Nicole Dholakia – Member of the Month!

Amy, Goose, and all the CFS coaches,

First and foremost thank you so much for this honor, I am truly humbled. Southie is filled with devoted, exceptional and talented athletes that all come together to make this box what it is and I am proud to say I am a part of it. I want to thank each of you for always taking the time out to answer my questions, help me focus on the intricacies of a movement, giving me training advice, shouting out words of encouragement, and for never once doubting what I am capable of, even when I have.



How did you get involved in CrossFit? What was your first WOD/experience? When did you realize that CrossFit was right for you?

My CrossFit story is a lengthy one and for anyone that knows me, I could go on and on, so let me give you the highlights…a little over two years ago my husband, our pup and I moved to Boston from Chicago so that I could attend Northeastern University for graduate school. At that point I was pretty close to the heaviest I had ever been; the stress of moving, graduate school and working full-time was becoming a real battle that I was losing a little each day. In December of 2010, one of my classmates, Dave (a Marine and CrossFitter) wrangled a group of us together to do the Tough Mudder in Vermont that following May. I thought to myself, this is it; this is the jump start I needed to get back in the game, giddy up! That was it, I signed up for the Mudder and I was in! A group of us trained at the gym Dave had been going to, Train Boston in Wellesley, for the months prior to the Mudder. Dave “prepped” me for CrossFit over those 6 months, telling me all about the foundations, movements and community and introducing me to I was still a little hesitant but as our days at Train Boston came to an end and we completed our first Tough Mudder in May of 2011, I had the hankering for a new challenge. I looked up CrossFit gyms in Boston and found that there was one right down the street in Southie (we live right by the JFK T stop in Dorchester), I was thrilled! After some back and forth emails with Amy, I finally got myself down here for an intro session with Berretta. I’m pretty sure it was a 7 minute AMRAP which afterward I lovingly referred to as 7 minutes of purgatory. I was the solo intro athlete in a 12:00 class over in Southie Orange, needless to say I was a little intimidated, but I loved it! After the warm-up and going over the essential CF movements, it was time for my first WOD. Berretta got me all set up and all I could think of was, “It’s only 7 minutes, right? How bad could it be?”. I left that day a little bit unsure of what had just happened and even more unsure if CrossFit was really for me. Within two weeks, I was signed up for 2 days/week. At first I had to pretty much drag myself in, carefully picking and choosing my days. I had found that CrossFit was everything everyone said it was in a nutshell…the most physically and mentally challenging thing combined that I would probably ever do. I was really disheartened at first, (especially since I had just did some pretty intense training for the Mudder) using what Berretta called my “rainbow of bands” for pull-ups, using a 14 inch box for box jumps, falling down with every attempt at a 15 lb. OHS…you see where this is going. Despite my continued apprehension, I kept coming in. It wasn’t until after a few months that I was 100% sure CrossFit was for me. I eventually went to 3 days/week and then, this last spring I decided to experiment with an unlimited membership and personal Paleo challenge just to see where it would get me. Things really started to change, slow at first and then before I knew it, I was dropping bands like crazy for pull-ups, finally using bands for HSPUs and getting rid of that pesky box, using a 24 inch box when the WOD called for it, competing in the Throwdown, having more and more days a week of Rx WODs, finally staying on a consistent 5-6 day a week schedule, making the transition to Paleo, logging my WODs/PRs (thanks for that Barrow!!), coming in to work on my “goats”, and now focusing on the Garage Games! As corny as is sounds, for me, CrossFit is a love/hate romance that continues to challenge me at every turn and just keeps getting better with every WOD and definitely with each PR!


When did you start coming to CrossFit Southie?

Sometime in late June 2011, I can’t remember the exact date.

Is this the first CrossFit you’ve worked out at / how long have you been CrossFitting for?

CrossFit Southie is my first, and I have been here for 1 year and just about 4 months.


What are you short-term and long-term CrossFit goals?

