September 2019 Athlete of the Month - Ali O'Mahony

Honoring Ali with Athlete of the Month has been long time coming. Consistent pursuit to become a better athlete, person, husband, wife, brother, friend, etc is what our overall goal is at CrossFit Island Park. We truly believe that through fitness, creating good healthy habits, keeping those habits and sharing our positive results, we can slowly change the current norm. Ali is a prime example of what we look for in our ideal member. Not only has she developed as an athlete and continuously looks to improve, but she does it with the best of intentions and for the right reasons. Humility and gratitude are two big attributes she possesses and I appreciate that. There are a few things Ali talks about in the paragraph below as well as the Q&A and I think we all can relate to at least one of them. She came to this gym with prior injuries. She has been smart and took the slower path to correct these and/or strength areas of weakness so that she can keep doing what she enjoys. Next, Ali was a college soccer player. A number of our members played sports competitively growing up. You may not know it unless you talk to others about it. These former high school and college athletes will always have that competitive nature and drive to succeed. The third thing is what motivates Ali.
Her friends, family and husband are her key motivators. That is awesome! Her husband Bobby lives with a very serious genetic disorder that makes breathing difficult. Her attitude with her own health and support to improve her husband’s is something special. We don’t see care as often as we should. Unhealthy habits have become the norm for society. Let’s be more like Ali and be conscious of the health of our loved ones.

Written by: Coach Rob Moloney

”First, I just want to say that I am honored to be athlete of the month. I never thought I could make it this far with all of the hip and knee injuries in the past and I am truly excited and look forward to seeing how far I can go. There are so many tremendous athletes that attend this gym and I believe that is a reflection of the coaches. Second, Crossfit Island Park is more than just a gym for me. It is my safe place when I have a bad day, it is the highlight of my day, and I can be myself and push my limits there. I attribute this mainly to the coaches and people because they are always cheering you on and always have your back.  Lastly, this place has transformed me as a person both physically and mentally. Between going to Acupuncture with Nikki and getting treated by Jeremy, I have a better understanding of my overall well being and now know how to keep myself mentally and physically healthy. Special shout out to Jeremy for helping me in my pursuit to join the NYPD force.”

- Ali O’Mahony


Why you started Crossfit?
It is a difficult thing when you reach the end of your college sports career and realize you have a ton of free time and no team to be a part of. College sports take up every minute of your spare time, so when my soccer career ended, I knew I had to find something to replace it that would also fill my competitive void and need for being part of a team. I have tried regular gyms, they never did it for me, I have even tried other Crossfit gyms and they never seemed to fit either.  

What’s your background? (Athletic)
Growing up I played a few sports including soccer, swimming, basketball, and softball. After a while soccer became my sport of choice and I ended up playing all throughout college. I am innately competitive and I love being part of a team. 

How long have you been a member and how long have you been doing CrossFit?
I have been a member at CrossFit Island Park since September 2017 and I have been doing CrossFit since 2014. 

What is your favorite thing about the gym?
The people and coaches. From the start, I felt comfortable with the coaches because I could tell they had my best interest at heart and not everything was about ‘going heavier’. As for the people, the friends I have made at this gym are genuine caring people who motivate me every day and they are part of the reason I look forward to coming to class every day. I also have to mention that I was very excited when the 7pm fitness classes were added every day.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome since joining the gym?
The biggest challenge I have overcome since joining the gym was my joint pain. Soccer left me with some injuries (hip and ACL surgeries – typical soccer injuries) which in turn left me a bit fearful of working out. Before joining Crossfit Island Park, I made sure to always go light on weights because I knew I would end up hurting my back, hip, etc. I actually began going to see Jeremy before even joining the gym. After working a few months with Jeremy, I realized the exercises he gave me were also incorporated into the CrossFit workouts. This immediately sold me on joining. Since then, with the help of Jeremy and Nikki (for acupuncture), I have been able to keep my pain in check, I have overcome my fear of getting hurt and have actually increased my strength more in the last 2 years than ever before. I have never felt better in my life.

What is your favorite moment at the gym so far?
The moment that sticks out most for me is when I first achieved double unders. We were practicing them before our workout and all of the sudden I realized I was stringing them together and I could not believe it. I was so excited and then realized I then had to do them for the WOD (that was a tough one).

What's your favorite "cheat" food?
Bagels, pasta and pizza. I wouldn't necessarily call these my cheat foods but more like my favorite foods; all in moderation.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about starting?
Just do it, you will not regret it. It may seem overwhelming at first, but the people and coaches make you feel comfortable immediately.

What drives you?
My family and friends. Some of you may already know this, but my husband has Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that damages the lungs and makes it hard to breathe. Every time I get out there, I remind myself of how lucky I am to be able to breathe and workout and I never take that for granted. I also believe working out is key to keeping the mind and body healthy.

What is you biggest fitness goal right now?
My goal every time I workout is to get even just a little bit better, whether it be running a second faster on a mile or adding 5 lbs to my step ups, it all pays off in the end.
As for a specific goal, I would love to try and overcome my fear of being upside down so that I could do handstand pushups.