Athlete of the Month: September ’20

Mercedes LaPorte!

About Mercedes:

Age: 29

Occupation: Release of Information Specialist Manager for TPMG

Fitness background: Just crossfit for the past 7 years

Hobbies: Video games and any outdoor adventures

Favorite pre/post workout: Chicken hot dogs LOL

What is your Spirit Animal?

A sloth- Slow yet strong!

What Superpower would you want to possess?

Talk to animals

What is your favorite “Cheat Meal”?

Pizza rolls.  I can destroy an entire bag.

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

Well, I started crossfit in Alabama around 2013 at a box called Crossfit 2L2Q.  The affiliate doesn’t exist anymore, but the new owner kept the 2L2Q name for their own gym situation.  I moved to VA in 2014 and started at a box in Hampton, and was there for about a year.  I made no progress in anything, and it just didn’t feel like the right box for me.  My ex-husband found OP in July of 2017  and said when he spoke to Diane he felt like I would really like it.  So I made my NoSweat intro, and instantly fell in-love.

What was your first workout/most memorable workout?

Oh goodness…My friend back home brought me to 2L2Q’s Memorial Day Murph, about a month or so before joining! We broke up the squats, push-ups and run .  The run we did in 400m portions, and I could barely keep that up!  I had always been a very skinny person (until I moved to VA, then things went south lol…), but I’ve never really been “athletic”, just lots of hiking with my family, so that was rough.

What were/are your goals and how has CrossFit and OP helped you accomplish them?

My goals were to get down to at least 135/140 lbs and SEE muscle tone.   I’ve still got some weight to lose, but I’m not just looking at the scale- I can SEE how much I’ve gained in muscle!  Right when I got divorced and moved into my own place…COVID happened and everyone went into hiding and life shut down.  That. Sucked.  BUT- Anna was my cyber coach, and also met with me to do WODs together.  I had already lost a good chunk of weight and started to see some real improvement at the box before it closed, and she helped me stay on track the whole time! Then Jillian and I became fast friends and they’ve both become a big part of my motivation and accomplishments <3.

What are your favorite CrossFit movements and why?

Snatch!! It was the hardest lift for me to figure out, and now it’s become my favorite.

What is your proudest CrossFit accomplishment?

So far, it’s been FINALLY getting Double Unders and Toes to Bar.  But, it’s about to be completing my first Crossfit Competition with Jillian and Anna on 08/29 at Crossfit Cafe’s Pandemic Pandemonium Throwdown!

What’s something memorable you’ve learned at OP from the coaches, the members, or about yourself that you’d like to share with others?!

I’ve learned that there are some absolutely amazing people at this box who will pull you out of some real dark places, fast, and keep cheering you on.  I’ve made true friends here :). The OP community is legit!