Amy Cleary – Member of the Month

Sep 18th, 2012

Comments: 0
Category: crossfit

Amy Cleary – Member of the Month

The following is an email from Amy we received a few months back which demonstrates the heart that she has shown us since she has walked in the door and the amazing progress she continues to make due to her comittment toward her fitness and well being.  She even recently completed her first sprint triathalon!… 

Amy, Goose,

I was exchanging emails with some of my 6am CFS friends yesterday (it was really a chain about finding a good paleo chicken salad recipe and tequila = great combo, right? Ha!) and shared with them some of my post wod thoughts from yesterday. They all responded saying that I needed to share with you as well! God knows this THANK YOU is certainly long overdue!

Tuesday night was a late night for me, and when the alarm went off on Wednesday morning- I wanted to take a rest day- but I didn’t. I showed up and the only reason I actually went in is because I committed to meeting the girls at 6am- and Leases in particular (who no-showed- which I have given her a lot of hell for). J I believe my comment to them was “no excuses, I will be there”- and so I was.

Anyway, glad I went. Really glad.

I think you have all heard my story of that fateful first time I did a WOD in Orange with Berretta?! I am fairly certain I have shared it with you all- because it kept me from going to classes in Orange and is what initiated my fear of box jumps back in the day. Well, it was almost a year ago- and I believe it was the week of the Regionals and you were only offering classes in Orange because of a scaled back staff. (or it could have been you were leaving for the Games- don’t completely recall because I didn’t even know what the regionals/games/etc. were back then!) I remember that my parents were in town and staying with me- so I had the day off of work and decided to go to a later class that morning. Anyway- the WOD was 5 rounds, 400 meter runs, and way too many wall balls & box jumps. I didn’t remember it being called “Kelly” (again, I probably didn’t understand the names back then)- but I remember the WOD vividly. I struggled the entire way through. People were finished 15 minutes before I did- and I didn’t even finish in the time cap. Berretta stuck with me through my final round of wall balls and then again on my box jumps (btw, I was jumping on the irrigation boxes back then). In that final round- I walk up to the box jumps and Berretta lets me know that the clock is going to go off- but that he wants me to finish- so I agree. There are now about 4 or 5 REALLY FIT girls standing around, that I have never met- and to this day couldn’t tell you who they are/were… they were cheering me on, encouraging me to finish. About 5-10 jumps from being finished, I “trip” on the box, but catch myself. About 2 jumps after that- I literally fall over the box (the little irrigation box- which at the time was so scary to me) and fall on the floor. I get up- complete the final few box jumps and complete the workout. The “fit girls” all congratulate me and go on to tell me that falling off the box and getting bruises is a badge of honor in CrossFit and they have all done it. They were clearly trying to make me feel better about my performance (which I did appreciate!). I walked out of Southie Orange and about 25 meters from my car, I felt the tears building and the lump in my throat and I ran to the safety of my car before I started to cry. It wasn’t sad- I promise… (well, maybe a little). I cried from sheer exhaustion, total humiliation, a myriad of other overwhelming feelings and complete acceptance/realization that I was SO out of shape and that this CF thing I started was going to change that- and change my life.

On Tuesday night, when I read the post for Wednesday’s WOD- “Kelly”- it really didn’t dawn on me that it was that same workout I struggled with so much just a year ago or so! Wednesday morning as we were getting ready for the workout- a few of us were chatting about what our plan was. Were we going to scale? If so- to what point? Then Celeste just belts out, “I am going to go for it!”. That was all I needed to hear- she just committed to going for it and so was I. It was as if she challenged me personally. Well- as we were wrapping up the workout Wednesday morning- Celeste was coming in from her 5th 400 meter run while the rest of the 6am class had completed the workout- and the clock was running out of time. It was really then that it dawned on me that this was that same WOD that could have easily been my excuse for never returning to CFS again. Everyone gathering around Celeste this morning reminded me so much of that day… the difference is she knew all of us. (and I am fairly certain she didn’t cry in her car afterwards! Ha!)

