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“I love to compete. I love the adrenaline rush and pushing myself past what I believe is possible.”

GG: You train in the Central East Region. What brought you to the Granite Games this year?

MD: I was invited to compete in the Granite Games. I actually didn’t have it on the radar because I was signed up for several comps following the CrossFit Games and also because I missed the Qualifier, but I thought, what the heck… why not? 🙂 I’m really glad I said yes though, because I had a blast!

GG: We’re glad you made it, too. And what did you think of the programming?

MD: I thought the event programming was pretty on point. It covered strength, gymnastics, cardio and had a little something for every athlete. I will admit that when I saw max snatch as the first event, I wasn’t super excited. Snatches are a weakness of mine and have been in several comps this year that I’ve competed in, including Regionals… but I also know that it’s a crowd favorite and a very challenging movement to master. After watching some of the elite ladies throw up huge numbers, I was inspired to get stronger and work on technique! It was pretty cool!

GG: So we know The Snatch Ladder wasn’t your favorite event. Did you have a favorite over the course of the weekend?

MD: I’d have to say that my favorite event was the muscle up/heavy clean couplet. I love both of these movements so I was excited for that one!

GG: Now, you’re a member of Team CrossFit Conjugate Black. How do you like competing solo vs. competing on a team? Do you compete in in a lot of individual competitions in the off-season?

MD: Prior to competing with Conjugate Black, I competed as an individual in the Central East Region. Competing with five other athletes took some used to getting used to at first, because I’d never really competed on a team other than for local team comps. The hardest part for me was stepping back and admitting that my teammates were better than me at X and I could benefit the team most by allowing them to pick up the slack for me on that particular skill, lift, or whatever. When you compete as an individual, you have to do all of the work, so I was just used to doing everything. However, this also became my favorite part of being on a team—knowing that we all have our strengths and weaknesses and that we were put together for a reason, and that reason was because our talents worked so well together.

Unfortunately, our team is no longer together. Sam and Jennie moved back to Quincy, Illinois to run their gym, Q Town CrossFit. Hunter was offered the position of head coach there and he also moved to Q Town. Mark decided to pursue Oly lifting and he’s pretty dang awesome at it, plus he was offered a new position in Cleveland, OH and he and Lindsey will be moving there at the end of October. While I’m sad that our team won’t be competing this year together in hopes of winning it all, I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. It was an incredible year and I grew so much as an athlete.  Plus, I got to spend countless hours with 5 amazing friends! Our goal as a team was to make it to the CrossFit Games, and of course win it all. While we fell slightly short of winning the Games, we were ecstatic with how we finished! There were so many amazing athletes there. It was a blast to compete on the same floor as them.

GG: Second fittest team on the planet is certainly something to be proud of! You juggle a lot in your life. You’re married, you have a fast-paced job as an attorney, and you’re an elite athlete besides. How do you keep up with all of it?

MD: Yes, I’m married, I’m a fur mommy of two cuties, I have a demanding job as an attorney, I coach CrossFit, and I love to hang out with friends, family, and of course my husband. It’s hard to fit it all in sometimes, especially training. I get asked all the time how I “do it all.” My response is always, “I do the best that I can.” I don’t do it all as well as I would like to, but I do the best that I can. The gym is my happy place and I honestly look forward to going almost every day. When CrossFit stops being fun for me, I’ll stop doing it… but for now, I can’t think of any sport that I’d rather be a part of. The CrossFit community is the best around. 🙂

GG: You seem to have a lot of big goals. Do you hope to compete as an individual someday at the CrossFit Games, or is team your thing?

MD: This year [2015], I am competing as an individual (if I make it, of course!). While I loved team, Conjugate was a bit of a drive for me as I live in Kentucky and the gym is in Blue Ash, Ohio. After the Games, I decided that I wanted to have a little more work/life/gym/home balance in my life. I now go to CrossFit the Tracks, which is closer to my home and my office… plus my husband goes there and I get to coach there! 🙂 I love the Tracks and having a little more balance in my life. While I have high hopes, I also have to be realistic. I don’t expect to make it to the CrossFit Games as an individual this year, but I do have a personal goal of finishing top 10 in the region. I would be extremely happy with that!

GG: Well we’re certainly happy you could make the trip for the Granite Games. It sounds like it was a great experience for you.

MD: It was definitely worth the trip to Minnesota. I had the opportunity to compete with some of the best in the world and meet some of the coolest people. I would return in a heartbeat… although next year, I would give myself adequate rest before competing in the Granite Games. I actually competed at the Granite Games with a stress fracture (although I didn’t know what the pain was at the time) and it really hurt! I’m not sure if it hurt my performance or not, but I will say the 5k and the Sprint Relay (HSPU and sprints) were both very difficult events for me, when usually they would be strengths. If you know me, you know that I LOVE to compete. I love the adrenaline rush and pushing myself past what I believe is possible. However, sometimes I don’t even know my limit when it comes to competing. During the off-season, I do compete, but I’m trying to not overdo it these days… which has proven difficult for me. I need to stay healthy in order to train at 100%!