My passion for helping everyone be the best versions of themselves has lead me down a crazy and long journey, but now that I have my own gym I feel empowered to come in every day to push people to do better.

 

I grew up fairly inactive and sedentary.  It wasn't until I joined the Marines after high school that I learned the value of fitness and developed the grit to push myself beyond my perceived limits.  After my time in the service I played DII competitive rugby as a way to stay fit and regain some of the comradery that I missed from the military.

My functional fitness journey began in early 2019 when I found that even though I continued to be active, as I reached my mid thirties I was beginning to think that my time as an athlete was coming to an end.  One day while visiting an friend, we got on the subject of aging and feeling and worn out.  In an attempt to dissuade my concerns about getting "old and fat" he suggested that I check out a CrossFit gym because it changed his life and he was fitter than he had been in 20 years.  The following week I found Meraki CrossFit and knew immediately that I had found my place.

Functional fitness has allowed me to continue playing the sport I love, maintain an active lifestyle now and look forward to an active future.  My favorite thing about coaching is seeing people pushed beyond their own mental barriers and learn that they are stronger than they thought.

When I'm not at the gym I am a dad, husband, tinkerer, horticulturalist, environmental enthusiast, and lifelong student.

Growing up I was fairly active but always wanted more for myself. I always wanted to be an example of a strong woman; able to do what most others could not. Not fully knowing where to start and not having the confidence I quickly gave up on my goals. I found CrossFit by chance but fell in love immediately. CrossFit has given me the opportunity to achieve a level of fitness that I never could in a traditional gym setting. The variety of movements and intensity of the workouts make working out actually fun. I still have a lot to learn and am still working to reach my fitness goals but I feel more confident about my ability to achieve those goals. Part of why I became a coach was to help others like me to achieve their goals. I also enjoy being part of such a strong community of like-minded atlas all working towards reaching their individual goals and supporting each other.

A few years ago, I was severely overweight and had type 2 diabetes that was out of control. I reigned in my diet and started CrossFit. Along with a close eye on nutrition, CrossFit has allowed me to keep control of my health.

I became a coach so I could help others realize what they are capable of both physically and mentally. I love the application and carryover to everyday life that the functional movements we practice at CrossFit provide.

I joined CrossFit 3 1/2 years ago and began coaching one and a half years ago. It was definitely a step out of my comfort zone but I have never looked back. My favorite part about CrossFit is that it has made me realize that when I set my mind to something, I can achieve more than I ever imagined physically and mentally. After experiencing great loss/grief in my late 20s, I can definitely say that CrossFit has been an outlet to keep me mentally strong. The camaraderie is amazing. I am a nurse by trade, but quit working in healthcare when my two children were pretty young to stay home with them and to help my husband run his business. By coaching CrossFit, I am still able to help people live a healthy lifestyle and achieve their goals.

CrossFit has become a huge part of my life over the past three years. I walked into Meraki CrossFit with my sister one day to talk with Amy about joining. I was hesitant because I had thoracic outlet syndrome in college and I had never fully recovered from it. I was in a slump after college and needed something new. So many people (even close friends) told me CrossFit was a terrible idea and I would never be able to do much, especially with my shoulder injury. Amy proved to me that they were very wrong within my first week being there and I was hooked ever since. I was doing handstand push-ups and bar over head movements within the month. Spending everyday there it made sense to become a coach and try to help others the way Amy helped me.

Growing up I played competitive softball and basketball and went on to play softball in college at Quincy University. My sophomore year I was injured in a car accident and ended up with TOS. The injury caused me to put my health (and love for the game) on the back burner. That is why I love what I do at Meraki CrossFit. I love teaching your everyday CrossFit classes, but I enjoy working with younger athletes as well. I hope to be someone that can motivate and push these young athletes to become their best selves, but in a healthy way. Teaching them the importance of healthy eating, stretching, and self care at a young age will put them way ahead of the game.

Fun fact: I had 2 ribs removed during my surgery.

I got into CrossFit because I enjoy the intensity and variety of modalities used to create the different workouts, but the path it has lead me down has shaped me mentally to be the best I can be as a human being and a trainer. The emotional support and commodity the CrossFit community gives each other is what empowers me to help others become better versions of themselves.

Organized sports have been part of my life since I was around 5 years old; little league soccer and basketball with my cousins as a kiddo, jr high/high school softball, basketball and track, Intermural basketball, flag football and rugby in college.  Something present in my life equally as long and even more life changing has been anxiety and depression. in a way organized sports exacerbated feelings of inadequacy and fear of not being “good enough”. I would obsess over mistakes before they even happened and constantly compare myself to my teammates.

Fast forward to 2018. I had just finished nursing school, was carrying an extra 20-25 lbs. from that and my anxiety and depression were out of control DESPITE trying multiple different medications and running a handful of times per week.  I tried a week of CrossFit and fell in love. It was challenging, the group atmosphere was enjoyable and I felt proud of myself for pushing through a tough workout. I continued to go to CrossFit 3-4xs per week and my anxiety and depression eased up some.

In 2019, I moved to O'Fallon and began working out at Meraki. Amy took the time to help me set up a nutrition plan and reminded me the importance of a healthy mindset. Since 2018, my mental and physical health have improved exponentially. Without CrossFit I truly do not know where I be, and I am grateful that I do not have to find out.   Simply put, I CrossFit for the mental and physical health benefits I have experienced firsthand.

Fun Fact: perhaps my greatest athletic achievement is that I am a three time Scotland County Fair Greased Pig Catching Contest winner.