March Athlete of the Month: Skyla DeSimone

“On November 11th of 2020, I walked into CF 128 with a couple of my friends after church. Coach Ryan was in the middle of locking up the gym doors for the day when my friends and I stopped and asked him some questions about the gym and when we could get started. As we were all talking I couldn’t help but observe the stack of plates, the barbells, the giant rig, and wall balls lined up on the back wall. I was immediately drawn in just from the environment that was presented to me. My first ever CrossFit session was with Coach Ryan and we were going over some movements that would show up in class. I felt confident in the dumbbell movements and having the barbell in my hands from the start. To wrap up the session we did an 8-minute workout with the assault bike and dumbbell thrusters…. Needless to say, I completely plateaued in that workout within the first 40 seconds and couldn’t even bring myself to get to the thrusters. 

Coming from an athletic background filled with martial arts, basketball, lacrosse, and sprinting, I’d never inherited the term “pacing” when it came to working out. Crossfit opened my eyes to the idea of gaining strategy and understanding my body along with its capacity; something I was so ignorant towards in high school sports and martial arts. Beyond working out and gaining so much knowledge about the technical aspects of Crossfit, I realized what really separated CrossFit(especially CrossFit 128) from every other sport I have ever been exposed to: community. As individualized workouts can be, everybody in class alongside you is doing the same workout, in the same amount of pain(maybe even more!), and we all encourage each other to push to the finish regardless of how many reps we do end up completing. 

I’ll never forget as we were preparing for the 2021 CrossFit Open, Coach Chris came up to me after I had done a couple of snatches and he rhetorically asked, “So you’re telling me you’ve never picked up a barbell or have never had any Crossfit experience before being here?” I just shrugged my shoulders and shook my head. In response, he smiled under his mask and said, “well whatever it is that you need, I’m here for you kid.” I was so taken back because out of all of the coaches I’ve had, the teams I’ve been a part of, no one has ever said that to me or anything related to it. It is because of Coach Chris that I’ve found the confidence to succeed in the sport of CrossFit and set such high goals for myself.  CrossFit 128 has shown me the true meaning of what family is, and how fitness brings people together(even at 6:15 in the morning). I’m beyond blessed to be a part of such a humbling, charismatic family. I thank all of the coaches and 6:15 members for their constant support. I’ve never felt so welcomed by a group of people and their dogs!”😁🍩🐶