December 2018 Athlete of the Month - Stephanie Salmon

Why you started Crossfit?

Congratulations and thank you to Steph for allowing us to honor her as our final Athlete of the Month for the year 2018. She was one of very few individuals who constantly stood out over the last few months when checking off all the boxes when selecting a new Athlete of the Month. I was Steph’s first coach at the gym and remember her one on one elements vividly. I had a couple individuals in elements with me that week and it was a breathe of fresh air to get Steph. Some people come in a they pick up on things quickly. Of course she didn’t feel as comfortable and smooth with the barbell at first as she looked. But, for a first-timer, it was excellent. She is teachable, responsive, interested and hard working. Steph decided to start Crossfit because she was looking for something new, like many others. She grew up playing sports including Volleyball, Soccer and Track. She continued to run through college and does so now as well. She is an impressive runner. Look out gentlemen when there are 400m and 800m sprints. The girl who just passed you is probably Steph. I’m super impressive with how willing Steph has been to challenge herself on the strength aspects of her training. It’s pretty common that runners who come in tend to avoid lifting because they believe it will immediately make them “big.” This false understanding by many stunt their progress. Steph’s progress has been incredible and she is a pleasure to have in class. She is always looking to improve and work on a new skill. I can wait to see her ripping through kipping pull-ups soon. I know that’s a goal of hers and I’ve seen her knock out a bunch of strict pull-ups. Time to put the pieces together and achieve another goal!
Once again, Congratulations Steph!

Written by: Coach Rob Moloney

How long have you been a member and how long have you been doing CrossFit?
I started Crossfit for the first time and have been a member at Island Park for roughly 6 months.

What is your favorite thing about the gym?
My favorite thing about the gym is the community. Even though I've started recently, everyone has been so welcoming and encouraging and I think thats why I've made the most progress. The guidance from Coaches and encouragement from members push you and challenge you to do better in each workout. I look forward to going to the gym everyday and am motivated by the potential for improvement.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome since joining the gym?
It may sound weird but the biggest challenge which I am still working on is overcoming barbell/weightlifting movements. Now I know that is most of Crossfit, but I remember telling Rob how unnatural the barbell movements felt when I started the elements class. I've always loved fitness, running and going to the gym but never performed weightlifting in this way. I was so used to bodyweight exercises or lower weight and a million reps but I see so much more progress with these types of workouts. I have become significantly more comfortable with the barbell but still have a lot to work on. For example,I am not very good friends with snatches and overhead squats they are still pretty intimidating for me.

What is your favorite moment at the gym so far? 
That's a tough one but looking at everything as a whole I think progress is my favorite. My body feels so much stronger from when I started 6 months ago and I've noticed these small improvements which I never really felt before I joined Crossfit. Specifically, I was pretty excited when I did a handstand push up for the first time. Also progress of others. That PR board is pretty full at the end of each month which is really encouraging to see

What's your favorite "cheat" food?
Oh Boy. I love chocolate ice cream. Also love cookie dough. Also love pizza.. and bagels. But I try to be good haha

What would you say to someone who is thinking about starting?
Do it! I actually considered doing Crossfit about three years ago but was discouraged by others who thought Crossfit wasn't good for you so I never started. For 3 years I went back and forth about joining and never did until this past summer. Don't listen to what everyone else has to say, go for it!

What drives you?
What drives me the most is that there is always room for improvement.

What is you biggest fitness goal right now?
My biggest fitness goal right now is kipping pull ups. I am hoping to get those down in the next couple of months after working on our strict strength.