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The Shark Bite Show Episode 31: Elina on CrossFit and Moving Away

Nick 
Hi guys. I am here. The Shark Bite Show with a really good friend of mine who is sadly in her last week in Southwest Florida. Her name is Elina. We have been friends for 5 or 6 years now. She works for the Florida Grid League. Thank you very much for coming!
 
Elina
Thanks for having me.
 
Nick
Let’s start off with just some really vague questions like who are you?
 
Elina
Okay, cool. So I’m Elina, I guess for work I’m a UX designer. So a glorified graphic designer. I look at numbers and I make things functional for people kind of way. So not just kind of pretty things but like that. I’ve been in Florida for eight years now. Moving out to Washington, DC. Next week. It’s been it’s been hard. But one thing I learned over the years it’s like, and I got it from some movie. I don’t know which one how lucky are we to like have something in our life that makes it hard to say goodbye. So it’s I would be much more sad if I just didn’t carefully.
 
Nick
It’s funny you say that when I left New York because of the army, that’s exactly how I felt. I’m leaving. I do not care.
 
Elina 
I’ve moved a lot like made big moves in my life. So it’s been something I’ve always looked back. But besides that I am a coach, too. I’ve been coaching CrossFit for less than a year. Sadly, that’s coming to an end to with me moving in my home gym, and not CrossFit Punta Gorda, I do marketing for Grid League as well as photography. I do photos on the side.
 
Nick 
What is your what’s your background and fitness? How did you how did you get into athletics of some kind.
 
Elina
So I was a figure skater for a while back when I’m from Russia. So that’s been a big part of our culture in life. So I figure skated for altogether probably eight, nine years, since I was three. So I’ve always been kind of like into athletics, but Russia is very cultural in its lane. So women are supposed to do women things sports kind of thing. So when I came to the States I played, I signed up to make friends. So I played soccer, basketball, softball, I went on to college, played softball for a couple years, and then kind of just stopped. College wasn’t the same as my high school softball, and now it’s been really huge in my life. It’s been like life changing to have that support system in high school. And when you expect something going into it and it’s not that you kind of gravitate away from it, so then I just I didn’t do any sports. I have never touched a barbell in my life until I walked into CrossFit Punta Gorda.
 
Nick 
That’s cool. So how did you end up in like a CrossFit gym? Because that would be the kind of thing that scares most people away?
 
Elina
Yeah. So when I moved to Florida, I moved to Punta Gorda, and if you know anything about it, so a bit of an older community, so I knew nothing. I moved for a job. And my mom would come once in a while. So that’s all the connections I had. I want a little bit of a break from work. So I like to have like an outside community as well. So I heard of CrossFit back when I lived in New York, but I was heavier, and I got away from athletics or health in general. Always wanted to try it never really had the guts to do it and then I remember the owner, I was one of those, we call them emailers. They email back and forth until they finally get really comfortable. That was me. So I did that for a while. And one day I just showed up to a 6am out of all the classes.
 
Nick 
What were you thinking?
 
Elina 
I mean, I just, I don’t know it was it was intimidating, but I love that just my family. I mean, we have our good days, bad days, but it’s, I mean, it’s all I’ve ever known with CrossFit. Like, it was my first thing. They welcomed me with open arms. I was terrified. I never I mean, I didn’t even know what it like a barbell versus a dumbbell versus a kettlebell was like that’s the little amount of fitness I’ve ever had in my back pocket. We never really used the weight room in high school or college either like it wasn’t that popular back then. So it was all new. It was completely Yeah. But it was there were welcoming. I had a community I made friends. Like I still think my best friend Julie now like, I still remember when John was like, took my hand is like hey, Lena, this is Julie Julie, this is gonna be friends like and I think that’s what I’ve hung on to. Like, that’s what CrossFit in general is to me. It’s yeah, it’s fitness. But that’s what CrossFit is. To me. It’s like my friends and family.
 
Nick
Yeah. Right. Because the fitness part happens. And that’s great. But it’s like this stuff that happens outside of that as well. So you talked about growing up in–well, you’re born in Russia.
 
Elina
So I was born in Krishna from Moldova. And then my mom’s family’s from like Russia, Russia, behind the Ural Mountains. So we moved there eventually, when I was seven.
 
