May 2017 CrossFitter of the Month

10659397_950425998303125_2977626854481033072_nDid you know that this month’s CrossFitter of the Month worried herself to tears the night before she had her first Elements session with Dylan Thomas?  That’s right, she was scared to death. Well, after that first session, she was “hooked.”  That was in 2013…here’s the rest of the story:

In 2013, Melanie and Dave Turner relocated to South Lake Tahoe from San Diego.  Melanie, a Dallas native, had become a Tahoe local years before when her family had moved here when she was only two years old.  She actually attended schools on the California side before her family moved to the Nevada side when she was in fourth grade.  She is a graduate of George Whittell High School where she was a classmate of her first CrossFit Trainer, Dylan Thomas.  In fact, maybe the real reason Melanie cried herself to sleep that night was because she would be working out with her former senior prom squeeze.  Who knows?  What we do know is that Melanie’s life kept leading her back to Tahoe!  After high school, Melanie went to Sierra Nevada College and then onto UNLV Law School in 2001.  While in Las Vegas, she met David Turner,  a South Lake Tahoe native and graduate of South Tahoe High School, through his sister, Deanna, who was also Melanie’s older daughter’s teacher.  The two were married and in 2009 had their first child together, Haleigh.  In 2011, the cute family moved to San Diego where they celebrated the birth of their son, Colton.  Two years later, Melanie walked into our “box” and never regretted it.

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New Kids in the Box, 2014

When I asked Melanie what her first impression of STCF was, she candidly explained that she was used to the luxurious gyms of big cities.  You know, the gyms that have Day Spas and cucumber water. So, when she walked into our warehouse, she was a bit surprised.  In place of the Day Spa, there were rollers and lacrosse balls to ease one’s weary muscles.  And that cucumber water?  Well, yeah, no.   But despite the lack of “chi-chi” amenities, Melanie loved her first  WOD:  Filthy Fifty.

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Moxie Competition, 2015, San Jose, CA

Since that fateful first day with Dylan, Melanie has become a positive force and role model in the gym.  She signed up for her first competition, New Kids in the Box, back in 2014 and took 3rd overall.  She then competed in two Hell of the West competitions and a two-day CrossFit Moxie event in San Jose, CA with other members of STCF.  She has also completed a Spartan race, with her family in tow, and has recently convinced her mother to train for a powerlifting competition after she competed in one last year.  She is super excited to wear that onesie again!

Melanie has not been overlooked for her accomplishments in the gym since joining in 2013.  In fact, in 2015 she was selected as our female CrossFitter of the Year.  She has set numerous personal records (PRs) and has helped push others to succeed where they didn’t think they could.

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Just a little Spartan race with the fam.

So why this recognition now?  Well, last summer, Melanie had to have a PRP procedure on her shoulder which required months of physical therapy.  While most would see this as a set-back, Melanie kept her eye on that proverbial prize and slowly gained back what she had lost during her time of injury.  She began following a nutritional program, “Stronger U” and has since dropped 12 pounds and 15 inches.  More importantly, however, is that she has PR’ed in most of her lifts and all of her workouts feel better.  When asked what her favorite movements and WODs are, Melanie basically loves it all:  the variety, the lifting, the community, and ultimately, realizing how strong she has become…except running. She doesn’t like running all that much, but will still do the running workouts because “you can’t get stronger by avoiding the things you don’t like.”

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Melanie, Dave, Mel’s older daughter Hannah, Haleigh, and Colton: Easter 2017

If you aren’t impressed with Melanie yet, here’s one more accomplishment:  Melanie recently took the Bar Exam.  Twelve years since attending law school, Melanie went back and finished what she had originally set out to do.  She is an inspiration to all that face personal and physical challenges.  Melanie remains one of our most consistent and committed athletes at the gym.  Like all of our past CrossFitters of the Month, Melanie contributes to this “community of people who have decided that easy will no longer suffice.”  Congratulations Melanie!!

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PS…maybe this was the real reason for those tears… 😉