Meet Your Host
Kevin: My name is Kevin Mathis and I'm the founder of Fitness for those of you. I don't know if that makes us a fitness membership that gives users access to a large network of gyms, yoga studios, CrossFit boxes and more across New Mexico. Fit Mix was really created to give people the freedom of choice when it comes to working out and really make it easier to try new exercises. For some time, I've been wanting to create a podcast that complimented the network. With that, let me introduce you to the host of future episodes, Sarah Yingling. Welcome to the podcast, Sarah. Sara: Hi, Kevin. Thanks for having me. Kevin: So when I was thinking about creating this podcast and trying to figure out the best person to host, you're the first person that came to mind. You have a passion for health and fitness that I've never seen in anybody before. I do have to know, though, why did you say yes when I asked you? Sara: It just seemed, you know, like the perfect thing. Being a former TV reporter, I feel like, you know, this is kind of my niche speaking to people, interviewing people kind of right up my alley. So I was like, you know, why not? And we have some extra downtime. So the perfect combination, perfect storm. Kevin: Totally agree. It's clear to anybody that knows you that you are passionate about health and fitness. Where did that start? Sara: I'm very passionate. I don't know, honestly. Like, I've always been a very active person and always involved in sports. My parents got me into soccer when I was five. Got me into skiing when I was five. I grew up playing sports. And then once I got into high school, I was playing volleyball, soccer and doing indoor track. So I was always like keeping my time busy with playing three sports and all our sport throughout the year. Every season. And then after that, college decided to go the soccer rout, played soccer for two years at IUP, which is the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, located outside of Pittsburgh. But I had to give that up due to too many concussions. Any idea how many I had, Kevin? Kevin: I'm going to guess seven. Sara: People always say seven.That's really funny, but I kind of close first saying my family and I, we're going with twelve. Kevin: My first guest was really eleven, but it felt too high. Sara: Yeah. So I played goalie almost my entire life. Well now have I would say half my life I started out playing outside it and then center med but I got recruited in college to play goalie. But for some reason they ended up taking me out of the goalie position and moving me to center midfielder. And so that game I went up for a head ball and this girl and I ended up hitting heads.I fell down, blackout woke up to everyone around me being put on a stretcher. So a spark notes version of that. Basically was a vegetable for two weeks. Kevin: No way. Sara: Yeah. Decided it's probably the best route to avoid contact sports from here on out. Kevin: So is that I'm assuming that was the last concussion. Did the first ones happen the same way? Sara: Yeah. Growing up in club soccer I played on this national traveling team as a goalie. Was just getting kicked in the head a lot. Yeah. Fun times. And then going out for headers and stuff that. So I even wore one of those goofy head gear things. I don't know if you've ever seen those. They kind of look like scrum caps that you wear in rugby, but it doesn't cover the top your head, it just covers the front of your head and then your lobes and then the back of your head. So even wearing that stupid thing for that last game when I got hit in the head and still got a concussion, I'm like, yeah, this is my sign that I need to stop. Kevin: When you got out of sports. What did you decide to do after? Sara: Yeah. I was like, I need to, probably focus on schooling. And so I was like, I'm going to transfer to Duquesne University. And so that's actually in downtown Pittsburgh where they have a dedicated broadcast journalism program. So I went there. Focus on that. But the same time, I was like, I need a competitive outlet. And so my mom and I were like, what is a non-contact sport that I can do? And she was like, what about crew? And I'm like, I've literally never been in a boat, but sure. So I tried out for the crew team and I made it. And so I did crew for the remaining two years of my college career, which is so cool. I think crew is probably the most underrated sport. I mean, if you don't know about it, obviously if you don't grow up near rivers or like any kind of body of water. You don't have access to it, but like it is so cool. The practices were crazy because we would have to be up at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m., like it's still dark and you're rolling down the Monongahela River in downtown Pittsburgh with like the skyline lit up. It was incredible. And then the needs that we would have were so awesome because we would travel all up and down the East Coast, obviously, to all the