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21-15-9 Reps for time of:
Deadlift 225/155
Handstand Push-Ups

There is a 12 minute cap on this workout.

Post time and Rx to comments.
compare to 2.16.13

November 2013 Athlete of the Month: Joy Mele

I was fortunate to sit down with Joy recently to pick her brain about her past, her Long Island accent, her injuries, and her uncanny ability to show up time and time again for 6 am classes under all circumstances. I learned a lot about her that I hope you enjoy hearing about as well. My favorite part was that we decided to meet over a bourbon (or two?) ...and that I wasn’t punched in the face in my least favorite third avenue bar.

Fox - So let’s start where we always start these things...When and how did you first find CrossFit?

Joy - It was summer 2011, so just over 2 years ago. Jess and you actually taught my foundations cycle and I think it was Jess’ first one. I’m really not sure how exactly I heard about CrossFit, probably online somewhere. I’d been doing a bootcamp and Pilates and was looking for a different challenge, and I definitely found it with CrossFit.. I took a teaser with David and signed up right away.

Fox - You got to experience firsthand the early dynamics of Jess and I working together! We’re really glad you stayed anyway ;) You said you were looking for a different type of challenge. What about CrossFit South Brooklyn appealed to you and has kept you involved?

Joy - I really liked the atmosphere of the gym from the start, the feel, the people, and the types of movements that we do. Weightlifting, and weight training in general, was new to me. I remember in my teaser and then in Foundations watching regular classes going on and being excited that I was going to be doing that stuff soon. I used to go to the YMCA and would take classes there but I was never involved. I mean that to say that I would go to the gym and take my class and leave without any real interaction at all. The experience at CFSBK is entirely different. I get coached, I get stronger, I learn new things, and I meet a lot of great people in the process.

Fox - That’s always good to hear, that people feel the value of their experience here. You mention meeting great people and you seem to be pretty active in the community and social events that surround CFSBK. Can you talk a bit about that?

Joy - It’s pretty easy to be attracted to a fun, bright, diverse community such as we have here. I like that we can talk about CrossFit, but also not talk about CrossFit. I really enjoy being at and helping out at gym events for a few reasons. For one, I think it’s important to support all aspects of this place. It fosters cohesiveness among our different sub-populations. I get to meet people from the Strength program when I come to a Total, competitive CFers when I volunteer at a competition, and even chat with members who are solely private training clients. I really enjoy those interactions. For another, I’ve met some people who’ve become close friends. A few of us from the gym get together for Sunday Suppers, and I recently visited Corbett (who moved away from NYC for a while) down in North Carolina. Corbett is doing very well, by the way.

Fox - There’s a lot to get out of a gym like ours other than what happens in classes, and I think you’re a great example of that. Speaking of that, lets hear a bit about you outside of the gym.

Joy - Well, I’m the Korean born daughter of Irish-Italian-Greek parents and was raised in Massapequa, Long Island. So yes, I was adopted. My older sister Donna also lives here in Brooklyn. So I’m a native New Yorker and a Long Island girl, hence the accent. I went to Fordham University in the Bronx, and then to CUNY Law and am currently working in labor law as a union side lawyer. After college and before law school I spent a year living and working at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. I had a yearning to live in a non-urban environment outside of NY and to do meaningful volunteer work.  I satisfied both things that year. I taught Montessori pre-school and kindergarten and was a school bus driver. I still maintain some of the relationships I developed there and hold that place dear to my heart. Even though it was nothing like the romanticized notions people have about Native American life, there’s an incredibly rich sense of tradition and pervasive humor that the people interject into life on the reservation.

Fox - Sounds like an amazing experience! Native New Yorker, huh? I knew there was something I liked about you off the bat. How about hobbies outside of CrossFit? What do you do to relax?

Joy - I’m a big foodie, so I like to try new restaurants with friends and also cook at home. Sundays are a big food prep day for mer. Like most people, I also like to travel. My favorite trip so far has to be the two weeks I spent in Spain in 2001. Such great people and food! This summer I traveled around Colorado visiting Ouray, the ice climbing capital of the world, and Telluride.  

Fox - Spain is definitely on my short list of places to visit. I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up your history of injury and your perseverance in training through them. Foot, arm, how did you keep at it?

