Say hello to our August Member of the Month…
Nicole is staple of the early morning classes and someone that all of our coaches love having at the gym. She has an incredible engine and if there are burpees you will likely be seeing her out in front. Our coaches also noted how coachable she is with a dedication to always moving well. She has been with us through a pregnancy and continues to improve at the gym while adjusting to being a new parent.
Learn more about Nicole’s story below:
Why did you join CrossFit 414?
I actually became interested in it after completing a Spartan Sprint with some work colleagues. I was so angry that I couldn’t do the rope climb at the sprint along with a really poor showing on the row. One of my colleagues was part of Badger Crossfit at the time and did a great job of talking it up. It’s funny though because I think I pushed my husband Eron to join 414 well before I came onboard. When I did finally sign up for 414, my first goal was to climb a rope. I learned it quickly and tackled that rope climb at the next Spartan Sprint.
Are you a Milwaukee local?
I was born and raised in Germantown, WI (small world Marcus). When I started my teacher career there in 2006 or so, I actually had the pleasure of having Sam Wallace in my Spanish class as a student. I moved to Milwaukee in 2009 and I’m fairly certain I am a lifer. I love this city.
How long have you been a CrossFit 414 member?
I’ve completely lost track but I bet you have a record of it somewhere. (Editor’s Note: Nicole has been with us for over 6 years!)
Tell us a little bit about your fitness journey.
Growing up I was not athletic at all. I sang, I acted and I studied a lot. I started running in college at UW and even dabbled in a little weightlifting, but nothing consistent. Up until joining the 414 community, running and core exercises were my primary modes of fitness. After joining 414 I really developed a love of the strength training piece. The goal setting aspect and growth that you achieve each week was really fulfilling. I love the variety in the workouts and the competition (in my head) with my peers really drives me to want to be better. I’m probably in the best shape of my life or at least the strongest I’ve ever been and that feels pretty damn good at age 37.
Which movement is your favorite?
I love pull ups if only because it makes me so happy that I can do them. I remember how excited I was when I could start stringing them together. It felt like a huge accomplishment at the time. I was pretty proud at how long I was able to keep doing them during my pregnancy. Also, during that time people at work constantly asked, “how are you feeling?” and I’d get all Hulk on them and let them know “I just did 40 pull ups this morning. How do you think I’m feeling?”
I’m not sure I can say I like burpees, but if there is a move that i’m very good/fast at, it’s burpees. It’s one of the few moves where being short has its advantages.
What encourages you to keep coming back?
I love the community. It feels safe and everyone is really supportive. I love that there are so many shapes and sizes at the gym. There’s no sense that if you don’t finish at a certain time or level that you failed. No matter your ability level, we are all there for each other. I also love the feeling that I’m still growing and getting better. It’s really motivating.
How has CrossFit 414 helped you in your line of work?
It has given me more confidence for sure (maybe too much to the point of being aggressive as an HR Director, but I’m working on it). I feel better about myself, my abilities and I’m well. I believe that working out at this level on a regular basis is a big contributor to my ability to stay healthy at work.
What milestones have you achieved since joining CrossFit 414?
I remember when I first started off being so clumsy. One of my first injuries was essentially dropping the barbell on my shin during a lunge. I remember only being able to do squats with just the bar and how heavy it felt. When I got to a level where I could add “big girl’ plates to the bar in some of my lifts like the clean or the snatch, it seemed incredible. There are so many milestones since I really started from scratch coming in: climbing a rope, kipping pull ups, stringing together toes to bar, hitting a 75 pound snatch. Oh and my favorite was completing a WOD on the day I went into labor. I’m still pretty proud of that.
What do you tell yourself before starting a challenging wod?
If it involves the Echo Bike I’m usually of the mindset “F-this” otherwise I try to set a goal for myself at the start whether it’s a certain time or weight. I sometimes also pick someone out in the class that I want to keep up with. I might complain out loud on occasion, but I really do love the challenge each time and seeing what I’m able to accomplish.
What is your next fitness goal?
I would love to get to a point where I could do chest to bar pull ups or maybe even a bar muscle up. Otherwise at this point I just want to stay strong and healthy. I’ve dealt with a few injuries and areas of pain as of late so I’m not trying to set any huge new PRs. I want to continue to work on getting stronger and feel good doing it.
For people who haven’t joined yet, what would you tell them?
CrossFit really is for anyone and any ability level. If you are someone who has struggled with weight, self image, confidence or you just need to be part of a supportive community and have fun, this is the place.