Irene Mejia

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Irene Mejia

Name: Irene Mejia
Age: 39
CrossFit Start Date (and box): June 2010 – CrossFit Elysium in Normal Heights
Favorite movement or WOD: Power cleans and push presses; Grace
Least favorite movement or WOD: PINCHE WALL BALLS, burpees, OHS, thrusters..and don’t forget the PINCHE WALL BALLS; Karen & The Bear

GET TO KNOW IRENE

What was your athletic background prior to CrossFit?
Couch potato.
 How did you hear about CrossFit? What convinced you to join, and why have you stayed?
I had never heard about CrossFit until I joined almost 2.5 yrs ago. I was over 400 lbs and worried that the 40 lbs I had already lost on my own I would start to gain back. I knew I didn’t want to join a globo gym, and CrossFit Elysium was only two blocks away from my house. The testimonials from other athlete members gave me the push to send an email to the coaches for a consultation. I honestly thought they would take one look at me and tell me I had to lose weight first before I could sign up. Right after the consultation with Coach Pablo I signed up for fundamentals. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else other than CrossFit.

Don’t get me wrong — the first few months were the hardest. Every inch of me was sore and I would get sick to my bella at least a couple hours before the workout. Now I can’t wait for the work day to end so I can get over to Elysium and lift some heavy shit! I like having that one-on-one atmosphere with my coach since the classes are smaller. My coaches emphasize proper technique for all movements and watch us closely to make sure we get it right and improve. Not only have I been losing the weight, but I’m also getting hella strong at the same time!! The CrossFit community is great. Everyone is there for one another and keeps each other in check.

 How do you manage the mental and physical demands of CrossFit training?
I keep telling myself one pound and one rep at a time. I’ve been overweight my entire life, so I know it’s not going to go away quickly. It’s going to take time, dedication and discipline. Yes I will be sore and some — if not many — days will be harder than other days, but I remind myself of where I was physically two years ago and where I am now. I know what my goals are and what I have to do to get there….work my ass off with CrossFit and eat right!!
 What do you love about the people and/or place where you train?
Everything and anything!! I love the dedication and support from my coaches and the camaraderie with my fellow athletes. We’re all very close, even though we don’t all work out at the same times. We can count on each other for support and encouragement, inside and outside of the gym. We are truly a familia.
 What do you do in your everyday life? How has CrossFit impacted that role (or roles)?
It’s the little things that have meant the most to me. I now can walk up a few flights of stairs without gasping for air; walk and not get tired after a few minutes; put on my seatbelt with ease. I’ve gone from shoe size 11 down to 10. Now I’m sitting in a booth instead of always asking for a table; going to Disneyland and fitting on the rides; placing something on my lap instead of bella. I’m lifting up my leg to tie my shoe, instead of looking down and only seeing my bella — now instead I see the “tatas.” I am able to shop at an actual clothing store instead of shopping online; I’m starting to see a waist line…I could go on and on…
 Looking back, what 2-3 things did you wish you knew when you started CrossFit?
I wish I knew about Paleo and Zone sooner.
 What is your most memorable CrossFit moment?  What is your most embarrassing moment?
A few of my most memorable moments: getting under 400 lbs within a month after I started CrossFit; getting up off the ground by myself; being able to run without the knees hurting; being able to jump my feet out doing a burpee (though I’m still working on jumping right back into the burpee); doing pullups with a horizontal band; doing multiple single jump ropes; doing Grace Rx (she was my first girl WOD at Elysium so I am very fond of her). I also remember well my first competition at Elysium — “Rumble in Paradise” —  and seeing my coach give me the look of approval when my squats were finally low enough and legit. Though my proudest moment was when I finally weighed under 300 lbs — I think I cried that day because I was soooo pinche happy!!

The only embarrassing moment I can think of are the few times I have slammed the barbell against my “tatas” when I’m pulling it up to do a snatch or clean. As upper bella gets smaller, the “tatas” are sticking out more and sometimes have gotten in the way…hahaha!!

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