Name: Meredith Steffen
Hometown: Katy, TX
Occupation: Marketing Account Supervisor
When did you first start CrossFitting?: Summer of 2012
When did you first start training at CrossFit Katy?: Fall of 2013
What class do you generally attend (morning/afternoon)? 8:30 a.m. or 4:30 p.m. (depending on work and the kids’ schedules)
Favorite WOD: Anything with box jumps, ball over shoulder, burpees or cleans
Least Favorite WOD: Anything with wall balls, toes-to-bar, push-ups or overhead squats
Tell us about you sports & fitness background: I played a lot of sports when I was a kid, but stopped once I got to high school to focus on other activities – fitness and nutrition was not a priority for me. When I got to college I quickly gained the “Freshman 15” so started running and going to the REC Center every so often – again, fitness and nutrition was not a priority for me during this time either. After graduation I bounced between working out at home or a nearby park and 24-hour Fitness and tried a number of fad diets or just tried to cut out carbs all together.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit?Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I have a friend who use to work out at a CrossFit gym in The Heights. She loved it and invited me to come test out the class one day. The WOD that day was a few rounds (maybe 5) of power cleans, sit ups and a run. Since I was new, the coach had me do a light-weight slam ball instead of cleans, I remember feeling so intimidated (and a little embarrassed) because I had to “modify” my workout (I walked in that day honestly thinking I was “in shape” and this was going to be a piece of cake), but I was quickly humbled about round two of the workout. The gym had no AC and it was July, I was dying and the slam ball got heavy real quick. I was exhausted after that workout, but kept going back. The first couple of months were really rough, I was sore all day every day, got frustrated, and was insecure and often cried afterwards. But, I loved the feeling of pushing my body to its limit and knew that if I just continued to stick with it, one day it would all click.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? Before CrossFit, I was always looking for the “quick fix” to being skinny, really didn’t know much about nutrition, and had low self-esteem (particularly when it came to my body). During my CrossFit journey, my perspective on these areas have completely changed. Eating healthy and staying active is now a part of my lifestyle – something I do daily without much thought. Being skinny is no longer the goal, but focusing on a balanced nutrition (while enjoying the occasional pizza and NOT feeling guilty about it), and setting a good example for my kids on positive body image, strength, power and natural beauty are now the goals.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I have a much more positive outlook in all areas of my life and don’t take the negative so personally or hard, and a lot of that has to do with our amazing coaches and CrossFit Katy family. Being part of a community that focuses on building each other up and wanting to see each other succeed is an amazing thing and a bonus benefit that I wasn’t expecting from joining the gym. During good days, there’s always someone there to give you a fist pump or high five, and during your off days, there’s always someone there reminding you of how far you’ve come and to shake it off.
Name one goal you have reached since joining CFK and one goal you want to achieve (example: deadlift/squat/press ¬¬¬___ pounds; do a pullup; do a WOD RX’d, etc.): I can officially do two strict pull ups! Heyyoo! I have NEVER been able to do pull ups, not a single one, so I’m pretty happy about this. New goal: Consistent toes-to-bar (I’d be happy if I could do sets of 5).
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFK moments:
I’ve always struggled with snatch work – squat/power the entire movement was really uncomfortable and frustrating for me. So at the beginning of this year, I made myself cut way back on weight when we practiced the lift and during workouts to focus more on form and getting comfortable with the entire movement. From there I was able to slowly add weight back in over time. Last week I hit a new Power Snatch PR at 100 lbs. It wasn’t perfect, but I worked hard for it and was pretty damn proud of myself!
Any advice for people just getting started?
Don’t let intimidation or frustration hold you back or keep you from showing up the next day. It’s hard, I get it, but every one of us at CrossFit Katy had no idea what the hell we were doing when we walked through those doors for the first time and struggled for many weeks and/or months after. We often still do at times – it’s part of the journey! Remember your reason “why” for wanting to join in the first place, and keep working towards that goal. Then look back and celebrate the improvements you’ve made! Start with the small victories first, the rest will fall in place with time.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
My husband and I have two young kids, so I love taking them to the park, pool, beach, museums, etc. I’m also a huge fan of spending time with my sister and girlfriends and catching up over a good bottle of red wine.