February 2018 Athlete of the Month
Here's more about Chelly Wiersum, our February Athlete of the Month! We chose Chelly because of her no-fuss, consistent approach to CrossFit. Read more about her below:
Tell us a little about you?
I'm originally from Indianapolis but I was born in Chicago and moved there when I was 5. I just moved to this area a year ago. I work at Allmark Door in Aston where my official job title is 'Systems Administrator', but that tends to include a lot of randomness. You can usually find me at the 4pm or 5:30pm classes.
What was your athletic background before CrossFit?
Ugh. I was hopelessly un-athletic as a kid. Academics? Not a problem. Athletics? Dread and misery. My athletic journey, l guess, started 2 years ago when I bought something on Groupon for a Bootcamp place. Before that I had never done anything other than the occasional short run, so the idea of things like resistance training, healthy eating and trying to build strength and muscle were completely new to me. I did that for a year before I started CrossFit.
How did you find CrossFit Delaware Valley?
Where I used to workout in Indy there was a CrossFit gym across the street and I'd contemplated going but that's really as far as I got. When I moved here it was a really good opportunity to try something new, so the first day I got here I Googled 'CrossFit gyms near me' and found CFDV. That same day I did the demo workout with Jacki, signed up right after that and did the 4pm class too!
What do you like about living in the Philadelphia area?
Other than a couple of weird things like state inspections on cars, post offices in random old buildings, plus a lot more people and a football team that's actually good... it's not so different than Indianapolis. Your like/dislike of a living in a place has so much to do with you experiences there, and I've had great experiences!
You've progressed from having no pull-ups, to one pull-up, to many pull-ups. How'd you do it?
It's crazy... I would have never thought I'd be able to do multiple strict pull-ups. Even before I started CrossFit I had been working on building up that strength with movements like lat pulldowns and banded pull-ups. It wasn't until I learned how to actually engage the right muscles before I got my first rep. It really just took me time and lots of repetition to build the strength and the skill. Even strict movements take skill.
What advice would you give to someone just starting their CrossFit journey?
I couldn't say anything that hasn't already been said by CrossFitters before me but I guess I'd say first, stick with it because it will be hard and there will be days you just aren't motivated, and second, just enjoy the journey. Oh, and sign up for the Open. You won't regret it!
What's your most memorable moment from CrossFit class?
I don't know. It's pretty hard to pick out just one from the first WOD, first RX WOD (17.4), Murph, the CrossFit total...
But it's more than PR's and firsts. I remember one really hot day in the summer we were doing like a 100m Farmer's Carry and I can only imagine the pain on our faces. Somebody drove by from one of the area businesses and commented something about how hard it looked and why were we doing it? I said, "We enjoy it, I guess we're crazy!". And that pretty much sums it up.
What are your goals for 2018?
In CrossFit, my short-term goals (hopefully short-term anyway) would be to get a bar muscle-up and consistent toes-to-bar. More long-term I'd like to work on my mental toughness. It's something the elite athletes talk about a lot and there's a reason for that.