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Rest Day

"Small You Are. Lift You Must," says Meredith's shirt. Small she is and lift she does. Read on to learn more about Meredith, aka "Megadeath"

Better Know A Memeber: Meredith Riley

Welcome back to a newish feature on the CFSBK blog, Better Know a Member! (The name is a play on an old Stephen Colbert segment, Better Know a District.) You all love Underneath the Hoodie and Behind the Desk, and now, in a similar vein, we'll be profiling members from across the CFSBK community. In our previous installment, we introduced you to Frank H. Today it's time to meet Meredith R.!

Name (and any nicknames): Meredith, Mer, Mer Bear, and (very occasionally) Megadeath

Where were you born and where did you grow up? Born and raised in Patchogue, NY. (Coincidentally, same home town as the one and only Murph, though our high school was not named for him back then.) My Mom's family is all from South Brooklyn, though, so this feels more like home than any other place I’ve lived. 

Since college, those other places include Massachusetts, DC, NYC, the UK, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

How long have you been CrossFitting, and how did you arrive at CFSBK? About a year-and-a-half. As a long-time runner, I'd been getting strength and cross-training through a neighborhood bootcamp class until it went defunct while I was abroad for a summer interning at the UN in Geneva. Another student there mentioned she was going to try out crossfit, and I was curious. A friend had been going to CFSBK and a few bootcampers had defected there, so I decided to tag along for the month. This other student neglected to mention that she’d been an officer in the Australian army while earning her first law degree (that was a material fact, Abby!), but we both survived. Then I signed myself up here and never looked back.   


What are you up to when you're not at 597 Degraw Street? Mostly law school. It's pretty time-consuming. (But within that, I've been co-chair of Law Women, was in our global justice clinic, and am on the board of the international law journal and the student bar association.)

What's the first movie you ever loved? Going to have to be cliche here and say Star Wars. See photo above.

You have friends or family coming to visit from out of town. What  do you take them to do in NYC? Totally depends on the person, occasion, and season. It's a great big wonderful city out there

Favorite and least favorite lifts: Favorite: Clean and Jerks, because they’re fun. Also Deadlifts, because they’re useful. Least favorite: Snatches. I can’t tell you how long I avoided Dnatch day

Any advice for new CFSBKers? Yes. First, everything will be weird and you will regularly feel like you have no idea what you’re doing and occasionally wonder why you’re doing it. That’s good. When I started Foundations, I had never touched a barbell before in my life. My whole fitness identity was wrapped up in being a runner/rower/hiker/climber/outdoors things/cardio person, not a beefy meathead who just lifted things up and put them back down. The idea of lifting seemed so absurd that when it came time to actually pick the barbell up, I laughed. Out loud. In front of lots of other people. Then I remembered that that was actually what I was there for, and picked the goddamn thing up and put it back down. It’s so strange to think about that now, because I've done that thousands of times and have come to genuinely love that bar. It seemed so weird and now it’s one of my favorite things in the world. So, sometimes things will seem absurd. Sometimes they are (Handstands? Handstands plus Push-Ups? HANDSTAND PUSH-UPS????). Just go with it. Trust your coaches, trust yourself, and it’ll all work out.

Second, don’t ever beat yourself up about things not going as planned. Figure out what went wrong, what you can do to improve on it, and have a plan for how you’re going to implement that in the next workout. Return to the beginning of this paragraph if things do not go according to plan.

Third, compare yourself to others only to better yourself, not to feel better about yourself. Nor feel worse about yourself? Everyone has their own path and neither one of those things are useful.

And last, I still consider myself “new.” Not only because my numbers are itty bitty and I still can’t properly string Double-Unders together, but because there is always more to improve on, more to learn, more to get better at, and different ways to get stronger. That’s the point. So: play the long game. This stuff only works if you’re in it for the long haul. 

Reader Comments (19)

Wednesday's Programming

Bench Press

Bench Press
1-1-1 @ 85%+

Warm up and make 3 singles at 85% or better of your 1RM. If it's feeling great then go for a new 1RM. If not hang back a bit and make three heavy reps.

