Sunday, October 28, 2012 – Athlete Profile: Catherine Merrow
Athlete Profile: Catherine Merrow
1. In general, what is your background?
I was born and raised in Maine and received my undergrad degree from the Univ. of Maine Farmington in English and Art. I’ve been in Charleston since 2008. To be completely honest I was not very active until I started at Integrity. I wanted to be, but I guess I didn’t know how/where to start. I was not encouraged to do any kind of “sport” due to a childhood injury so the extent of my athleticism was scorekeeper for the Soccer and Basketball team in 8th grade. After that I changed my focus to more introverted things. I spent more time in the studio, writing, researching, or helping with set design in the theatre department.
2. Age, Occupation?
I am 29 and an Administrative Assistant at the College of Charleston (CofC) as well as a part-time Grad. student at CofC in the MPA program.
3. How did you get to know about CrossFit and why did you start?
I originally started CrossFit because I had been asking my husband for months to join a gym with me so I’d have “motivation” to workout. I have a guilty pleasure of watching the Biggest Loser and would see how teams of two or more motivated and encouraged each other to lose weight and to get healthy. We completed the bridge run together in 2010, but I wanted to do more. He wasn’t really interested in joining a globo gym, but he kept talking about his co-worker who attended a box. I agreed to come on a Saturday morning since it was something he was interested in and we could do together. That was in March 2011 and I’ve been coming ever since. The funny thing is that due to our schedules we barely attend together during the week.
4. How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?
CrossFit has changed everything about my life, lifestyle, and fitness level. I’m definitely stronger than I’ve ever been and I look forward to getting stronger a little more each day. I feel accomplished when I wake up sore. I’m more conscious about what I eat and what I do to be active. I’ve dabbled in Yoga classes and most recently tried out a few Spinning classes to find new ways to be stronger. I am anxious to see what workout will be posted and feel disappointed if I can’t make a class. I remember when I first started I could only handle one class a week, then two, and now I typically attend five days a week. I am not the fastest, but I know that I am working harder than I’ve ever worked before.
CrossFit has also made me think more about the word “athlete” and what that means. I had always associated the word with someone who had been training since they were young and who went to national and regional competitions. Someone who went to the Olympics and I knew that was not me. While all this can be true, an athlete is also someone who is pushing themselves to be better and there is no cut-off age limit or restrictions. You can start anytime. In reality the only limitation is yourself. I’m so glad I walked through that door on an early Saturday morning to several rounds of knee push-ups, air-squat that didn’t pass 90, and abmat sit-ups. I had never dreamed of considering myself an “athlete” and, well, now I do.
5. Name one goal and/or personal record you would like to accomplish through CrossFit?
I have lots. I don’t have one. Getting double-unders, conquering my fear of heights (the rope), and getting more comfortable with OHS. I also want to deadlift more (300lbs?).
6. Favorite CrossFit moment so far?
How about favorite moments? First time I got up on the wall to do a handstand hold, my first pull-up with Lindsay (we both did the happy dance), Rxing Helen, and deadlifting 245. Jamie can attest I did the happy dance after that one, too.
7. What do you like most about CrossFit Integrity?
The community and the coaches of course. I always feel encouraged to be better and to push a little harder. CrossFit is a personal journey and it helps to be surrounded by others also on the same path.
I’ve also come to appreciate the lack of air conditioning and the warehouse feel of the box. The first couple of workouts in typical Charleston heat/humidity were brutal and suffocating. The atmosphere itself makes you embrace being uncomfortable and pushing yourself to get through a hard workout.
8. Favorite WOD?
I have a special place in my heart for Helen. She’s the first HERO wod I Rx’d. On 5/22/12 I finished in 15:02 and on 10/8/12 I finished in 14:22. I’m looking forward to shaving more time off this PR.
9. Least favorite WOD?
Anything with wallballs or running
10. Favorite movement?
Deadlifts, KB swings, and pull-ups
11. Least favorite movement?
Wallballs, overhead squats, and running
12. Favorite place to eat in Charleston?
There are so many great places in Charleston. I love Husk, Fat Hen, Five Loaves, and the Glass Onion to name a few. I enjoy places that support local agriculture. I’m always looking for new places to try!
CrossFit Integrity, Charleston, SC