AQ Fit Lab member Anna Mckean knows her way around a gym. The Wisconsin native has been hoisting weights since middle school, when a family friend started coaching her in Olympic lifting. She went on to do power-lifting and track in high school and got into CrossFit after starting college. She joined AQ this past spring to add some endurance training to her regime. We recently asked her a few questions about her life and workouts.
What drew you to Olympic lifting?
I liked the competitive aspects of the sport. From the start, I trained seven days a week. My coach wanted me to try out for the Olympic Games. But I was only in the eighth grade and I felt like there was too much I’d have to give up to travel that road.
So you changed direction….
I switched to powerlifting and track. I was attracted to sports because I could push myself harder and further every day. I also liked being part of a team. I’m really drawn to communities of people who are passionate about a similar thing.
Why did you join AQ?
After I finished college and moved to the Cities, I joined a new CrossFit gym so I could keep lifting. But as an athlete, I knew I also needed to do more cardio—no matter how much I hate it. I live by the motto: Do things that make you uncomfortable. The first few workouts at AQ were rough. I didn’t have the lung capacity or endurance. But I eventually acclimated. I like that they’re fast-paced and you can scale them to whatever energy level you bring to the gym that day.
What do you do for work? And outside of work?
I’m a recruiter, mostly in sales. I also volunteer at Safe Hands Rescue, which rescues dogs from high-kill shelters. But my main hobby is working out. What better way to get fit, connect with people, and push your limits than working out?
How do the challenging workouts at AQ prepare you for other aspects of life and work?
The workouts remind me that sometimes you just have to put your head down and grind through things. So there’s the mental and physical challenge. But I know that AQ is helping me build a body that will stay strong through the years, so even when I’m older, I will be able to do basic things like walk up stairs, carry groceries and enjoy life.