Megan has been a member of CrossFit Queen Street since March 2016, after moving back to Kingston to work on her PhD in Nursing. She is a 6:30am class regular, and takes rest days on Thursday and Sunday. You may also see her before or after class in the grey room working on her barbell cycling with Sharon, or diligently practicing strict muscle-ups.

Although Megan is busy with her research and teaching, she always makes time for the gym and recovery. Because of this, we asked her to share some insights about her training and her mindset with us. Read below to learn about what Megan is reading right now, her recent snatch gains, and how CrossFit fits into her life.

How do you like to rest and recover? I try to mobilize everyday for at least 20 minutes and stretch every so often throughout the day, fuel my body with nutritious food, and sleep 8 hours a night.

Do you consider your training or athletic performance when you are making food choices? What do you eat on a typical day? Yes. I eat typically 5 meals a day. My family makes fun of me constantly for how much I eat but I am a hungry person, I guess. I eat toast every morning before I head to the gym. Well, I eat most of it but Cooper (Megan’s dog), the cutest little poocher you ever did see, gets some too. The rest of my meals I try to have a complex carb source, protein, and vegetables.

Have you changed the way you eat since you began CrossFit, If so, how?I have always enjoyed playing sports and working out, but I was slower at changing my diet. I had more of an emotional relationship with food that took longer to work through.

My relationship with food has changed a lot over the years. As a child, food was a source of comfort for me. I didn’t realize until many years later that it was a means of self-soothing. Food was something I had power over when I was a child when many things felt outside of my control. This transpired from when my parents got divorced and I was looking for comfort. I gained weight when my parents got divorced and was overweight throughout much of my childhood. It sucked. But now, I have found healthier ways to cope with life challenges (at times red wine, but who doesn’t) and no longer turn to food for comfort. I see food as a means of taking care of myself, and no longer have the emotional attachment.

I have cleaned up my diet by getting rid of processed foods and cutting down on sugar intake. This girl loves her dessert. Now, I focus on eating whole foods and vegetables and protein with every meal.

How does training/CrossFit fit into your life? I am a person of routine. I love routine as that is how I feel most productive. When things become routine in your life you don’t waste the mental energy making decisions. I don’t even think about going to the gym, that is just part of my day. I often feel like something is missing on Thursdays when I don’t go. Sunday I don’t really notice as I am usually hanging out with my friends or family.

What reasons did you have to train when you started CrossFit? Have those reasons changed? If so, how? I didn’t think I would ever be able to do CrossFit when a physiotherapist told me that I should restrict myself to spin class after I herniated two disks in my lumbar spine. After about a year of spin class, I made the leap and joined a CrossFit gym in Victoria. I joined knowing that I would probably be limited in some of what I could do given how bad my back had been for the two years prior. Well, in your face physiotherapist! Recently, I have been doing more and more WODs, deadlifting, and squatting without my belt, a.k.a., my back brace, and my back has never felt better. I don’t think I realized how much of a positive impact CrossFit would have on my life. It is such an empowering process.

What improvements have you made in the past 6 months that you are most proud of? I started doing extra work consistently outside of class time in the new year and I have made so many improvements. I love being able to do bar and ring muscle ups now. Also, in January my 1RM snatch was 100#. Sharon and I retested about two months ago and we both hit PRs. I never thought I would snatch 130#. Body weight snatch baby!! And the crazy thing is I think I will be able to snatch more.

Do you currently have a main focus or goal(s) with your training? Where do I start? I have goals for most things. I have started doing additional gymnastics training every day, alongside barbell. More recently, with Posy’s strong encouragement, I have started actually doing more aerobic capacity work. Thanks, Pos :) Handstand walking and consistent chest-to-bars are top of the list.

What would you consider to be your greatest strength as an athlete? This one is difficult. I would say perhaps my commitment. The whole pursuit of excellence mantra is fitting for me but, seriously, I need to remind myself to chill sometimes. I find myself attracted to goal-driven people. I think living life with a purpose and vision to be motivating but sometimes when we are so focussed on doing things it doesn’t always lead to happiness. I want to enjoy it and not be so attached to a certain outcome.

What is one thing that you do every day that you feel is essential in contributing to your success in the gym? Enjoying the process – have growth mindset.

(I’m currently reading Carol Dweck’s book where she explains the impact of a growth versus fixed mindset.)

Do you have a favourite quotation or mantra related to training? I don’t have any favourite mantras about training, as training to me is a metaphor for how I try to live my life – with purpose, commitment, and always looking for the opportunity to make myself better.

Is there anything you would like to add? This was like an unrestricted squat circle chat where I just get to go on without Cal looking at me to wrap up so we can start the workout.

Thanks for reading!