Athlete of the Month

Athlete of the Month

All of us who work out here at Mission CrossFit SA train hard. We are all on our own journey in pursuit of a higher level of fitness, health and ultimately, life. It is not an easy journey, but it’s worth it. It requires hard work, sweat, discipline, and perseverance. The journey is filled with challenges, obstacles, and sometimes-even setbacks. And although every person’s road is unique, it is not a solo endeavor. We are in the pursuit of fitness together. Like a team, when a person is knocked down, the group responds by picking them up. Equally as important, when someone succeeds, their accomplishments are enjoyed and celebrated by the whole. To that end, every month, one person will be recognized for their outstanding achievements in fitness, whether they are in or out of the box.

This page is dedicated to that individual who portrays what CrossFit is at Mission CrossFit SA. It is someone who pushes hard, never gives up and wants to accomplish something each day they step foot inside our gym. They are chosen by their peers and lead by example. The athlete doesn’t necessarily lift the most amount of weight, or win every WOD, but instead they have passion and desire for what their individual goal is. Work hard, everyone is always paying attention, and you could be next!

September Athlete of the Month

Congratulations to Brandon Meckel for being selected as September Athlete of the Month. As hesitant as Brandon was to come try us, you can say the old saying, he drank the kool-aid and never looked back. During his short time with us he was participated in his first CrossFit Open setting new personal records. He has volunteered his time for our yearly women’s event. For those reasons and many more is why Brandon is deserving of September Athlete of the Month.

Started CrossFit: July 2019
Favorite Lift: Squat Clean
Least Favorite Lift: Thruster …or something I can’t do handstand walks
Favorite WOD: Grace
Least Favorite WOD: Anything with a long run..I mean come on man…why
Story: I came from a sports heavy background. It was football, soccer, baseball, track …something all the time. This all shifted when I transitioned to college. Now that there wasn’t a practice to go to, I had to fill my free time with something! So off to the rec I went…and right into the oh so original schedule of chest on Mondays, legs never…whatever schedule. As my lifting experience grew, I got bored and felt like something was missing. I avoided CrossFit for a very long time, the last thing I wanted was to flop around on the floor to get a dirty shirt and then toss chalk on my shorts for good measure. Years went by and I got a job where I was fortunate enough to have a gym at my workplace. So at lunch I ended up meeting a group of people to work out and it was all HIIT based, it was great! It was here that I got the pleasure of meeting Mission CrossFit legend Becky. She told me about this gym she goes to and thinks I would like it. She tells me this again …and again…and again for months. So one day in July I broke down, made my first anxious/nervous drive over to Mission and haven’t looked back since. Mission is the first box I have ever belonged to and I couldn’t be more proud to call this place home. The coaching staff is amazing, they are always out giving cues and tips to correct movements or make things more efficient. This has been everything I could have wanted in a gym and a community. I am honored to be selected as athlete of the month and truly grateful to be a part of the Mission Family. 
Let’s get that work!

Brandon Meckel

August Athlete of the Month

Congratulations to Sharon Hohon for being selected as August Athlete of the Month. Many of you may not have had the pleasure of meeting Sharon because she is a die hard 5am ONLY member. Sharon has stepped way outside her comfort zone and has been able accomplish so many new feats since starting CrossFit. All though she may not be a fan of overhead squats, you should see her toe to rings. For those reasons and many more is why we have selected Sharon as athlete of the Month.

Started CrossFit: 2017

Favorite Lift: Deadlift

Least Favorite Lift: Overhead Squats

Favorite WOD: Anything with deadlifts and bench press

Least Favorite WOD: Sleds and burpees!

Story: Mission was the first gym I ever stepped foot in. I loved CrossFit from the first class and each day it continues to grow. I saw changes very quickly which motivated me to push harder in every class. Each class is a challenge for me but when I am finished, I feel fantastic! I love the people and the positive energy Mission has created. I have never experienced this before and look forward to the next WOD and how much I can improve. Thank you to all the Coaches and fellow members in the 5am class!

