“A Healthy Incentive” with Ilze Strazdina

From the Coaches: “Ilze began CrossFit with us over 2 years ago as a “Rise and Grind” 5AM athlete. Since then, she has mixed up her schedule and seen a little bit of every time, getting to know most of the members here at EFC. She started doing this for all of the right reasons as she wanted to be a role model for her daughter who is a Type 1 Diabetic. In her mission to be a healthy influence on Isabella, she has far exceeded that role. Ilze is extremely athletic, and demonstrated that this past month by competing in her first CrossFit competition. It is very admirable that her motivation is her daughter’s health, and Isabella is here at EFC constantly to watch her mom kick butt. After the class is cleared, you can find Isabella knocking out Handstand Push Ups on the wall or doing Kipping Pull Ups on the rig. It is very powerful to see the good influence Ilze has on her daughter’s health and fitness, and like Ilze says below, her daughter is her driving force to stay healthy. It brings up a good question to ask ourselves, and that is “why do I do CrossFit?” Certainly if we can have a clear answer of what that motivation is, we are more likely to succeed. Either way, Ilze has put in the work consistently for the duration of her time with us and is very deserving of AOTM. We are excited to see her continue to progress, and be part of the EFC family!


Ilze Strazdina


To me, CrossFit is about family and health.

My daughter has lived with Type 1 diabetes since age 3. It has been a big part of our lives. It requires balancing medication, food and physical activity 24/7. For now, there is no cure, but I want her to know that it can’t hold her back. I grew up being active and eating clean, I want the same for her. To teach your child anything, I believe you have to lead by example. She loves to tag along to the gym and is obsessed with CrossFit. Eating healthy can be challenging in a world where processed foods with low nutritional value are offered to kids wherever they go. I bake treats that don’t contain sugar or high amount of carbs for the school lunch and snacks. CrossFit has helped me to stay on track with both diet and exercise.

When I first started, like many people, I thought I was in a pretty good shape. I just wanted to switch things up. I soon found out how truly out of shape I was. I couldn’t do pull-ups, burpees were painful, everything hurt. I didn’t like the feeling. I had to get better at it. I picked up movements like double-unders, rope climbs or anything to do with jumping and running pretty quickly. My biggest challenge was weights and lifting. It was intimidating. I used to skip barbell workouts. It took me a while to overcome the limitations I had set for myself in my mind. Now it’s about pushing those limits and I’m not scared to do it anymore. I enjoy it.EFC is a place where I’ve always felt welcome. Chris and Sebastian have done an amazing job. I still work out with the same people I did when I started a couple of years ago. CrossFit is hard, but it’s fun at the same time. Coaches and other athletes help you push through workouts. I would have quit a long time ago if I had to do it on my own. All EFC coaches have helped me to get fitter and show my daughter that girls can do anything.

CrossFit works. I’m stronger now than I was before, physically and mentally. I’m forever grateful to EFC and all the coaches!