January 2017 Member of the Month, Sarah McColley

CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our January 2017 Member of the Month, Sarah McColley! Sarah has been a member at CFM since 2013 and has become an inspiration to many in and out of the gym. Read on to learn more about Sarah and her CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!


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Name: Sarah McColley
Nickname: Sasquatch; my mom calls me Sarah-Beara. Still.
Age: 29
Hometown: New Palestine, Indiana

How did you get exposed to CrossFit? A few friends from Indiana did CrossFit temporarily, and once I realized how much I hated running “for fun,” I decided to try it. I was worried about the weightlifting component because I wasn’t experienced with it, but I got over that pretty quickly.

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown? I live and work in Midtown, and I passed by the gym one day running errands. I asked my friends about their experiences with CrossFit, scheduled my group intro class, and I joined right after class.

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like? The intro class was a good eye-opener for CrossFit and for how out of shape I was; I was sore from the Baseline for a solid 4 days. My first official WOD was Mary-Anne. I remember seeing the website, and thinking, “They want me to do HANDSTAND PUSH-UPS? Pistols sound super violent. What the hell is a double-under?” I was nervous, and probably nauseated, walking to class that day. I could barely jump a rope, so the coach had me do tuck jumps in place, and of course, I scaled pistols and HSPU. With my infinite coordination, I lost balance on the box HSPU and almost fell over, but luckily my mediocre gymnastic days kicked in, and I somewhat gracefully rolled out of it. Obviously, I loved it, and I came back. I enjoy testing Mary-Anne every quarter for nostalgia’s sake and to see how much I’ve improved.

What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit? In addition to the aesthetic changes, and what I like to call, “reorganizing” my weight, I can DO things I never thought were possible. I never thought I’d be able to do a strict pull-up, especially not multiple in a row, or climb a rope, or lift a bunch of weight (and put it back down, gently, of course). I’m much more cognizant of what I eat, and I can definitely feel a difference in my performance after eating unhealthy food. I’ve expanded my sense of empowerment and changed my perception of beauty through gaining muscle and physical strength. #gainz

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What kind of changes have you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected? CrossFit has completely changed my life. I was a workaholic - I know, I know; I seem like such a calm, non-stressed person these days that it’s hard to believe. 😉 In all seriousness, I rarely had much outside of schoolwork or my job that made me want to stop working, except friends and family. I chose a career that I love, which also incorporates my hobbies, so I usually kept working because I enjoyed it despite the stress. CrossFit has helped me to create a balance, to establish my health and fitness as priorities, and to fit them into my schedule. Each Sunday, I plan my workouts with my work schedule for the week to ensure that I can do 5-6 WODs. I look forward to leaving the office to come to the gym, work out, and see my friends. Speaking of, I’ve made wonderful friends since joining CFM. I’m extremely grateful for the people I’ve met and the camaraderie at the gym, even among strangers. I love our gym-wide social events and the ladies’ nights with the awesome women who have become my close friends, even if I had to force my friendship upon a couple of them. 😉

Favorite WOD: “Favorite” is an interesting word. I always like to re-test Mary-Anne, Sage at 20, and Star Lord. I like longer WODs with multiple movements (3+), particularly if those movements include front squats, cleans, pull-ups, or tire flips.

Least favorite WOD: My least favorite WOD is one that we do in the summer with 40-30-20-10 TTB and 800m – 600m – 400m – 200m running. Talk about a mental struggle through my weakest movements during the hottest f***ing time of the year. For some reason, I still always come back for it, though…just to see if I survive.

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Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment: I have so many favorite moments from my 3+ years here. The gym has become quite intertwined with my life. However, I love competitions, especially if we have multiple teams participating. I also really enjoyed Friday Night Lights for the Open this year.

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit: My hobbies include spending time with friends / family, brunch, traveling, going to concerts (yeah, Justin Timberlake!), painting, drawing, and laughing. Many members have heard me get on my soapbox about public transportation and walkable communities, so I should mention city planning and public policy, too. 😉 …Which ties into my greatest and most notorious talent of all: walking REALLY FAST.

Advice for new CrossFitters: My main pieces of advice would be to let go of your ego (listen to the coaches and know your limits), track your workouts (at least the WODs we’ll repeat) and lifting numbers, make friends at the gym, and don’t become discouraged about a bad day / work out. Bad days will inevitably happen, and they don’t define who you are as an athlete; going to the gym was a good decision in the first place. Finally, be proud of scaling movements – you’re being smart. You can develop a great sense of accomplishment when you’re progressing through the movements, consistently attaining new skills or skill capacity, and tracking your progress.

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