Bench Press

Find a heavy 5-rep Bench Press. You should feel like you can do 2-3 more at your heaviest weight. No failing.

Post loads to comments.

LFPB Capacity Test
"Cindy, Row Your Boat"

AMRAP 10 minutes:
5 Kipping Pull-Ups
10 Push-Ups
15 Air Squats

Rest 2 minutes, then:

AMRAP 3 minutes:
Max Calories Rowed

Sub Ring Rows or Bands for Pull Ups as appropriate.

Post rounds, reps, and Rx to comments.

March 22, 2016 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio


A. Box Jumps

Even :40 reverse plank
Odd 4 wall walks

3 min max Pull ups
rest :30
3 min max hand release push ups
rest :30
3 min max box jumps

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCoach Ro

Today was the good, bad, and ugly for me...

Bench: 105x1, 115x1, 122.5x1 (PR), 125x1 (PR)
As Allie C pointed out, we are now unburdened by the pause from training for Iron Maidens. This was the good.

Half Cindy: Definitely the bad. Did a much needed shave down of the callouses Sunday after the WOD and my hands just rejected the bar. Couldn't link pull-ups together at all, which got to my head and threw my kip way off. 5 rounds + 4 pull ups Rx. This is off pace from when we did Cindy a few weeks ago. I want to repeat this later in the week. Definitely can do better (more a point of personal pride than anything for the challenge).

Row: This was the ugly. 57 calories, 4 more than originally. While happy with the number, ugly because I was just having deja vu of 16.4.

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKayleigh R

6am with McDowell and Jess

Bench: I probably had 250 or maybe even 255.

245x1 (PR)

Cindy Row Your Boat: 12 rounds + 5 pullups + 10 pushups, 55 Calories. Legs are still just dead from 16.4. I could feel it during the air squats and during the row.

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrad D

9am w/Jess

Snatch Balance
Ties and Snatch Balance PR

WOD Rx'd
15 OHS + 8 Burpee
Good thing I didn't plan to push the pace because I couldn't

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFox

7 am with Jess
Bench. This was poor planning. Lots of warmups and big jumps. Got to 100 and it was sound. Got to 105 and failed pretty low. 105 is my PR and I think it's still there.

Benchmark Cindy - with chin ups subbed for pull ups/Row
5 rounds plus 13 (arrgh - 13 not 15!!!) air squats. (Compare to 5 rounds and 6 squats in January.) The chin ups got knarly sooner than I expected. I think I only did first two rounds unbroken. I think the 4th round almost didn't happen and I panicked. 5th and into 6th were better at methodical singles.

What happened?

I'll tell you what happened...bench press! When we did this in January we had back squat on tap first. I think it make a difference.

Rowed 41 compared to 38. I was really, really winded still from the fastest squats I've ever done.

All in all, I'll take these baby steps and quote Meredith: "...there is always more to improve on, more to learn, more to get better at, and different ways to get stronger. That’s the point. So: play the long game. This stuff only works if you’re in it for the long haul."

Meredith the Wise!

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterShawn Campbell

Such good advice from Meredith! What a great write-up! Also, I love the shirt!

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterColleen M

Sage advice from CFSBKer extraordinaire MerBear!
Love Mer, loved this BKAM!

Came into this thinking it was going to be the toughest open workout so far for me and it sure was. I wasn't too concerned with the Deadlifts, but was NOT looking forward to the wall balls and row which did a fine job doing me in. Broke up the Deadlifts into 2-3 sets of 10 then some shorter sets based on feel. Wall balls were 10-10 then all 5s, much smaller sets than I thought I could tolerate. Felt horrible after wall balls and the row was no better. Was pulling in the 800's I think and could not for the life of me exert any force into the damn machine. For a bit I thought I wasn't even going to get off the erg before the 13:00 mark. Managed to at the 11:33 and got 11 HSPUs. Should have done strict as I didn't have a ton of time anyway and I'm more confident with cycling them.
So, while it was a very unpleasant experience, I'm happy that I got any, let alone 11 HSPUs. Thanks to Marc for judging and Tbone for doing it with me!

