Student Spotlight – Sara Engberg

Sara and Scott completing the Spartan Beast
Sara and her husband, Scott, completing the 2016 Spartan Beast.

Tell us a little something about yourself: Where are you from? What do you do for work and fun? What is your sports & fitness background?

My name is Sara Engberg and I was born and raised in Williston, ND. I went to college at MSU Bozeman and graduated with a Health and Human Development degree in Nutrition. I went and finished my internship in Boise, ID and then went on to become a Registered Dietitian.

I have worked for Providence Hospital as a registered dietician for 13 years. Two years after getting my job in Missoula at Providence, I obtained a specialty certification as a Certified Diabetes Educator. I also work closely with the Bariatric Clinic, helping educate people who are having weight loss surgery. 

I grew up participating in gymnastics and then moved on to basketball and softball. I took up running as well in high school but did participate in the organized sport. 

When did you first start training at CrossFit Missoula?

In 2012, just over seven years ago, when Daniel’s gym was in the space behind the mall. 

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Describe your experience.

I was doing “Body Pump” classes at a different gym without results. I cornered Daniel at a party and me and my sister convinced him to start a 5:30 am class. 

What’s your CrossFit “superpower”? What are you good at?

I really enjoy double-unders, burpees, and thrusters. 

What’s your CrossFit “goat”? What skill or ability are you currently chasing?

Clean and Jerk, Snatch and stringing muscle-ups together. 

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting at CrossFit Missoula?

More toned. I used to run for miles and miles and do not have the time or energy to do that and ironically, I was at my heaviest weight at that time. 

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit Missoula moments:

Getting my MUSCLE UP!!! I remember staying up on the rings for as long as I could to take in the scenery and remember the moment. Oh and also conquering double-unders, stringing together 100+. 

Sara Engberg Turkish get-up
Sara doing Turkish get-ups during the 0530 hr group WOD.

You’ve become a mother of three boys since starting CrossFit. Would you tell us a little about those experiences?

Ha! Yes, I was newly married when I started Crossfit and then life really started picking up!

I was able to Crossfit with my firstborn up until 36 weeks, of course modifying the majority of the movements, going slow and listening to my body. I was worried that I was going to lose all the progress I had made.

Well after having my first son, looking back, that was a silly thing to worry about because Crossfit didn’t go anywhere! I do feel that I was lucky that I could continue training and going through the movements because it helped me maintain some strength and flexibility. I also believe it helped with my labor. I progressed pretty quickly and once I was able to push, my firstborn was out on the third push, in about 20 minutes.

Now the second pregnancy was a whole different story. I found out I was pregnant with twins and pretty much had to quit all intensive movements around 14 weeks of pregnancy. I was super bummed, but again looking back, I had a lot of other life factors I needed to focus on and think about.! Identical twin boys!? How the hell did this happen?!

They needed to be delivered via C-section so it really took a toll on my body. I was ready to get back to the gym after six weeks of delivery, despite the poor sleep, eating habits and extra stress added to my life. The gym was my only outlet, the only place where my mind would go blank for a while. It saved my sanity.

I had lost a fair amount of strength and skills because I was on bedrest for so long. But the body is an amazing thing and with time and dedication, these things returned to me after about a year.

The functional Crossfit movements have helped me so much in my day to day life with three boys. The movements have conditioned me to lift two little boys, one on each hip and sometimes a big boy on my back. It has also helped my carry a million grocery bags at once, diaper bags and two car seats at the same time!

I continue to train but not to the extent I would like or I did in the past. I feel okay with this and try to do some type of functional movement every day but nothing ever beats a class at Crossfit Missoula with my peeps!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I have gained such an amazing gym family and I would not change those relationships for anything in the world!

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