This Month’s Member Spotlight is Coach Melissa Perricelli-Goueytes!
As I said, the focus of these monthly gems is to show that not only is CrossFit safe in the hands of sound coaching, it is actually very therapeutic! And Coach Melissa has a great story!
"I was on pain medication from an old knee injury. Being a daredevil from a very young age, and pretending to be Evil Knievel, I suffered a broken tib fib when I was 13 years old. It damaged my growth plate leaving me physically different (one leg shorter with a valgus deformity) and I never thought I could do anything extremely physical. I felt crippled and disabled. More recently, I suffered and hobbled through Hana relay with the strength from my mind, not my legs. My nieces always told me to do CrossFit. I was too afraid to fail and to hurt myself. I tried it out at a beach WOD and loved it. I didn't want to start until I was sure I wasn't going to get hurt. Jen and Jill told me to talk to Lee. I met coach and Physical Therapist, Lee Poston, who started to change my "mind set" first. He told me that all these years, I was literally making my leg weak by favoring it. ("Tissue responds positively to load and also negatively to lack of load"). We started a “progressive loading” program to strengthen the leg and remodel the joint to accept load. Pretty quickly, I was beginning to understand. I had trained my knee to not be able to do anything physical, due to thinking it was “damaged.” It was so cool the day we realized my bad leg wasn't my bad leg anymore, it was just my right leg. I remember that day so clearly. It was awesome!
When I started with Lee in PT, I could not even squat my own body weight correctly. I leaned away from my "bad" leg. Now I can squat 210 lbs. equally to depth. I would have never thought I could jump, run and play as hard as I do and just recently I was able to easily jump over a 36-inch hurdle****. I had pretty much chalked up marathons as an unattainable goal; recently, I did a half without training for it and did it under two hours.
With CrossFit, I found my "MOJO." That special fire my uncle Joe always told me I had. I got off pain meds, quit smoking and now live a healthier lifestyle, altogether. I'm a better Christian, mom, wife, sister, aunty, nurse, friend and coach because of CrossFit. I am forever grateful for my CrossFit Family and all who support my crazy adventures! I love to help others find their MOJO, because we all have it, it just needs to be unleashed. CrossFit changes lives! I know in my heart that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
****That 36-inch hurdle is just a symbol of the many physical hurdles she has crushed since starting CrossFit with a bad wheel:
-2014 CrossFit Open, she was in the top 200 in the world in her 40-44 age group. Good enough to advance to regionals!
-She was a Level 1 CrossFit coach until just recently when she completed the CrossFit Level II course, where she was told, "You were the "star" of the seminar. Your energy, enthusiasm and humility were palpable and enhanced everyone's experience. Proud to know you!" — Erik Preston, CrossFit Seminar Staff.
-She also recently submitted a video to become the next American Ninja Warrior!