Athlete of the MonthMay

Holly Matthews

Career: Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council

Years at CrossFit Crowned: 5

CrossFit has become an integral part of my life.

Holly has been a regular staple at our morning CrossFit classes for some time. She attends our classes 5-6 days a week and always has the most positive attitude when it comes to, not just CrossFit, but life as well. Holly works really hard in the gym and over the last year or so has had to deal with an injury issue. The injury affected her ability to lift anything overhead. When an obstacle like that presents itself a lot of people will use it as an excuse to quit, but not Holly. She never once complained about her limitations and our coaches provided her with all of the modifications she needed to still achieve the workout stimulus each day. Holly is now getting back closer to 100% and is certainly excited to expanded her movement repertoire. We absolutely love Holly’s infectious personality and work ethic, and we cannot wait to get back into the gym to continue working with her.

Give Us Your Story: 
I am a lifelong swimmer that ventured into triathlons and marathon swimming after law school. I was looking for a change in the monotonous triathlon training – specifically a program that would help build strength. At this point in my life (2015), my husband and I were vacationing at our favorite boutique bed and breakfast (Casa Sirena) in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Casa Sirena only has 8 guest rooms and daily happy hours. During this trip we were discussing these goals, along with my inability to squat, with another couple over margaritas during happy hour. They happened to be CrossFit coaches and talked to me about the benefits of CrossFit (and demonstrated how easy it is to properly squat). Upon returning from our trip, I looked up CrossFit gyms in the area and started a series of intro sessions at CrossFit Crowned. By the fall, I started with the 5:30 am class and quickly decided that CrossFit was more fun than running in the dark and cold every morning. At about the same time, my husband joined as well. He was intrigued with the workouts and was looking forward to trying something new. Since starting CrossFit, I have had numerous challenges mostly related to my swimming injuries. The coaches have been very understanding and have always been available to help me modify workouts as I rehab my shoulders. Recently I have been diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS). My worst symptoms include the compression of nerves resulting in sharp pains down my arms. I believe the CrossFit workouts will help me work on my underlying issues and manage the symptoms of TOS moving forward. With this knowledge, I am back to my original plan – using CrossFit as a strong foundation for triathlons. Now I just need to start training again.
What CrossFit Means To You:
CrossFit has become an integral part of my life. I am very grateful for discovering CrossFit, especially CrossFit Crowned. Until the pandemic, I did not realize how much of my daily schedule revolves around my workout. I miss the 5:30 am crew but appreciate the support of my CrossFit friends during this time. The daily workouts give me motivation to workout everyday even in the snow and sleet. I am looking forward to working out at the gym again!! I also appreciate visiting other boxes when I am traveling for a workout and a new tank top. Every box I visit, makes me appreciate coming home to CrossFit Crowned.
Advice For Someone New Or Considering Trying CrossFit:
My advice is the advice that was given to me when I started CrossFit: Learn the movements, don’t worry about the weight you are using; and focus on yourself and not others. I was probably not the best student. I would add listen to your body and scaling is not something to be ashamed of. I am still learning to take this advice – I tend to push through injuries. I have learned that it is better to listen to your body and not push if you are sore or in pain since it does not help your body heal.
What is your favorite movement in CrossFit:
My favorite movements are strict press and push press.

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