Meet an Athlete of Merit: Nicole's Story

Nicole Deditz

Merit Member Since May, 2016 

This Merit blog post we’re throwing it back to a Merit OG, Nicole. Born in Massachusetts and raised in Central Florida, she lived in Illinois and California with her family before they made their way to Maryland. After her husband Chris received orders to DC, they chose to move to Calvert County for the same reason so many families do, for the quality schools! We are so happy they made that choice because now 4 out 5 Deditz’s are members of CrossFit Merit! Recently, Nicole celebrated the 6th anniversary of her 28th birthday by dedicating her time and energy to pursuing her CrossFit Level 1 Certification in hopes of one day specializing in training women during their childbearing years, and the special needs community. We can’t wait to see where next few years take Nicole and her family on their CrossFit journey, and we’re so happy they chose to make us home!

Nicole, her husband Chris, and their three children Victoria, Jocelyn, and Quinn.

Nicole, her husband Chris, and their three children Victoria, Jocelyn, and Quinn.

How do you spend your time outside of Merit?

I spend my free time primarily with my family. Chris and I have three daughters: Victoria, 12 (13 in December. Send help!); Jocelyn, 6; and Quinn, 4 (5 in December). I'm a licensed insurance agent and work full-time as a Technical Assistant for a team that specializes in insurance programs for HOA and Condo Associations. I enjoy going to concerts in the area, usually DC or Baltimore.  Recently, I've rediscovered my love of learning. My passions include human rights, Autism, ADHD and special needs awareness. I'm currently pursuing my CrossFit Level 1 Certification in hopes of one day specializing in training women during their childbearing years and the special needs community. I enjoy cooking and baking; I craft, specifically decorating jean vests for myself and the girls. I like to sing, even though I'm not very good at it, and have an uncanny ability to recall song lyrics. 

Nicole during her first CrossFit Open.

Nicole during her first CrossFit Open.

Why did you choose Merit?

Moving to Calvert County from San Diego was a huge culture shock and I didn't deal with it very well emotionally. I spent most of the winter doing at home workout programs in my basement but then lost focus after completing the same program 3 times. (It got boring.) I sank pretty deep into a depression and knew I needed to get out of the house, meet some people and do something active. I had been to the local globo-gym and was less than impressed with what they had to offer.  So I presented two options to Chris; either I do Roller Derby or CrossFit. Chris chose the lesser of the two evils and later that week, I scheduled two appointments at local CrossFit gyms. After my trial class at Merit, I already knew I had found my new home away from home and canceled the other trial class even though that box was closer to home. The next week, I signed up for Fundamentals. Chris eventually joined me and with the inclusion of the CrossFit Kids program, Jocelyn and Victoria are also members of the Merit Framily (friends that are so close you consider them family).

What were your goals when you originally joined Merit?

During that first winter here, I gained a significant amount of weight for my small stature and needed to lose it, badly. I barely recognized myself, mostly because of my depression and partly the weight gain. I couldn't keep up with the kids as I could before and I constantly felt terrible. I did lose some weight originally, but then gained some of it back when I started a new medication and took a sabbatical from CrossFit. After not going for a few months, I was right back where I had started when I first joined; clinically depressed and a hermit. Chris marched me back into the gym and subsequently saved my life. Since then my goal has changed to "I want to lift really heavy sh*t." Over the last year, I've doubled both my back squat and deadlift PRs.

Have you accomplished any of those goals so far?

Yes, I have been perpetually sore since day 1 (in a good way) and there are witnesses to a pull up. I notice gains both inside and outside of the gym. It has been an extremely rewarding experience overall.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement/WOD? 

Deadlifts; I never miss a deadlift day. (Right, Terry?)  I'm not good at a lot of physical things; I'm clumsy and uncoordinated (and have the bruises to prove it). Chris likes to tell me I'm the smoothest person he knows. But, deadlifts make me feel strong and capable.

What is your least favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?

Running. I'm terrible at running. I've even taken the Pose Running classes Jason offers and I still hate running. It's boring, painful and I just can't stand it. I realize this means I need to do it more and that's one of my current goals. Oh, and burpees. Not sure that one needs an explanation, haha.

Nicole and Chris at a concert.

Nicole and Chris at a concert.

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment so far?

The Dragon Boat Race this year, definitely. It had been years since I had been on the water, but I still volunteered to be the drummer for one of the boats. I was so anxious every time I got on that perch, I thought for sure I was going to have a panic attack in front of the whole crew. Everyone was amazing and so supportive.; they helped me get through it. I'm glad I was able to share that experience with other Merit members.

What/Who is your biggest motivator?

My family. Chris and the girls rely on me so much it's important that I take care of myself and my body. Not to mention my mental health. CrossFit (and the right medication) has helped keep my depression manageable. I notice a significant change in my mood and ability to function when I miss more than 1-2 classes a week. 

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

Just do it. Seriously, find a box and try a class. If that one doesn't feel right, find another one. Keep looking until you find your CrossFit Framily. It's one of the best choices I've ever made.