost weight and became a Weight Watchers leader.  We drank powdered skim milk (disgusting) and I still avoid spaghetti squash. I am not a scale person, just monitor by how clothes fit (however this is probably how I gained 25 pounds).


  • What’s your go to breakfast?
    • An over easy egg and lots of cooked spinach leaves.


  • Do you eat before you workout? (If so, what?)
    • Oh god no!  


  • Something no one at the gym knows about you?
    • Hmmm….that is tricky because I have known Lisa since 7th grade.  Someday I would love to be on Survivor.  Not a big TV watcher but typically I can somehow fit an episode in.  Who knows!


  • Favorite Quote?
    • Better to be the person who Smiled than the one who didn’t Smile back.”


  • What Superhero are you?
    • I am envious of Batgirl!  Who wouldn’t want to be able to rock a hot body, fly, and get a ride in the batmobile!?


  • Biggest Fear?
    • My biggest fear is getting an injury from working out.  For 8 years I was a kick boxer and one night I did some kind of flying switch kick (very out of the ordinary move).  My knee blew up and the MRI revealed a partial to complete tear of the ACL and a sprained MCL. I went the route of PT rather than surgery and ended up with a big brace to wear during KB.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to withstand the constant pounding on my knee without feeling the nerve damage in my leg. I was crushed when it happened because I loved going up against the bag.  


  • Best Vacation?
    • All vacations are the best!   Jamaica and Aruba are at the top of my list.  Anything with sand and drinks! We also take an annual friends trip to OBX in the summer which is lots of fun.  


  • If you aren’t at the box, where would we find you?
    • At work or taking my kids to Baseball, Acro, Karate, religion etc.  Otherwise hanging out with family or friends.


  • If you won lotto, what would you do?
    • How big are we talking!? Take care of close family and friends, travel the world, buy vacation homes, and provide funding for children so that they can be involved in sports/education/arts.


  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
    • Bora Bora or Bali because I would love to scuba dive there.  I was certified in Lake Erie which apparently does not have any tropical fish.


  • Who is your celebrity crush?
    • Would love a night out with Jimmy Fallon.  Something to be said about a man that can make you laugh.


  • Last pic on your phone?
    • A picture my friend sent to me of my son and his two friends at Ducks Stadium with QuackerJack for baseball camp.


  • What’s the wallpaper on your phone right now?
    • My kids in their Christmas outfits in the woods at Prosser Park for a photo shoot.  Pretty cool park; they have a huge teepee made out of branches.


  • What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab?
    • Happy face with a big toothy smile or happy face winking with a smile.


  • What’s the last thing you searched for on Google?
    • The exact wording of my favorite quote.


  • Summarize your lifestyle in 5 words or less.
    • Fortunate-Family-Friendships-Fun-Fitness

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