Sarah Hopping Estrella started CrossFit after almost competing in the 2008 Olympics for the hammer throw. However, since starting in 2010, Sarah says she’s “eclipsed every PR I ever set as an Olympic hopeful (except the hammer throw specifically, I suppose), and am stronger both physically and mentally than I ever thought possible.”

Sarah and her husband owned and operated Arena Ready CrossFit in California from 2012-2020, and she has been a fierce competitive CrossFit athlete throughout the years, competing at the Regionals level.

Recently, Sarah and her family have moved back to Colorado, and we are excited to welcome her on as a part-time substitute coach here at Roots. You will find her on the schedule for several weekend and weekday classes.

Read on to learn more about Sarah!

How many years have you been CrossFitting? Almost 12 years.

Where were you born and raised? Longmont, CO.

What’s your life story in four sentences? I was born and raised in Longmont, Colorado. I played nearly every sport growing up but focused mostly on soccer and track by high school. I was recruited to Stanford for the heptathlon but got switched to hammer throw midway through my freshman year. After retiring from hammer, I found CrossFit, and it’s been wonderful in every way: particularly the community, the mentality, and of course the fitness. 

What was your first CrossFit workout?

The Baseline:

Row 500

40 air squats

30 sit-ups

20 push-ups

10 pull-ups

It took 10+ minutes, did the push-ups from my knees, and used a very thick band for the pull-ups. 

What is your favorite CrossFit workout? It’s so hard to pick just one! But I think Holleyman is my favorite.

What is your least favorite CrossFit workout? I don’t have a least favorite. There are some workouts I don’t love in the moment, but I can’t seem to hold a grudge for long.

What did you do as a career before coming to Roots? I started out in finance and have also worked in food tech, fintech, drone imaging, and consulting services.

What is your favorite CrossFit story? My favorite story is that so many of us share a version of the same story – we came to CrossFit because we needed something different in our lives, and we stayed because we found something with the power to transform from the inside out – helping us move towards becoming better versions of ourselves.

Or, when I was competing at Regionals in 2012, doing overhead squats behind Annie Sakamoto, being foolish enough to think I could keep up with her. She finished the squats and went on to crush the rest of the workout. I finished the squats and spent the rest of the workout wondering whether anyone would notice if I just walked off the field to go find some oxygen. 

When did you start coaching? What sport? My first experience as a coach was as a volunteer assistant for the Stanford throws team from 2006-2008.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to help an athlete move or perform better? Leaving a stable job in finance to open a CrossFit affiliate in San Francisco. I was fully convinced by the power of CrossFit to help athletes of every level live happier, healthier lives.