Athlete Of the Month: Michelle Chanod

We are super excited to announce Michelle Chanod as Athlete of the Month for August! Michelle quietly stepped into the box 6 months ago and has quickly made PR after PR… getting stronger, faster (and more competitive!). We see it fit to nickname her, the Dark Horse.

The Dark Horse as defined by Wikipedia: “A dark horse is a little-known person or thing that emerges to prominence.”

Just watch out…she’ll be passing up Pat soon enough!

We couldn’t be more proud of the successes she’s made, emerging into a pretty amazing athlete! Take a moment to read her story below and give her a chalky high five next time you’re at the box.

When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit 6 months ago with the encouragement of my husband, who is also a Salus athlete. Previously I was a member of a local globo gym but I didn’t enjoy going there so I was inconsistent with workouts. Meanwhile, my husband was getting into the best shape of his life AND having a blast. He also would constantly talk to me about CrossFit (something I now know all crossfitters do!). I figured if I couldn’t beat him I would join him. Since I’ve never been athletic I was a little scared and intimidated but in January I attended a Friends on Friday class and have been hooked ever since!

How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

I’ve become a lot stronger and faster and my endurance has improved. One of the many great things about CrossFit Salus is their use of the Wodify tracking system. It makes it very easy to see how much I’ve progressed since starting earlier in the year. I love getting a gold star when I’ve PR’d a lift or WOD!

Are there exercises that you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

When I started CrossFit many of the exercises were new to me. With lots of practice, I managed to get double unders early on which was a nice confidence boost. Recently I started connecting toes-to-bar and I also had my first successful rope climb. I can also kick up into a handstand against the wall without screaming (most of the time!).

How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

First, I’ll start off by saying that with the great coaching and programming at CrossFit Salus, I’ve become so much stronger than I ever thought I could be. In the general fitness world so much of what we see and hear as women focuses on looking better and getting toned/tighter. CrossFit has made me realize that becoming stronger is a lot more desirable than just looking good. Now…has my body changed?…the answer is YES!! I’ve gained more muscle definition and I am at the lightest weight I’ve ever been in my adult life. I never thought my body could look this way, especially after 3 kids!

CrossFit has made me realize that becoming stronger is a lot more desirable than just looking good.

How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

As a busy mom of three young girls, I always found excuses to skip workouts. I now realize I just didn’t enjoy going to the regular gym so it was a chore. About a month into CrossFit a mind-shift took place for me. I was no longer working out just to check it off my to-do list. I’ve truly come to love CrossFit and aside from scheduled rest days, I rarely miss a workout. It’s the part of my day I look forward to the most! I don’t need to wind down at the end of the day with a glass of wine because I’ve had my WOD!

I have also gained an awesome group of friends that motivate me on a daily basis.

Lastly, my husband and I can now have two-way conversations about CrossFit (it’s basically all we talk about!!)

How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I describe it as a varied fitness regimen that takes place in a group setting which incorporates a variety of moves including gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, power weightlifting, plyometrics, high intensity interval training, running, etc.

What keeps you motivated to continue?

I saw a quote that sums it up pretty well for me:

“Just because I can’t do it today, doesn’t mean I can’t do it someday.” It’s the “someday” that keeps me motivated.

CrossFit has also sparked a competitive side of me. I’ve never played on a team or have ever been competitive but I’ve discovered it’s a great motivator to get better. I’m excited to compete as part of a team in my first ever CrossFit competition later this month.

Favorite WOD or lift?

One of my favorite WOD’s is Fight Gone Bad. It’s memorable because it’s one of the first WOD’s I Rx’d. I tend to like WOD’s that are longer and test my endurance and that also have a variety of exercises.
My favorite lift is the overhead squat because it’s a technical lift that’s pretty bad a$$ and I tend to do well with them!

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

• Jump right in…don’t be shy…we’ve all been new and intimidated
• Ask questions
• Scale and modify as needed
• Don’t cherry pick WODS
• Listen to your body
• Listen to your coach
• Don’t compare yourself to others!!!

What is your next goal to accomplish or goat to kill?

I have so many!!! It’s a long list!! Currently my main goal is to get a strict, unassisted pull-up. Then I plan to work on pistol squats and I also want to strengthen my deadlift.

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