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Female Athlete of the Month: Melissa Dixon

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We chose Melissa as our Athlete of the Month because she embodies every quality we love to see in our athletes.  She shows up consistently, never makes excuses or says she can’t do something, and always cheers on her fellow athletes. Melissa recently posted this transformation picture and almost broke the internet (half kidding).  

She has two kids under the age of three and has absolutely transformed her body and health through CrossFit. We are so proud of Melissa’s transformation and even prouder of her ability to inspire and help others. She has gotten her husband, Scott, loving CrossFit too. Check out Melissa’s full video interview below to find out the secrets to this STRONG MOM’s success.

Andrew: Welcome to Crossfit Palm Beach! My name is Andrew Frezza. We’re here with our athlete of the month, Melissa Dixon. Melissa has been with us for a little bit less than a year. Melissa started in January of this year but she has accomplished a lot in a very short period of time. She has done her pull ups, toes-to-bars, double unders and a 200-pound deadlift. Those were the goals she set for the year and she accomplished them all. We’re going to learn more about Melissa today, so tell us something about yourself. Husband? Marriage? Kids?

Melissa: I’ve been married for four years and we have two children under the age of three, Mason and Fisher. They’re here every day screaming in the kids’ room. Yeah, I’m just a mom who works out every day.

Andrew: You’re pretty much stapled to the 8am class every single day. What was it like before Crossfit? Did you play sports? What were you doing before Crossfit?

Melissa: Right before I started I was one of those people who needed to get in shape before Crossfit. When I had my second child I started jogging and I set a 5k on the calendar and doing an obstacle course. I did 5k’s all the time and then I joined Crossfit. Before that I was a college athlete, then I was in the Navy, and taught aerobics at LA Fitness for a couple of years. I’ve always been into fitness, but I had children then let myself go. Then come back and found Crossfit.

Andrew: What did you do in college?

Melissa: I was a rower in USCF.

Andrew: A good skill to have in Crossfit. When you first started, what do you remember most? Were there any specific workouts that stuck out to you? Was it easy? Was it hard?

Melissa: I started, then like a month later started the Open. That got me motivated for Crossfit because I realized I was measuring everything and recording everything. I’m excited to see my progress again this year. The workouts that stuck out to me were really the Open workouts. I’m hoping the repeat will be 16.1 (the long one).

Andrew: Lunges? Pull ups? Burpees?

Melissa: I was doing jumping pull ups and I said this year I’m gonna have pull ups. It’s kinda just been in my mind the whole time. I’m improving so much for these workouts and want to do them again and get better.

Andrew: There will be a big difference this year for sure. Why did you decide to join Crossfit? You said you want to get in shape first but what made you want to do it?

Melissa: Everyone I know told me I was going to love it. I had friends back home that did Crossfit and I was just an aerobics instructor. I was thinking they’re the crazy people and I was really bull headed about it and thought what I’m doing is fun and I’m in shape enough. All my friends were so fit and doing these amazing things and I just kinda drop my ego about it. I had a lot of ego about what I was doing and that I was good enough, then I got so far out of shape that I felt like I needed that kick. It was that thing that I know was going to change me back.

Andrew: Did it click right away for you?

Melissa: Yeah, right away. In the one-on-ones with Tony, I knew this was where I want to be.

Andrew: What positive changes have you noticed since starting?

Melissa: I’m 40 pounds lighter, I’ve lost inches that I never thought I was going to have back on my body and I fit in clothes that I haven’t fit in since college. I have the energy to play with my kids and keep up with them. Crossfit allows me to have my one hour to myself each day. This one hour makes me more productive throughout my day and I’m always looking forward to the next day’s workout. Mental health is a huge positive factor that Crossfit has given me since it lets me relieve myself of any stress I have.

Andrew: What are some accomplishments that you are proud of in the gym? We mentioned some of them in the beginning. Are those the ones that stand out for you or is there anything else that has been a real proud moment for you?

Melissa: I know this might sound silly, since being in the Navy you’re tested on sit-ups and push-ups and running and that’s it. Every couple months you’re tested on those and I used to be really good on push ups and I came in here and my first one-on-one and Tony told me to do a push up and I could not get myself off the floor, I could barely get myself off the edge of the box so for me it’s the right style of push ups and doing push ups in a workout and being able to hold at the bottom and push back off the floor is just really empowering for me. It sounds silly but push ups are a big accomplishment.

Andrew: Do you have a favorite CrossFit exercise?

Melissa: I like anything with a barbell. I really like moving heavy weight. The heavier I go is the more excited I get like back squats, clean and jerks, snatches, etc. I’m really dead set on getting a hundred pound snatch and I know it was going to happen.