Nick
So when did you come to America?
 
Elina 
2002? So year after 911.  Upstate New York, Adirondacks
 
Nick
My least favorite place in the world. That’s where I was in the army. I hated it.  So you came from Russia. You were 12 years old, moved to New York.
 
Elina
Like middle of nowhere.
 
Nick
People don’t understand you hear New York. And you think the movies and cities Yeah, no, the vast majority state–
 
Elina
That’s what I thought I was going to
 
Nick
Because I know about New York is probably from like movies, right?
 
Elina
Yeah. From like home alone. It was like a culture shock. We don’t have a red light on our town. Like stop signs.
 
Nick 
So you have an interesting story of how you learned English, right?
 
Elina
So when I moved, I didn’t know any. I mean, I knew like hello, goodbye. I don’t know, for some reason, when we were offered a language class in school, because we had to learn you were in Russia. When I was in Russia. I chose to learn German. I don’t know why I think I had like a crush on somebody. And that made me like, go through it. My mom still reminds me of that. I never knew a word of German. Haven’t been to Germany. But yeah, so when I came, I knew very little.  And I mean, sixth grade is tough. You want to move to a new country. And you know, everybody. Plus when you go to a small town, everybody’s so tight knit like Latinus. I wouldn’t say Clicky. But it’s just, you know, they grow up together, they the families are intertangled. Like, it’s just are you coming in into a family center, essentially. So it’s hard, especially if you don’t want English you. You’re a little different. You know, you come I came from a city into a tiny, tiny place. So I came in April, which was the end of the school year, but my grades were great. And I had like a little bit of a tutor to assess me to make sure I could pass to seventh grade or whatever.  And I did and that summer, I took time, and I that’s when Harry Potter came out. So it was like that year, I was reading Harry Potter books in Russian. So I had that book with me. So it was like my escape in a way. And the movies came out. So I would watch them. I don’t know if I have like a problem or something. But I when I was younger, when I loved movies, I would finish it and I would just rewind it and watch it again. Until like memorize things. I don’t know what it is. But I would put on subtitles and I would translate like the subtitles of Harry Potter. And that’s how I learned English over the summer.
 
Nick
That is so cool. That is so cool. Because you know that I am a massive Harry Potter fan. Yeah, so to think that not not only is it like you know the best story of all time, that you actually had to learn English from another country while watching Harry Potter because you’ve read the books.
 
Elina
And like I came back in seventh grade and I remember like learning things like like bloody hell, like not that we don’t say that. Because like to me like I didn’t really understand the concept of like English versus American English because to me it was just I mean their words their words you know? So that was like a learning curve as well like the slang and all that
 
Nick
That’s so crazy to think because when I met you obviously just spoke perfect English and I mean sometimes I didn’t even hear an accent It comes out once in a while. Okay, so let’s let’s talk about how did we meet? What do you remember from that? When we first started the South Florida sharks, yeah, in the grid League. Yeah, I needed help with graphic design. I made a post on Facebook. And we had a mutual friend put me in contact with you. And I had no idea what I was asking for. I didn’t I didn’t even know I was just like, I need graphic design. And they were like, What do you need? I’m like, I need you to design things graphically. I just know we need things. And I think then that then turned into you being like, what do you what is this? What are you talking about? Who are you? And then you decided to come try out for the for the Sharks, right?
 
Elina
Well, I got tricked a little. I remember he was like, hey, like his way of coaching was like, I bet you can’t. And for me, I’m like, No, I can so he one time dared me to do I think it was like 10 hang cleans was like 150 Like something this is like, whatever the weight was for the test was like 10, Hinckley’s and 115. And he’s just like, just do them really quickly. And he recorded me and sent it to you. And this was when I was the very beginning.  So it’s like, you, you saw mine, you’re like, Oh, she needs to try out like now. But back then, I remember that he like, just I had a lot of doubts in my like, just athletic abilities in general, too. So I think that was kind of like a confidence boost for him to like, send it to you. And like you kind of become interested in and have me come try out. So I ended up doing it. I didn’t make it, obviously. But the funny part was, I was in the front of the paper.
 
Nick
Yeah, we ended up being on the newspaper.  I think we had 63 people try out that first year, and
 
Elina 
I made the front page doing rope climbs looking like I was doing legless rope climbs, but I was like actually falling off the rope. So it made me look really cool. But that’s not what it was happening.
 
