EVERYONE NEEDS A HYPE GIRL LIKE MEGAN WINKLER!
Our February Athlete of the Month is the best lifting partner and community member you could ask for. Megan will pump you up, she will jump up and down in excitement for you, and she will make sure you feel seen during class. And she’s been like this all of her 5 1/2 years at Blackbird.
Most of the time, you can find Megan at the 9:30am, aka The Mom’s Class. If she’s not teaching the kiddos at Wesley Freedom preschool, she’s at Blackbird making people feel like they can achieve anything and everything. She’s kind and gentle, but fierce, determined, and focused when it’s time to work. Her form on her lifts is impeccable. She takes real pride in her movement, never sacrificing form for speed…something our coaches truly appreciate. At 40, she’s working hard on her pull up strength and moving towards those Rx weights in workouts. She’s unstoppable.
We love that Megan values being a role model of health and fitness for her two boys and her kiddos at school. She brings her sons to CrossFit Kids classes, to gym events so they can see her in action, and she keeps them active in sports and daily life. It is powerful to see how the simple act of a mother going to the gym, can translate into an overall healthier, more active family.
Check out her CrossFit journey…
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
Hi, my name is Megan Winkler. I live in Sykesville with my husband, Ed and two sons- Colin (11), and Dylan (8). I turned the big 4-0 this winter! I am a preschool teacher at Wesley Freedom.
WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT? WHAT HAS KEPT YOU DOING IT?
I had been a member of a local chain gym for 13 years when it unexpectedly closed in 2017. So, I began my search for a new one. My friend, Chrissy Killmon encouraged me to give Blackbird a try and said it would be a perfect fit for me. I still remember my trial week vividly. I was familiar with weightlifting and no stranger to cardio classes, so I thought CrossFit would be like what I had been doing for years. Boy was I wrong! I was sore from head to toe! The intensity was like no other class I had ever experienced! I wish I could say that the soreness has subsided over the past five and half years, but my enthusiasm for CrossFit remains the same.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING BLACKBIRD CROSSFIT?
The biggest things I have learned since joining Blackbird is that I can do hard things! A lot of the movements and lifts are things that I would never have attempted on my own. CrossFit has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and made me mentally and physically stronger than I could have ever imagined.
WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
In the gym, I have become physically stronger than I have ever been. I strive to make consistent small gains. I challenge myself to match or surpass my previous weights and times. But the biggest impact has been my mental toughness. In all aspects of life, I have learned to tell myself that I CAN do it and to just keep pushing through the self-doubt.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
One of my proudest CrossFit moments was completing a full Murph this year. It has been a goal of mine for a few years. Getting my first strict pull up was also a major accomplishment.
WHAT CROSSFIT GOALS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING TOWARDS?
Overall, I would like to work on improving my endurance while increasing my intensity (doing hard things for longer periods of time). Specifically, I want to become more proficient with kipping pull ups. I can string a few together but would love to ditch the bands during WODs!
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BLACKBIRD?
I love the feel of community at Blackbird. I have met so many wonderful people through the years and developed friendships that extend pass the gym. I also love cheering on my fellow lifting partners and getting them pumped!
WHAT IS ONE TIP YOU WOULD GIVE SOMEONE CONSIDERING CROSSFIT OR NEW TO CROSSFIT?
My tip would be to just show up! The hardest part is always walking through the door.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LIFT, MOVEMENT, OR WOD? LEAST FAVORITE?
I am a big fan of heavy lifting! I enjoy deadlifting, back squats, and bench press. Overhead squats are by far my least favorite lift.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT CROSSFITTING WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
My family is my whole world. Most weekends you can hear me cheering my boys on from the sidelines! In the summer we enjoy lounging by the pool and traveling to new places. I love hosting parties and concocting fun cocktail recipes!
WHAT IS ONE FUN THING WE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?
One fun thing you might not now about me that I grew up on a dairy farm in Howard County!
WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT?
I have participated in two nutrition challenges at Blackbird. The biggest change to my diet has been the sheer volume of vegetables and protein that I consume daily. I learned to incorporate vegetables into my breakfast- which seemed so odd to me at first. But now it has become a breakfast staple! I also learned how to balance my meals and snacks to feel energized for longer.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT FUEL? WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SPECIAL TREAT?
My favorite workout fuel is Greek yogurt with pistachios or an apple with peanut butter. I like to indulge with anything chocolatey!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESULTS!
CrossFit has taught me to live a healthy lifestyle that I am in turn sharing with my family. I like to think that I am good role model for my boys and students. In fact, both of my sons have participated in the CrossFit Kids program, and they love it! I have seen huge improvements in my all my lifts and gained a great deal of confidence in myself. My energy has increased making it possible for me to chase after my preschool students!
I am beyond ecstatic to be the Athlete of the Month. I am very thankful for all the support and encouragement that the coaches and fellow members have shown throughout the years. The energetic environment at Blackbird is contagious and makes exercising much more enjoyable. Shout out to all my lifting partners for motivating me to push myself and enduring my loud cheering! I want to thank all the coaches for keeping the chalk buckets full, the tunes pumping, and the fan spinning on high! I’d also like to say thank you to the inventors of Bengay and the massage gun who have aided me so much in my post WOD recovery. I hear “hips then arms” in my sleep and find myself frequently counting out random daily tasks. To me these are the telltale signs that I am officially a proud CrossFit member.