MJ is a lifelong athlete who has always been looking for new ways to challenge herself and her body. After trying CrossFit once in 2003 and *hating* it, she started with South Loop Strength & Conditioning in 2012 and has found an outlet for her search for human potential.
After a lifetime of athleticism, MJ has made it her mission to compete in fitness competitions with the Masters females. She's moved from group classes to following an individualized program focused on developing the traits necessary for competition.
Marlice was a collegiate track athlete, and, after starting her career, she always felt like that competitive edge was missing from her life.
Most athletes grow up playing all kinds of sports from a young age – there's always something to train for and there's always a new challenge.
It's not like that mindset just disappears when you walk into your first job out of college and sit down at your desk.
MJ tried everything – she even tried CrossFit back in 2003 and absolutely hated it.
Still, she gave it another shot at South Loop Strength & Conditioning almost nine years later.
When MJ started CrossFit for the second time, she thought she would automatically be good at it. She's been able to rely on her athleticism her whole life to perform at a reasonably high level in any physical activity.
However, she found that wasn't necessarily the case with CrossFit and was humbled by the experience.
This moment is often an inflection point for people – it's easy to come up with all kinds of reasons why the program is stupid, and why it doesn't matter that those people beat you, and who does kipping pull-ups anyway?
For MJ, though, this became a framework for self-improvement. She wanted to find out why she wasn't as good as she thought she "should" be, and she believed that she had the tools to make herself better.
Given MJ's mindset, athletic background, and constant desire to find her maximum potential, it's not surprising that she transitioned from focusing on health and wellness to focusing on competing in fitness as a sport.
This transition isn't for everyone, but, for someone with right mindset, it can fill a physically competitive void that most of our careers leave empty.
In order to pursue competitive goals, MJ switched to an individualized program. This is a tough transition for many athletes, since the fun and community of the group classes is often what got them excited about CrossFit in the first place.
However, for long-term progression and competitive success, a truly individualized program is often the best route.
MJ is deeply familiar with the process of incremental improvements from her days as a track athlete as well as her career as a marketing executive. Competing in fitness as a sport is full of these incremental improvements – as well as a labyrinthine mess of competing priorities.
Since starting an individualized program. MJ improved her strength (one of her biggest limiting factors) dramatically in six weeks – moving from a squat clean max of 95 pounds to 135 pounds.
These results are not typical, and MJ's previous max was probably higher than she realized, but, by working with a coach, you can also learn when to push and find a truer sense of what you're capable of.
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