Athlete of the month August- Mariella Arroyo
How/when did you get involved in CrossFit?
I first began my crossfit journey when I saw a groupon online in January I am so glad that there was a groupon because I do not think I would have had the courage to join otherwise. I did not think too much about what I was doing, I just remember showing up for a beginners class on a very cold January evening and the rest is history. It took me a while to really commit, and I was not attending consistently at first. I was very self conscious and worried about not being able to do some of the WOD’s. I think it was in the spring that I decided to give it my all and just scale when I needed it.
Do you remember your first workout? How was it?
I do not really remember much about my first workout. But I do remember that Ramon taught it and that Jiyoung and Val were also there for their first day as well. I do remember thinking that it was not as scary as I thought it would be and I was very excited to come back to Primary. My second day was a lot more challenging.
How have you grown in that time — health, body, mind, etc.?
I feel like I am a completely different person every since I joined Primary. I really did not anticipate how many positive benefits I would be gaining from joining this box. I have lost weight, feel stronger and healthier, and have made a ton of friends. Also who knew I would enjoy yoga so much! My confidence has soared and I push myself so much more when I am working out outside of the box. I had a bad habit of cutting my runs short, and now I finish them all the way through. Crossfit has taught me that I can push myself way more and farther than I originally thought I could.
Favorite lift and WOD?
My favorite WOD was the Miron. It was difficult but so much fun. It was my favorite because it incorporated my two favorite lifts, back squats and dead lifts. I remember it being very hot that day which made it all the more challenging in a good way.
What about your least favorite?
I hate wallballs! I just can’t seem to get used to them.
What are your fitness/health goals?
Weight loss and strength. I am not that far from my weight loss goals but still need a lot of improvement on my upper body strength. One of my goals is to really increase my bench press.
Is there a specific diet or nutritional habit that helps you with your goals?
Paleo. This is the only diet that I have been able to stick to for more than a week. Paleo has really improved my life. I feel so much awake and alert now, and have fewer food cravings for sugar. I used to have to take a lot of naps during the day because I would crash from fatigue, not anymore. Also,I have been dealing with severe foot pain( plantar fasciitis)for the past 8 months and since I started Paleo my foot pain has almost completely disappeared. I plan on continuing with Paleo once the challenge is over.
What motivates you?
Definitely my health. I have noticed that many people my age are beginning to have issues with their health because of poor diet and lack of exercise. Staying strong and healthy is very important for me. Also I teach middle school kids and I have noticed that they love to hear about my workouts and even my eating habits. I hope my lifestyle will help motivate them to make healthy choices. Before my students greet me, they will sometimes ask “Mrs. Arroyo, did you workout this morning?”. That fact that they are paying attention motivates me to continue.
Do you have any advice for new members?
Make friends! It took me a while to feel comfortable and confident and I realized that it was because I was not making an effort to meet people. Once I started introducing myself I started to feel more comfortable and all the athletes and coaches began to feel like a 2nd family. It became so much easier to make going to crossfit a consistent habit once I started knowing people well and being able to laugh and have fun during WOD’s. Also go to yoga! I wish I would have done yoga a lot sooner.
What do you hope to achieve in the coming year?
I want to become stronger and gain more muscle. I think muscle is sexy on women!