If it hadn’t been for Berretta’s encouragement to finish the workout that day (and the fact that he made me believe I could and would), or the “fit girls” who didn’t really know me taking an interest in me and my ability to finish the wod, or the fact that you guys (Amy & Goose) remembered my name from DAY 1 (which made me think you guys had some microchip put in my head without my knowing so it scanned as I walked through the door)- and took interest in my challenges and successes- I am not sure I would have returned. Since then I have certainly had numerous other humbling experiences that I could on to thank the many other CFS coaches and members for helping me through.

Wednesday morning definitely kicked my a$$, but it was also a great feeling to be able to finish it, under the time cap and Rx. AND, I am so glad that on those days I am struggling through a WOD- I have made good friends who know me and are there to cheer me on through the end- and help give me that extra push to “go for it!”.

You guys- along with all the other coaches have really created something special at CFS! Thank you for all that you and the rest of the CFS coaches do. Because of the genuine interest and care each coach and member of CFS have for the community- it is a place you can’t help but love being a part of.

Best,

Amy

More from Amy on receiving the Member of the Month….

First of all- thank you so much for honoring me with Member of the Month! I cannot say enough how thankful and appreciative I am for all that you both do to make CFS the community that it is! Looking back at the last year or so- I can think of a moment that each and every coach and specific members have helped push me to be better, go further, and challenge myself (and pick me back up and get right back at it when I fail and fall! J). My life has changed a lot since joining CrossFit Southie- in a way that I don’t think can ever be reversed. I have been pretty focused on my career for a long time- and while focusing on that success- I allowed my personal health and fitness to take a back seat. I realized that with CrossFit and your guidance that I needed to make my health- fitness and nutrition- a priority. You guys make me feel like a priority every single day that I show up- and in turn it has encouraged me to do the same for myself. While I am still a work in progress- I think the biggest compliment I have received from family and friends outside of CFS is that I have become an inspiration to them. What bigger compliment can you receive than be told you are an inspiration? So- in turn, I would like to thank the two of you (Amy and Goose) and the rest of the CFS community for continuing to inspire me every day!

How did you get involved in CrossFit?  What was your first WOD/experience?

I had heard about it from a co-worker after asking her what she was doing- since I had seen a drastic change in her.  I checked out CF Southie during an early morning intro session with a friend of mine. For about a week after the intro session I couldn’t walk down the stairs properly, sit down or get out of a chair- let alone sit down on the toilet without the assistance of the wall or handicap rail. I believe that intro session consisted of box jumps (on the electrical box) and some type of barbell movement with the pvc pipe.

I wrote to Chris and Amy the next day- thanking them for the intro and telling them I would be signing up and joining! All that pain only confirmed how out of shape I was- and how much I needed to make a change in my current exercise routine.

I am sure we have all seen the saying, “your workout is my warm up”. Well, for about the first couple of months- I felt like the CFS warm up was my workout and complete torture!

When did you start coming to CrossFit Southie?

May 2011

Is this the first CrossFit you’ve worked out at / how long have you been CrossFitting for?

It is the first CF I have worked out at- and I have been a regular member for about 15 months now! I started out with 2 days/week and by January 2012- I became a full time member. I now CF 5 days a week and go to yoga with Steph on Sundays!

When did you realize that CrossFit was right for you?

I feel like I am reminded every day that it is right for me. There have been so many moments over the past year. The support and encouragement from all the coaches on a daily basis, the friendships I have made with different people at CFS, or when I first started eating paleo and people kept telling me I looked like I was “glowing”, or the reaction from people that I got (and still get) when I had not seen them in a long time, or just the way it has made me feel- both on the inside and the outside. Also, I was a competitive athlete growing up and through college- I had no idea how much I missed the idea of a team and competition in an athletic environment until I joined CFS.
What are you short-term and long-term CrossFit goals?

Short term: 300# deadlift, red band pull ups in a wod/one unassisted pull up

Long term: compete in a local competition, unassisted pull ups in a wod, just staying committed to showing up and doing the work!

