After a tough day at work, many people veg out, eat dinner and watch TV. But not Cassie Durdel, social worker in the transitional care unit (7100) and inpatient rehabilitation. She likes to get lost in a CrossFit workout of the day, letting exertion and the gym clear her head.
“It’s a good distraction for me, so I don’t worry about the impact I had on a situation or who got on my nerves,” she said. “I go right after work when I’m all fired up.”
Besides being therapeutic, CrossFit helped Cassie make new friends.
“I used to be more of a runner during graduate school, but when my friends graduated, got jobs and moved elsewhere, I got bored running by myself,” she said.
A friend invited Cassie to try CrossFit 3 years ago, and now she can’t imagine life without the support and acceptance she finds there within its community of active people. In fact, CrossFit has become a family affair for Cassie, whose dad, mom and fiancé attend the same gym. Cassie, who is getting married Sept. 8, even held a CrossFit workout bridal shower, inviting friends and co-workers from Akron Children’s to her gym. (Afterwards, they went out for brunch.)
Even though she participates in CrossFit 6 days a week, Cassie still runs. In fact, she believes CrossFit has helped her gain speed and endurance.
“I won 1st and 3rd for women’s overall in several local races recently, as well as placed in my age group,” she said.
Cassie also competed in a 2-day CrossFit competition in mid-August. The event, called Survivor Games, is part obstacle course, part mud run, with plenty of CrossFit activities, such as pull ups, wallball shots and more, to challenge all levels of CrossFit enthusiasts.
Her fitness routine has also increased Cassie’s stamina. In 2017, she ran for 2 different teams during the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series. After running the second leg for her own team in the First Energy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay, she joined another team when one of their members dropped out, running the fifth leg of the relay.
“I ran the last leg for that team, which meant I ran into InfoCision Stadium,” Cassie said. “That whole experience was fun. I saw a lot of new people.”
She plans to participate in the Akron Marathon this year, which will mark the sixth time that she is taking part. In 2012, Cassie ran a half marathon, but since then, she’s joined relay teams. Her team this year is composed of CrossFit friends.
“I actually met my fiancé at the Akron Marathon in 2016,” she said. “I didn’t run that year because of a knee injury, and we met through friends. The Akron Marathon is full of good memories for me.”
Interested in running, volunteering or cheering on the participants in the 2018 Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series? Visit www.akronmarathon.org.