I love when the Wonder Women around us use their powers to have a positive impact on the world. One of these Wonder Women is Amanda Hall. She is the alder for Madison City Council District 3. If you follow her on Instagram or are friends with her on Facebook, you know she is truly Wonder Woman. She pulls large trucks and can yoke carry 560 lbs across her shoulders! She competes in Strongman and is active in CrossFit. According to crossfit.com, “CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.”
Like Wonder Woman, Amanda comes from a family with strength in their genes and a long line of strong women. Unlike Wonder Woman, Amanda is from Madison, Wisconsin. Using her athleticism, Amanda set off for the University of Iowa on a rowing scholarship. While Amanda loved rowing, she found politics calling her name. During the 2004 Iowa Caucuses, she took a break from rowing to work on John Kerry’s Iowa campaign. After the caucuses, Amanda decided to finish up her undergraduate degree in Green Bay. Once she finished law school, Amanda made it back to her hometown of Madison.
Not one to sit on the sidelines, Amanda participated in and graduated from Emerge Wisconsin, which trains Democratic women to run for office. Having witnessed elected officials do something she thought was wrong, Amanda knew she could do better. So, she decided to run for Madison City Council and is currently in her 2nd term.
As alder, Amanda has accomplished a variety of things. She has participated in having a global impact by helping to make Madison a sanctuary city. She has also had an impact focused specifically on her district, like saving a large oak tree by working with the developer who was going to cut it down. Instead of removing the tree, they made it part of the project that was going up.
Just recently, Amanda’s life as an elected official and as an athlete came together to create a perfect opportunity for Madison. As stated earlier, Amanda is a participant in CrossFit. She was drawn to it because it is a lot like playing. It is also a very supportive environment where everyone is constantly learning what they are good at and improving where they can. CrossFit has also made a big difference in her life as an elected official. She has said, “If you can deadlift 300 lbs, you can make it to 2 AM for a budget hearing.”
While CrossFit and serving as an alder go together perfectly for her, Amanda probably never imagined the two would come together where she was able to play a key role in bringing the CrossFit Games to Madison.
According to crossfit.com, “The CrossFit Games events are made up of a broad range of functional movements. Functional movements move large loads, long distances, quickly. These movements also form the basis of our exercise program. Make no mistake—the CrossFit Games are designed to test, not train, fitness. The goal is to find the fittest athletes, not to produce an easily replicable workout program. “
During their young existence, the CrossFit Games have primarily been based in California. This year CrossFit is branching out to another state. As a big revenue generator, many cities applied to be considered as a location for the games. Madison would seem like a natural choice since it has the infrastructure established already to host large athletic competitions, like Iron Man. Of course, Madison was only one of several cities that met this requirement.
Fortunately for Madison, they have Amanda Hall. It is unlikely you will find many local elected officials who are also CrossFitters. Amanda thought that having an alder who understood and participated in CrossFit would help secure Madison a site visit. Then the city would be able to sell herself. As part of the application, Amanda included a photo of her lifting a barbell above her head and included her most impressive CrossFit stats.
Amanda’s instinct was correct. Madison’s application was one of several to receive a site visit from the CrossFit executives. Continuing to play on being a CrossFitter, Amanda was involved in most of the visits from the CrossFit team. Ultimately, Madison won the bid to host the CrossFit games for at least the next three years. You can check out the CrossFit Games next month, August 3-6.
While many people may not know what CrossFit is, getting the CrossFit Games in Madison is a big win for the city, surrounding area, and for Wisconsin. While we may be gaining a reputation for bad politics and bad policies, it is good to have something positive we can point to. Thanks to one of the Wonder Women among us, Amanda Hall, the CrossFit Games is one of those positives we can brag about.
Even though Amanda is a badass, she wants people to know she is completely imperfect. She is just out there doing her thing, trying to show other women of size or different shapes someone like them wearing spandex and lifting heavy things. She wants women to know that “you don’t have to be perfect to start – in fitness or in politics. Take your first few steps and you’ll be amazed at what you can do.”