Nick 
So yeah, I mean, it looked good. It looked cool. She didn’t end up making the team. But it opened up a ton of other opportunities.
 
Elina 
I mean, honestly, I attribute so much to like, at that moment, and not the moment on the newspaper but just in general, like that whole how many people I’ve met, how many friends I made, like just talking about your community alone, like how many people got exposed, you’re just from you and their friends in your gym. Like they’re pretty much my friends now. And it’s been so cool. Athletically and professionally.  And I ended up you know, that was kind of a window for me to get into all of the media stuff with them. So I ended up doing graphics for them for a while. And then I started did social media stuff. And then one day, we didn’t have photography shops. And now there’s like, I have a camera and like, do you want to try it? And if you know anything about photography, or anything, like taking picture of something versus something moving really fast is very hard. And then you have to move to. So it was a huge learning curve, but I had no idea how to passion and love photography. And, you know, I attribute it to the grid League. It’s like one of my favorite things to do now is doing photos and just capturing how awesome people are.
 
Nick
So I feel like you’re your role with the Florida Grid League because of that started I think pretty small and it’s grown over the years. We’re just been at season five and you’ve been a part of every season. Let’s talk about like season one what you were doing versus like literally the our biggest season ever that just finished?
 
Elina 
So season one, I was working with a photographer so they would take pictures and they would literally send it to me not post them put a caption up and signs. And let’s say this year, I would take photos, I would you know, get the captions going. Interview players create content, you know, make strategies and how like the things we do interview or photograph or stuff like that like telling a story.  And I got to know people like it’s it’s there’s some there’s so much more to what you do when you take time to know individuals like, like Blake was one of the people I really got to enjoy to like, get to know because there’s so many layers and there’s so much to him as just like a player and a person. I mean, as a player, you know how great he is, as a person, he’s even better. Like, that’s the simple way I can say, and I would have never known this unless I genuinely like I love getting to know people good or bad or in general, I think it just tells so much about them. Like why they are the way they are? Why? Why would they get upset about this? Or why would they get happy about this, there’s so much more in the background of people.  So I always try to like get them back in my mind when I’m working with somebody taking photos, somebody interviewing somebody or just like getting to know somebody in that personal level. And it just it was so special to have that platform that gridlock has given me to teach me to get to know people in that way. That makes sense. Yeah, I don’t know. It’s just it’s just helped me so much in life.
 
Nick 
You’ve been you’ve been directly responsible for leading me down saying some very dumb shit on microphones. So I appreciate that. After our most recent matches, where we got eliminated. I’d had a couple beers and answered some questions. I actually texted Adam afterwards. And I’m like, I don’t know, some of those answers came off right.
 
Elina 
Yeah, no, it’s cool. It’s cool to see people even taking you, for example, you know, you’ve had some high high highs and you had some low lows. And yes, we did. But it’s, it’s cool to have something you’re so passionate about to be upset about it or be happy about it or want more out of it. I don’t know, it’s cool to be able to see and take it for what it is like not to just being a jerk and pissed about something, but it’s like you care enough to be upset about it, because it brought this into your life or because somebody you care about you brought this into their life. I’m sure you as an owner and a coach, part of you being upset not making it to the next level is syou see your players and you see certain ones of them, you know, it means more than others in a way and cutting their you know, Journey short, it hurts in a different way.
 
Nick
Well, so I know, we talked about you, using the things you’ve learned through like grid League and CrossFit. Outside of like fitness, right? How are those things benefited you?
 
