Amy Cleary – Member of the Month

The following is an email from Amy we received a few months back which demonstrates the heart that she has shown us since she has walked in the door and the amazing progress she continues to make due to her comittment toward her fitness and well being.  She even recently completed her first sprint triathalon!… 

Amy, Goose,

I was exchanging emails with some of my 6am CFS friends yesterday (it was really a chain about finding a good paleo chicken salad recipe and tequila = great combo, right? Ha!) and shared with them some of my post wod thoughts from yesterday. They all responded saying that I needed to share with you as well! God knows this THANK YOU is certainly long overdue!

Tuesday night was a late night for me, and when the alarm went off on Wednesday morning- I wanted to take a rest day- but I didn’t. I showed up and the only reason I actually went in is because I committed to meeting the girls at 6am- and Leases in particular (who no-showed- which I have given her a lot of hell for). J I believe my comment to them was “no excuses, I will be there”- and so I was.

Anyway, glad I went. Really glad.

I think you have all heard my story of that fateful first time I did a WOD in Orange with Berretta?! I am fairly certain I have shared it with you all- because it kept me from going to classes in Orange and is what initiated my fear of box jumps back in the day. Well, it was almost a year ago- and I believe it was the week of the Regionals and you were only offering classes in Orange because of a scaled back staff. (or it could have been you were leaving for the Games- don’t completely recall because I didn’t even know what the regionals/games/etc. were back then!) I remember that my parents were in town and staying with me- so I had the day off of work and decided to go to a later class that morning. Anyway- the WOD was 5 rounds, 400 meter runs, and way too many wall balls & box jumps. I didn’t remember it being called “Kelly” (again, I probably didn’t understand the names back then)- but I remember the WOD vividly. I struggled the entire way through. People were finished 15 minutes before I did- and I didn’t even finish in the time cap. Berretta stuck with me through my final round of wall balls and then again on my box jumps (btw, I was jumping on the irrigation boxes back then). In that final round- I walk up to the box jumps and Berretta lets me know that the clock is going to go off- but that he wants me to finish- so I agree. There are now about 4 or 5 REALLY FIT girls standing around, that I have never met- and to this day couldn’t tell you who they are/were… they were cheering me on, encouraging me to finish. About 5-10 jumps from being finished, I “trip” on the box, but catch myself. About 2 jumps after that- I literally fall over the box (the little irrigation box- which at the time was so scary to me) and fall on the floor. I get up- complete the final few box jumps and complete the workout. The “fit girls” all congratulate me and go on to tell me that falling off the box and getting bruises is a badge of honor in CrossFit and they have all done it. They were clearly trying to make me feel better about my performance (which I did appreciate!). I walked out of Southie Orange and about 25 meters from my car, I felt the tears building and the lump in my throat and I ran to the safety of my car before I started to cry. It wasn’t sad- I promise… (well, maybe a little). I cried from sheer exhaustion, total humiliation, a myriad of other overwhelming feelings and complete acceptance/realization that I was SO out of shape and that this CF thing I started was going to change that- and change my life.

On Tuesday night, when I read the post for Wednesday’s WOD- “Kelly”- it really didn’t dawn on me that it was that same workout I struggled with so much just a year ago or so! Wednesday morning as we were getting ready for the workout- a few of us were chatting about what our plan was. Were we going to scale? If so- to what point? Then Celeste just belts out, “I am going to go for it!”. That was all I needed to hear- she just committed to going for it and so was I. It was as if she challenged me personally. Well- as we were wrapping up the workout Wednesday morning- Celeste was coming in from her 5th 400 meter run while the rest of the 6am class had completed the workout- and the clock was running out of time. It was really then that it dawned on me that this was that same WOD that could have easily been my excuse for never returning to CFS again. Everyone gathering around Celeste this morning reminded me so much of that day… the difference is she knew all of us. (and I am fairly certain she didn’t cry in her car afterwards! Ha!)

If it hadn’t been for Berretta’s encouragement to finish the workout that day (and the fact that he made me believe I could and would), or the “fit girls” who didn’t really know me taking an interest in me and my ability to finish the wod, or the fact that you guys (Amy & Goose) remembered my name from DAY 1 (which made me think you guys had some microchip put in my head without my knowing so it scanned as I walked through the door)- and took interest in my challenges and successes- I am not sure I would have returned. Since then I have certainly had numerous other humbling experiences that I could on to thank the many other CFS coaches and members for helping me through.

Wednesday morning definitely kicked my a$$, but it was also a great feeling to be able to finish it, under the time cap and Rx. AND, I am so glad that on those days I am struggling through a WOD- I have made good friends who know me and are there to cheer me on through the end- and help give me that extra push to “go for it!”.

You guys- along with all the other coaches have really created something special at CFS! Thank you for all that you and the rest of the CFS coaches do. Because of the genuine interest and care each coach and member of CFS have for the community- it is a place you can’t help but love being a part of.