June Athlete of the Month

Congratulations to Julie for being selected as June’s Athlete of the Month. Julie has been on the front lines during this Pandemic as a nurse, we want to thank you for what you do! Even through our closure she logged on to zoom classes and made her driveway her new box. She likes to get away from reality during class and squat heavy. For those reasons and many more is why we have selected Julie as June’s Athlete of the Month.
Started CrossFit– I began CrossFit when the yoga studio I was attending opened a CrossFit box. I was hesitant at first to venture over from the hot yoga room to CrossFit, but I eventually tried it one day. I honestly wasn’t thrilled my first day. In the warm up there was Wall Walks. Lets just say “it was rough”. I could barely get up the wall. I don’t remember anything after that, just the fact that I didn’t like it. After the class, I was talking with another athlete and she stated “you’ll get fast results”. Well, I was hooked! I have been going practically everyday off since!
Favorite WOD– Hard to choose just one, but I guess I’ll go with Fran. It’s quick, has movements that I like, and its a burner.
Least favorite WOD– Honestly, Murph. Its long, repetitive, and push ups burn me up quick. But there is no greater feeling running that last mile!
Favorite lift– Back squat. Yet, I love anything with a squat!
Least favorite lift– Snatch. Has been a hard skill to learn and gets heavy quick. But I do love all lifts.
Story– I am originally from Massachusetts. I lived on Ft. Sam Houston for about a year while in the Combat Medic and LVN program with the Army. That is where I discovered this Bikram yoga studio, that then eventually opened up a CrossFit Box. After graduating the LVN program, I decided to move back to San Antonio. That is when I began CrossFit and have been going fairly consistently for the past 6 years. It was time for a change, so I began looking for other CrossFit box. I honestly was nervous to try Mission CrossFit because that is where “real” CrossFitters went. But I tried it, really enjoyed it, and have been at Mission for about 2 years now. I have done multiple competitions to include Mission’s A League Of Their Own (twice!). I do like competitions because it gives you something to work towards. I love the atmosphere of CrossFit and the fact that I can just show up and always get a great workout in. 
CrossFit does give great, fast results. It also helps me stay mentally fit. I currently work as an Emergency Department Registered Nurse and have the past 4 years. I am also still serving the Army reserves. I love the mental break I get while in class. I can put away my phone and just focus on the workout ahead. When Mission was closed for 59 days, it was tough. I loved logging into Zoom and seeing everyone. It provided a great interaction with other people which I believe we as humans need. I recommend CrossFit (particularly Mission CrossFit) to all my friends, of any age, and any fitness level.

May Athlete of the Month

Congratulations to Blaine Rucker on being selected as May’s Athlete of the Month. Blaine has been around CrossFit for quite some time now, you can consider him an OG of the game. When he is not out representing Mission in local competitions, you can’t miss him if there’s a Mission event that requires a costume. He goes above and beyond just participating. For those reasons and many more is why we have selected Blaine as Athlete of the Month.

Started CrossFit– 2013 Round Rock – Kill It Crossfit

Favorite WOD– Double Karen

Least favorite WOD– Anything with a barbell. Especially a heavy barbell.

Favorite lift– I hate lifting.  Let’s do rowing, bar muscle-ups, and wall balls until we die. If I have to pick a “lift” kettlebell swings (American), They make me feel important. 

Least favorite lift– Anything with a barbell. I hate lifting. Have I said that yet? I joined CrossFit to force me outside of my comfort zone.

Story– WOW, how deep do I go? CrossFit helped me find light in a dark place. I needed some friends while starting a new chapter. A college friend told me to join a box, and I would make some friends. I was a little worried because I was not into “lifting with the bros.” I was a swimmer/runner/triathlon kind of guy. 

The first gym I joined was very family-oriented, and I felt comfortable right away. They taught me all of the basics. Their coach was Olympic Lifting certified, which was essential to me because of my degree in Exercise Science and my American College of Sports Medicine certification. 

As we have moved around, I have carried that knowledge and foundation to a few other boxes. I can always count on the community to be accepting and like-minded. Crossfit has been an integral part of my 7+ years of sobriety. I also travel a lot, and I get more excited about box drop-ins than some of the vacation explorations.

