Athlete Profile: Taylor Swart

Tell us about yourself.

Hi everyone! I was born and raised here in Fairfax, VA. I attended the University of Virginia for my undergraduate degree in Chemistry, after which I taught high school chemistry at a boarding school in WV, where I coached the swim team and served as the 7th-9th grade dorm mom. I then moved to Columbus, OH and attended the Ohio State University for my Master’s in Nursing. After a brief stint in Maryland, we moved back to this area this summer, and it is so nice to be back closer to my family!

I am a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner at Capital Area Pediatrics here in Sleepy Hollow, and I absolutely love my career! I am so passionate about health promotion and disease prevention, and about keeping children and their families happy, healthy, and safe.

In our free time, Doug and I love going for bike rides, spending time with my family, playing board games, and exploring the area. Oh yeah, and we love food. J Feel free to send any restaurant recommendations our way!

 

What interested you in functional fitness?

Growing up, sports were a huge part of my life. I played tennis, swimming, and softball through high school. In college, I became interested in running, and eventually worked my way up to completing the Marine Corps Marathon in 2010. Post-college, I completed “Insanity” and enjoyed working out with friends in the gym but missed the competitive edge of team sports and the camaraderie of a community. I had heard of “Crossfit” and eventually worked up the courage to try it in Spring of 2014, and well- the rest is history. This sport quickly became the best part of my day, my stress outlet, my social community, and the missing piece of the puzzle in my life. In 2017, I started working with a nutrition coach who introduced me to the world of tracking macros, and this really took everything to the next level. Understanding my nutritional needs has allowed me to correctly fuel my body so that I can function optimally both inside and outside of the gym. I may be biased, but to me, functional fitness is the perfect combination of strength and cardio, and the built-in diversity of the workouts means there is never a dull moment. I love that I can show up to the gym and know that the next hour of my day will be filled with a great well-rounded workout. Plus, the community aspect means you are always working out with like-minded people that will hold you accountable and push you to work harder than thought you could!

 

How long have you been at Adaptation/FC Athletics?

Doug and I joined this community in July of this year. We love that it is something we can do together to start our day off right!

 

What improvements have you seen?

Every facet of my life has improved since I started this sport. When I started in 2014, I could not do a single pullup (kipping or strict), I had no idea what a “snatch”, a “clean”, or a “jerk” was, I could not do double unders, and I could not do a pushup without being on my knees. I had never been taught how to deadlift or squat properly. I did gymnastics like most other girls did- when they were 5 and pranced around in fun leotards- so any coordinated body movements seemed so unnatural to me. But day in and day out, I showed up each day, did what my coach told me to do, and put in some extra work on my own. I can remember the days I finally got my first kipping pullup, my first toe to bar, my first set of double unders, my first handstand pushup, then later my first real pistols, my first strict pullup, and my first muscle up. My point in saying all of this is that I have had to work hard for every accomplishment I have had in this sport. It is pretty cool to look back and see how far I have come. If you had told me 6 years ago when I started this journey that I would now be doing butterfly pullups, strict pullups, handstand pushups, deadlifting almost 300 pounds, back squatting over 250 pounds, squat cleaning almost 200 pounds, or doing 300 unbroken double unders, I literally would have laughed at you and walked away. But when you put your mind to something, trust the process, and listen to your coaches, it is amazing what you can accomplish. You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

The mental health benefits of this sport are countless as well. I am the happiest and strongest, both mentally and physically, that I have ever been, and I have this sport and the people I have met because of it to thank for that. To add to this, I am so grateful for the knowledge I have gained about nutrition and about fueling your body right so that it can do the things you want it to do.

 

What’s your favorite workout or movements?

I love double unders, cleans (squat or power), and running! I love barbell cycling, so a workout like DT is one of my favorites. And call me crazy, but I love thrusters and burpees as well. I love long grinder-style workouts that really test your mental fortitude. I am a glutton for punishment haha.

 

What are your least favorite workout or movements?

I dislike snatches because I do not have the patience for them. 5 pounds can make a world of a difference- so frustrating!

 

What are your goals?

Primarily, to show up for an hour per day so that I can be a better human for the other 23 hours a day. Working out is 90% mental for me- it is therapeutic. I love how I feel when I leave the gym.

I also want to continue to get better at moving my own bodyweight, so improving my strict pullups, ring dips, handstand pushups, and muscle-ups.

 

What advice can you give to new people?

Leave your ego at the door. Show up every day willing to work hard. Ask questions if you have them. Trust the process. If you fail, stand up, reset, and try again. You are capable of so much more than you ever thought possible. If you put your mind to something and put in the work, you can achieve whatever it is you want to achieve.

 

Which coach plays the best music?

I am going to have to go with Meghan! She was one of the first coaches Doug and I met when joining this community and made such a positive first impression! Her enthusiasm and excitement are contagious, her warmups are intentional and thorough, and her music playlists are always on point!

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