01 Jan Featured Athlete: Melissa Ann
This girl has become the beauty beast of the box! She has dropped an insane amount of weight while building the strength of an ox! She constantly has a positive attitude and attacks the most grueling WOD’s without even a stutter. She is continuously moving up in weights and rounds, and down in bands and times!
We are sad to have to say goodbye to this amazing athlete and friend who is leaving us to start her new chapter and career in Baltimore. Melissa, we wish you nothing but the best, and look forward to hearing about your success at your new job and your continuous gains in the box.
I have been on a life changing journey since September of 2009. I had a lot of messy habits and was living a life I wasn’t proud of. I began to correct my bad habits by quitting the use of all mood and mind altering substances. Through this process I began taking better care of myself mentally, emotionally & spiritually… They say bring your body and your mind will follow… Well my story is quite the opposite. I had to find my mind and my body began to follow! Food had been a crutch for me (and still can be), and I had been struggling with my weight for many years. At my heaviest I was 242lbs, it wasn’t until July of 2012 that I really had enough of poor health and was contemplating gastric bypass. Fortunately I told myself that I really had to give it my ultimate best shot before any surgery. My sister told me about couch to 5k, and I had just been out of work for back pain, my knees were retaining fluid and I felt terrible, all the time! I jokingly told my sister that I would run a 5k before I turned 30! At this time I was 238 lbs, coming up on my 28th birthday and in no shape to run. She told me that I could do it and that I could accomplish it in just a short three months! So I gave it my best shot! She also told me about a book called “Healing Back Pain; The Mind Body Connection”, so I downloaded the book and the couch to 5k app and got to work.
I started running July of 2012 and ran my first 5k in Syracuse, NY in October 2012. I have since completed several more and then finished 2012 out with a 10K! By July of 2013 I ran 1.23 mi@ 9:50 min/mile and weighed 174 lbs!!!!!! What a difference a year can make! It was also about this time that I hit a huge plateau! My goal was to get to 165 lbs… the lowest weight I can remember ever being, back at 16 years old! I just couldn’t get that last 10 lbs off! So I started looking for new ways to not only start building muscle but continue to lose fat and that’s when I found Crossfit.
I first joined Crossfit in August of 2013. I did a full month of an introduction/ fundamentals class three days a week at Swagler’s Strength & Performance in Auburn, NY. It was my first taste of heavy lifting and cardio combined. I then accepted a position in Ocean City, Maryland, moved to the area, continued running and started searching for a local Crossfit box.
I chose CFA because I love the Assateague area and worked very close by, I thought it’d be a good place check out. So I met up with Betsy and she showed me the box, It was absolutely beautiful!!! What a view to work out to!!! Betsy also explained to me that she kept the classes smaller and that was definitely important to me as it certianly allows for the coaches to focus more directly with each athlete! I finally joined CFA in March of 2014, and I loved it right away! I had already gained 10-15 lbs back but began focusing more on working out and less on what number was on the scale. I still fluctuate between 180/185 lbs but my body has more shape and definition than ever before. I have gained so much strength since starting at CFA. I recently have been able to RX several WOD’s and it feels amazing! I have set many goals for myself and recently ran a 1/2 marathon for my 30th birthday!! Now that was a huge accomplishment for me!
During my time at CFA I have made great friends! When I talk about WODs, gatherings or events I literally refer to CFA as ‘my Crossfit family’. The coaches and members are so friendly and welcoming. We have healthy competition with just the right amount of encouragement! With the smaller groups the coaches are able to provide 1:1 training throughout most of the class. And sometimes it is literally 1:1 training! The socializing helps to learning to incorporate healthy living habits, planning, clean/paleo eating, skill setting and a much better idea of a work out worthwhile.
I will really miss the camaraderie! Surprisingly enough, working out with such loving, caring, strong women was the best part! I’ve always worked out with men and that doesn’t always make me feel very lady like! Seeing the effort and persistence from the female coaches was very inspiring and motivating. Don’t get me wrong now, my male coach has done well insisting that I push myself, sharing his food and donating his gear! It is all very helpful for reaching new PRs and really seeing what I am capable of! I will never forget my experiences and the personal growth I have taken from CFA! I will absolutely return for frequent visits!
I would tell any new members just starting out to come as often as possible! Consistency gets results and to eat clean as much as possible! And just a fore warning don’t move anything when Coach Brian is coaching!! He’s got a very thought out plan for every WOD (for speed & safety) & sets it all up!
My most memorable CF moment is when I was first introduced to box jumps, I thought for sure that jumping from the ground up was never going to happen for me! But I started slowly by using just a few weight plates and followed the correct form. Within that same class I did my first box jump & threw my arms up in excitement as if I had just climbed Mount Everest!!!
My most memorable CFA moment has got to be when Coach Sandra came up behind Shelly O. and myself during a run. It startled us both and we definitely laughed! But then the real moment was her explaining the technique to help improve her own performance. That really showed that not only was Coach Sandra more than willing to run with us but that anyone can do anything it if its explained with encouragement and care. Was a real heart dinger there!
First order of business when I move is to find a new box, although I know there isn’t going to be another one quite like CFA I still must continue to train somewhere!
As actual CF goals go I’m aiming for Rx all the way!!! I know it’s a huge goal that includes getting my weight down, using smaller/ no bands and trying my absolute best all the time! I just want to follow the lead of my coaches because I know there lies great results.
I want to be able to be as Paleo and self-disciplined as Coach Betsy, more form focused (not clock focused) as Coach Sandra, I want to “get out of my head” like Coach Watts always tells me and continue to try to do the WOD as close to Rx as I can (the less modification the better) right Coach Brian!!??
To all my coaches and athletes at CFA, thank you for the last ten months! It was definitely the best part of my Ocean City experience!!! Thank you for recognizing my progress and strength when I forget to recognize it in myself. It was a great honor to be nominated as athlete of the month and to be asked to share my story and experience. I hope to return to show you all further changes and growth in the future! Especially at the April competition in Baltimore!
-Progress not perfection