Merit Member Since February, 2017
Stephanie is a 33 year old high school English teacher who found her way to Maryland in 2006. Anybody who has spent time around this Green Bay, WI native (Go Pack Go!) can see her determination during a WOD. Her passion for health and fitness is contagious, and so is her smile!
Read on to learn more about this inspiring, and creative, Merit member!
How do you spend your time outside of Merit?
I'm a high school English teacher, so during the school year, most of my time goes to lesson planning and grading papers. I have a really neat job; I get to work with some of the coolest young people. Their minds and creativity simply amaze me sometimes, and I always look forward to hearing about their successes after high school. When I'm on a break during the school year, I love getting in as much reading as possible- classics, young adult fiction, memoirs... I enjoy it all! Over the summer, my husband, Chris, and I try to get to the beach as much as possible. We are also the proud parents of an adorable chocolate brown fuzzball Cocker Spaniel named Hershey. One of my most favorite things right now is watching my two young nieces grow up. Even though they live in Wisconsin, thanks to social media, texting, and Face Time, I am able to watch Callie and Brinley explore and learn about the world.
What were your goals when you originally joined Merit?
When I first joined Merit, my goal was just to be more active and get back in shape. I used to be a hardcore runner when plantar fasciitis sidelined me for two years. During the first year of plantar fasciitis I was mostly sedentary when not at work- I was not even able to take Hershey for a walk. The second year I made great improvements in my activity, but running still left a void in my life. I knew I needed to do something. That's when a friend seriously encouraged me to seek out CrossFit. She knew how unhappy I was and that it would be perfect for the level of activity I was able to perform at the time.
Have you accomplished any of those goals so far?
Oh man! I've crushed my initial goals. I'm doing things that I never thought I would be able to do, like a handstand or a gajillion burpees in one workout. 8 months ago, I thought I would never run again. But now, I'm able to run a couple miles once a week.
What is your favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?
My favorite movement is wall climbs. I didn't even know they existed, and after I saw one, I had doubts that I would ever make it up the wall and into a vertical position. But I conquered my doubts and climbed up that wall. Because this movement is between my body, the ground, and the wall, I find it strangely raw and cathartic. My favorite WOD is the one I think I can't do. Upon entering the box, the words on the white board can be intimidating, and I find that sometimes my brain tells me "you can't do that" before I ever begin the warm up. Those are the WODs that I thought might break me. But I always dig deep and power through with the encouragement of other Merit athletes.
What is your least favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?
Wall balls and any WOD with wall balls. Why? Because wall balls.
What is your most memorable CrossFit moment so far?
What is your most memorable CrossFit moment so far? My first fundamentals class- I was so pumped afterwards! I knew it was exactly what I needed to fill my running void, and the coaches and other Merit athletes were super friendly and supportive. I couldn't wait to finish fundamentals and jump into workouts.
What/Who is your biggest motivator?
I find my motivation comes from other Merit athletes. We all have our own personal challenges, but by entering the box, we've already made the decision that we are greater than that which plagues us. I find that inspirational. More importantly, it doesn't matter if we crushed the WOD or fell short of our personal expectations, we all support and encourage one another to the very end.
What would you like to say to people on the fence about trying CrossFit?
If you are on the fence, you're halfway there. And if you can climb the fence, you can climb a wall. Jump off the fence and into a box!