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Making my health a priority.  The CFS coaches, members, family and my friends outside of CFS and those I have made at CFS have really helped encourage and support me in my goals not only during the workouts, on the platform, etc. – but also in overall health.

What is your favorite / least favorite WOD/movement?

Favorite: lifting heavy stuff. J

Least favorite: sprints/running, box jumps- I am still terrified of them!
What do you do for a profession outside of CrossFit?

I am a Senior Director of Operations for an IT Media company- and have a pretty amazing team of people who work for/with me. They have become very interested in my lifestyle and have been really supportive. This past birthday- the 6 managers who report to me chipped in and bought me some CF shirts (their personal favorite is the one that reads: “I like it hard and fast”- which I haven’t had the courage to wear yet!) and a lululemon gift card!
What are your hobbies outside of CrossFit?

I love to cook, shop, and travel and spend time with friends and family! I also have a dog- Cal- who I can often be seen walking/running around Southie with on the weekends!
Do you eat Paleo or Zone?  What is your favorite paleo/non-paleo meal?

I eat paleo- at least 80-90% of the time! My favorite paleo meal changes by the day… I pretty much LOVE anything from Paleomg.com. Juli Bauer’s blog cracks me up and her recipes do not disappoint!

Favorite non-paleo meal is probably homemade, buttered popcorn and my Nonno’s homemade raviolis!
Fun fact?

I ran my first 5k in December 2011 with some fellow CF friends, by early March I had been convinced by CF friends to participate in the Ragnar Relay… ran my first 10k in early April as prep for the relay… and I just completed my first sprint tri Labor Day weekend out in CA with my sister. The goal for the sprint tri was to not drown- and cross the finish line with my sister. Both goals were accomplished!

Strength
Banded Deadlift
3-3-3-3-3

WOD
5 Rounds
10 Handstand push-ups
10 Alternating Pistols
10 pull-ups

  • Schurko

    Yea, Amy!! Congrats and well deserved!

    PS: I think your new shirt should be worn tomorrow!

  • Gillian

    Congratulations Amy! Absolutely well deserved!!! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.soscia Stephanie Soscia

    Amy – this seriously made me tear up a little. You SO deserve this! You mentioned multiple times how much you appreciate everyone who has cheered you on – but you are the biggest cheerleader out there! I LOVE working out with you – your enthusiasm (and amount of fitness improvement) is so inspirational. AND you’re my most faithful yogini :-) I say paleo chicken salad and tequila party is in order!

    • AmyC

      THANK YOU… this means so much to me! And EVERYONE should be at your Sunday yoga classes. They seriously make my end of the weekend/start of the week better. Can’t wait for the chicken salad and tequila party… yet we have a big birthday to celebrate FIRST. Yay! :)

  • Kara

    Amy you rock! You always make me want to work harder!

  • maze

    congrats Cleary!!!!

    • AmyC

      Still miss you Maze! Can’t you make a guest appearance and coach a 6am for old times sake? :)

  • Lauren Turchon

    Congrats Amy!!! Keep kicking ass!!

  • Petra

    Congrats Amy!!! So proud to have you as a friend in and outside the box! :)
    Steph had it right, you are the biggest cheerleader – always encouraging, always motivating. (And yes, this calls for some paleo margaritas!)

    • AmyC

      Big thanks to my favorite workout buddy! :) Right back at you!

  • Kelly

    Yeah Amy! Well-deserved kudos to you. I don’t make it to 6am much anymore, but when I do I’m usually trying to keep up with you. And I also hate Kelly. I’m on a campaign to re-name her. Something like, “Lets all bang up our shins and then get drilled in the face by wallballs. Repeatedly.”

    • AmyC

      Haha! Kelly- that is a campaign I will support! Thanks!

  • JBo

    Congratulations, Amy! I don’t think we’ve met (I usually go to 5 or 6pm) but just wanted to say that I really loved your post. And subconsciously I must have known it was coming…because I got my own box jump “badge of honor” in tonight’s 6pm class!