Joy - Yeah, those experiences actually furthered my love for this place. When I had the stress fracture in my foot I was able to train five time a week almost right away. David wrote me a program that would keep me progressing and keep me in the gym and everyone including the coaches was so supportive and helped me with space and equipment throughout those 11 weeks. Then there was the spiral fracture of my humerus and another 11-12 weeks of alternate programming. The x-ray tech at Methodist was horrified at the break but even in the ER I was discussing with Corbett and Michele (who were with me) my rehab workout program.  Granted there were some drugs administered at that point but still...I never really doubted that I’d be back in the gym in no time. It was a natural and comforting thought.

Fox - Amazing. I’ve definitely used you and others who train through injury to put a little fire in someone else’s training. Like, “if they can train in a boot with a broken foot, you can probably finish your last set of squats and work on your double unders”. Cheers to you for being so positive about setbacks. Last stock question: What do you think we should look for in a future AOM?

Joy - A willingness and enthusiasm to learn. Someone who respects members but also respects the space itself. Things like putting away equipment where it belongs, cleaning up after yourself or someone else, and helping maintain order are all important in my opinion. Also someone who gets that CFSBK is about more than what you pay for, i.e. the classes, programming, and coaching. It’s about things like the Memorial Day Murph barbecue, the Tough Titsday meet, Competition Class, private clients, Strength Cycle...it’s about all those things even if you’re not participating directly in them.

Fox - Thanks so much Joy, for meeting up with me. You’ve just won a special place in the entire staff’s heart for that comment about keeping order in the gym, I ensure you!

On Being A Trainer with Greg Glassman CrossFit
Gymnastics Balance Beam Evolution 50s-2010s

References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: dr andrew ting
    Crossfit South Brooklyn - Workout of the Day - "Diane"
  • Response
    Response: bradley kurgis
    Crossfit South Brooklyn - Workout of the Day - "Diane"

Reader Comments (57)

YAY! Congrats Joy!!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindstar

Congrats Joy!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Oh, and I forgot: Pine Ridge? Wow.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Congrats Joy!

On a unfortunate, but thematically appropriate, side note, I completely tore my right PCL while playing football a week ago. Dr. says I don't need surgery based on the amount of tibial translation and that I should try to maintain strength and recover range of motion and stability.

Who should I talk to about a modified program to help with recovery?
Thanks, in advance!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan G.


November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCloyde

Rock. Star. That is all.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTom

a most excellent choice there cfsbk. joy's da bomb!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMcGrath

Great choice! We'll raise a glass to you Joy!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

J to the izz-O
Y to the izz-A.O.M.

Congrats! Perfect choice. The embodiment of all that is righteous and righteous about CFSBK.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Joy....Rock on!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert F.

Congrats, Joy!!!!! Well-deserved!

Joy brings out the best in other people. She's a great bar partner, motivator and friend. You rock, Joy!!!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca C

JOY! Well played lady!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStella


November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJB

Fierce, Joy! You were a friendly face this morning at my first 6am class. Much appreciated. :)
And with that...

6am class:
Warm up- wall kick ups. for the first time really starting to figure out how to stay up not using the wall but using my hands and hips to maintain balance and re-calibrate. Running first thing in the morning
1st Diane-
85 deadlift- should have gone heavier probably.
Piked box push-ups.

Thanks for making 6am fun!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElena Y

Yea Joy!! Congrats!!!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeccaWolf


November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy and Willie

Awesome choice. Congrats Joy!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRickke


November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJosue

Congrats Joy. Well deserved!!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPierre Davidoff

Congratulations Joy! You radiate quiet strength every time I talk to you. That's what I would expect from a fellow Fordham graduate!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Yay, Joy! Perfect AOTM choice. I distinctly recall one of the first group classes I attended: Joy came up and introduced herself and made CFSBK a friendly place for me.

6am with Nick and McDowell. Diane Rx: 12:28. Had only 1 HSPU left at the 12min cap and decided to finish it off. Ugh, HSPUs were not happy today. Yesterday's push presses combined with today's high rep deadlifts left both my arms and my kip weak.That said, this was a 3min PR from the last time I did Diane.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Congratulations Joy!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKH

Well deserved, Ms. Mele

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJBlock

Joy is such a worthy and awesome AOM! Congratulations, Joy!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterD-Turn

Joy is such a worthy and awesome AOM! Congratulations, Joy!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterD-Turn

Another awesome choice for AOM.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterk2h2

Oh I want on the Joy train - YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!! The gym and all side events (especially totals) would never be the same with out you. I am holding up imaginary Lambrusco in your honor!

Training going well over here - getting the Crash B's program helps a bunch to keep a program goal in mind and found a squat rack so happy to being doing that. Sunday CF work out was
Squat 160x5x3 25 meter walking lunch, run 400m, 10 thrusters, 20 weighted sit-ups, 10 KB swings, 15 pull downs for 3 rounds.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMel

First off. Great choice for AOM! Proud that a fellow 6am-er made the cut! Speaking of...

