Thursday, August 2, 2012

August Athlete of the Month

This month I am honoring Sheila Wadley. She attends my M/W/F 530 Crossfit class, and my T/H Lean Lifting class. She is easy to coach, takes direction, doesn't whine, and always goes heavy as possible. All my favorite things! 

When she first started her max dead lift was 95lbs. Two weeks ago she trap bar dead lifted 175...three times!

This pic below is Sheila finishing her sixth week of super squats. She broke her finger playing with dumbbells and still got in there and did it! 


Sheila's Story:


"Crossfit?  That sounds too scary.  I don't know about that?  I'm not very strong.  I have skinny arms."  Those were my words pre-crossfit, 10 months ago.  Crossfit sounded so intimidating.  Then last September, on my birthday and with the encouragement of my boyfriend (who was already a super star Crossfitter), I signed up for an elements class as a birthday present to myself!  That was it and I was hooked!

I had spent many years growing up as an endurance athlete, competing in track in my younger days, then adventure races, a few cycling races, and finally working my way up to a Cat 1 mountain bike racer.  I wanted to try something new, something outside my box, something I had never done before.  I think we all reach a certain point in our lives when we feel as if we need a change, not always knowing what that change should be.  Because sports have always been such a big part of who I am, Crossfit was my change.  It was a humbling moment to step into something new where nobody knew me, knowing I would probably be the weakest person there.  I found it to be nice, however, that I could progress at my own level without feeling like I had to prove myself to anyone.  

Like I said, it was humbling.  My very first Crossfit workout included two sets of 400m lunges and I will never forget that day!  Jen even modified my workout to do only one set.  Still, I thought I might die and I could barely walk for days!  The funny thing is, though....I didn't actually die and it was that day that my addiction began.  Call it a cult, call it an addiction, call it whatever you want, but I knew that Crossfit was something I wanted to be part of.  I wanted to get stronger and develop the parts of my athleticism that had not been touched before.  

One of my first goals....a kipping pull-up.  Then one day, after many moons, I did it!  Then 2 in a row, then 3!   Then, a strict pull-up!  Talk about happy!  Ask anyone.  I'm sure my facebook friends are all tired of hearing about it!    Yeah, these things make my days.  I feel myself get stronger all the time and am constantly inspired and encouraged by my classmates and my coach who are also competitive yet still more supportive than I could ever hope for.  Whether it is 5 pounds more or 10 pounds more than any of us have lifted before, it's an accomplishment.  




I never imagined that I would be someone interested in being "strong" but there is honestly NO OTHER reason you could possibly drag me out of bed at 5am than for my Crossfit workouts.  Every time I move up on weight or do something I could not do before, it builds my confidence.  That confidence not only helps in my workouts but carries over into my regular day to day activities.  Being strong is empowering!  

So....I do have some future goals.  One day I would like to be strong enough to compete in some larger events.  I've done a few events like Betty's on Boards, etc., and loved it!  I definitely have a lot to learn and a lot of strength to build but I'm determined.  I want to join the 200 club on deadlifts.  I'm inspired by my classmates who are already there!  I want to learn how to do a muscle up!  It looks crazy hard but it's on my list.  Aside from just getting stronger, I want to continue building the friendships I have started in Crossfit because those ladies are truly amazing.  


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