Meet an Athlete of Merit: Natika's Story

Natika White

Merit Member since August, 2016

Natika, her husband Steve and their two children!

Natika, her husband Steve and their two children!

Where are you from?

Washington, DC

What is your age?

40

How do you spend your time outside of Merit?

Working and being a mother & wife

What were your goals when you originally joined Merit?

I have several goals! I come from a family that is plagued with obesity, poor diets, and very little interest in exercise or sports. Therefore, my primary goal was to change that image for my daughters. I want them to grow up seeing exercise as a regular and natural part of our routine. I want to eliminate the excuse that "I was born big and come from a family of overweight people" from the list of reasons they can rely on for justifying growing into an unhealthy adult. Additionally, I want to for once look in a mirror and love what I see. I can't EVER remember loving my body and after having 9 & 10lb babies it really took a toll on me, so I hope the changes I am seeing with the workouts at Merit will finally help me hit the beach in a bathing suit without a cover up. Lastly, I have serious back issues that require I strengthen my core and since joining Merit in October 2016 I've only had one minor back issue. Prior to joining the gym I was having to take time off from work because I was throwing my back out maybe once a quarter.

Have you accomplished any of those goals so far?

Natika during 17.5 

Natika during 17.5 

My goals are a work in progress. My daughter's are proud of me and both showing more interest in being active. I don't get on the scale but my clothes are fitting differently, which is so exciting. My husband, who has never complained about my weight or body, is loving the transformation. Lastly, I haven't taken off from work since I started at Merit, due to back issues.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?

I am really enjoying lifting weights. I also like jumping rope, I am starting to get some double unders, which is pretty exciting.

What is your least favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?

Running and burpees hate me and I hate them.

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment so far?

My daughter’s are watching my every move so that motivates me not to give up!

I have so many! I shock myself each week during the Crossfit Games and in class because weightlifting is new to me. However, my most memorable moment was getting to the last set of burpees in 17.1. I started the workout telling myself I'd be satisfied with a score greater than 150 and actually got 210. I was beyond excited. I was shocked!

What/Who is your biggest motivator?

Natika with Cathy, a supportive CrossFit Friend! 

Natika with Cathy, a supportive CrossFit Friend! 

My family motivates me! My husband (Steve) is my #1 fan who constantly praises my effort and encourages me to keep going. My daughter's are watching my every move so that motivates me not to give up! Cathy Nitowitz and Jason Linville push and motivate me every time I step through the door with my insecurities sitting on my sleeve. Every thick chick who looks like me and keeps returning to Merit motivates and inspires me.

What would you like to say to people on the fence about trying CrossFit?

Crossfit may look intimidating, but with the right staff and the right mix of other gym members this workout, and Crossfit Merit, truly is for all people on any fitness level. I entered the door on day 1 terrified and honestly expecting never to return, but I would've been able to say I tried and it wasn't for someone like me who was overweight, had never lifted weights, and couldn't keep up. The team at Merit took all of my excuses away by being super PATIENT, very encouraging, scaling anything I couldn't do, and simply providing an environment where I could feel comfortable participating at my current fitness level. For the thick chicks and gents, I'd say just keep coming back. We may never be skinny, that certainly isn't my goal, but we can definitely be thick, strong, and healthy! Looking forward to my next visit to the box