6am with McDowell and Nick.
The last time we did Diane the substitution for handstand push ups was dumbell presses.So this was a very different work out for me. Went lighter on the deadlifts at 185# because I wanted to keep them moving knowing I would be struggling with the handstand push ups.

I did the HSPUs strict with two abmats. I want to learn how to kip them but it looks like a very violent ungraceful movement and I am pretty intimidated by that.

Finished at 9:13. I think I could have gone heavier on the deadlifts.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMattyChm

Congrats Joy!!!!!!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave Fung

Yes ma'am!!! And from experience, never, NEVER challenge Joy to a Whiskey AMRAP. You will lose.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCorbett

Congrats Joy! I admire your persevering and killer scar, and wish you many injury free workouts from this day forward.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercrystal



Joy you are the best. Congrats.

6am with Nick and McDowell
Diane with #185 and two ab mats, 12:29

HSPUs seemed to be going well until the very end. Like Peter I had one rep left at 12:00 and decided to try to get it in, but I had to make like 3 attempts. Having Joy cheering me on for that last rep helped of course.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex C

Congrats to you Joy! I'm so happy for you. Always an awesome crossfitters to have around you in class or out. Such a well deserved award.

Bourbon toast in the near future!

Not to shift the light too much.
Diane today was eh. The push presses from yesterday certainly impacted my hspu
Went with 205 and think ingot that weight right but the push-ups were not there today. Ifot through the 21 and 15 and started the 9 and was doing singles. Worried I would not finish before I kicked over to pikes box presses and banged them out to finish at 9:06

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W

Congrats Joy!! Joy and I have been making the 6am class for 2 plus years. She is an amazing person and asset to CFSBK!!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCP

Yay Joy!!! Congratulations!! Well deserved! You are always an amazing energy to be around x

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Congrats Joy!

You figure prominently into my early memories of CFSBK. I am surprised to read that you joined only months (or maybe weeks?) before I did. You were so welcoming and an example to me right away, and such a bad ass I thought you'd been here since inception.
Recalling your heavy single-arm kettle bell swings after your injury always helps me quit moaning about them in a work-out.

Great choice for AOTM! And I love that you drove a school bus.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Congrats Joy! You're an OG-TFBA!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

JOY!!!!!! Fabulous choice for AOTM. And I love that she pulled out our global lurkers--Mel in Nigeria, Corbett in North Carolina, McGrath in Ireland. A united nations of love for Joy!

See you tomorrow at 6am :-)

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Yay Joy! Boo Diane!

Joy's the heart and soul of the 6am class. Very well deserved aotm.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBetz

Joy to the WOD!!!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterInka

Hooray, Joy!! And I didn't know you were a Fordham grad - me, too. :)

Belated congrats to everyone who ran yesterday's race!! Marathon day is my favorite of the year in NYC - I was a bit regretful that I was on the non-running side of the tape, but maybe next year.

Was excited to see Rob and Fraisier pass by at Union and 4th, though I think that both of them were too busy kicking butt to recognize me maniacally yelling my head off.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

Awesome, Joy! I always love seeing your happy, smiling (or sometimes tired, cranky) face at the 6 a.m. class. You rock.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Katz

Joy! Congrats.

Great choice, management.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKMo

Joy!! Could not be a better pick. Joy truly does exude the CSFBK spirit through and through. I can personally say that you have inspired me and been so supportive since I joined!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAsha

that gymnastics video is amazing. the gymnasts get smaller and younger and the moves get crazier and crazier.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte


November 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermichele

10 am class

Diane Rx'd (with strict. MANstand push ups)
40 seconds off my best time



November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Awesome choice! Congratulations Joy!

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris A.

I'm now sad and ashamed that I didn't do manstand pushups.

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Katz

Congrats Joy! We shared a bar once a while ago but what i really remember is, shortly after I started, seeing you doing group classes in a cast and thinking, "the people here are really hard-core." definitely a great choice for aotm!

I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it in tomorrow because of the election, so made today DIY Dianne day. I figured the sub for hspu would be dB press but for some reason I decided to do thrusters instead. 155# dl and 35# dbs, finished in just under 10 minutes. I really enjoyed this, was sweating and breathing pretty hard by the end. I think the thrusters made it more cardio than shoulders. Now I am going to be very very nice to my back for a while...

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpckr

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