Elina 
So I recently became a coach as well, at my gym, and it’s been awesome. It’s been it’s been fun. I I’ve, I’ve been part of that community for seven years. So it’s been super cool to you know, grow into that role. I’ve seen a lot of members come and go, I’ve seen a lot of people come back, I’ve, you know, we have every gym has their own kind of ways and community beliefs. So it’s been super fun to be, you know, at the head of that now and help really help people get to the next level, our gym is a little bit more of not so much competition. I mean, we have very athletic and capable people. But I think what I strike most about is that community that we have, it’s very, everybody cares about each other, it’s very hometown feel kind of thing.  And it’s cool to see a lot of people, especially a little bit older people to really get off for it and work through it and find the confidence in themselves and like get back to and it’s been super special to like, help them on that journey and find different ways to talk to certain people because I know we’ve talked about this before, like different people respond to different coaches and coaching styles differently. And it’s been fun to be able to figure out how to coach, you know, certain people are different ways or stuff like that. And it taught me a lot too about being a little bit more self aware. And not just you can’t be the same way to the same person or to every person kind of thing. And I don’t know, I just I care about people. I want to know why they’re in a bad mood when they get there and why they’re still in a bad mood if they leave. What can I do to help? I don’t know it’s more of that because that’s what the gym did to me and really helped me through some not so good days and really good days like and I wanted to do the same thing for others in a way but besides that professionally, it helped me a lot with like public speaking. Yeah. So I am not a good public speakers.  This guy. I’ve learned a lot so interviewing people and you know, commenting and the Grid League taught me to listen a lot more than talk and that makes sense. And form what ways to talk to people in coaching to just being in front of the whiteboard and you know, doing those briefings and talking to people and coming into attention in the right way, not the condescending way. It just really helped especially in my job just finished too, because a lot of times I have to present. And it helped me, like just talk formulate my thoughts and do that. And the interview went through with Amazon. I mean, it was, it was a lot. It was like three, three or four rounds. The last one was six hours long like it was. I remember talking to you as it was going on. Yeah, it was the best case. But yeah, it just helped me with speaking and like telling a story rather than just, here’s what I can do kind of thing. It’s not necessarily about that, like when you get interview, at least it wasn’t for me, it was more about it’s not even so much. I was actually thinking OneDrive here. It’s not even so much like, what can you do for us as an employee? Like, they never asked me that question once when they interviewed me, which was kind of cool. They It was mostly like, how would you handle this?  And I think like the grid league storytelling, and you know, storytelling of the fitness journey, it kind of brings into it. Because my job I mean, I’m a user experience designer. So I look at like coaching somebody is like, you’re the user and this is your experience, what is the final goal, okay? Either you want to lose weight or you want to get stronger, you want to you know, your back not to hurt anymore. Like that’s kind of the journey I’m taking you on and what’s the experience I’m giving you?
 
Nick 
So, so you’ve worked with just the fitness world, you’ve worked with CrossFit? ou’ve worked with the FGL. So compare your experiences with that.
 
Elina
I mean, obviously Grid League has special place in my heart. It was my first time you know, especially the first time I went, I’ve always been when I get into something, I love to learn about it. So when I first got into CrossFit, I read about all the CrossFitters I watch all the documentaries, I read the books they wrote. So when I first went to office, I mean when I say I was like an overstimulated puppy, like seeing all of that for the first time and saying hi to all the athletes and all this stuff, like I don’t exaggerate it, like my face hurt from smiling, being so happy. And just seeing how nice they were like most of them are really nice that people normal people. So that was cool the first year. And after that, I mean, I did a lot of last two years, I did some media stuff. But it was a lot of interview.  And I think Grid League could really lead me to that, too. I don’t know how to interview people and how to talk about that. I got to be able to grow more and to really show like, here’s my expertise, here’s how I can help. Like Mather and Ruby they’ve, they’ve trusted me with so much like they’ve trusted me more than I trusted myself about certain things. And it’s been a that’s the best part. Like I think I want to lose, it’s a little bit more control, which I understand, you don’t know these people to get a bunch of contractors in the handle media pretty much and you’re hoping like two of them will come through at the end of the day and it’s nice that not everybody can trust you and like give that control up.  I remember the first couple times I’m like, oh my god me to have immediately just talk about this and all that. I say no, no, I trust you. I’m like, Oh, okay. And like I he’s he’s honestly lifted me up so much in that sense. And him and Ruby both just that trust that you don’t even know you need to like be better. It’s cool. They’re cool people.
 
Nick 
If you’re wondering, we’re talking about Mather and Ruby was well, we we had them on 10 or 12 episodes ago. Their brother and sister they run the Florida grid League. They’re awesome people.
 
Elina
Yeah, both professionally like for me professionally and personally. Well, like it’s been it’s been life changing to just have them in my life.
 
