Vani Mandyam

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Ah, Vani. What could we say about her that isn’t already screen printed on a corny punny tank top? Behold:


Q: Why did you start CrossFit and why did you decide to stick with it? 

A: I had been boxing for a year before I decided to look for a new challenge. I had lost about 20 lbs with it and I felt like I had gotten everything I could out of it. It was time for a new challenge. Once I found CrossFit it was easy for me to stick with it. Two reasons for that; first, the community here is great. So much encouragement and genuine love among all the people here — it is so infectious. Second, and I can’t stress this enough, the coaches are AMAZING and that’s what keeps me coming back. The emphasis on correct form and technique that Crossfit Renew has, to me, become really important ‘cause it keeps me from getting hurt.



Q: What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself since starting? 

A: I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. I am not intimidated by CrossFit anymore. I show up and do things I never thought I could really ever do. That feeling is quite remarkable really.



Q: What is one fact about yourself that we would all be surprised to know?

A: I am a table tennis (or ping pong as it’s called here) pro. Played for my state In India (Karnataka). A little rusty now but I can give the best of them a good run for their money.  I was also a VJ on TV in India. 



Q: What is something in your life that you’re proud of? 

A: I mean if you meet me you’ll see why it’s hard to only brag about one thing buttttttt I will try… I am incredibly proud of the fact that I have been able to beat my depression. For years I was embarrassed about it. But I have now realized that it takes a great deal of strength to admit you need help. I know my symptoms and now I understand what it means and I am finally at a place where I know how to handle it. The stigma around mental health never let me speak about it but now I really think that If I can tell at least one person my story and it helps them, it will have all been worth it.  



Q: What is one thing in the next year that you are looking forward to? 

A: Looking forward to doing some single unders without losing my mind!!!!!! I never jumped rope before CrossFit. If I did, I obviously don’t remember it. I would like to string together 50 single unders in a row. Also run like a gazelle. Like all my fellow CrossFitters do. It’s my dream.


Okay, but, can we all agree that a TV video jockey slash ping pong professional is every stoner’s dream? We love you Vani! Never leave us.

Who wrote this post...

Mckenzie Souther

Mckenzie Souther

McKenzie is a North Carolina transplant (go Heels) who’s been coaching and attending Renew since 2016. Her favorite benchmark workout is Isabel, ‘cause quick power snatches are her jam. But as a former gymnast, she’ll also settle for any workout that requires her to be upside down. When she’s not coaching or working out, she just wants to be where her friends are -- preferably somewhere on the greenbelt with lots and lots of dogs!

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