    • AmyC

      Don’t worry- I continue to collect my “badges of honor” on a semi-regular basis! Congrats on yours! ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ranjith.zachariah Ranjith Zachariah

    Amy, I just read your email and it made me think of all those times I was last to finish a WOD, and there was someone around to cheer me on to completion. In a way, becoming an athlete is a solitary endeavor. There’s no one else who can do the work for us. But we’re not alone in this. Or, more precisely, we’re all alone in this together. And that makes all the difference.

    Thanks for your inspiring words.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ranjith.zachariah Ranjith Zachariah

      And congratulations. :)

      • AmyC

        Thanks!

  • Lexi

    Amy! You deserve this honor more than almost anybody I know. You are a wonderful, kind person and a kickass CrossFitter. If it wasn’t for you and your encouragement, I would’ve never had been able to finish the Harpoon 5 Miler in the time that I did. You sacrificed your own time to run next to me the entire way and will always remember that. Thank you for being so awesome!!

    • AmyC

      Aww- thanks Lexi! Such a fun 5 miler and so much fun crossing the finish with you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Meghan-Leigh-Howard/1098690046 Meghan Leigh Howard

    I hope to see you wearing that new shirt tomorrow at 6am– its hilarious! Congrats!

  • Meghan Howard

    I hope to see you wearing that new shirt tomorrow at 6am– its hilarious! Congrats!

  • Gill P

    Yeah girl! Your deadlift alone inspires me!! Congratulations.

  • nicole d

    absolutely awesome Amy!! congrats to you!!

  • Andrea

    Congrats Amy!! You totally deserve this recognition, you kick ass day after day! Those pull ups will be yours in no time!

  • Amy

    Yea, they don’t come much cooler than Amy. I remember Amy from her intro session and her first week at CFS. I remember feeling an automatic connection and being blown away by her positive attitude, tenacity, and class. I remember coming in the Monday after she fell and being told the story by Berretta. I was totally bummed and prayed that she wouldn’t quit. I liked her so much and I knew that she had a ton of potential. Sure enough, being the person that she is, she didn’t quit!! Not only that, she hasn’t stopped since.

    Love you Ame! You make me more proud every day.

    • AmyC

      Thank you is not enough… but it will have to do. :) Thanks Ames! Love you too!

  • Whisler

    Awesome story, congrats Amy!!

  • AmyC

    Wow! I am so overwhelmed by all of these comments… THANK YOU for continuing to encourage me! All of you make me want to work harder!
    PS: I wore the shirt just for you Bri! :)

    • Schurko

      haha I saw!!

  • dudley

    amy congrats on this and your first of many more tri’s!

    • AmyC

      Thanks Phil!

  • haley

    Yay Amy!!! You deserve this so much – I love watching you put in the extra time after class every morning. You’ll crush your goals in no time :)

    • AmyC

      Thanks so much Haley! :)

  • JPOW

    well deserved love you amy

  • JeffSully

    Congratulations Amy! You are a true inspiration to us all and I can definitely relate to my pre-crossfit southie days when I first started here haha…you more than desrve this recognition for all the hard work and dedication you put into it…keep rockin it! See ya soon -Sully

    • AmyC

      Thanks Sully!

  • Meg P

    Congrats Amy!!! Can’t wait to see you to crush the mile run in November!

    • AmyC

      I am going to need you to chase- I mean pace me again! :) Thanks!

  • Joe

    Never has there been a moment at the gym where Amy hasn’t been wearing a huge smile. It’s so nice to have her around every morning!

    Retta, you’re a boss. Goose, take a day off, bro. Quit blogging from the hospital bed.

    • AmyC

      Thanks Joe! :)

  • katie “cleary” gonzales

    thanks crossfit southie peeps! and thanks amy for reminding us that hard work does pay off… you are amazing and inspire me every day. i love you!

    • AmyC

      BEST and most supportive sister ever! xoxo

  • jason barrow

    That story coming around full-circle was awesome, great read. Congrats Amy, looking forward to meeting you at some point.

  • Ben

    Congrats Amy! Awesome story! Keep up the great work!