Short term goals: 95 lb. OHS, unassisted pull-ups, 300 lb. deadlift, 150 lb. c & j, TTB, DUs

Long term goals: Consistent Rx in WODs, participating in the CrossFit Open


What is your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment is by far being in the best shape of my life with my 35th birthday 2 months away. This was not a solo accomplishment in the least. Yes, I definitely put in the time and dedication, I changed my diet and really took a microscope to my lifestyle, but I COULD NOT have done it and stayed focused if it wasn’t for all the support, inspiration and encouragement from my family, friends, fellow CrossFitters and Coaches. As many have said before, CrossFit Southie has something serious going on! So true, it is unlike any gym environment I have ever been a part of…hands down awesome! I can honestly say without hesitation that becoming a member of Southie has changed my life and continues to push the boundaries of what I ever thought I was capable of. Thank you Amy and Goose for creating and fostering this environment!
What is your favorite / least favorite WOD/movement?

Favorite: chippers, squat clean, power clean, Southie Sangy, The Bear

Least favorite: (not really my least favorite, more my “goats”) OHS, squat snatch, DUs, running
What do you do for a profession outside of CrossFit?

I have been a nurse for over 12 years. I actually started in labor and delivery and then made the transition to critical care 2 years later and never looked back. I have worked in a variety of intensive care units (ICU) but most of my experience is in the post cardiac surgery ICU. Currently, I am a full-time graduate student at Northeastern University in the Nurse Anesthesia program. I am completing my clinical residency at Tufts Medical Center, providing anesthesia services for a diverse and challenging population of all ages. After going down a road that seemed to take forever, I am now 193 days away from graduation after almost 3 years of training, not that I’m counting or anything!

What are your hobbies outside of CrossFit?

Outside of CrossFit (when I’m not buried waist deep in anesthesia related reading) I enjoy cooking, biking, going to various beaches in MA with my husband and our 4 year old Weimaraner, “Aston”, visiting the numerous bars of Boston with classmates, watching movies, and participating in obstacle races.

Do you eat Paleo or Zone? What is your favorite paleo/non-paleo meal?

Paleo, 90% day to day, 99% when there is a challenge 😉 My favorite Paleo meal is a tie between Thai coconut lime shrimp, beef stew with sweet potatoes, and cilantro-lime beef with avocado, tomato and onion. For the non-paleo, anything Italian, Thai or Indian, yum!


Fun fact?

My husband and I got married in his hometown of Baroda, Gujarat, India!

Nicole (2 months before starting CrossFit) with her good friend Dave who convinced her to give CF a shot

3 Rounds
500m Row
12 Deadlifts (bodyweight)
21 Box Jumps

We would like to see you working as close to your body weight as possible. Please weigh in before the WOD. If you have been here less than a month we want you to do 1/2 -3/4 your body weight. If you have been here for less than 3 months we want you doing 3/4-body weight. We will give you plenty of time to warm up and decide on an appropriate weight for the workout.


  • Andrea

    11/07/2012 @ 11:39 am

    Congrats Nicole!!! Just a little more time and practice and you’ll be crushing those goals!!
    Well deserved recognition for an athlete!!

    • nicole d

      11/07/2012 @ 9:17 pm

      Andrea- thanks for that vote of confidence! One thing is for sure, I’m not gonna stop until I reach those goals and then, I’ll just set new ones;).

  • jason barrow

    11/07/2012 @ 2:48 am

    Hearty LOL at “Favorite: chippers”. If you look at past blog posts where the WOD is a chipper you’ll probably see a comment from Nicole saying that she can’t wait or she’s bummed that she’ll miss it. She legitimately LOVES chippers.

    This will probably be long-winded but Nicole’s been a STAPLE at the 7PM classes, helping to make them the class I’ve been loving since I’ve been here, so I got a lot to say about her.

    We have members here who come to class, go through the motions, get fit, whatever. And then we have members who are DIALED in. They know exactly what they have done, what they want to do, and are on top of not only the exercise but the diet also. We’re lucky to have a lot of those type of people here at Southie, but there’s NO QUESTION that Nicole fits into that latter category.

    Aside from being consistent in every way, she’s also just an awesome person. Any time we’re next to each other in a WOD and she finishes before me (which has been happening way too much lately), she’ll turn to me and push me to finish up. I can always count on her for some thoughtful conversation about our programming/diet/etc, but I also know she’s good-natured and I could have fun with her during class as I often do. I had no interest in competing in our internal throwdown last spring, I knew where I stood and didn’t think it made sense to compete when I knew I wouldn’t be competitive to win. Nicole single-handedly peer pressured me into signing up. Obviously it worked out great, I had a blast, surprised myself, and Nicole cheered me on, so thanks for that one. What I’m trying to say is Nicole is OFFICIALLY AWESOME. Lookin’ good in those new oly shoes too!