Nick
I’m with you. And I told them the same thing with my interview with them, Ruby organizationally is one of the up she’s a wizard. I don’t understand it. And then Mather his ability to communicate. I’ve never met anyone like that.  I want to steal as much of that as possible.
 
Elina 
And he just like he is so he’s so good at listening. That’s one thing I need to get better at.
 
Nick
He’s got a great saying I don’t want to say it. Because it’ll ruin one of his superpowers, but he’s gonna listen to this and I know he’ll hear and you him and Rubio laugh. You say something to him, he say something back every time. So we’re on the most important part. Kevin. Who’s Kevin?  I want to be very clear.  Kevin is a dog. Elina is gonna speak about him like he’s not a dog. You speak about him like he’s not a dog.
 
Elina
No, Kevin’s my dog. I rescued him from in Bradenton. So a great place to go check it out. He was found, I’m sure all dogs, a lot of dogs have sad stories, but he was found tied up under a bridge somewhere in Georgia would like a little bed and nothing out. So yeah, he was dumped. He was little very little, like two months old when they rescued him and some truck driver dead it brought him to a shelter. And he got struck down because that shelter was overbooked. So he was a little sick. He had like rocks in his stomach, you know, skin stop. So yeah, once he got better, they put him back into like the shelters. They bring him in and then I adopted him. I think you like you demanded that I would bring him to you like that week.
 
Nick 
I also had no idea he was gonna be the size of a horse when he grew up.  Because we didn’t know what he was. He’s massive. And if you follow Alena on any form of social media, you’ll see that she sets Kevin up for like, intentional photoshoots all day every day.
 
Elina
But the funny part about it and like I don’t even believe half of it. A lot of times he will do it on his own occasions. He does his own thing. Like I can’t explain it and you like, you don’t think he’s a dog? It’s weird.
 
Nick
I think it’s I think part of it is just like people our age. You don’t have kids. Maybe we’ve like created like fake child in our dog because I do the same thing with lizard and Benny.
 
Elina 
I’ve had him for his three and a half now. So had him for a while. But he came into my life, like exactly the right time. He’s the best sidekick, and animals are the best. He and he’s cool. Like he will vibe with my energy. So if like I have to work all day, he’ll chill out. I mean, he won’t be happy about it. But he’ll like, chill out. But if we’re ready to go, like we’re ready to go, he’s taking so many road trips with me.
 
Nick
Because you’re alternating between working at home. As a graphic designer, you can do most of your job from a computer. So during the quarantine you were at home. Yeah. But then you’d also be traveling literally all over the state for the Florida grid League.
 
Elina 
And he’s done it all. I mean, he’s gone to grid league with me. He’s come to do all that. He I think almost tripped. Somebody doing a handstand walk one time. That seems right. Yeah. Yeah, he’s been everywhere. He’s super easy. He is. He’s fun to he people love him. People ask me about him more than me. Yes, I believe that most of the grid like knows him. does pretty much only talks to me because she was to keep up with Kevin. So Adam got to me, Kevin wants so he was very excited. Yeah. Yeah, I’m so cool. But he brought a lot of connections in my life as well.
 
Nick 
It’s true. He had these would meet people to bring a dog around them. So yeah. So you you’ve been working out in a gym for you said like seven years now.
 
Elina
Six, seven years, I took a little bit of time off in between I had some injuries might happen that serious injuries, but just kind of, you know, when you train hard, and you do feel your body correctly, you dress it correctly. And if you don’t, it kind of gets behind. So I just took a little bit of time off, burned out a little bit and been back at it for two, three years.
 
Nick
So that’s something that I’m personally very interested in right now. Right? It’s like the the lifecycle of someone who’s been doing fitness things for close to a decade And what, what changes for you?
 
