I almost feel our selection this month is above explanation. All you have to do is say her name and you immediately know why it was impossible not to pick her. Growing up, my mom used to say that you choose your attitude about life and the things that happen, and I can think of no other person that typifies better than Mariah. Despite serious injury, she is constantly in the gym, adapting and doing whatever movements she can, sometimes even creating new ones, in order to keep moving forward in fitness and recovery. She is amazingly supportive, especially to new athletes just out of on-ramp. And of course, she’s freakishly strong. Congratulations Mariah, you are our CrossFitter of the Month!
How long have you been attending CrossFit Fringe, and what brought you here?
I have been a member of CrossFit Fringe since July 2012. I was working in clinic with Dr. Chris Wolf and somehow the topic of my liking to workout came up. He invited me to come to Crossfit United for a workout at 4pm that day (it was 2:30 pm when he invited me). I decided, what the heck, let’s do this. After all, he WAS my attending physician. It was a 90 degree day and everyone was sweating and working their butts off. I think I might have created my first of many sweat angels that day. I cancelled my other gym membership the following day and never looked back.
Since starting at CrossFit Fringe, what has changed about your lifestyle or outlook on life?
I have always been an athlete. I played college basketball and have continued to be active since that time. However, I haven’t ever been as conscientious about the food I put in my mouth and the amount of sleep I get. Since joining CrossFit I have been able to see the benefits of lots of water, clean(er) eating, and a solid sleep schedule. On the days after I have eaten poorly or haven’t taken care of myself I can feel it in my movements in the gym. It motivates me to want to continue to remain healthy.
Through the gym I have also met some of the coolest and most interesting people, including my now fiancee (it is still weird to see that in print…), Dan. I love my Crossfit Fringe community!
What is your favorite movement/skill?
By far my favorite movements are box jumps, wall balls and squats. I love lower body work! The leg muscles are such a powerhouse – it is amazing to see what they can do.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey with CrossFit?
I had a really bad knee injury back in October. I was training for my first competition and was pretty excited about the idea of being part of a team of CrossFit athletes. It was also a goal of mine to compete in a CrossFit competition sometime during my 30th year of life. Three months after the injury I am still not able to do the movements I love (see above) and I am likely another 2-3 months from running and jumping and doing any serious olympic lifting. I have watched my leg muscles disappear before my eyes. It is trying and frustrating not to be able to workout and go hard like my co-CrossFitters at the gym. BUT the silver lining is that I have had to slow down and focus on skills that I didn’t take the time to work on in the past. I am actually very confident that I will be a better and more well-rounded athlete when all of this is said and done.
What do you enjoy most about CrossFit/CrossFit Fringe?
I alluded to this above, but I enjoy most the people at CrossFit Fringe. One of my favorite parts of the day is when I walk into the gym and about 5 people yell out “Mariah!!!” and are GENUINELY excited to see me. They are such amazing people to workout alongside. I love that our community spends time together outside of the gym as well. We truly are a family.
What do you like to do outside the gym?
Man, Columbia is such a cool town to live in! Dan (fiancee mentioned above) and I love going to live music shows. Really any show. Our favorite place to go in town is Mojo’s. I also enjoy seeing movies at Ragtag. Yep, I can already hear you muttering “dang hipsters…”
When the weather allows, it is fun to be outside. I love the parks in and around Columbia, and try to participate in the fun activities that happen in town such as the Boone Dawdle, True/False Film Festival, Citizen Jane, etc. You name it, we are usually game.
I also have a pet project that means quite a bit to me – it is the MedZou Community Health Clinic. It is a medical student-run free clinic started by the University of Missouri School of Medicine. I was a director of the clinic when I was a 1st and 2nd year and continue to be involved now. This clinic serves as a stop-gap measure for uninsured patients in and around Boone County. Check out the website: http://medicine.missouri.edu/medzou/.