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Athlete of the Month-April-Mary McKenzie-Kelly

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Since we opened this past November, Mary has been one of a core group of people that have consistently been in the box at least 5 days a week. Her consistency and dedication has paid off ten fold. Mary came to me with a predominately running and cardio background and the mobility issues to match. We had some “healthy” discussions about her running and what she wanted to accomplish with CrossFit. We found some common ground and she hasn’t looked back! Mobility was her weakness and she comes in everyday working hard to improve it. The progress she’s made has been amazing, an air squat to parallel was not in the cards when she first started, now she bottoms out barbell front squats like a champ. Mary embodies everything I believe about what the purpose of CrossFit really is: improving fitness, getting better at life and doing what you once could not! It has been a pleasure coaching Mary the past several months and see her improve and get stronger on a weekly basis, not to mention the post WOD hugs that become just part of the day for me. I am excited to see all the amazing things you will have done after a year of CrossFit, keep kicking ass keep hitting that bar!!

When did you start training CrossFit?

I started mid December 2012

Tell us a little about yourself ( family, job, interests, etc.)

I am a costume designer turned illustrator, with a love of all things fiber and textile related. My husband and I run a community site for comic book artists, rocketbot.com and we have two daughters who are four and two.

How and why did you get started in CrossFit?

I first heard about CrossFit while I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. I would occasionally read blogs and think about seeking out a box in town but it seemed a little intimidating considering I wasn’t someone who identified as an athlete. Thankfully a good friend was also interested and we decided to check it out together.

Describe your first CrossFit experience?

I took the intro class at Riverbend and haven’t looked back.

What were you doing before CrossFit?

I had been running for several years an would mix it up with the elliptical or group class. I ran my first half marathon in October 2012.

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?

Before CrossFit I was motivated by how many calories were burned in a workout, and now I’d much rather think about lifting heavier weights. It’s a really nice change of pace to enjoy working out and not just think of it as something that needs to get done 3-5 times a week. Plus there are few things as empowering as seeing your self consistently improve and get stronger week to week.

What would you like to achieve in CrossFit moving forward?

Being able to do an unassisted pull up is at the top of my list and improving my 5k time.

What do you like most about Riverbend CrossFit?

The community is really what makes CrossFit so great, and Riverbend’s is pretty freaking fantastic.

Favorite / least favorite WOD?

Favorite: Partner wods

Least favorite: Anything with burpees.

Favorite lift / least favorite lift?

Favorite: It’s a tie between deadlifts and hang cleans.

Least favorite: Overhead squats

Favorite CrossFit moment so far?

Deadlifting 225 pounds was pretty exciting, but I already can’t wait to beat that number.

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