Congrats to Michelle Mathis for being our September Athlete of the Month!! Michelle has been putting in the work and we re fortunate enough to have her in our community! Michelle is at every single NOON class we have and works tremendously hard and it shows! Congrats on all the PBR and goals you have crushed and we are looking for many more!!!
Learn a bit more about her below:
What makes you, you?
Good question! I got a late start on standing up for myself and letting me out of the box. So I’m still learning and testing my strengths and growing with each new experience.
I have a strong work ethic, don’t get enough sleep, and take on too many projects at once! I have been working 2 jobs for 17 MUSC /20 St Francis years. I do not know how to sit still!
I have a small business making custom orders using polymer clay, which is a wonderful creative outlet for me!
And then there is my weight. I’ve been overweight my entire life and my experiences in that body for 30 yrs are always somewhere in the back of my thoughts. In 2004 I had a gastric bypass and I lost half of me. But coming out of that shell and learning to live was not easy. I wanted so badly to be normal and have all the expected things fall in line. I tried too hard to be something I wasn’t and to please someone who did let me shine through. It took me a while but I figured it out and I made some decisions.
In the past few years the changes have all been for the better, I think, but the time that I lost is not coming back and I’m learning to keep moving forward.
Describe your experience at CFNC.
When I decided to go back to the gym a year ago I was back up to 209. I walked into the gym and looked at the half naked sweaty people and said “I don’t look like any of these people”. And Craig says “You did the hardest part – you walked through those doors”. I signed up for 3 training sessions and for the life of me I do not remember anything from those 3 hours except the day we covered Burpees! Im thinking it to death, asking what is it, a push up? And Craig just looks at me and says “Michelle get down on the floor and get back up” OK. So I crawled. And I crawled for months and I got bruises doing them and everything else and I loved showing them off LOL.
I remember watching a class WOD after my last training session and Craig telling me they are all fighting their own demons. Each person was zoned into their own work out, and nobody cared what you looked like or what size you were. They each had a “sticking” point and they all cheered the ones on still working when they finished. I cried – and I signed up for a year’s member ship – all in!
And I have showed up every day for the last year and built a garage gym of my own at home.
All of the coaches are awesome and know where I am and what I need whether it is push pull or she’ll figure it out!
I’ve cried a few times – and pouted and almost died AND I LOVE IT!
What are your major life goals?
To be able to balance work, exercise, sleep, and have a social life.
The ultimate would be to quit my degreed “real” job and just work in my Clay room on custom orders, but this does not come with benefits!
To stay active and fit so I can enjoy new adventures. To step outside of my comfort zone whenever possible.
And maybe someday find someone who gets me and accepts me for who I am, and who wants to share, grow, and have new adventures with me.
What are your 3 major CrossFit goals?
1. Strict pull up
3. Handstand walk!
What has been your favorite CrossFit moment so far?
I’ve had a few the past month or two actually!
1. I actually wall walked to a hand stand and held my full weight up against the wall. I can do it several times now.
2. I touched the metal bar at the top of the rope during a Friday WOD! I was so excited and proud of myself. And hearing people clap and cheer in the middle of their own work out for my PR rope climb did my heart good as well!
3. I signed up for and participated in the Gym Members Only Lifting Meet and got all of my lifts in both with PRs.
4. Hearing the coaches say “you made good decisions today” when I put back a higher weight DB or WB so I can do the work out correctly.
5. “Jogging” a whole 2 miles with no stopping to walk
What has been your favorite CrossFit WOD and why?
None of them! But now I am at a place where I can see my improvements from where I started and each time we do one that we did in the past I hate it less than the last time!
Rowing, I do like rowing : )
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Ugh…50 and still working on PR’s @ CFNC! Maybe a few competitions in my books. “Masters” and scaled are just fine with me. If I am so blessed maybe in a relationship with someone that likes to get sweaty….in the gym too! Maybe I’ll even have a jujitsu belt of some color. I don’t have any kids now but maybe I find Mr Right and we adopt or he’s a package deal and I’d accepted in the fold. Hopefully working less and traveling more!
Share a recipe for a favorite clean meal.
Any of the meals in the weekly meal menu for the Chef prepared meals.
I can cook, mostly by following directions on a package or preprepped food or printed recipe….but I don’t. I also have frozen Project Lean Meals to mix in with those.
What is your favorite cheat meal?
Are dark chocolate covered espresso beans and plain iced lattes a meal? Don’t judge me!
What is the most challenging aspect of CrossFit?
Not getting ahead of yourself. Learning patience and listening to the wisdom of your coaches. Being able to put back the big girl bar and get a training bar so you do better form and quality reps. Learning there is Scaling for a reason and not let the numbers on the board affect your work out.
What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit?
Everyone started somewhere! Trusting the master plan of the Boss and building the entire body over time. It will not happen overnight. But one day you will see what happened and be surprised!
What is your personal “walkout song” or anthem?
Cut the Cord – Shinedown