April Athlete of the Month: Ashley Clement
Congratulations Ashley, you are our April Athlete of the Month!
Ashley has been at NoCoast for almost a year and, in that time, has grown so much as an athlete and as a member of our community. You have probably noticed her in the evening classes, dancing up a storm in the warm ups, the WOD, and laughing through it all! Ashley's energy is infectious and she has such a wonderful and outgoing personality . . . you can’t help being drawn to her. She sure knows how to light up the room! Her skills and athleticism don’t end inside our walls either; she helped lead the way at our rock climbing community day out last fall, teaching us exercise nerds how to scale the wall. If you ever have the chance to go climbing with her, you’ll see what an amazing athlete Ashley is; her skills on the wall are pretty cool to see! Thanks for everything you do and for the light you bring into our community, Ashley!
31, 133 lbs
I played soccer during childhood and through high school. During college and into my 20s, I was looking for new and fun ways to stay active. I tried a lot of things (I even was a zumba instructor for a couple years, so if you see me dancing between lifts, that's why). A few things stuck with me over the years- mostly yoga, climbing, and running.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
Collectively, probably close to 18 months total, but I took about a year off from CrossFit before joining NoCoast in April of 2017, so it felt like starting over.
How did you get into CrossFit?
Nick and I had talked about it on and off but I was initially on the fence. I was finally convinced to go try it by a friend of mine who has known me for over 12 years. He had started CrossFit in his hometown and kept telling me how much he knew I would love everything about it. He was right, but quickly my irregular work schedule while training for a marathon unfortunately caused my attendance to taper off. When Nick and I moved down to Lafayette last year, Nick floated the idea of restarting CrossFit and wanted to check out NoCoast. We jumped back in and haven't looked back.
What is your favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?
Power cleans are easily my favorite movement, I think they are so fun. I want to love the snatch, but still have some mechanics to iron out once the bar starts getting heavy... it's getting there. Right now I love the challenge it is presenting for me.
What is your least favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?
Overhead squats make me confront that I am not as good at squatting as I think I am! They’re definitely up there on my least favorite list.
What is your most memorable CrossFit moment?
The open this year has probably got to be it. I had quietly set a goal to Rx every workout, but knew that was going to be a reach and was unsure I could really do it. I accomplished it, even though some of the more complex movements that were programmed kept some of my final rep counts low. That being said, I also went further in some of them than I initially thought I could. I attempted toes to bar for the first time in a WOD during 18.1 (had previously just had them here and there in warmups) and was psyched with my score, hit a PR on my OHS during 18.3 (and got through them all in the first round and back through the second double unders before the time cap), and muscled through chest to bar pull ups during 18.5 after having done only a few prior. It was a big accomplishment based on my skill and strength level with most of those movements only a year ago. I am really proud but absolutely could not have done any of it without this community and our coaches. An especially big thank you to those who gave me tips before (and during) each WOD- I could not have done it without you!
How does nutrition play a role in your fitness and recovery?
It’s HUGE. We eat clean whole foods in zone proportions about 80% of the time at home. (My 20% is almost exclusively popcorn, dark chocolate, or ice cream). I’ve always enjoyed healthy foods, but switching to zone proportions made a big difference. Initially I was a bit skeptical when we made the switch because I used to eat more food than Nick and my portions on zone seemed small (clearly, I was overeating). But zone has noticeably improved my energy both in and out of the gym and I recover quicker than I expect. I know I owe much of the strength I have gained over the past year to nutrition, it’s been a game changer.
How has CrossFit improved your overall wellness?
The benefits of CrossFit have really followed me outside the gym. I know I am making much better choices on food in a way that is sustainable. I feel strong and ready to jump into any activity, and I think the confidence that comes from doing things that initially seem impossible in the gym has overflowed into other aspects of my life as well. It’s also been an incredible stress reliever for my busy life. When I am at NoCoast, I know I will have a good time (even if we’re suffering) and I will feel better the next day for it, both physically and mentally.
How has CrossFit changed your relationship with Nick?
I love sharing CrossFit with Nick and feel so fortunate it is a part of our lives. He continuously pushes me to try harder. Over the years, we have done a lot of things together, but CrossFit is easily one of my favorites. It has made our relationship stronger. Adjusting our nutrition at home has also been life changing since we both have seen significant benefits. We have dialed in our food prep strategies, keep each other going, and we also talk about food in blocks now- which is probably weird to anyone around us, but I love it. We also treat ourselves to that 20% together, which has often been a trip to Sweet Cow, which is pretty great too. It’s been incredible to be on this journey with him and see how much we both have grown. I can’t wait to see what else we can accomplish.
Advice to new people:
The day you look at the workout and think 'I don’t know if I can do that so I will skip today,' is 100% the day you should come in. You will surprise yourself with what you can do and how much you can grow if you keep showing up and training the things that feel hard. Those things will become your strengths before you know it.