Crossfit Sandpoint Member Profile: Melissa Bethel

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?
I was trying to find a way to get into shape and lose some weight, so I joined SWAC. I not only felt very uncomfortable but did not know how to use the equipment. Consequently, I just started using the fire station gym (I work at City Hall) on my lunch hour. Eventually one of the firefighters asked why I did not go to CrossFit next door. I about fell off the treadmill laughing. In my mind that was where all the in-shape hard body young, athletic people went. After realizing he was serious, I asked a few more firefighters if they really thought I would be able to do it. I then made an appointment with Kenny and he showed me the facility and assured me I could do the workouts. I will say it took about a year for me to not feel nervous every time I walked in the doors.

What was your first impression?
I was terrified! My first impression was that this place was nothing like I had ever seen. I was totally out of my element and scared…really scared! I honestly believed there was no way I could do it, that I did not have anything in common with anyone, I would be laughed at and fail. But the class setting and coaches were so cool! I was also surprised to see people of all ages and abilities. I think that was the most important thing, people my age (and older) were not only there but doing all that crazy stuff! It was also the hardest I had ever exercised in my whole life.

Has that changed?
CrossFit Sandpoint is still the coolest place and although I am not scared (well most of the time) and I still work harder than ever, the people are still just as friendly and encouraging. I’m not going to lie, at first I thought all those people saying “good job” to me as I was laying on the floor just trying to breathe after a workout was obnoxious, but it grows on you, and before you know it, you have said it back! Because honestly if you make it through a workout you deserve a “good job” from someone! I love that everyone has a genuine interest in celebrating not only their own successes but everyone else’s. I love that it does not matter what background or ability someone has, when we are in class everyone is treated the same. I also love that I don’t have to think about what exercise I should do and that it changes so I don’t get bored!

What was your first success?
Goodness! There have been so many…but probably the first success I had was making it through a full(although scaled) workout. I also remember the first time (and it took a long time) I got to put RX behind my name. It does not happen very often, but when it does, I relish it!

What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on several things: consistent 20 inch box jumps and double unders, correct form in lifting, and perfecting my nutrition.

What is your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint Memory?
Again there are so many! I have to preface by saying that even after 3 years, I still look at some of the workouts and truly believe there is no way I can do it…I seem to always get through it, but I truly believe it will never happen.. I’m working on trying to change that mindset. I remember one WOD we had that had timed burpees and I genuinely believed I was not going to complete the number of burpees in the time. Kenny was the coach and he didn’t say, Yes you will, come on you’ll be fine…etc.. He just matter of
fact said, “if you do not make the time I will give you this month free”… I made the time. I have had similar experiences with all the coaches. I loved seeing Emily get her first muscle up!
More recently, Colleen and I were the only ones at 5:30 and the WOD called for KB swings and we decided to try the 52 # KBs! It was ugly, but we did it! It was horrible and fun at the same time.