Athlete of the Month - Melissa Bryan

Tell us a little bit about yourself! 

I'm 32 years old, I live in Marple and grew up right down the road in Havertown. Im an OB/GYN nurse and mom to two awesome kids.

How did you hear about Crossfit Delaware Valley and what made you want to join?

In 2011/2012 I started doing kettlebell classes with Chris at Sussex gym.  I immediately was hooked on how intense the workout was.  I got away from working out when I was in college due to a busy schedule but after having my son last year and trying everything in the book, I started getting bored of the same old routine at Planet Fitness. I wasn't getting the results I wanted and I desired more for myself. So, I contacted Chris and he told me to come in to DelVal for a KB class and to stick around for bootcamp. I did both on that Sunday and WHOA it was insane. 

Tell us some memories from your first class. Who was your coach? Do you remember the workout?

After that Sunday I started orienting with Jacki.  The workouts were unlike anything else I've ever done before.  I was intimidated by watching the other athletes doing overhead squats, push presses pull-ups, you name it. I was terrified.  Fran was one of my first workouts.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into and thought it looked hard.  I remember being in the first set of thrusters and thinking that I was definitely going blow out my knees and my lungs were on fire. Afterwards, I was thrilled to get through it. I felt stronger and more confident. From that point on I've been hooked.  

You've been a member for a little over 6 months now. What are some short term goals that you have achieved and some long term goals that you would like to achieve.

I recently had a personal record of 145lbs for my back squat.  I remember when I first started off working out and lifting I always kept it light when doing squats because I was afraid of messing up my knees (they were shot from gymnastics and softball when I was a teen and I think the most I did at a point was 75lbs).  When I started at DelVal I was hesitant about adding the weight but since starting, I haven't had any issues with knee pain or mobility. I actually feel stronger! So 145 was such a huge deal for me. Something I thought I'd never get to.  

Some short term goals are that I want to work on stringing together my double unders and getting the pull-ups down. Long term is a little bit more complex; I want to be a great athlete. I want to be an overall better runner. I always dread a running workout and in the past I've avoided it at times. I'm ready now to take them on and keep going.  I look forward to getting stronger and putting up more weight while keeping up the spirit of cheering on everyone else on in the class.

What have you learned about yourself since starting Crossfit?

This is a tough one because I'm still learning more and more everyday, but I learned that I can do anything as long as I put my mind to it.  

What was it like to be in your first Crossfit competition? 

I did the Girls on Girls V Throwdown this past September with Shannon Redheffer as my partner (she's amazing by the way) in the scaled division. I was down the shore when Rob posted about the event and I thought why not try it and give it a go.  As it started getting closer to the date and Rob started posting the WODs I began freaking out a little bit.  When Shannon told me that we were in the first heat, the panic sunk in.  I didn't get a chance to practice and attempted doing the deadlift weight while working out with my husband and could barely lift it. Once I tried that same weight in the competition, I was amazed at what I could do once the pressure was on and once the adrenaline took effect. I would do another competition again in a heartbeat. I love the challenge.  

What is one piece of advice that you would pass along to a new member who is just starting Crossfit?

Take it day by day, be consistent and give each WOD all you can.  Push yourself but listen to your coach. They know what they're talking about!  

Can you share with us some of your favorite memories from the morning or evening classes?

Well, I can say there is no better way to get your day going by waking up, going to a 5:30am class and getting your ass handed to you.  Each morning Katie Deaner tells me how she's not ready for the class and then she goes out there and crushes it.  Being able to watch Katie, Laura, Erin, Michelle, Phil and the rest of the crew put it out there each and every class is making memories in itself.  There are far too many to count.  

Why is Del Val's community important to you?

It's a huge deal because these workout are no joke.  Whether you started today, 3 months ago or three years ago, these WODs are a challenge and there are going to be times that you want to stop and quit.  When you have your peers cheering you on and telling you not to stop, it makes you get those last couple reps in or get it done a little faster or with a little more weight.  This is why I love it here.  You cannot find this kind of community at the Y or Planet Fitness. I needed the extra push and that's what I got.  

Something we don't know about you...I love to bake, anything and watch out for the holidays ;)

Fill in the blank:

The last song I listened to was "Castle"-Halsey

My favorite holiday is Christmas because of the cookies and it's amazing when you have kids.

If I could go anywhere in the world it would be Disney world

Peanut Butter makes me smile.

My favorite food is pizza and my favorite dessert is chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. 

My favorite thing to do outside of being at Del Val is spend time with friends and family, go to my daughters sporting events.  

Extra comments: 

Thank you so much for all that you guys do on a daily basis and for all of the support!