Elina
Well, now I think, honestly, for me, I feel like I’m on this like two and a half, three year cycle every time like, I’ll go hard for a period of time and I kind of just like, either burned out or get a little like, I don’t know, I don’t recover as quickly then I’m like, Okay, well, maybe I need to lay back a little bit. And then like, for me, when I maximize my training, my nutrition is top two and then if I don’t maximize my chairman, it’s almost like the psychological like, Okay, well, I can not watch me interested as much because I’m resting or recovering. So now again, with moving and just being things being so stressful and not routine, I love routines, and it’s like non routine like for me right now. So everything’s just off the wagon.  But yeah, it’s just like, on this like two, two and a half year cycle of getting like, burned I call it burnout. I don’t know what it is my kind of just losing that nice. little interest, but just I don’t know, maybe it’s the coaching like I’m enjoying coaching so much I almost don’t pay as much attention to my own fitness in the way. I don’t know if I could, I could play with it. Yeah. Because at the end of the day, if I’m coming into work out and I can see somebody that wants attention needs attention, or it’s really excited that like, I am there. It’s okay, if we can work out together.  Like I remember when I was an athlete, and like, let’s say, even Delaware man with common workout in the same class, and he’s not coaching like, oh my god, yes. Like I get to have, I get to ask you questions, and I get to learn from you. And now I understand what it feels like. And it’s awesome. And it’s an I will give up a workout for me for somebody else in the second I’m sure you would tell. But at the same time, then you’re like, put your own totally, you know, thing on the back. And there’s a saying you can’t pour from an empty cup. So where’s that balance? So I don’t know.
 
Nick 
Yeah, it is definitely a hard adjustment, especially when you’re a newer coach learning like, what am I a coach. When am I an athlete?
 
Elina
Yeah, yeah, it’s an I think, I mean, I honestly haven’t been coaching for that long to learn that I think I would have gotten a better group of things have I? You know, haven’t I’ve been moving now. But it’s something I’ve always been very aware and trying to figure out because I love CrossFit. I genuinely do. So it’s always a little bit sad to me when I lose interest and for myself.
 
Nick
It’s like an adaption or adaptation period, just like in anything else, you know, the we start by we have 20 coaches, probably Yeah, between the gyms. And that’s definitely a especially ones who were former athletes that are gym. There’s definitely a an adaptation period when it comes to understanding like, Okay, I used to be here just to work out. Yeah. Now I’m here to work out sometimes. But then to coach other times, yeah. becomes very important to like, intentionally separate those two things.
 
Elina
It’s a learning curve. And I don’t think I got there yet.
 
Nick
I mean, you only do it for like 10 months.
 
Elina
I’ve learned a lot. I mean, I had my my first whiteboard. I was like, shaking, like talking about sweating from the whiteboard briefing. It was terrifying for me, I think I covered like, you know how to say like, say less, show more. And I think I like said way too much. The opposite. You don’t like didn’t show anything? Yeah. But no, it’s it’s such a cool learning curve. It’s it’s a lot of personalities. It’s a lot of, again, different adaptations for things. And I don’t know, I I think adapting, being able to adapt to things is one of like, the biggest things I’ve learned from all of my jobs put together.  And I think I learned that from like, moving into an early age, like living from country that I mean, not that I loved it, but it’s just like, it was my family. I didn’t know anything else, is what you knew. Yeah. That’s what I knew it was familiar. Coming to a different country that I didn’t know anything about. The only like, same thing was like McDonald’s. And, yeah, and I don’t know, adapting, like when change happens, I’m just like, alright, like, I’ve always been taught to, like, just move forward, instead of like, stay there in the kind of, Oh, something happened, like, okay, we’re just gonna sit there and like, I’ve always only known to like, Okay, you’re moving forward. Doesn’t matter where you move into, but you’re just moving. You’re doing something about it instead of just sitting there. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, because sometimes you don’t process things right away. And you’re like, all right, on to the next thing, but I can relate to that. But it’s been it’s been super helpful even like with the move now. I don’t think I’ve actually fully processed moving and like giving up my whole community and changing and not only new job it’s like new place to live not only new place to live. We do not live in a city here. I will be taking the metro. I will be walking the city, there’s a lot of like huge things.
 
Nick
That’s gonna lead to some funny stories. Are you ending up on the wrong side of town? Because you missed a stop.
 
