Typically when looking at potential “Athlete of the Week” candidates, we choose from those who have been regularly attending CrossFit PAX classes for the better part of a year or more. Because let’s face it, while everyone WANTS to be fit and healthy, not everyone chooses to do something about it, and very few stick with their plan through life’s many unexpected challenges. Prioritizing health is counter-culture. It takes work and planning and the ability to overcome adversity, resist temptation, and ask for help when needed.
For this week’s athlete we made an exception to the time requirement because we want everyone to keep an eye out for this lady and because her commitment is definitely NOT in question. Michelle took the Fundamentals Course in November and in five short months has truly made her mark on the CrossFit PAX community. Our coaching staff wanted to recognize her commitment to her own health and that of her family as well as the spirit of humility, comaraderie, and friendly competition that she has brought with her to the Bunker. Michelle is coachable and studious and her full on commitment to the base of the CrossFit pyramid is something to be emulated. But that isn’t all… Michelle… after only a few weeks of CrossFit classes, signed up for the 2014 Open Competition. Why? To challenge herself. For Michelle, this journey truly is about putting forward her very best self every day with no excuses, and encouraging others to do the same. We sat down to ask her why and how she has done all of this in such a short time:
Michelle says, “I did a lot of running last summer and enjoyed it for a while, but I always knew I wanted more then just a good run. At the end of the summer while driving on 235 I saw the big banner that read “CrossFit PAX”. A few weeks later, I made the best health decision of my life and signed up for a free session to see what CrossFit PAX was all about.
I completed the fundamentals course in late November and actively joined CrossFit PAX December 1st, 2014. I started my first Whole30 one week after I joined, continued on the dietary prescription through January and kept going when CrossFit PAX’s Sixty Day challenge kicked off in mid-January. I have been amazed at what I have accomplished in this time and much of it I never thought would be possible. In only a few short months, I smashed through goal after goal including climbing the rope and stringing together Double Under’s. I overcame some fears and signed up for the CrossFit Open- during which I PR’ed my deadlift at 155# and over head squats at 65#. What I’m most proud of accomplishing, however, has been outside of the Bunker and very personal. The decision to start CrossFit and completely change my eating habits has saved my marriage! This new lifestyle has given us the energy to do more with our time together as a family and feel more at peace with our bodies and lives. Being healthier means I’m also much happier. My amazing husband John has put up with my hostile CrossFit/Whole 30 takeover and has graciously joined me in “our” path for a healthier, stronger life, and hopefully setting a great example for our children.
My goals? TO NEVER STOP CROSSFIT! I plan to do CrossFit for a very long time. Eventually, I will be proficient in all CrossFit movements. For me, CrossFit relates to every aspect of my life. My husband and I coach baseball, and we are now able to demonstrate movement and mobility rather then just talk about it and I can keep up with my children without becoming exhausted in 3.2 seconds.
The hard earned benefits are improved strength, mobility, flexibility, and the ability to adapt to constant change while remaining humble and sometimes failing. A huge benefit of this journey for me has been the amazing people I sweat, grunt, and reach CrossFit goals with.
The Bunker and all it’s inhabitants/members, whether I know them well or not, are a part of my family now (no you don’t have a choice ;)! Success by definition means: “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”. Setting goals in our minds is constant, analyzing and working towards those goals is constant- and we have a chance to do that together.
I used to underestimate myself when I set goals, but thanks to my coaches and new friends, my thought process is slowly changing. I would look at “advanced” athletes and just think “I can’t do that”. But at CrossFit PAX, much time and effort is put in to every athlete no matter where they are athletically. The coaches genuinely want me to reach my full potential and spend their personal time encouraging and helping me. THANK YOU! For my fellow athletes, THANK YOU for pushing me to get that one last toes to bar, telling me to tighten my core when I had 65# over my head, and giving me helpful tips and suggestions so I can improve at something I love to do.
For the new athletes, remember, no matter what your fitness level is, CrossFit is for everyone! Yes I sound like I’ve taken a big sip of the kool-aide (and I have), but it’s true. This community is like nothing I’ve ever been a part of before: Supportive, Encouraging, Non-judgmental, helpful, it’s an endless list of positives. GO FOR IT!”
Thanks for the words of wisdom, Michelle, and keep up the great work!