More from Amy on receiving the Member of the Month….

First of all- thank you so much for honoring me with Member of the Month! I cannot say enough how thankful and appreciative I am for all that you both do to make CFS the community that it is! Looking back at the last year or so- I can think of a moment that each and every coach and specific members have helped push me to be better, go further, and challenge myself (and pick me back up and get right back at it when I fail and fall! J). My life has changed a lot since joining CrossFit Southie- in a way that I don’t think can ever be reversed. I have been pretty focused on my career for a long time- and while focusing on that success- I allowed my personal health and fitness to take a back seat. I realized that with CrossFit and your guidance that I needed to make my health- fitness and nutrition- a priority. You guys make me feel like a priority every single day that I show up- and in turn it has encouraged me to do the same for myself. While I am still a work in progress- I think the biggest compliment I have received from family and friends outside of CFS is that I have become an inspiration to them. What bigger compliment can you receive than be told you are an inspiration? So- in turn, I would like to thank the two of you (Amy and Goose) and the rest of the CFS community for continuing to inspire me every day!

How did you get involved in CrossFit?  What was your first WOD/experience?

I had heard about it from a co-worker after asking her what she was doing- since I had seen a drastic change in her.  I checked out CF Southie during an early morning intro session with a friend of mine. For about a week after the intro session I couldn’t walk down the stairs properly, sit down or get out of a chair- let alone sit down on the toilet without the assistance of the wall or handicap rail. I believe that intro session consisted of box jumps (on the electrical box) and some type of barbell movement with the pvc pipe.

I wrote to Chris and Amy the next day- thanking them for the intro and telling them I would be signing up and joining! All that pain only confirmed how out of shape I was- and how much I needed to make a change in my current exercise routine.

I am sure we have all seen the saying, “your workout is my warm up”. Well, for about the first couple of months- I felt like the CFS warm up was my workout and complete torture!

When did you start coming to CrossFit Southie?

May 2011

Is this the first CrossFit you’ve worked out at / how long have you been CrossFitting for?

It is the first CF I have worked out at- and I have been a regular member for about 15 months now! I started out with 2 days/week and by January 2012- I became a full time member. I now CF 5 days a week and go to yoga with Steph on Sundays!

When did you realize that CrossFit was right for you?

I feel like I am reminded every day that it is right for me. There have been so many moments over the past year. The support and encouragement from all the coaches on a daily basis, the friendships I have made with different people at CFS, or when I first started eating paleo and people kept telling me I looked like I was “glowing”, or the reaction from people that I got (and still get) when I had not seen them in a long time, or just the way it has made me feel- both on the inside and the outside. Also, I was a competitive athlete growing up and through college- I had no idea how much I missed the idea of a team and competition in an athletic environment until I joined CFS.
What are you short-term and long-term CrossFit goals?

Short term: 300# deadlift, red band pull ups in a wod/one unassisted pull up

Long term: compete in a local competition, unassisted pull ups in a wod, just staying committed to showing up and doing the work!

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Making my health a priority.  The CFS coaches, members, family and my friends outside of CFS and those I have made at CFS have really helped encourage and support me in my goals not only during the workouts, on the platform, etc. – but also in overall health.

What is your favorite / least favorite WOD/movement?

Favorite: lifting heavy stuff. J

Least favorite: sprints/running, box jumps- I am still terrified of them!
What do you do for a profession outside of CrossFit?

I am a Senior Director of Operations for an IT Media company- and have a pretty amazing team of people who work for/with me. They have become very interested in my lifestyle and have been really supportive. This past birthday- the 6 managers who report to me chipped in and bought me some CF shirts (their personal favorite is the one that reads: “I like it hard and fast”- which I haven’t had the courage to wear yet!) and a lululemon gift card!
What are your hobbies outside of CrossFit?

I love to cook, shop, and travel and spend time with friends and family! I also have a dog- Cal- who I can often be seen walking/running around Southie with on the weekends!
Do you eat Paleo or Zone?  What is your favorite paleo/non-paleo meal?

I eat paleo- at least 80-90% of the time! My favorite paleo meal changes by the day… I pretty much LOVE anything from Juli Bauer’s blog cracks me up and her recipes do not disappoint!

Favorite non-paleo meal is probably homemade, buttered popcorn and my Nonno’s homemade raviolis!
Fun fact?

I ran my first 5k in December 2011 with some fellow CF friends, by early March I had been convinced by CF friends to participate in the Ragnar Relay… ran my first 10k in early April as prep for the relay… and I just completed my first sprint tri Labor Day weekend out in CA with my sister. The goal for the sprint tri was to not drown- and cross the finish line with my sister. Both goals were accomplished!

Banded Deadlift

5 Rounds
10 Handstand push-ups
10 Alternating Pistols
10 pull-ups