Elina
So we’ll see if I get to work. Okay, so you’ve been doing fitness thing things for a long time. There was somebody brand new, who was like scared to start right think about you seven years ago. What would you tell him? I think a couple of things. Find your person. Like, when I first came to the gym, I had to find like somebody you need a teammate no matter how hard you try to say like no matter like I’m one of the most independent people you’ll meet but like life is hard. And I’m not saying just like emotionally we all know like emotions are hard to begin with. But it’s just like in general like you’re trying new things your whatever reason you already came to the gym. It’s already hard enough that you showed up something you don’t know. So if I’m like Find a buddy, whether it’s a coach, whether it’s another athlete whether or not they’re anything I have so many people lift me up like day in and day out my worst days and It’s awesome. Like, I might not finish a workout, but they’re proud that I’m there. And it’s cool.  And another thing, like, don’t be afraid to admit that you’re scared to be there or nervous, like, you don’t need to be tough for anybody it does, at the end of the day, you’re there for yourself. And I guess be a little vulnerable. above that. I’ve always been very competitive in life, like not even athletics, but just in general, like we’ve always been taught like, you need to do your best. And just because like, for example, being in Russia, like for certain things that are very advanced there and expectations are very high. When I went, I went to art school since I was young. So I don’t know, when I was like five or six and get to draw a bear or something like that. Like, if your bear did not look like a bear of five years old, you would know about it, and your teacher would like pick up the piece of paper and like know, like, and you’d get a bad grade about it. So it was like one of those things you’ll have to strike not only to be like your best self, you just had to be good to have this community standard or like society standards.  And it doesn’t matter, how you got there. But I think it’s something like I had to learn to be like it’s okay not to be good at something, it’s okay to like be completely new and nervous and scared. And it’s okay to admit that and tell somebody that because the right people will be there for you. And the right people will acknowledge it and push you through it. Or maybe not push you Yeah, like there’s different, you know, maybe you need a little bit time to be in that like scared stage and just get to know everything. Because then you let people in and you get people to know you’re like you and what you’re scared off or what you’ll get out or and stuff like that.
 
Nick
Cool. That’s perfect.  Anything else you wanna talk about?
 
Elina 
I don’t know, I think, I’ve been like one of your biggest fans might like, as long as I’ve known you, you’ve been, you’ve been a friend, you and Steph, both your girlfriend stuff. You guys have been such lights in my life, like lifting me up, believing me pushing me through when I need to. I mean, it’s not like I always call you and be like, Hey, I’m not like, I’m scared. And you’re like, Oh, it’s okay. And I’m like, No, suck it up. Like, you have this. And it’s not like, it’s nice. I don’t know, it’s chairs, the right friendships like you’re one of those people that I know I can call or text or write or send a pigeon, whatever you’re into. But you’ll always answer.  And there’s this thing, just answering, but like, you will always care. And it’s not easy to do that. And it’s not easy to, to have that softness to you. And I don’t mean in a negative way. Like, you’ve, I’ve got I’ve had a chance for you to like, I’m very lucky, you’ve opened up to me throughout the years. And I know you haven’t had an easier life and the only thing so it’s impressive. And, like, I can’t believe the hard life that you had to live and make your heart to life or into people in the best way possible. Like, stay soft. I don’t know how to say it. But it’s like it’s very, like, honorable that you can do that. And you still care and you still let people in and you still have so much love to give. And when you care, you actually care. So don’t ever change. Don’t ever let people harden you. I genuinely mean that you’re one of the best people hands down I’ve ever met in my life. And I will forever be grateful to have you in my life.
 
Nick
Thank you very much.
 
Elina 
Thank you for always lifting me up my new job, my new journey, I genuinely attribute some of that success to you. Because I don’t like even the text message where I’m like, Hey, I’m nervous. My interview is going to start in an hour. There’s I know how busy your life is, but not once have you failed to come through and say something to like, make me sit a little taller. Thank you. So thank you, thank you, you’re tearing up.
 
Nick 
You’re awesome. I’m speaking on behalf of me like as your friend. People at Shark Bite the Florida League. We’re all gonna miss you not being here
 
Elina
I’m gonna miss you guys too. But I’ll be around. I’m hoping to be a part of the gridlock in one way or another. As I said, Mather, Ruby, have played such a huge part in my life in my self-development, and my career in general. I’m hoping to figure out a way to still be part of it, whether or make trips once in a while. And I mean, I still have so many roots here in Florida. So we’ll see. Maybe we’ll bring it up there. Maybe we’ll open the grid league up there.
 
Nick 
Alright, thanks, guys. We’re all done.

Check Eline on IG: @elina

Be sure to check out this episode of the #TheSharkBiteShow. 
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