Athlete of the Month – September 2016

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The athlete of the month for September is Rachel Hamm! She joined CrossFit RDU in May 2016 but has picked it up quickly! If you see a blonde blur running past you in the 5 or 6 pm class, it’s probably Rachel! What I like about Rachel is her willingness to learn and listen to coaches with regards to movements and scaling. If you tell her the workout should take 10:00, she will finish in 9:59! She works diligently on her skills and olympic work and is moving forward well in that area! I look forward to watching her progress over the next few months! Congratulations Rachel!

1) When did you start doing CrossFit?

May 2016!!! Still a newbie!

2) Favorite WOD?
Basically any WOD with lots of running, wall balls, box over burpees… I’m going to love… Coming from playing a lot of soccer growing up, that sort of workout that has a heavy cardio aspect and really competitive feel is going to be my favorite… Don’t get me wrong, I’m wheezing and praying it’ll be over soon the whole time, but I love it!

3) Least Favorite WOD?
Any WOD that involves a lot of pull ups or rope climbs… Anything where I still have to do a lot of modifications.. I hate that!

4) Favorite Lift?
Deadlift all the way!!!! I’d never really done them before crossfit, but I really look forward to those.

5) Least Favorite Lift?
Squats… Always squats.. My body type isn’t best suited for faster progress with those (so Steve says haha)


6) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, I’m a 23 years old Louisiana native who moved to Raleigh, NC last year for a pharmaceutical sales job. I’m super competitive and love challenging myself. I am the mother of the cutest fur baby (Sampson). I played a lot of soccer growing up. When I’m not working or at crossfit I really enjoy anything outdoors… Soccer, hiking, biking, running, fishing, four wheelers.. Just being active!

7) What were you doing before CrossFit?
I had kinda gotten into a really boring routine.. I ran some, I lifted some, played a little soccer… I just wasn’t getting the push I needed anymore.

8) What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout?
I was very intrigued. The first WOD I did was very much based on power cleans and I was like “um what the heck is this?” But I wanted to go back and try the full week.. After that week I was HOOKED!!!

9) What were your goals when joining CrossFit?
Well, I feel like I have just started so my goals are many!!! I want to deadlift 250+lbs by the end of next lifting cycle, I want to get three strict pull ups (still working on it), rope climbs, to be able to consistently do really great form push ups while on my feet, get to where I can RX weight a majority of the time…Always something to work on- I love that!

10) Have you achieved any of those goals?
I got a one rep max of 200lb deadlift at the end of my first lifting cycle! I was really excited about that! The others are a work in progress!

11) What made you come to CrossFit RDU and stay with CrossFit RDU?
I’d always heard about crossfit but never really had the desire to join and then this year I was like “ok.. I’m really bored with what I’m doing, I’m gonna try some different types of gyms and see if any are something I think I can long-term stick with.” After trying cross fit for a week I knew it was a great fit. Crossfit RDU is the only crossfit gym I’ve tried, but I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. I like the people and the program.

12) Has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?
Yes, I have met so many awesome people.. It really is a great community as cheesy as that sounds. Being new to the state, it was what I needed beyond fitness!

13) What are some of your best achievements in the gym?
I guess the exciting part of being new is that I have a lot of room to improve.. Lately I’ve been really pushing myself in certain WODs with the weight and just getting past my negative mindset of doubting myself. Crossfit has made me feel so much more capable and I love that. Just pushing myself to try heavier weight, or challenging myself to try and run faster at the beginning of a workout and keep that pace throughout and figuring out that I can.. It’s really cool. Yesterday’s workout I started out averaging 13/14 cals on the rower a minute and thought to myself, “cmon you can totally get 16,” and the last few rounds I was able to.. I love moments like that!

14) Do you have any other special memories/achievements during your time here?
Gosh.. I’m that annoying person that loves talking about every workout . I’ve had great memories just this past summer with friends I’ve made. No big achievements beyond 200lb deadlift. Yet!!!!!!

15) What advice would you give a newbie trying out CrossFit for the first time?
Just. Do. It!!! And give It a full week!

16) Something you might not know about me is?
I never know how to answer these questions… I can twist my elbow like a pretzel?!!