Michele Meador

Athlete of the Month

August 2016

Michele Meador was chosen as member of the month for August for her work ethic and the example that she sets for all our athletes! We want all of our members to come into the gym with the same passion and drive that she has; she is an inspiration to all of us!

Michele comes to train every morning at 6 AM with her husband Randy. We love that she:

  • Always refers to her organized record of her previous PR’s and WODs so she can train at the proper percentages and push herself to new PRs (Personal Records).
  • Always listens to coaching cues and makes the proper adjustments to improve her lifts and movements.
  • Is never afraid to scale a workout in order to hit the proper stimulus that will improve her fitness the most. She is not an RX chaser but will RX the workout when it fits her work capacity.

Michele also cares about the growth of our community and the solidarity of the members that train together. Even with a super busy professional schedule, a mother and a new home owner, she has volunteered to take on the responsibility of mentoring new members at CFC that do not have previous CrossFit experience to help them feel more welcomed and supported as they transition into the CrossFit community.

Thank you for all that you do Michele!

Michele Meador, 46. I work for Wells Fargo but I’m not a banker. My niche is Content Management but I support internal web sites only, which is very different from customer-facing. I’m a what they call a Unicorn, which means I know just enough about coding and design to be dangerous, highly proficient at operationalizing strategy, optimizing business process, and shrewd at negotiating. That equates to spending most of the time pissing everyone off until their site is launched — but at least I get to do it from home! When I break free I want a food truck!

In 2011 I went back to school for an Executive MBA. One of my classmates was a Crossfit FANATIC and talked about CrossFit in every class! I needed a change. I was dreading my 3rd round of Insanity/P90X in my living room. I had gained the wrong kind of weight – according to my journal I was back up 170 lbs+ of jiggliness and size 12 was tight on my nearly 5′ 4″ frame. I joined a Crossfit box in Sandy Springs and immediately fell in love with CrossFit! I even did a few competitions. I left in 2013 when I moved to Duluth.

After I moved I couldn’t find a nearby CrossFit. I tried running again but couldn’t get back up to my half-marathon mileage, which frustrated the hell outta me. My weight yo-yoed as much as my interest. One day  somewhere in Feb or March of 2015 I was driving up Buford Hwy I saw the sign for Crossfit Chattahoochee and  slammed on the breaks —  and nearly got rear-ended! How I missed it for a year, I’ll never know!

When I walked in and met Steven, we clicked and I knew that CFC was going to be an even better fit! The level of perfectionism can be intense but I like intense. It challenges me as much intellectually as it does physically. When we bought our house this year, one of my [unspoken] criteria for location was proximity to CFC.

I do it today because working out is my Zen and I’m at CFC because this is my tribe!

While I can’t remember what my first WOD was at CFC, I remember going home and talking about it to my husband, Randy for like an hour! I got so much personalized attention it was like having a personal trainer. Everything in my body hurt the next day, but I knew the only thing to do was to keep going and work through it.

The spirit of CFC. That spirit is made up of a lot of things from the people at CFC and the character they bring, the level of knowledge of all the coaches, the style of sharing across members and coaches, the constant constructive feedback, the push and drive, the variation of workouts and of course, the humor. I love how there’s a side to each of us there that doesn’t take ourselves too seriously. This really distinguishes CFC from other boxes and its members from the larger CrossFit community. I attribute this spirit to the vibe Steven cultivates and nurtures from the top.

I don’t have just one because as soon as I have a breakthrough, my eye is on the next milestone. I had a few weeks or maybe a month span where I started PR-ing every movement, which was pretty recent. On deadlift day Lara happened to be there providing me some really great tips and I had a gain of something like 40 lbs from my last log and lifted 245lbs that day!

But overall my proudest moment was when I got my first pull-up, then connecting them with a decent kip, then increasing them to 15 unbroken. Now I’m up to 5 strict pull-ups on a good day. Really I have proud moments all the time in simple things, like keeping up with Paola or Nancy without being shamefully behind. Truth be told though I love beating any of the guys who’ve been there longer than me or are younger than me and in good shape 😉 — all in fun!

Favorite: So many… snatches (some days my nemesis! I fall over a lot but I am determined to master these) and cleans are really starting to grow on me; for body weight movements I have a love/hate relationship with burpees.

Least favorite: Wall Ballzzzzzzzzz!!!!!

I love chippers and any WOD that requires a bit of strategy in approach. There are ones that are easy to come out and blow away the first movement but then you’re too spent to continue efficiently through the rest. So it’s about really knowing how to pace yourself, knowing your engine and still getting to the end without sandbagging any of it.

Least favorite: Any AMRAP couplet (only two movements) that is greater than 9 mins long!

My goal is to be able to do double-unders better. I want to be able to connect them in a WOD and actually get through a whole WOD without reverting to progressions or singles. I don’t practice enough but I did just order my own jump rope so I can size it just right. Also: Ring dips — again, more practice. I can connect 3 dips on the boxes so I’m getting there.

On a larger scale, I’ll start entering some comps soon. I’d like to nail a few of these movements but I’m not necessarily going to wait until I do.

Editor’s Note: Before this got posted, Michele completed a WOD and got all her double-unders!

It reinvigorated me. New friends, new body (proved my doctors wrong too!), better health.

I had a disc problem last year that caused serious pain and some nerve damage. Doctors wanted to push me to pain clinics and bullsh*t symptom mask ‘solutions’ and even suggested surgery. I knew that I needed to strengthen my body in areas to support the long hours I spend at a computer and change a few things like take more breaks, stand a few hours vs. sit and work out my stress, which I carry all in my neck. The 12:30 class was my sanctuary during that period.

As long as I could drive myself, I was there even if the pain was at level 8 because as soon as I’d start moving and share a few smiles with coaches and members, it would go away for the duration. While I still needed a two steroid epidurals (against my better judgement), I’ve been feeling good for a little over a year now, which I attribute to my new physique. And I now have a new network of healthcare professionals (from Chiros to massage therapists) I met through CFC coaches who are effin’ awesome and really get me.

Ummm…. kayaking/water sports, dancing, painting/drawing and sex… not necessarily in that order. 👿

Some of that is wrapped up in my answers above but it’s a constant discipline shaper to apply in any area of life. From what I eat to goals I want to set.

Even, oddly as it seems, some of my career; like how to shift toward doing something I love instead of plugging away at a soul-sucking corporate job where nobody really cares and you leave no mark. It drives me to stretch my goals.

Make no excuses. Don’t even speak about reasons you can’t, won’t or shouldn’t, just go, especially in the beginning. There’s no sugar-coating it… your body will hurt. And you may even get callouses and bruises. You might want to quit, maybe in the middle of a WOD, or maybe you won’t want to go day 3, 4 or 45. But you have to work through it. You’ll surprise yourself when you do!

When it comes to advancing from progressions of a movement to the actual movement, the only thing that really gets you there is trying it and failing. Fail a lot. Failing is part of the growth, but you’ll surprise yourself. A WOD with 10 pull ups starts off as 10 ring rows, then becomes 9 ring rows and 1 best attempt with all your might to pull yourself up over the bar. I remember the first time I just hung there feeling like I was pulling up but really not moving anywhere. Then one day it happened and a hang from the bar became 1 pull up, 1 became 2, then 3 and so on until I could ditch the ring rows. Focus on finishing, not the time it takes to get there or how you have to break things up to get better.

Even if you’re dealing with injuries or past conditions or mobility problems, don’t let it deter you from coming in. Everything is scalable and if it isn’t for your condition, the coaches will come up with something else to ensure you keep moving in ways that will keep you safe but keep you on track for improvement.

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