Athlete Spotlight: Melissa Ridgeway

Name: Melissa Ridgeway 

Age: 36

Occupation: Teacher (k-5 math coach)

Hometown: Bay St. Louis, MS

Class time do you usually attend: 6 am or 8am when school is out

Favorite WOD: Anything with a good balance of strength and cardio (or one I can Rx)

Favorite CF Movement: Clean

Least Favorite CF Movement: Front Squat

3RM Back Squat: 195 (I think)

3RM Deadlift: 225

Favorite Food: Pizza

Favorite Movie: National Treasure

Favorite Athlete: Drew Brees

Dream Job: Engineer or Disney travel agent

Dream Vacation Destination: Traveling around Europe

If you could have any superpower…: Eat anything I wanted and not worry about how it affects my body

Favorite Motivational Quote: “Do what is right not what is easy”

 How long have you been doing CrossFit? May 2020

How did you first discover CrossFit and what made you decide to start?: Soooo I did a free trial class at another gym years ago when I was looking to do something other than running. I could not walk for like 3 days. So at that time, I went in another direction. Tried a few gyms over 3 or so years but got tired of the same old same old. Considered trying crossfit again but wasn’t sure I could hang. Then covid happened and mama needed something more challenging to stay motivated and sane. After like 2-3 months of talking about trying it, I finally did! At that point, I wanted to improve my lifting techniques and max weights.

Tell us about your fitness/sports background: I played just about every sport growing up, but spent most of my time playing soccer and sailing in HS. Played club and rec sports in college. Got back into running after kids. Wanted to do something other than run, so started going to the gym like 3-4 years ago.

What sorts of positive changes (mental, physical, emotional) have you noticed in your life since getting involved at No Excuses?:  I realized I can do a lot more than I ever thought I could! I want to challenge myself instead of just staying put. The people I work out with, no matter what time, are so encouraging and think I can do way more than I think I can. That makes me want to do better, be stronger-for me and for them. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been and I’m able to do things I never thought I could-like rope climbs and even a few double unders. Pull ups and consistent doubs, I’m coming for ya!

Who or what keeps you coming back and motivated?: I look forward to benchmark week, seeing how I’ve progressed. I also love my 6 and 8 am people. And I want to be as strong as the girls that cleaned more than me and kicked my tail in general in the Hugo! There are some seriously amazing women athletes here!

In what other ways do you use your fitness?: Lifting has helped strengthen my legs for my runs. I also want to set a good example for my kids-that exercising is tough and fun.

Please share with us a favorite CrossFit or No Excuses moment: Getting a PR on my clean at the Hugo. My amazing teammates and every coach helped me work on form in the weeks leading up to the event. It was amazing to have strangers (at that point) come up to me after and be genuinely excited about my success.

Name one goal you would like to achieve in the next year: Double unders and pull ups (sorry but I can’t pick just one of them)

Tell us about your hobbies and interests outside of the gym: I love going to Disney with my husband and kids. I have a love/hate relationship with running. I really want to do the Dopey challenge in 2022 since it was cancelled in 2021. Trail running is my new favorite though. I also love to spend time on the water sailing, but don’t get out there nearly enough. I like to craft with my cricut and tell people about all of the fun kitchen tools Pampered Chef has to offer.

What advice do you have for someone just starting CrossFit or is on the fence about starting?: Just do it! And do it here where you have one on one support before jumping into the deep end. You may not be able to do every move right away, but everyone here is going to support you and celebrate your successes-big and small..

What do you love most about No Excuses?: That Brandon is going to bring back the 5 am class haha   I love that there’s rarely a day when I leave and think, “that wasn’t too bad.” I am challenged each day I walk in and I want to improve for me, but also because others believe I can do big things!

Coach Dillon’s take: “Melissa is very coachable and has a desire to get stronger. She always asks questions on how to better her movements and has really started to own her lifts! She keeps the early morning class fun and energetic from 6-6:55 am.”