All images by Lindsay Kagalis

We are so happy to introduce you all to one of our newly sponsored athletes – Emma Ferreira! This powerhouse crossfit champion is one of the most dedicated and passionate individuals we’ve met, and we couldn’t be happier to have her on our team. We sat down with her to chat all things crossfit, including her previous and upcoming competitions and some tips and advice for those thinking about trying it for the first time.

love of sports

Emma was always into sports and have always loved being competitive. When she knew she would be playing lacrosse in college, she was looking for something different to do to get in shape for lacrosse. “My brother and little cousin started [doing] crossfit and they told me to come with them.” Although she initially thought “no, it’s not really my thing”, she decided to give it a try. And she tell us “ever since that day, I have been hooked. I just absolutely loved it!” Especially since she has always been competitive, the competition aspect of crossfit appealed to her instantly. “To find out that this sport could be taken to that level [of competitions] was awesome,” she shares. It seems that Emma found a perfect match when she started crossfit.

fierce competitor

Since competing runs deep in her bones, it’s no surprise that Emma has competed multiple times. Besides the ultimate crossfit competition, known as The Games, she describes the three other major competitions within crossfit: The Regionals, The Granite Games, and Wodapalooza. She recently completed Wodapalooza – competing as an individual and placing 16th out of 60. That being just 60 out of the approximately 20,000 people that showed up initially for the trails (talk about impressive!).

Emma also recently competed at the Belmar Beatdown competition in New Jersey. She won in the partner division with Mike Lukenovich, taking first place for the entire competition! Now her mind is set on the upcoming Granite Games in Minnesota this September.

In preparation for the Granite Games, we talked more about what Emma hopes to accomplish to be her absolute best at the competition. “I’m working more on the cardio and marathon-based workouts”, along with strengthening her gymnastic skills. But just working on specific moves wasn’t enough for Emma. So to better herself, she went out and became certified to teach gymnastics about 9 months ago. Since it’s a weaker point, she knew it would be a good opportunity to add to both her certifications and help her advance her skills while helping others do so too. And she’s truly enjoyed teaching it! “I love teaching gymnastics because all you need is yourself,” she shares with us. However, coaching for Emma go way beyond just teaching gymnastics.

coaching athletes

In addition to training for competitions, Emma dedicates her time as a coach at Freedom Athletic Academy. She has been coaching for about three years, teaching both privates and classes. Group classes can range from 7 – 15 people, and include people of all ages and abilities. At Freedom Athletic Academy, they actually have classes for kids (ages 6 – 10), teens (ages 12/13 – 16) and adults (17+)! When coaching privates, it’s usually a smaller group of people, focusing on weightlifting and/or gymnastics moves. You can hear the passion in her voice as we talk more about what she loves about coaching at Freedom.

the joys of coaching

It’s all about seeing people have the drive to do better. For Emma, “the fact that I can help them achieve that is so awesome.” She shares with us the amazing transformations that she gets to see every day from her clients. And they really are much more that clients or members – they’re athletes, and that’s what Emma likes to call them. She gets to see people starting out coming to Freedom maybe once or twice a week, to evolving and training up to five times a week. Emma’s dedication to coaching and help people achieve their goals is apparent, too. She even laughs that sometimes she needs to make sure she’s keeping a stopwatch or else she would continue to coach her athletes until the sun goes down!

the benefits

As many know, crossfit boasts physical benefits, seen through countless transformations. But once we talked with Emma, we’ve found that the benefits go way beyond the physical.

It’s easy to see the physical benefits of crossfit, but as Emma describes, it’s much more than that. Crossfit benefits include an overall healthy lifestyle. “It changed my thoughts and ways of doing things tremendously,” she says. Before crossfit, it was just thinking of what is healthy, but since crossfit, it’s more of actually knowing what is healthy. Once you get started in crossfit, you’ll quickly start taking this knowledge and healthy lifestyle outside the gym too. For Emma, crossfit is not only being able to get outside in nature and be active outside the gym, but also actually wanting to do so. Another benefit of crossfit is that you build the ability to think on your feet and expect the unknown. In most situations, you don’t really know what will be thrown at you. “At competitions, they don’t tell you the workouts until about a week or [even] a few days before, so you don’t know what you’re going into – it’s more of a mind game which is fun and cool”. With all of these benefits, who wouldn’t want to try crossfit? Nevertheless, if you’re still wary, Emma has a few tips and words of advice for beginners.

emma’s advice

Emma’s number one piece of advice is simple: “Don’t be afraid. As intimidating as people say it is, or how it might look, don’t be afraid. It’s going to open up so many doors.” Ultimately, crossfit is worth the try. It only takes about one hour of your day, and you will have the opportunity to meet and make new friends. The best part? Everyone there is working to better himself or herself. “You’re going to better yourself as well as better yourself with others – you’re doing it together…you’re never really alone”. There’s something powerful in people who encourage each other to do better. And that’s just what crossfit is really about.

We love the passion and dedication Emma has for both competing and coaching crossfit. So of course, when we started talking with her about a sponsorship, it was a perfect match. She’s grown up in Sayville, and Cornucopia has always been one of her go-to spots. She even worked her when she was younger! Working in the deli for about a year taught her so much about the store and our standards. To Emma, a Cornucopia sponsorship made perfect sense to best represent her lifestyle. She loves that all of our produce is organic, fresh and mostly local grown. It’s also the people that attracted her to us. “Everyone is so helpful and sweet”, and knowing that our employees are there to advocate for a healthy lifestyle made it a simple choice for Emma. And we couldn’t be happier to have her on our team!

favorite treat meal

As an athlete, eating right and dedicating almost all of your time is imperative to stay in tip-top shape. However, it’s also important to have balance in life, and to indulge every once and a while. So we asked Emma what her favorite treat meal is. She gave us her top three. She loves tacos, especially fish or chicken, but really any sort of taco will do (who doesn’t love tacos?!). And of course pizza was on the list, since we live in the best area to enjoy it. To round off her top three, she included the best kind of dessert out there – ice cream.

We are so excited to see what the future has in store for Emma, and we can’t wait to take you all on the journey too. We love supporting our local athletes, and seeing them succeed truly brings us joy. In addition, if you’re now ready to give crossfit a try, you can find Emma at Freedom Athletic Academy in Holbrook, where she coaches classes every day! While you’re there, take a picture and make sure to tag us so we can see.