Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Add 2.5-5 pounds to last week’s exposure.
Performance: 90% x 2, 80% x 10
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4 Rounds, AMRAP:
In 2 Minutes, row 250/200 meters
Max Thrusters 95/65
Rest 2 Minutes between rounds. Score total reps of thrusters.
Post total reps to comments.
Colleen at Fight Gone Bad last year!
- The Hoopin’ Tacos CFSBK basketball team has a game tonight at 7:45pm at John Jay. If you’re free tonight, go cheer them on!
February Athlete of the Month: Colleen Meagher
By Chris Fox
Colleen came to us a little over a year ago and would win the Most Improved Athlete award, if we had one. Humble, smart, social, and consistently eager to improve, Colleen embodies all of the attributes we like in an AOM. Sit back and enjoy learning a bit about this remarkable gal from Philly by way of Connecticut by way of Mexico.
Fox: Col, congrats on being an Athlete of the Month! Tell me first, when and how did you first learn about CrossFit?
Colleen: Thanks so much! It’s such an honor. I was visiting my sister in Dallas in January 2013, and noticed a bunch of people running around the streets in Five Fingers. I followed them in to the gym and asked a few questions. My interest was piqued enough for a Google search when I got back to Brooklyn and that lead me to CrossFit Dumbo and CFSBK. I remember liking the CFSBK blog. It was funny in a way that appealed to me, the pricing was upfront, and the steps to get started were clear. I could tell that you guys meant business about training. I signed up sight unseen for Foundations and started in February.
Fox: You coming to train with us is in my mind the best thing that those Five Fingers have ever accomplished! What was Foundations like for you, someone so new to the idea of CrossFit?
Colleen: Well, at first I was terrified! I showed up and people were dropping weights all over the place, it was a little intimidating and part of me wanted to walk right back out the door. I told myself to take it one step at a time and that if at any point I really wanted to leave I could. I had you and Arturo as my Foundations coaches and I quickly learned how much emphasis you both put on form. On deadlift day, I was afraid I’d break right in half. I’d previously had serious pain from herniated discs and was nervous about weights. After a few days when I didn’t have any of the back pain I was afraid of, I realized that CrossFit was for me. I became addicted pretty quickly and knew I had the willpower to continue. To this day, not only have I have had zero pain from previous disc issues, but pain I used to get from sitting or bending over is completely gone.
Fox: That’s great! I’m glad that we could instill confidence in you to continue and that you trusted us enough to eventually not fear the deadlift! What was your fitness path like before CFSBK? Why did you decide to make a change?
Colleen: As a kid, I did ballet and enjoyed horseback riding (which I still enjoy, although its tough in NYC). I’d been going to Crunch for 10 years or so where my fitness level had its ups and downs. I wasn’t motivated to go anymore and I wasn’t getting results. I needed something that would work and CrossFit started providing that pretty soon after I started. My workout partners are always amazing. I can’t count how many times I’ve been the last person to finish and there are five or 10 people cheering me on. No slacking when that happens! I’ve always believed that the overweight person in the gym should not be embarrassed about being there. From Foundations on, I learned that everything was scalable to my level and there would be an appropriate version of the workout for me. I was never made to feel any different, and training here reminds me of adult phys ed. Even when I’d developed some plantar fasciitis issues from doing hill sprints, I was able to learn how to deal with them. I did a private session with Arturo which helped tremendously. He introduced me to Kelly Starrett and in turn taught me how to be proactive about mobility and nagging little injuries.The social element here is powerful, too. I know people at the gym and enjoy working out with them. I really like the QOD and the coaches are all pretty funny. One of my favorite things is the “What Not To Do” demo that sometimes happens before a lift of workout.
Fox: A fun part of the job for me (and I’m sure for the rest of my fellow coaches as well) has always been the little sort of stand-up comedy routine we get to play out in classes. It can ease anxiety sometimes, I think. How about you outside of the gym—where are you from and what do you enjoy outside of the gym?
Colleen: I was born in Philly, went to elementary school in Connecticut, and middle and high schools in Mexico City. I love Mexico City and love to visit still. I moved to NYC in 1991 to attend FIT, although I don’t currently work in fashion. I’m the oldest of five siblings who are all scattered across the place with the exception of one sister who lives here in NYC. I’m pretty simple, I suppose. I live in Brooklyn Heights with my two cats, Miko and Bronwyn, who are my steady Hulu-watching buddies. I’m into The Daily Show, The Colbert Report (sniff, sniff), Ru Paul’s Drag Race, American Ninja Warrior, mostly light stuff that gives me a laugh. I’m a vegan and really would like to learn to cook and prepare foods but my current apartment has no kitchen! I’m on the lookout for a new housing situation so hopefully I can start working on that soon, as I’m in the process of buying my first place.
Fox: A while back, you made myself and in turn the rest of the coaching staff aware of some health concerns you were dealing with. Would you like to share that here?
Colleen: In fact, I would be grateful to share. On April 14 of 2014, I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Luckily there was no lymph involvement, but working out to save my life has taken on new meaning for me now. I knew that I’d need to take some time off for treatment but never considered giving up on CrossFit. One of my first thoughts was “How will this affect my CrossFitting?”. I’d finally found something I could see doing long-term and here was this thing threatening to take it away, which I wouldn’t accept. My doctor advised me that the stronger I went into treatment, the better off I would be, so I trained hard leading up to then. 10 days post-surgery, I had a private session with Coach Melissa that helped my road back. Right on time, six weeks later, I began doing everything normal.
As of now, I am monitored closely and am grateful that my tests show no detectable cancer. I’ve removed all the causative factors under my control and am in fact healthier than I’ve ever been. My doctor, the chief of breast cancer surgery at a prestigious New York hospital, has asked me to write about my health and fitness transformation and commitment to a healthy lifestyle! The funny part in all of this is that I’d had a mammogram about one month before being diagnosed and been given the “all clear” and told to come back in a year. If I hadn’t been CrossFitting and losing extra weight (to date Colleen has lost 80 lbs!), I might not have noticed that mass that led me back to the doctor’s office.
So, to end this part of the story, my PSA to all the women out there is learn how to perform a self exam! I’m happy to talk in person to anyone interested about all of this as well. It’s been quite the journey.
Fox: It’s a very moving story, and one that I really appreciate you sharing with us. You’re what we at CFSBK would call a TFBA! Anything else you’d like us to know about you, in the gym or out?
Colleen: Well, my last name is actually pronounced “maher,” unlike its spelling might indicate. Considering myself an “athlete” who trained alongside all these other athletes clad in spandex and otherwise was a turning point for me. Once I stopped working toward weight loss and instead toward performing better, the weight started dropping. Can I share my newest gym achievements and goals? I can do hollow rocks, full burpees, banded pull-ups and strict push-ups. I can squat over 115 pounds now, so I’m looking for more there and I can go for a run without having to think twice about it. I’d still like to be able to do more strict push-ups, I can link three, going for four! And to link double unders together.
Fox: For some reason I have no doubt that you’ll achieve those goals and be on to new ones in no time. Last thing—what should we look for in a future AOM?
Colleen: Someone who sticks with it, even if you’re older or heavy or limited somehow. Someone who thinks about what they do outside of the gym as well! And all the advanced people who inspire all the newer athletes each day to be better. Thanks again!
Huge thanks to you, Colleen, for being a part of our little community and for being an inspiration to many of us. We look forward to seeing you get those push ups, and down the road pull ups, and to squatting 200 lbs for the first time as well!