August Athlete of the Month: Meredith “Mer” O’Brien

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Meredith “Mer” O’Brien

Words to live by?
“Life’s for living.”

What is your fitness background?
I’ve always gravitated toward being active — I’m not good at sitting still. In high school I decided one day to run home from school instead of take the bus — eight miles — and I did that pretty regularly. I taught tennis for Club Med for quite a few years, having played a lot in high school and college, as well as on my neighborhood courts growing up, I really just like tennis clothes better than other sports uniforms, so that probably explains it.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I started on October 6, 2011 — almost a year.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
There are elite athletes rooting on perfect novices and vice versa. The communal feeling is mind-boggling. Ego and attitude are checked at the door. We are all in this together.

What are your training goals?
I want to just keep having fun, keeping it positive, and learning about myself.

Favorite sport or activity?
Favorite sport: CrossFit because I really enjoy a challenge, and even if I’m moving two steps forward, one step back, at least I’m moving forward into new territory.
Favorite activity: traveling with my husband and kids because it always makes me realize how lucky I am to call those three people my family.

Recent adventure you’re planning?
Finish writing my second full length play.

Tell us something we don’t know about you
I used to dance nightly with fake bananas on my head (Club Med, again.) And also, I wrote my college thesis on James Joyce’s “Ulysses.”

Longhorns or Aggies?
I always root for Roger Federer.

In addition to being a super mom and world traveler, we hear you’re pretty handy with a unicycle… What’s your secret to being a one-wheeled whiz?
Well, my unicycling skills are far surpassed by that of my seven and nine year old sons, but the secret to learning to unicycle is this: Don’t. Give. Up. If you fall down, get up right away and try again. Trust the movement. And keep a sense of humor. A lot like CrossFit.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
We will never part! You can’t get rid of me! I’m going to be ninety years old and still trying to get that kipping pull-up. When I walk into the gym I am sometimes nervous — will I be able to complete the workout? Will I get hurt? Will I disappoint myself? — but that feeling always goes away as soon as I see the people there –the coaches, Caitlyn, friends, even people I don’t know or whom I’ve never met — because it’s like there is this incredible support, like I’m being cushioned or protected by people who have similar interests and hopes and concerns, and we all want to slam that wod the best we can. I feel like my world has been enriched exponentially through being a part of the CFA family. It’s just so great.