Each month we spotlight a different CFA athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every WOD, or gets a PR every time they walk in the gym. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, gives their best every time, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Austin Community should be about.
Our July Athlete of the Month is Melissa Blue! Melissa joined the CFA Family back in November of last year! She is bright and bubbly in all the best ways! One of the first things we usually see from Melissa is a big smile! She’s not one to shy away from a challenge and is very likely the one to challenge you (to be better of course!) As soon as we were able to get back to moving in the gym, Melissa was there and her consistency and drive is awesome. Melissa, we are honored to have you as our July Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this team. Thanks for your all your hard work and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the years to come! Congratulations! (Oh, and congrats on the engagement!!!)
Words to live by?
“Songs always end, so enjoy the music while it last” Most of my life I have found myself worrying about when the next things are going to end instead of embracing the bliss in the moment. So ever since I heard this quote in an episode of One Tree Hill, long ago, and I catch myself doing it I try to remind myself to just stop and enjoy what I have right in front of my at that moment no matter what it may be.
What is your fitness background?
I have always been fairly active, I played softball since I was 3 years old through high school and some college. But I never really had flair for “fitness” I was significantly overweight until I decided life needed to change in 2015. For about 3.5 years I did strict dieting and pure cardio and lost about 130lbs. In November of 2018, a close friend and boss of mine convinced me to try out his conditioning class which consisted of weightlifting, boxing, and cardio training. I’ve been hooked on that style of training ever since then.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
CFA is my first official “CrossFit” gym. I started here November 2019. So officially almost 9 months. 1 year and 9 months doing CrossFit style workouts.
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
My first day at CFA… I felt super nervous that I wasn’t ready to be at a real “CrossFit” gym despite knowing that my coach at my other said I’d be fine and to go for it. I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew I needed to go into CFA with the idea that no matter what happens I’m just going to try my hardest and do what I can do. After meeting with Tim and getting to know a few people a few people right away my nerves settled and CFA quickly became a safe haven for me and my mind. The workouts healed my mind, body and soul at a point in my life when I needed it most. Don’t get me wrong they still do but when I first joined CFA I think all the coaches and probably the people in classes saw the tension leave me as finished a WoD.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
My favorite part of CFA is the heart that is in this place and love and encouragement that I have received from so many….Group fitness was never something I ever wanted to be a part of. Until the last few years. When I started my conditioning class I found out it was the only way I would push myself to put in the work and get the result I wanted and craved. So joining CFA and becoming part of this group/family was a wonderful feeling.
Current Training Goals/PRs?
Current goals: unassisted pull ups and to be able to lift my body weight overhead (currently at 95lbs need to get to 145lbs, ugh)
My most recent PR: 215lbs deadlift, woot woot!
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
It’s definitely one of the hardest things you’ll do daily and I’m always in a constant state of soreness but it’s worth it. It makes you feel alive. The hero WoDs have meaning and make you feel good about doing them and give you something to push towards. It’s intense but if it were easy it wouldn’t be as much fun.
Things look a little different right now, how are you staying focused in your training and in your life during this time?
Honestly, my training and physical activity is playing a huge part in keeping me grounded during this craziness. The first month or so when I didn’t set aside as much time to my fitness needs I almost lost it. I gained weight I got lost in my thoughts way too often and found myself getting slightly discouraged. Luckily, with some help from my now fiancé I was able to pull myself together and get into a routine focus back on proper eating and a healthy amount of exercise and attempt to get a good work life balance back in order. The coaches have played an integral part in keeping a smile on my face during the workouts for me especially since I’ve been have to go at 5:30am a lot more.
What is your cheat meal go to?
Ice Cream…yes. Ice cream for dinner! Moo Bars!! Thank you Blue Bell for making something so delicious
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I recently started learning to mountain bike. I’ve never been one for extreme sports but this has been really fun and exciting. I’m looking forward to learning how to do more things now that I feel capable and strong enough to do them. Next on the list is rock climbing since my fiancé has decided that is on our next trip itinerary.
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
When I first started doing CrossFit I completely understood that I was going to struggle for a very long time. But the hero workouts always had a special meaning to me and I wanted to be able to do them regardless of what they were and no matter how much I had to push myself. Honestly, doing MURPH this year was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I have a pretty bad elbow injury at the moment but I don’t think anyone could have stopped me from trying unless my body just gave out on me. Which is pretty much what happened anyways but I did what I set out to do and it made me smile and feel fulfilled.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
I tend to push myself until I have nothing left and I’ve recently become aware of my line that is is just too much and I leave myself in a state that makes it easy for me to get physically hurt. Finding that happy balance between weight training, cardio and rest for me is difficult because fitness is my therapy. And not becoming too obsessed with training while also not let myself get too lazy is very important. Also, box jumps…
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
I’m a huge fan of leg days!
Breathe when it’s Over
10 Back Squats
10 Box Jumps
10 Front Squats
10 Wall Balls
10 OH Squats
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
My Kids (Dopey & TinkerBell)
The Love of my Life, Ken
And if I can have all of these after a good hard WoD even better. Let’s just hope whoever the coach was for that class isn’t fed up with my attitude before or during the class. But after I’m usually a more pleasant person.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I really enjoy crafting although I don’t find much time to do it right now. I love cooking and trying new foods or new ways of making healthy delicious foods. I’m a live music junkie but that too is a little difficult these days. Before COVID, almost every weekend you would find me somewhere with live music. Traveling is a passion of mine. I absolutely love road trips. My dogs travel really well which makes it even better.
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I absolutely love themed parties. I’m all about vintage clothes and eclectic jewelry. I love dressing up and making a splash. Who doesn’t love a great 80s party!?
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Hey y’all! Things are super crazy right now. Just want to say thank you everyone for doing their part in staying as safe as possible and cleaning up after ourselves. I hope we can get through this with a little exposure in our safe haven, CFA. From your friendly neighborhood molecular biologist, Wash Your Hands! Thanks guys! Oh yeah and keep up the hard work it’s great seeing y’all back at the gym!!