Athlete of the Month: August

We are proud to share our August Athlete of the Month;

Amy Ryan!

About Amy:

Age: 27

Occupation: Fundraiser for Riverside Foundation

Fitness background: Cross country and Track in high school and started weight lifting after grad school.

Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with my Husband, family, friends, and two dogs. 🙂  Activity-wise, Chris and I love going to wineries, biking, and scuba-diving together. Separately, I love doing home improvement projects, and building and fixing things with my parents. My weirdest extracurricular activity is probably doing leather working. This is something my Dad was super into so he passed that down to me.

Favorite pre/post workout meal: When I’m not on a meal plan, avocado toast. 🙂


More Fun Facts:

What’s your favorite Cheat Meal?

Indian food – I would eat it all day every day if I could 🙂


What 3 things would you bring with you to a deserted island?

My husband and my 2 dogs. We are pretty resourceful so I’m sure we would figure out the rest when we got there.

What are the Top 3 most “Frequently Used” Emojis on your phone??

When did you start Crossfit and why did you choose OP?

I started crossfit in the middle of October 2018. Bomba taught (or still teaches?) classes at Warwick High School and she invited the teachers to try a class at OP. My best friend Emily went to one and invited me to come along. After attending one class, I was just so impressed with every single person I met. They were all incredibly welcoming and encouraging, Bomba in particular. This class was the first time she’d ever met me but she made me feel like she was my BIGGEST fan. And I thought if I could be around a gym full of people like this there’s no way I could fail. So a few weeks later I convinced my husband we needed to switch gyms.

What was your first workout/most memorable workout?

Gosh, most of the bad ones I really try to block out. Haha. One terrible one lately was one with really heavy deadlifts for a good number of reps. Deadlifts are not my favorite lift and I knew that RX would be a heavy weight for me but thought I could do it. After one round of 10 or 15 I realized everyone was an entire round ahead of me. Anyway, long story short it took me FOREVER. I dropped 10 pounds. It was still awful. But it’s fine. I got through it and did my best. Those are actually some of my favorites to look back on though because you have to just embrace the suck and get it done and I think that’s when you grow the most.

How has Crossfit and the OP community helped you accomplish your goals?

My crossfit goals are pretty simple. I’d like to be able to RX every workout but that means learning and perfecting more movements then I’d like to think about. Seriously, I tried to list them out one day and got overwhelmed and stopped. 🙂 I’ll get there though.

My life goals are just to live a good life and make a positive impact on this world. The first one is very easy to connect to OP. Part of living a good life is being happy and healthy. I’ve been able to lose over 7% of body fat since coming to OP and I’ve learned so much about how hard I can push myself and how strong I can be. I’ve never been happier and I was pretty happy before so that says a lot about just how great this community is.
Second goal is to make a positive influence on this world – this might seem dramatic, but we have a lot of negativity in our world so I try every day to do something that will make a positive impact on someone. Sometimes that’s as simple as being the first to welcome a new member or encourage someone who is exhausted during a workout. The OP community is so supportive I feel like I am a more positive person when I walk out of the gym so I try to spread that to strangers I meet, my coworkers, or whoever I come in contact with.

What are your favorite Crossfit movements and why?

I love any heavy barbell movement (minus deadlifts 🙂 ) but cleans are my favorite. The first time I tried to do a clean at my last gym I just could not get the movement down. After about a half hour of trying I went home and watched 1000000 videos on how to do a proper clean. After work I went back to the gym and worked on it for another hour or so and finally got it. So now every time I do cleans I remember that experience and how proud I was when I finally mastered the movement.

What is your proudest Crossfit accomplishment?

The other day I did a SHSPU on a few plates, because anything with overhead strength or gymnastics is not a strength for me so those three inches were a really big deal. I also broke into the 200s on squats last week – that’s been a goal for awhile. And I feel like im relatively close to a strict pull up which is super exciting. So all of that to say, this community makes you feel so great about yourself every day that really small improvements can feel like a huge accomplishment and that’s a pretty cool thing to be a part of.

What’s something memorable you’ve realized or learned while being at OP?

  1. 1. Coach Bomba – I have to say I miss Mondays more than I should because of my husband’s late hockey games on Sunday nights but Bomba is really the reason I started coming to OP so that means a lot! I remember after a really rough workout Bomba asked me to do a Grit workout she was trying with 3 other people. I knew I was tired but it was a team workout and everyone had to be synchronized. This is the day I learned how great (or awful) team workouts can be, you push yourself harder than usual because you don’t want to let down your partner or be the one who screws everything up!
  2. Coach Roxy – Coach Roxy is super great at coaching progressions and foundational movements. She has stayed after class several times with me to work on my kip swing and strict pull-up. She has taught me patience with myself. These movements take time and if you don’t learn them the right way it’s harder to unlearn the bad habits. So during the times I’ve wanted to skip steps A – D to get to F she grounds me and reminds me of that.
  3. Coach Alan – Very early on at my time at OP but we were doing a workout that involved a run, double unders, and something on the barbell. I was
  4. behind and realized I didn’t remember where we were supposed to run to and it was super dark outside. I probably panicked more than I should have so Alan just ran with me to make sure I knew where I was going. I think that was a huge reminder that this place was not like other gyms I’d been to before. These coaches care so much about you as a person and as an athlete. Alan’s coaching also finally helped me get correct form on a snatch a few weeks ago so I’m grateful for all that he does for us.
  5. Coach Courtney – Courtney has had our class twice for rope climbs. The first time did not go so well but this past week I was finally able to create the muscle memory to get the footing correct on these. So I owe that to her coaching and hopefully very soon I’ll be able to get my first rope climb. In a few short weeks, Courtney has taught me so much about the OP community. She treats everyone like her oldest friend. She makes people feel so comfortable around her and in the classes, whether they’ve been here for 5 years or if this is their first class. We are all so grateful to have her in our corner.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Just that I am so grateful to be a part of this community every single day. I’m grateful for the people I workout with and the coaches who do such a wonderful job.