Stacie walked into BBCF 4 years ago this month. She was a quiet collegiate athlete who had some experience CrossFitting with a friend at school. Stacie quickly became a regular at the 9:30 am class, using Blackbird as her off-season training regimen for softball. After her ACL tear during softball, she showed up frustrated and nervous, but ready to put in the work. Watching a strong athlete struggling to squat what used to be a quick warm-up set, is heartbreaking. But Stacie she powered through and came out of the experience even stronger than before. Her patience and determination showed us so much about her character. Fast forward to this year, her consistency and drive has created a shift in her performance that all of the coaches have recognized. Each week seems to be better than the last, and we couldn’t be happier for her.
Stacie has hit some big milestones in the past year. She’s chased down a 200lb back squat, added 60lbs to her squat since her injury. She’s added 110lbs to her deadlift, 75lbs to her CrossFit Total, and she cleans 155lbs now. This petite girl is a powerhouse…and she’s fast! She’s shed minutes off many of her CrossFit benchmark workouts: taking over 2 minutes off her Fran time, 3 minutes off Annie, and 6:30 off the Filthy 50. Stacie also crossed a big advanced gymnastics skill off her list, getting her 1st bar muscle up last month!!
It has been our pleasure to work with such a kind, humble, and focused athlete. Stacie is an inspiration and a blessing to our CrossFit community and we’ve been honored to be a part of her journey for so long.
Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)
Hello!! My name is Stacie Maring. I am 24 years old. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from McDaniel College in 2016, where I played collegiate softball from 2015-2017. I am currently in graduate school at McDaniel, studying Mental Health Counseling, where I am also the graduate assistant for the softball team.
What made you start CrossFit? What has kept you doing it? Has your motivation changed from when you first started?
I started CrossFit when I was a junior in college in the fall of 2014. One of the girls that I played softball with always talked about it and did her own WODs in the gym at school. I had always enjoyed working out and running, but one day, I asked to join her during one of her WODs and I was hooked! We would get up before class to go workout. When we would go to the gym, we were always the only two girls in the weight room at that time- the football team had team workouts at the same time that we went, so it was always about 50 football players and the two of us, but that did not stop us. If there was running in the workout, we would have to run upstairs to use the treadmill, and then run back down the stairs to use the platforms and weights. When I went home for winter break, I decided to give Blackbird a try and it was the best decision I ever made! Even when I was living at school, I would still go to the gym on campus and follow the Blackbird programming.
Once I saw how much of an impact it played in my everyday life, especially as a collegiate athlete, I did not want to stop. I love the constant variety, the community it brings, and getting a chance to be a better version of myself every day. I think I am more motivated now than when I started because I can see how much it impacted my ability as a softball player, especially after I came back from a torn ACL. I can see how much I have improved over the past 4 years, and truthfully, the sky is the limit!
What have you learned since joining Blackbird?
I think the biggest lesson I have learned since joining Blackbird is that every day is a new opportunity to be better than I was the day before. It doesn’t matter what other people are lifting or how fast they are doing the workout. It is truly all about doing the best that I can do and being the best that I can be.
What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
Definitely getting my first muscle-up!! It was such a shock because it just happened the first time I had ever played around with muscle-ups, which was pretty sweet.
What is your favorite CrossFit movement, lift, or WOD? Least favorite?
Definitely cleans!! I LOVE cleans (it’s the only time I like cleaning!). I also have a weird love for pistols. Any time I see cleans or pistols, I get so excited! My least favorite movements are most certainly ring dips and push-ups.
What do you enjoy most about Blackbird or CrossFit, in general?
I love the community that Blackbird brings. It’s so much more than just a gym. I have made so many great friends and built so many relationships through the gym.
I love the constant variety of CrossFit. No two days are the same. Every day is something totally different. It forces me to work on things that I may not be the best at.
What impact has CrossFit had on you in and out of the gym?
One of the biggest impacts CrossFit made on my life was coming back after an injury. Unfortunately, I tore my ACL my senior year of college playing softball. I underwent surgery and 6 months of intense rehab to be able to return to playing a 5th year of college softball. Going into surgery having been doing CrossFit, I was that much stronger to start with, which made rehab that much quicker and easier. Once I learned to walk again without my brace and bend my knee, the first question I asked my therapist was “when can I start CrossFit again?” Going back to CrossFit after a serious injury taught me a lot about myself as a person and an athlete. I came back a stronger person and athlete, mentally and physically, after starting CrossFit again. I had to learn patience. As much as I expected myself to lift what I used to before surgery, I knew I was not going to be able to. It took a lot of time and patience to get back to where I was and have consistent form. I had to learn that not every day was going to be a PR for me, especially with anything that involved my lower body. Some days I would have to scale the weight or reps to ensure that I was doing it properly, which ultimately helped me get stronger. In the end, I came back so much better and stronger than what I was before.
Continuing CrossFit during the season while I was playing helped to keep me fresh. Playing a collegiate sport can take a toll on your body and during my last year, there were times where I was feeling it, big time. I learned to use CrossFit as an active recovery. During that time in my life, CrossFit, specifically Blackbird, was a saving grace!
What are your CrossFit goals? How close are you to reaching them?
October was a big month! I was able to cross off two big goals of mine: a muscle up and a 200# back squat. Next up would be completing Murph with a weighted vest in May! Beyond the numbers, I just want to show up each day and be the best that I can be.
When you are not CrossFitting, what is your favorite thing to do?
When I am not CrossFitting, I am usually hanging out with my family. I have a really tight-knit family that all lives in Carroll County (for the most part). We spend a lot of time together and love going to Corolla in the Outer Banks every summer!
What is one fun thing about you that we may not know yet?
I collect postcards! I have some from Israel, Mexico, Las Vegas, Tuscon, Florida, New York, and many more.
What is the one tip you would give someone considering CrossFit or new to CrossFit?
Stop waiting and just do it! It can be intimidating at first, but worth it and it works! Especially at Blackbird, it is a judgment-free zone. No one cares if you have to scale the workouts or finish last. Everyone is always so supportive. We’re all there to workout and have fun doing it!
What is your diet like? Has it changed since started CrossFit? What is your favorite workout fuel?
To be honest, it wasn’t until this past fall that I finally starting paying more attention to my diet and it is still far from perfect. I always ate whatever I wanted because it was difficult to hone in on changing my diet completely. This fall though, I decided to try to be more mindful about what I was eating and it has been amazing! I’m not a big fan of vegetables, so trying to eat more of them has been a struggle, but worth it. I’ve learned more about balance and how important it is. Ice cream and Reese’s are definitely my weaknesses!
If there was one thing you’d improve upon at BBCF, what would it be?
As much as I love not being able to feel my hands when I come back in the garage doors to do toes to bar or rope climbs, I could do without the running in the cold!!
Results? Tell us about your results!
I always considered myself to be “in shape” and “fit”, but CrossFit has really shown me what my body can do and what being “fit” is truly all about. I don’t really pay attention to the number on the scale and can’t tell you specific numbers, but I know I have gotten stronger. It shows in lifts, being able to get new PRs more often, and benchmark WODs, some of which I can now Rx that I couldn’t before. In general, I am so much happier when I workout!
Being athlete of the month is truly an honor and humbling. Thank you Matt and Rebekah for creating a place that is so much more than just a gym. You guys have created a very special place. Thank you to all of the coaches for pushing me and helping me to be better. You guys are awesome! A special shoutout to the 5:30am class- thanks for accepting me into the craziness and making working out so fun!!