If at first you don’t succeed…

… Try try again. And again… and again… and again…

I was feeling quite slow and heavy but I was determined to go to the gym, especially since I blew it off the day before due to complete exhaustion (and a touch of laziness). I just felt totally sluggish. I decided to try to kick the heaviness with a workout. Sometimes this works, and sometimes I really am just exhausted. I didn’t know which it would be until I got to the gym.

I warmed up a bit, climbing and doing some precision jumps to see how I felt. My heart wasn’t in it. I just felt off.

I decided to work on something that required less effort, something on the soft floor with soft mats. I started with basic vaults and then I finally started to become a person again and naturally transitioned into setting the boxes up so I could work on kong precisions. For my non-parkour people… it’s when you jump over something and land on something else. That’s basically all you need to know. Or you can watch this old tutorial.

I then proceeded to work on this one specific kong pre, which was at a pretty significant distance (for no reason, I could have easily moved it closer) for the next 1.5 hours. No joke. For 90 minutes straight, this was all I did. One after another, after another, after another. I got close a few times. I landed right in front of the block a few times instead of on top of it. I got one foot on, one foot off a few times. I fell on my bum a few times. I kicked the block I was supposed to be landing on across the room a few times. Never once did I execute a perfect precision landing where I wanted to. And I was totally okay with that.

Did I fail? I don’t think so. I got my ass up and went to the gym. Success. I trained for 2 hours. Success. I challenged myself and humbly accepted defeat… for now. I consider that a success. What would be the point of our training if we always landed everything on the first try?


Badass Women: Christina Caraballo


Photo by Pete Waterman

Name: Christina Caraballo
Age: 36
Occupation: Healthcare HIT
Fun Fact: Well, I usually say that I do parkour!

Fitness Routine: Parkour, running, swimming, biking, yoga. I run at least one half marathon every year because I’ll never be able to get away from the “dark side” of endurance training, the release of endorphins that comes after a long run!

Favorite Exercise: Swinging on bars. Does that count as an exercise? It seems too fun to actually count as a workout.

Why do you workout? Honestly, I have to or no one would want to be around me. Exercise is therapeutic to me. It clears my mind and makes me feel like I can do anything. I secretly want to be a full-time superhero.

What is one food you would never eat? Red meat. Drives my carnivorous husband crazy!

Favorite Place to Workout: Honestly, I love variety, and I go in waves. For example, I love anything in the ocean, love long bikes on the Capital Crescent Trail, and long runs that loop around the Tidal Basin, Lincoln, Washington Monument, and Capitol.


Athletes (L to R): Natasha Bavolar, Adrienne Toumayan, Christina Caraballo, Terry Yen, Kate Miller. Photo by Pete Waterman.

What makes you feel strong? Why? This is a great question and hard for me to pinpoint. I guess I’m just really stubborn and love a challenge. I wasn’t the most popular girl in middle school because I refused to let the boys beat me in arm-wrestling, running, or pull-up contests. My friends told me that I should let the boys win, but I couldn’t really comprehend that. I’ve pretty much always refused to think that I wasn’t strong enough to do everything. I was really proud when I decided to become a Rehoboth Beach Lifeguard at a time when there were only a handful of us crazy girls. I still think I’m stronger in the water than most of the boys on the patrol 🙂 My daughter also makes me feel strong. She looks up to me and wants to be “strong like mommy” – music to my ears!

Favorite part of your body: Abs.

Who inspires you? Why? My dad. He has always believed in me and pushed me to be just me. When I was little, he would take me to the beach, and we would incrementally work on running farther. By the time I was eight years old, I had three miles down! I’ll never forget coming home bloody from a crazy day at the beach (I hit a jetty), my dad just looked at me and said, “Well, it looks like you had a great day. I saw some of those exercises you were doing. Pretty impressive.” It’s funny because we recently had a conversation about the fact that my daughter is super active, but also loves her dresses. My mom couldn’t get me in a dress! Our conversation was not about the difference in our personalities, but the difference in the times. I love that girls today can be little princesses that kick butt!

What do you want to accomplish in 2016? Change the world, of course.

Badass Women: Terry Yen


Photo by Pete Waterman

Name: Terry Yen
Age: 32
Occupation: Energy Analyst
Fun Fact: There’s about a mole of sand grains in the world!

Fitness Routine: Parkour, running, swimming, some biking, acro yoga (just got into it this year through a friend! Super fun!), prancer-cise… (just kidding ;))

Favorite Exercise: Burpees (hate).

Why do you workout? Stress management, to build confidence in myself, to gain perspective, experience / get lost in “flow” and let’s be honest, to fit in my clothes 😀

What is one food you would never eat? Uni

Favorite place to workout: Outside (in general)

What makes you feel strong? Why? Being able to achieve something that had scared me / made me nervous or I had thought was impossible. I view strength as inner strength — anything that builds confidence in myself and that demonstrates to myself that what I can achieve is not limited by what I think I can achieve. It gives me strength to continue setting stretch goals, exploring what the world and life have to offer, and improving my mental/physical abilities, all the while knowing I can overcome all challenges hurled at me.

Name one thing that scares you: Heights.


Favorite part of your body: Hmmm this is a toughie. Being bombarded by the media, it’s easy to critique everything about my body… can’t say I have a favorite part — I like the whole ensemble!

Who inspires you? Why? My best friend’s 17-month old daughter. Her curiosity, excitement about being alive, level of engagement with everything and everyone around her, fearlessness, patience, tolerance, and ability to focus on a task without easily getting frustrated.

2016 Goals: Get more comfortable playing on rails — jumping over/on top, precision jumps, swinging/lachés, flow, etc.

Anything else you want me (and my readers) to know about you? Try everything at least once! You’re bound to learn something from the experience.