other schools with a rowing team. It was just a totally different experience than any other sport I've ever played. Kevin: When tried out for a crew, where there people that didn't make the team. Sara: Yeah. Kevin: So you had never done crew before and you just made the team? Sara: Well, they had kind of had like an A in a B team. You know, I started out obviously on the B team, but then once I got better, I started moving to like the other boat. So it's like eight, four and two. So few times I did races in a two person boat, which is really hard. Mostly other times I was in an eight person boat. And after that, this is kind of like ironic and it makes no sense probably to a lot of people. But all my friends who went to University of Pittsburgh played on the rugby team. And there's a club team there called the Pittsburgh Angels. And I ended up playing rugby. Kevin: Let me guess, you tried out and you made it. Sara: Yeah. Kevin: So you said, "I don't want to get any more concussions, let me go do rugby." Sara: Yeah, let's go play rugby where they actually tackle you. I don't know. I didn't tell my parents until like a few games in, but I was wearing the scrum cap and in a mouth guard. But I played sevens mostly because sevens I wouldn't get tackled as much because I'll just run around all the people. But yeah, I would just avoid the really big scary girls. Kevin: Well, seeing as you had all those concussions, you were probably extra motivated to not get hit. So that how they help you. Sara: Yea and then I would also avoid tackling, which is probably not the best when people would run by you. I was like, nah, I'll just pretend to try. Kevin: When did that end or when did you have to just move over to working out? Sara: I want to say a year into playing rugby is when I finally discovered CrossFit and kind of realized hey I'm actually kind of good at this. And I wanted to start taking it kind of seriously, like I mean, seriously in the sense that I want to start competing locally. At Local competitions on the East Coast or just in like the mid-Atlantic region, basically. So started out at like this smaller CrossFit gym in the south side of Pittsburgh called CrossFit. Athletics. Spent a good amount of time there. And then eventually moved to another gym called CrossFit Mount Lebanon, where the CrossFit Games athlete and Anna Tunnicliffe and her husband were the owners. So I was like, wow, I want to know actually make it to regionals, because back then it was regionals. You had to qualify for the open. And then if you were at the top 20 or something in your region, you would make it to the regionals and then top five would make it to the CrossFit games. So I was like I really want tomake it on a team that would be so awesome. So I moved to that gym. And I want to say we like at one point had a shot of making it to the regionals. But our coach wouldn't let us go because he said we weren't experienced enough and he didn't want us to embarrass ourselves. Kevin: Oh, no. Sara: Yeah. Kevin: What a boost of confidence. Sara: Right? So there was my dream of going to regionals. Just down the drain. I was like my only chance. Come on! Kevin: Is that still a goal of yours or has that kind of passed? Sara: It was like when I first moved out here to New Mexico, I joined Cross Fit Albuquerque, which has a lot of good athletes. And in Whitney Cappellucci who has made it to the games and regionals and everything. I was a member there. with other really good girls and guys. But I don't think we were all really ever quite on the same page. So the dream of make it on a team out here to didn't happen either. Kevin: But yeah, I mean, you went for it. You might have gotten it, but your coach said, no, that's OK. Kevin: In today's world, what's a day in the life for you? Sara: So still pretty passionate about CrossFit. Just not in the sense that like I am. Look, I don't have like a specific goal really anymore, whereas I did a few years ago. My only goal really is to just look good and be able to eat a lot of carbs. Because I love carbs. But also, I'm just a competitive person and I need an outlet. And so like everyday I feel like you're given a chance to be the best version of yourself if that's competing with yourself every day or if it's trying to compete like with members in your box. I feel like CrossFit gives you that opportunity to have a competitive outlet. So I just like I just enjoy just doing those workouts and. Trying to be like the best version of myself every day. I don't like pushing myself physically, mentally. I just feel better. At the end of day or after a workout like, yeah, it sucks in the moment. If you've done CrossFit, you'll know the pain of some of the workouts and how you feel immediately after. But honestly, I wouldn't trade that feeling for anything else because it's like a sense of accomplishment. Kevin: For those of us who like carbs more than working out and struggle with their journey. What advice do you have for them?