Athlete of the Month - Michele Yerger

Kyle, Mark and Michele Yerger

Congratulations on your one year CrossFit Anniversary! Tell us your joining story.

Honestly, if it weren’t for my son Kyle, and to a degree my husband Mark, I would have never joined CrossFit. Unbeknownst to me, Kyle registered me and even paid for my membership. He and my husband pushed hard to get me to give it a try. I was very resistant, and afraid, because of the arthritis I have in my lower back and neck. I just thought I couldn’t “do it.” I was fearful of getting hurt. Truly, I was very angry with Kyle and Mark for pushing me to go! I had never paid any attention to weights or weight lifting over my lifetime. I was fairly good with cardio (or so I thought before starting CrossFit), having done some running, hiking and biking over the years but I never really put the time into training with weights. However, ultimately, I joined and stayed because I wanted to improve my overall health and my physical strength. Also, I’m competitive by nature and I like the idea of challenging myself.  

As a cancer survivor, how has your perception of a healthy lifestyle changed?

As a cancer survivor my perception of everything has changed but particularly regarding my health (and its fragility). I need to control the factors that I can regarding my weight, exercise, nutrition, hydration, and good sleep for my best health and then let go of the rest. For me, a healthy lifestyle is all about balance and caring for the body, mind, and spirit… as all three are equally important for overall well being.

What has been your proudest CrossFit moment so far in the gym?

Wow! There really are so many. I feel so proud and empowered after every class I complete, really! However, nailing the 20” box jump was pretty awesome!

What have been some of your favorite moments in the gym?

My favorite moments in the gym, by far, are always when the community comes together to cheer on another athlete who is struggling to complete their workout. The verbal support, applause, and genuine encouragement is just incredible to witness and to be a part of! Sending, and receiving, that communal love and support is special and has helped motivate me to complete an especially difficult WOD.

What would you say to other moms your age who are nervous about joining CrossFit? What are some tips that have helped you along the way?

I would say to other women, and Moms, of my age that you can do it! You really can do “it” because “it” is how you (with the assistance of the coaches) define the workout. “It”  is a workout scaled for you. It’s YOUR workout. You get to start at, and do, a workout that meets you where you are at your level. Also, the coaches are really wonderful and are committed to your success. Good coaches and great people! Biggest tip, GIVE IT TIME! I would say at least 3 months of 3-4 visits a week. CrossFit is hard. It’s a workout! You’ll be sore. You won’t want to go! Do it anyway! Hang in for that time and those visits and you’ll see the improvements. It will propel you forward. You will feel stronger, empowered, and healthier. Guaranteed!

You have many furry friends running around your house at times, please tell us about that!

Over many years, I was involved in rescue work. I worked with a rescue organization and I fostered 17 dogs, helping them find their forever homes. I worked with many breeds, all ages, and a lot of them sick with worms, mange, malnutrition, and dehydration. From there, neighbors, friends, and family have requested pet care support from me. Being fortunate to have worked remotely from home during most of my professional career, I have had the time and flexibility to provide that support for my own dog and the many other animals entrusted to my care.  

Tell us something we don’t know about you!

I jumped out of an airplane at 14,000 feet and I loved it!

You’re always coming into the gym smiling and always being positive, how do you maintain such a positive outlook on life?

I feel so grateful just to be here everyday. Life is so amazing and beautiful. Every event, big or small, I am lucky to be here to appreciate it, live it, and be a part of be present. That gratitude is such a gift! Gratitude is the key!