Mission Crossfit has been my home for a little over two years. I value the education and experience of the owners and their coaches. I worked in the fitness industry for many years. I know quality coaching and guidance when I see it. As an LGBQ athlete, I appreciate that Mission Crossfit embraces everyone for who they are and can meet anyone at their current personal journey. Mission Crossfit has taught me to go back to the basics. The technique is always preferred to a sloppy, heavy lift. I will forever be the little guy trying to hang with the big dogs. That is ok. I can still outrun them.

April Athlete of the Month

Congratulations to Trish Shanahan on being selected as April’s Athlete of the Month. Trish has been consistent with working on her weaknesses. Though she loves running and you can always find her at the box on the endurance WODs. She works just as hard if there is a barbell in the WOD. She juggles 2 kids and her full time position in the military with such ease. For those reasons and many more is why Trish has been selected as our Athlete of the month.

Started CrossFit– July 2016

Favorite WOD– I really like Murph because of the running and body weight movements.  If there is a WOD that has more running than Murph, I would like that one better.

Least favorite WOD– Heavy lifting WODs. Not. My. Jam.

Favorite lift– Clean. This lift has wormed its way into my heart.

Least favorite lift- Snatch. It is very humbling, but I am starting to feel more confident and improve my technique. I can respect the lift now…. but it will be awhile before it becomes special to me.

Story– Initially I was not interested in CrossFit at all because I was a devoted long-distance runner (since high school) and could not understand why people would want to do these high intensity workouts that were “short” when they could enjoy a nice long run.  I would lift weights to augment my running, but nothing too heavy.  I ran throughout my first pregnancy and started right back running after my first child.  At the time, I stopped lifting weights because I “didn’t have enough time.”  I kept getting hurt, but ran through the pain (I don’t recommend doing that).  By time of my second pregnancy, I was running less and less because of pain and lack of mobility. After my second child, I had almost given up on running all together. I was eating more, working out less and actually was perplexed as to why I was gaining weight.  In 2016 while stationed at Ft. Gordon, GA, the on-post gym began hosting CrossFit for active duty service members. One of my residents invited me to a class… I agreed, but still had all sorts of negative ideas about CrossFitters.  Surprisingly, the class was not like the stereotypes or memes about Crossfit and the people were normal-ish (kinda). I kept showing up and eventually started doing things that I had never been able to before. I got my first ever pull up (it took me 9 months to get one, but I did it!!!!) and was able to climb a rope.  This was such a big deal for me. I began to respect my body more, eat better (most of the time), and my running naturally started to come back. I got back into running races and increasing my distances beyond what I ever thought I would— I also hook grip when I run now as it keeps me from clinching my fists too much while running. I have muscles in places that I didn’t know muscles exist. And the best part was when I overheard my daughter tell her friend “my mom is so strong.” 

March Athlete of the Month

Congratulations to Joey Almaraz on being selected as March 2020 Athlete of the Month. Joey is a regular to the evening classes. You can always find him cracking jokes before, during and after class. He brings great energy to every class he attends. He pushes himself in every WOD and encourages every athlete to do their best. For those reasons and many more is why Joey has been selected as Athlete of the Month.

Started CrossFit– April 2014
Favorite WOD–  Tie between Amanda or DT
Least favorite WOD–  Diane
Favorite lift–  Snatch
Least favorite lift–  Deadlift
Story–  I started CrossFit back in 2014 after moving to Austin. I was tired of the same ole Chest & Bi’s, Shoulders & Tri’s days… Legday (if I felt like it) workouts.  I wasn’t having fun with my fitness routine which is why I decided to switch it up.  My first official WOD after completing the intro course that was on the Friday of Open WOD 14.5.  Thruster after thruster & burpee after burpee I couldn’t help but question my decision to start CrossFit but I went back the next day and the next and couldn’t help but be hooked to this type of fitness and all the people I met along the way.  In July of 2015 I received my CF level 1certification, coached some, and finally moved back to SA.  I jumped around from box to box and finally found my new home at Mission. I have tried over half of the gyms in San Antonio and dropped in all over the country when we travel and know from experience that Mission provides one of the most comprehensive experiences out there. From thoughtful programming to some of my favorite coaches to a great facility, it is hard to beat. I can’t help but be thankful for the coaches and people my wife and I have come to call our gym family.

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