    Feb 27th: 13:45 Rx [185#]
    Tonight: 10:59 ADV [185#]
    (There was a rower shortage so I volunteered to do what the Toasters did today, 400m Sandbag Runs instead of rowing.) (Note that my weight hasn’t changed since last winter, my body is as OCD as I am.)

    I love nights like this that are able to give a regular class that competition feel. 7PM was PACKED, 3 FULL heats. I was in the last heat. There’s no way I would rather warm up than by cheering on my friends, getting pumped by watching them kill it. Not that my time was amazing, but I felt out of my freakin’ mind (more than usual) at the end of that one like I could have done another round, all from the energy in the gym all night.

    • Shamwow

      11/07/2012 @ 1:50 pm

      Barrow you flew through that workout like a boss!

    • nicole d

      11/07/2012 @ 11:07 pm

      Barrow-wow…you have left me speechless and if you haven’t figured it out by now, that’s a pretty big accomplishment! FYI- there’s a chipper in the second day of the Games, I’m wicked excited;)!

  • Amy

    11/07/2012 @ 1:19 am

    Nicole- you have amazed me since day 1. It has been such an honor to watch you progress and excel. Thank you for giving always giving 110% and for being an inspiration to all of us.

    • nicole d

      11/07/2012 @ 3:15 am

      Amy-i just teared up reading this…true story. you and goose are by far some of the most dedicated, honest and talented people i know. CFS is a seed that you planted and it has sprouted into something beyond amazing! over the year and several months i have been here i have seen this place explode, athletes LOVE it here and it’s no wonder why! THANK YOU for everything!

  • JeffSully

    11/07/2012 @ 12:36 am

    Congratulations Nicole! Keep up the great work and crushing WOD’s!!

    • nicole d

      11/07/2012 @ 2:37 am

      thank you so much!

  • Schurko

    11/07/2012 @ 12:16 am

    Congrats Nicole!!

    • nicole d

      11/07/2012 @ 3:05 am


  • Sara

    11/07/2012 @ 12:05 am

    Kholi! You are AMAZING! Keep up the good work!!! So proud of you!

    • nicole d

      11/07/2012 @ 3:03 am

      sara- i loved that you logged in on here just to tell me that! love you!

  • L Lebo

    11/06/2012 @ 6:02 pm

    Congratulations! And what a gorgeous wedding photo, btw

    • nicole d

      11/07/2012 @ 3:02 am

      L Lebo- thanks so much! you wouldn’t believe how much make-up those ladies put on me, they were amazing!

  • Kara

    11/06/2012 @ 5:26 pm

    Great job Nicole!!

    • nicole d

      11/07/2012 @ 3:01 am

      Kara-thank you!

  • LJ

    11/06/2012 @ 3:54 pm

    Congrats, Nicole!!

    • nicole d

      11/07/2012 @ 3:00 am


  • Shamwow

    11/06/2012 @ 3:36 pm

    Congrats, Nicole! Any chance you keep the Paleo Challenge going through all the way to graduation? It’s ONLY 193 days!

    • nicole d

      11/07/2012 @ 2:36 am

      shamwow-we are actually down to 187 days now, i’ll bulk order the coconut oil, various beef cuts, qunioa and larabars;) thanks for the congrats!

      • Shamwow

        11/07/2012 @ 1:51 pm

        Definitely have to have tons of Larabars on hand.

  • sarahpisborg

    11/06/2012 @ 2:59 am

    awesome, nicole!! love your wedding picture!

    • nicole d

      11/07/2012 @ 3:00 am

      sarah-i have looked up to you since day one when i met you. i can rememebr one of your first classes at CFS! you are an amazing athlete and have always been a true inspiration!

  • DeDonno

    11/06/2012 @ 1:20 am

    Congratulations Nicole! You have been killing it at CFS and have been a pleasure to coach. Keep up all the hard work!

    • nicole d

      11/07/2012 @ 2:49 am

      dedonno- one of the many things i love about CFS is the coaching, each of you bring such a unique coaching style and personaility to your classes. thank you for your dedication to us! and thanks for the congrats!

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