Andrew: Were you that way before Crossfit? Do you think you would’ve been that way when you started Crossfit?

Melissa: I didn’t realize it until I started my own one-on-ones. I really liked it. I did weight lifting in high school before. We had a program and I enjoyed it but that was for a different purpose for getting bigger and bulky, but it wasn’t like Crossfit, so I really like the Olympic lifts.

Andrew: What’s your least favorite CrossFit exercise?

Melissa: Everyone can say Burpees but I don’t exactly hate Burpees. I think the thing I struggle with most is Wall balls. I wouldn’t say I hate them, I’m just challenged by them. 

Andrew: Are you trying to convince yourself that you hate them?

Melissa: I don’t hate them, it’s just that when I see them I know its gonna hurt so bad.

Andrew: What’s your favorite Crossfit benchmark workout?

Melissa: I would say Annie because I just started getting good on Dubs. I just started feeling successful with Annie.

Andrew: Do you have a favorite cheat meal?

Melissa: I’m not really on a diet so everything is a cheat meal for me but I’d say pizza for sure. I could eat pizza every day.

Andrew: Have you had any setbacks since starting with us?

Melissa: Not really. I think it’s a setback when my kid gets sick and I can’t come in and I can’t find childcare but none injury-wise. I started a job and had to quit it because I couldn’t come to Crossfit.

Andrew: Do you have any quotes or mottos that keeps you motivated in the gym or just for the rest of your life?

Melissa: Yeah, I think stronger every day, or greater every day or better than yesterday. Every day when I come in, even if I have a tough day where I don’t feel like I’m doing well, or if I get Dubs that day because sometimes you get 2 and sometimes you get 10. You get frustrated when you get something that you could do two days ago and you’re tired and sore; you’re still working on progress.

Andrew: It doesn’t always appear to be the same on the whiteboard with your score but you’re certainly better every day and better than yesterday.

Melissa: That reminds me of the t-shirt company we started which is called ‘Those Girls’, the infamous ‘Beat the boys’ shirt that’s geared towards me and Mike.

Andrew: What was your inspiration behind the t-shirt company?

Melissa: Definitely Crossfit. Jenny and I started it because we were constantly talking to each other. We don’t ever workout without each other and if it’s partner-wise she’s not allowed to work out without me. But we were thinking that we wanted something that is positive and our message is positive. We wanted something that we can make better, like the saying on the shirt but it’s just like comic. We can make it look good, not just something to wear that’s generic and Crossfit definitely gave us that.

Andrew: How do you manage to stay so consistent with the kids at home? You mentioned the sanity piece, but are there any other tricks you have for when you actually get here and get in the door?

Melissa: When I just started I decided that this is what I’m gonna do every day. I think it’s more mental than it is anything else. Everyone’s schedule is crazy. Sometimes my kids don’t wake up on time and I don’t know how to get them ready in time, then I show up late to a workout but I’m still gonna get there at 9am if it’s really bad which rarely ever happens because we make it work. I started a job and it wasn’t working for me or my health either. We’ve made sacrifices and decisions and I just told myself this was more important. This is my priority and just mentally decided that this is what I do every day at 8am.

Andrew: What goals do you have for the future?

Melissa: I want to get better every day in the gym on any move, even wall balls. I have the hundred pound snatch goals. I want to learn more exercise physiology and get back to that round and maybe one day possibly become a coach because I see the female coaches that we have. They’re so inspiring and I feel like in this community you can come to anyone and say “hey, I’ve got this pain here or this feeling here, what’s going on?” and everybody is throwing around Latin terms and I’m back to my science background and I get excited. So I think that’s what made me want to get back into that capacity and get into Crossfit someday.

 Andrew: What do you love most about Crossfit Palm Beach?

Melissa: The community, hands down. Someone said the last ‘Bring your friend Saturday” who would you bring? I was like “all my friend are here, this is all my friends I don’t have friends to bring”. I live in Tequesta and feel like I am part of the community, everyone’s doing something and everyone’s inviting you to someplace on a Sunday. My husband and I lived here for 2 years before we joined Crossfit and we’ve never had friends, now we all drink the kool-aid together as friends.

Andrew: For someone who hasn’t drink the kool-aid yet, what advice do you have?

Melissa: I think there is a lot of people out there who had an ego about it, like ‘oh it’s a cult’ or those crazies that wanna flip tires, jump ropes and do crazy stuff, or you can be fit without it. Drop your ego and come in and try it because you are never going to push yourself this hard. Even in college athletics I don’t think I pushed myself to this capacity. I’ve become different and I think better than I was back in college. I am a better athlete than I was at 18 or 19 years old.

Andrew: That raps it up. Thanks and congrats again on being athlete of the month.

Melissa: Thank you!