Last time we featured our 16 year old wunderkind on the Athlete Spotlight. This time we’re featuring our 60 year old wundermom. Ava is the proud mother of the Flynn boys, Anthony and Dennis. She joined after her sons couldn’t stop talking about Crossfit, and she’s been getting more awesome every day. (Although she was already pretty awesome, read her profession). So, lady’s and gents… AVA BISE!
Name: Ava Bise
Height: 5’ 6 ½”
Weight: 133 lbs. (154 lbs. when I started CFHW)
Profession: Includes: Co-Founder of YouBar, the customized nutrition bar company. Work with sons and CFHW CrossFitters Anthony Flynn and Dennis Flynn at YouBar since 2006. Snowboard Instructor (AASI Level 2 Certification) at Mountain High Resort since 1998. Belly Dancer Performer and Belly Dance Teacher (1977-2009).
How long have you been a member at CFHW? 18 mos.
How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness? I cannot believe that I actually like going to the gym and feel cranky if I miss it for more than a few days regardless of the reason. And I’m still incredulous that I have become fascinated by weightlifting. I could have never imagined the flexibility necessary for proper lifting form. The complexity of weightlifting movement patterns is equal to the complexity I find in belly dancing layerings, snowboarding and yoga. CrossFit has definitely enhanced my snowboarding and yoga practices. I love sports and activities that require years to perfect. And I know that starting to eat in a paleo manner has contributed greatly to my physical improvement in health. My overall feeling of wellbeing is fantastic. I am the most flexible and strong I have ever been in my life. I say yes to everything now, including going on monkey bars in the park with my 4 and 5 year-old grandsons, breaking into a run on an uphill hike, and carrying a 42-pound piece of luggage up four flights of stairs when I became impatient with an elevator in Spain. Emerging patterns of achiness, inflammation, weakness, and lack of mobility in my joints have basically disappeared. I can do the strenuous activities in life, including carrying around my 6 month-old granddaughter, and I know how to gauge what is an appropriate challenge for me. Of course I am so lucky to have sons who arrived at CrossFit before me, and have been tremendously supportive of my CrossFit efforts in and out of the CFHW box. And it has been a delight to work out at CFHW with my soon-to-be daughter-in-law Katie. Once again my friends have been as baffled and sometimes concerned for my safety and sanity when I mention CrossFit as they were when I got hooked on snowboarding at the age of 44. Seeing my results and continued enthusiasm have started to put them at ease.
What is your athletic background? Mostly swimming bicycling and rollerskating as a child. Volleyball in high school. Juggling with Dennis because it creates a fun, yet meditative interaction, and he can catch any of my less-than-accurate throws. Have loved to dance (mostly belly dancing), snowboard and practice yoga as an adult.
Favorite WOD: Lately it has been WODs that include some running because I still can’t believe how natural and comfortable it is for me to run since Crossfit.
Favorite Lift: The Snatch because it is the most complex lift with its demands of flexibility, strength, explosiveness, balance, speed, coordination, agility, accuracy, stamina, cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, core-body stabilization and sequencing of movements. It is a wonder. I estimate it will take me at least another year to become fairly proficient even at a light weight.
Least Favorite WOD: Wall Balls. Let’s face it—a large 10, 12 or 14-pound ball bouncing off a wall 9’ or 10’ high and towards my head is necessarily something to be wary of.
Least Favorite Lift: Deadlift. Actually the lift is okay, but I dislike the name—so inappropriate and non-descriptive. “Healthlift” and “Lifelift” would be so much more accurate and positive names.
What are your proudest achievements? 20” Box Jumps because they entailed overcoming the sheer terror of facing that impossibly high and dangerous box. I started at 3” and would need to hold the trainer’s hand to add each inch. And Double-Unders because they represent so many moves I can do now that never occurred to me were even possible for humans to achieve.
Name one goal and/or personal record you would like to accomplish through CrossFit? Three beautifully styled kipping pull-ups in a row with no band.
Any advice for someone thinking about trying CrossFit or someone who has just started? Patience, persistence, and ask questions during every class. Watching CrossFit weightlifting videos online speeds up the learning process. Assume that everything you’ve heard about CrossFit is probably wrong, and if you are over age 55, most of what you learned about fitness is also probably wrong.
Favorite place to eat in Los Angeles? Mother Dough on Hollywood Blvd. for the most extraordinary pizza and salads for a rare non-paleo meal.
Now watch Ava lift!