March 2019--Melissa Doran

1.Tell us about yourself, your family, your occupation, hobbies/interests. 

I was born and raised in Minnesota, where I also attended college and graduate school. Joe and I have been married for 8 years and we have 5 little ones, and a baby due in July.  We have a 7 year old daughter who we adopted from China a year and a half ago. We moved to Kansas from Denver about four years ago. We were looking for a home in the country and a better place to raise our children. 

2. When do you start CrossFitting? Why did you start? Why do you continue now?

I started CrossFit in January 2018, after deciding I wanted to feel better.  I finally realized that I could not find the time, nor did I have the discipline to work out on my own, at home. I was experiencing quite a few aches and pains, and just generally not feeling my best. I knew it was from a lack of exercise, and I knew it would only get worse if I did not change something. I also needed a way to manage stress. I continue CrossFit now because it works! It took care of the aches and pains (almost immediately), and it's a great way to relieve stress. I also really enjoy CrossFit. I would attend 5 days a week if I could! 

3. Do you remember your first WOD? What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

 I don't recall my first WOD. I do, however, remember feeling very overwhelmed for about the first 6 months, wondering if I would ever be able to learn the mechanics of all the movements and lifts. The weightlifting techniques were especially difficult for me. I also remember hating burpees. I wasn't able to do an RX burpee for months. At some point, I decided I did not want to hate burpees, I wanted to get better at them. I think it's hard to get better at something if you hate doing it. 


4. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?

I enjoy nearly everything about CrossFit. I appreciate how efficient it is, and how extremely effective it has proven to be. I enjoy working out with such a great group of virtuous women. I love that the workouts are rarely ever the same and that they are always challenging. I enjoy that there are many movements that I haven't been able to do yet, because it gives me something to aim for. 

5. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?

I can't think of a single proudest moment. There have been many WODS that I had truly feared I would not be able to get through, because I thought the weight was too heavy, and then, I made it through, because the coaches and my training partners believed I could do it. 

6. What is your favorite movement or lift? What is your least favorite?

I have many favorites. The power clean and jerk, the push jerk, those Curtis Ps, sled pulls, rowing, farmer carry, wall balls, slam balls, handstand movements. I still really struggle with squatting, especially if it involves a barbell (overhead, back, front) with any amount of weight added. While these movements are not as fun for me, I still want to do them, maybe with even more frequency, because I think the muscle groups involved in these lifts are my weakest, and the ones most important to my overall fitness, as I age. I think about being able to move around independently, and efficiently, for years to come. 

7. Have you had one or two challenging CrossFit goals that you've achieved recently? What are your current goals and how close are you to reaching them? 

It has been a goal of mine to consistently attend 3 days per week; this was a challenge during the first months of pregnancy. It was difficult to find the energy or motivation to get to the Box when I wasn't feeling well, but I always felt better after a workout. My current goal is to continue coming 3 days per week until I have the baby. 

8. What makes CrossFit different from other fitness programs that you might have tried in the past? 

I have never tried another fitness program. I stayed active in my younger years playing sports in high school and then, in college. After college, I did some running, finding it especially enjoyable to run on trails and in the winter months. 

9. What impact has CrossFit Benedictus had on your life, in and out of the gym?

I am healthier and happier. I am stronger and a little bit more flexible. I have more energy and can better keep up with the children and my duties at home. 

10. Tell us about your nutrition and how it has changed, if any, since starting CrossFit? 
       
      I haven't changed my diet since starting CrossFit, but I do contemplate making some changes. I think I should eat fewer sweets, especially chocolate. 

11. If you could write a WOD for the classes to do, what would it look like?

                        7 Rounds For Time
                          Row 15 cal
                           15 air squats
                           15 burpees
                            15 push press 135/95

                       
12. What advice do you have for others about the importance of the dedication of taking care of yourself, of investing in yourself?

      Investing in yourself might feel selfish or like you are making the family sacrifice too much, but you will be better able to fulfill your vocation if you are mentally and physically healthy. This has been true for me. 

13. What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or who is thinking about giving it a try?

CrossFit is very challenging, and it will be painful. It pushes you, to what you think is your limit.  But, there is so much to gain by accepting the challenge and experiencing the pain. My advice - pluck up your courage and give it your very best effort for at least 6 months. If you are eating reasonably well and attending regularly, I am sure you will see positive changes in your life. 

14. Open Forum:

Thank you, Doctor and Mrs. Carroll, for starting CrossFit in St. Mary's. It was a blessing to find a place to do CrossFit where women have their own classes. I wouldn't be doing this if it were any other way. Thank you to all the dedicated coaches and to the women with whom I work out - your instruction and  encouragement keep me coming back! And most importantly, I am grateful to my husband, Joe, for supporting me in my goal to get in three workouts per week. 
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