It is insane that Rich Froning finished the first round in 6:06

March 22, 2016 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Word, Meredith!

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterStella

@DO - If it makes you feel better I think 6:06 is the tiebreak time for his row?

Yea Meredith! Team All Castro Oiled Up extraordinaire!

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Breaking blog lurker-dom to say: thanks all! Proud to be a memeber! These are the things that go through my head when my bench press goes up by a whole set of 1-lb weights week after week (again). Took my own advice today and went for a very leisurely run in the park to let my back rest after pushing it to appalling lengths with 16.4 on Sunday night (who knew standing upright could be so difficult?). This is the most amazing community and I feel lucky and thankful to be a part of it!

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMer Bear

5:30 with Jeremy doing Wednesday's work
I just need to bench more

WOD 12 rounds + 1 pull up
57 calories on the row.

Don't remember how many rounds I got last time but I only got 42ish cals so that's an improvement.

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBen Lock

I really want to make this "Megadeath" thing go from "very occasionally" to "occasionally." Mer Bear is wonderful, always makes me happy to see her at the gym.

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJosh S.

I gotta shout out my fellow intramural teammate Meredith! She KILLED 16.4 on Sunday :) Lucky to be inspired by you; thanks for the great advice.

Snatch balance: 63X5, 73x3, 78f 78 -83-f
Amazing advice from Whit about the palm of my hand reaching towards the ceiling.

WOD: Round of 12 + 10 ohs @63#. I'm really not feeling competitive lately. I also called into work sick yesterday *POSITIVE* I had the flu (it was actually just a cold +16.4) Actually felt significantly better after working out tonight.

AG was lots of good practice & fun as usual. Bye!

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAllie B

I love everything about this interview. Meredith works really hard and is always fun to be around. Love you, lady!

45 x 10, 95 x 5, 135 x 5, 165 x1, 170 x 5 x 3

45 x 5, 55 x 5, 65 x 5 x 3

5:30 with Whit and Jeremy

Snatch Balance
63 x 5, 73 x 3, 83 x 1, 88 x F, 88 x 1, 93 x F,93 x 1

I don't like this and I am no good at it. But I guess I'lll keep trying.

WOD- Rx up to the round of 9 then I took some weight off and did 63# for the rest- got three burpees into the round of 15. I should have scaled from the beginning as OHS are a great weakness of mine and they were killing my wrists. I didn't put a whole lot of effort into this one- just focused on form for both movements.

Took it easy here too. Made some progress on bounding box jumps.

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Snatch, HS
317 PR

374, Failed jerk

Back Squat, HS

Did anyone see Josh Bridges do 16.4??? HQ should be embarrassed for posting that.

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

Great interview, Meredith!

Snatch balance:
63x5, 73x3, 83x1, 93x1, 103x1, 108x1 (PR match), 113x2x2F
Didn't feel confident today.

WOD Rx'd finished round of 12.
This felt terrible even after 2 rest days. I spent more time looking at the bar and whining than I did working. Shoulders felt so fatigued that I couldn't even rest the bar on my back. Plus I tweaked my neck during the snatch balances so it was smarter for me to drop the bar when breaking up sets. Hoping I feel more recovered for Cindy tomorrow.

March 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKLove

@jake. Not a single DL was done that day hahah ugh

March 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJenny m

The Josh Bridges 16.4 video is kind of unfathomable to me. How did HQ post that on the website? Did they not watch it first? Those DLs...

4:30pm workout:

WU: Banded steps, hip openers, tspine/lat smash

Clean&Jerk (kilos):
35kg : high hang clean + hang c + clean + 2 push jerk + split jerk x2
60x1x4 (80-85%)

not bad. working on not hesitating after extension and receiving in tight position.

21 Box Jump
12 Thruster 65#
2 Muscle Ups

Time: 7:55

muscle ups done unbroken, no misses, hooray!
prescribed volume was 3, but wanted to practice hitting doubles and keeping the pace up.

Did two more sets after recovering: 3 consecutive (yay), and then another double. focusing on keeping legs together and aggressive turnover. dip is still wonky on most.

March 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWhit H

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