Congrats to Diana Cartaya for being the December Member of the Month at Apollo! Scroll down to learn more about Diana.
And Decembers Member of the Month is….(drum roll)….Diana Cartaya!!!!! How does it feel?
What’s up Chad! Hey man, this feels great! Sean’s super jealous and keeps asking how come I got picked and not him.
You have overcome so much in the last year. Where do you get your strength from?
Yeah, man…all those surgeries took a toll on me physically and mentally. I have issues with mobility and some discomfort but overall I feel pretty good right now and have been working on getting back to feeling as normal as I can and building strength. As far as the mental and emotional part of it, I can’t even begin to tell you how much CrossFit and all the Apollo people helped in keeping me from sometimes feeling sad or getting into that ugly mindset that can prevent you from moving forward. Watching others in the class get through their workouts, struggling as much as I was, seeing others improve over time and get faster times or use heavier weights, and hearing all the cheering helped me every time I would go. It’s funny because more often than not, people at Apollo didn’t even know they were helping me. Watching Richard come in on his lunch break, bust out a workout and go back to work is crazy awesome. Seeing how much Nikki and Natasha have improved and how they are always happy, smiling and so friendly. People like Jolene and Lauren, Josh, Pete, Sarah, all the Mikes, and every other person that I would come across. Sean helping me make time to go because he knew how important it was for me to move my body and be around positivity. Just walking into a building where people want the best for you and themselves and support you and believe in you just felt so amazing. And having the best coaches like you, Wes, and Monica constantly pushing all of us to do our best and finish. All of that helped me.
What first motivated you to start CrossFit and why have you stuck with Apollo for so long?
So, 3 ½ years ago Sean came up to me and and told me there’s this thing he wanted us to try and that I would like it and that he had made an appointment for us. I walked in having no clue what to expect and had my first foundations class. At the end of the class I was green and had to lay down because I thought I was going to throw up. I remember looking at the ceiling and it was fuzzy and kind of moving a little, and thinking “This is great!” I really “felt” my whole body…my legs, and arms, my heart beating and my blood flowing. I loved it the moment I started.
I stick with it because of what it has done to help my thinking and growing as a person. there’s always this push that “Yes, you can do this.” No matter what stage you are in your life, no matter the issues and limitations with your body, no matter the age…We can do this. It’s the thinking that no one is perfect or better than anyone else. I’m working against myself and if I can run, then I run. If I can only walk, then I walk, If all I have in me is to crawl, then I will crawl…but I will do it. And that thinking translates to every part of my life. I had surgeries that were scary and painful and changed my body. That’s ok, because guess what, I can still move, and breathe, and I’m alive, and I have two legs and arms that work. So I modify if I have to and I still do it. Somebody else may be going through another type of issue, whether physical, work related, or emotional, and maybe they have to “crawl’ in their life for a bit…and that’s ok, because they keep moving. Each one of us has gone through or will go through tough stuff that knocks us down and when it happens, what are we going to do? Were going to do a burpee and get back up and use that grit to keep on keepin on. The point is that the thinking changes and moves the mind and heart from an area where the world seems more limited to an openness that things are possible, even if it’s moving a tiny bit at a time towards a goal. Is that too cheesy?
What’s your favorite workout?
Anything with running and rope climbs! But not sprinting, because my little legs can’t go that fast. And no wall balls. Just running where I can smile and enjoy the nice weather and listen to music and then do rope climbs.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Teal. I love blue greens and how they make me feel. They remind me of the ocean and rivers, a rainy green forest with moss, the smell of cut grass, and cool glass of water. But I’m not sure that’s how others see me. Sean says I’d be these two little colored pencils named lilac and sky blue. I guess that’s better than being that last dry little piece of chalk at the bottom of the bucket.
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Dude, easy…I’d be a werewolf. Can you imagine?! How insanely awesome would that be!!! And I would have the power to turn it on and off whenever…no need for the full moon. I’d would just werewolf around town, standing in front of people’s windows at night and scare them, do some cool howling, talk to animals, and do other fun things that go with being a werewolf.
What was your dream job growing up?
I had the standard ones that everyone else did, but secretly, I wanted to run away with the circus. How much fun would it be to flip around on a trapeze all day and make people smile. I never did because I knew my mom would be sad, also the circus never came to my part of town. Later on though, and still today, my dream job was to work at Disneyland. When Fantasmic came out at Disneyland and I saw Mickey fighting the forces of evil I felt my heart beating so fast and I was like “That’s it! That’s the most amazing job in the world!” I don’t even know what I would do if that became a reality.