Athlete of the Month: Susie Marsh
Our October Female Athlete of the Month is Susie Marsh! Susie has graced us with her cheerful spirit for over 2 years now and 330 workouts! We love Susie’s appetite for growth and coaching. She’s an events chef at The Breakers so there won’t be any shortage of food puns when describing what a specials person she is. Susie was one of the first athletes to join our 40 Days to Fit program when we first started it, so it obviously validated it for us that we could find amazing people with this offer. She’s also been a positive influence on her co-workers in the restaurant industry, who typically don’t have the best eating/lifestyle habits. Her biggest win has come from helping her husband Brian lose 50 pounds, and now they run 5k races together. Susie has a great story about how CrossFit has helped her grow as a person, and improved her mental health more than anything. We are so grateful to have you in our CFPB family Susie!
Here’s Susie’s Story:
Growing up on a farm in Rural Ohio/Indiana (I grew up close to the state line) was an experience that I am forever grateful for…I really wish more kids could have that experience. If you wanted something, I was taught at any early age that you had to work for it. For instance I wanted to play softball…all my friends were doing it, so my parents made me a deal I could play but I had to at least stick with it the entire season. Turns out I loved it and went on to play it all through High School. This also led to playing basketball until my Junior Year; however, it wasn’t my true passion so I switched to Cross Country instead my Senior year. This opened a love of running and I went on to run the Disney Half-Marathon to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma and my first trip to Florida at 20 years old. I would run two more half-marathons before hanging the running bug up for good because of multiple stress fractures.
My Grandma and I have always been super close. She had 7 grandboys before I showed up. Little would we both know that we are so much alike!! Growing up it was always a treat to get to go to Grandma’s house, not only to visit with her but the incredible smells coming from her kitchen. Freshly made cinnamon buns, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, tomato-potato-okra stew, fresh-made pies…I could go on and on. This started my love affair with food and as my dad would say, “My expensive palate!” As much as I loved playing sports, riding horses and taking care of the many animals on the farm. I also loved cooking and baking with my mom. In my early high school years, we would go out to dinner on Saturday evenings after church and the restaurants we had to choose from were all chains. I remember coming home after eating out and saying I could make those dishes better, even though I had zero formal training. The weird thing, I actually could make them better.
I worked at a Country Club in Indiana before deciding this was what I wanted to do. I used the Disney Half-Marathon to have a reason to visit Florida and the Culinary School in West Palm Beach and then to Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Charleston, South Carolina. I decided on going to Johnson & Wales for school and concentrate on learning Southern Cuisine (plus I’m a huge history nerd so I fell in love with Charleston). One small problem with Charleston, the pay for people in the restaurant business was terrible so I started looking to move again. I attended a job fair at the last possible minute, met with the Chef at The Breakers and really wanted an interview but the spots were completely full so I waited outside, hoping that someone just wouldn’t show up so they would interview me instead and that is exactly what happened.
I was thrilled when I learned how close Jupiter was to The Breakers. My Aunt and Uncle live in Jupiter Farms. I started as an extern at the hotel and after three months got a full-time position. It took a lot of hard work, determination, and organization to get to where I am now as an Area Chef of the Banquet Department.
During my first year, I’d meet my now-husband Brian who is also a chef. We would join a gym in Abacoa before switching to Gold’s Gym. I went fairly regularly; however, I struggled with a routine. At one point I used Jaime Easton’s app and I got results; however, I was so bored! One of my other chefs at the time kept telling me I should really try Crossfit, but I listened to others that said, you will just get more injured. In high school, I suffered two concussions, something I would find out years later and leave me with fused discs in my neck and in severe pain in my early 30s. At Golds, I was getting more and more frustrated and was desperate for a change, so I started doing research on local Crossfit gyms. Time and time again Crossfit Palm Beach was at the top so I started stalking you all by listening to the podcasts, which in turn got me in the door.
At 35, I decided my life wasn’t going to change unless I did something. That something was signing up on Sunday, August 20th, 2017. Yes, I still remember the date, because I went through some big life changes after that. I signed up for the following reasons: meet new people, push myself out of my comfort zone and focus on my mental health. I wasn’t overweight but my mental health was not in good condition. I met with Whitney and I was instantly hooked. I was super frustrated at how many things I couldn’t do but was determined to take notes and get better. It was always one humbling experience after another that first year. Then the book club started and I realized how much I had missed reading and those books just supplemented what I was getting from inside the gym but now I could use these lessons as a leader at work. I’ve grown leaps and bounds in the last couple years by letting go of things that aren’t important and embracing new challenges. My love and passion has always been cooking, health and nutrition so in July 2018 I founded my own website in hopes of helping others with healthy free recipes at www.cheflifenutritionandwellness.com
CrossFit and this incredible community have opened so many doors that I never expected. In getting my mind and body healthy, it helped inspire my husband to do the same. He’s now lost 50 pounds and we just ran our 5th 5k together of the year, which he won!! The most incredible memories of the last year have been inside your walls. From doing the Spartan Race with Brian (please continue to do this, it was so much fun!) to experiencing Murph for the first time and knowing I was ready with all your incredible coaching. Then all the times you get to go to class and see your friends who are constantly making you better with positivity and a high five!
Fun fact…everyone always compliments my arms and my response is I have good genes. My Grandfather was a bodybuilder and my aunt was also. I come from a super fit family on my dad’s side. I once had a coach in high school try to convince me to get into it, but I was scared I would get too big. (Please insert emoji hitting her forehead!)
If I could give some life advice it is this. Take care of yourself first, then you are able to take care of others. I have an incredibly forgetful mind, so knowing this I’ve lived by my moleskin day planner for the last five years and it has been a game-changer in my world. If you are having a hard time getting life in balance and getting to where you want to be I recommend scheduling it. I schedule everything from time with Brian, gym time, meal prep time, blog time and what is most important that I need to do at work. It’s let me be focused when I need to and given me time to unwind…yes I even schedule that to. Self-care is so important.
So thankful for all our coaches and the Crossfit Palm Beach Community.
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