Athlete of the MonthJanuary

Sandra Castelo

Years at CrossFit 7 Mile - Grand Cayman: 2


How long have you been doing CrossFit?

2 years and 4 months.


What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

Even though my husband (Jeff ‘Jefe’ Kelly) had been a long time member and had nothing but good things to say about the gym and the community, I didn’t think CrossFit was for me given my lower back problems.  What made me change my mind was when Jeff suggested I do some personal training sessions with Coach Chris.


What was the hardest part when you started and how did you overcome that?

Having the courage to walk though the door.  I was so out of shape and I had no experience in weightlifting… CrossFit was going to be a humbling experience!  But somehow within minutes, those feelings dissipated because I was learning and having a great time.

Equally as difficult was the fact that I was coming to CrossFit WITH a chronic injury.  For 15 years, I tried to find a solution to my lower back problems and regardless of who I went to (doctor, physio, chiro, therapist, specialist) nobody seemed to have a solution other than to minimally help me manage the pain. Getting the opportunity to work with Chris changed everything – I gained my quality of life back!


With January being the beginning of the year are there any new goals set for 2019?  Did you conquer any goals set for 2018?

Back in June, I decided to give myself a fun challenge: 100 unbroken double-unders by December.  Reached my goal with a month to spare!  Time for a new challenge in 2019: handstand walk by June.  I did the Handstand Club with Coach Julia last year and I left equipped with the knowledge required to accomplish that goal but needing more practice.  This is my chance to make it happen!


Open Gym is a time we quite often see you in practicing skill work and doing ROM WOD. How has that been beneficial for you? 

Open Gym sessions are the perfect opportunity to work on movements and exercises that were prescribed to me by Chris during my monthly PT to address an issue or a weakness.  I also use that time to work on my challenges (see question above) and I’ll usually do a ROM WOD at the end of the session. The perfect combo of strength, skills and flexibility!


Any new places to travel on your list for 2019? 

Trying to decide between Greece or Portugal for our summer trip.


Did you play any sports growing up?

I figure skated for 17 years and competed in synchronised skating for the last 10.  I was lucky to represent Canada at several international competitions for many years and even made it to the World Championships!


Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

I was born in Montreal but my parents are from Spain so I have dual citizenship. I went to French school during the week, Spanish school on weekends, and learned English watching Fresh Prince of Bel Air.


Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

Nothing adrenaline driven on my bucket list – my bucket list is filled with places to see and skills to develop like learning to play the piano.


What is your favorite WOD and why?

I don’t really have a favorite… they are all just different variations of pain!


What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Any workouts that require a lot of arm strength because my “chicken wings” can’t keep up!


What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

The people and coaches. 7 Mile Strength and Fitness has such a welcoming, supportive, fun and motivating group of coaches and it is evidenced by the amazing camaraderie amongst members.


Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Without hesitation – for the quality of coaching, the awesome friendships and the range of services offered.


Thanks Sandra, we are proud to have you as our January 7 Miler.

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