It was just moments after we sat down to talk about her CrossFit journey. Her little brother Ian, who you met in our newsletter last month, walks in with a frozen brown smoothie and promptly hands it to Mya. She immediately starts sipping it through a straw, briefly asking her mom what was in it, but not paying much attention. Marcela responds, ‘just drink it.’ The look in Mya’s eyes told me it wasn’t her favorite thing in the world. Her lack of hesitation in downing it anyway told me she is a warrior 100% committed to succeed. Mya’s energy is magnetic. She’s self-assured, vivacious and possesses wisdom beyond her years. Our interview offered some insight into how CrossFit has pulled these endearing characteristics out of the 16-year-old Whitefish Bay High School student.
When did your CrossFit journey begin?
My family is here every day. Honestly, I got kind of sick of hearing about it all the time, so I got curious. I’ve always been involved in something active, but after giving up soccer, I hadn’t found what was next for me yet.
How did your first few CF workouts make you feel?
SORE! My first workout, I remember being sore halfway through it. My hamstrings were killing me, but I told myself to keep going because I thought I owed it to myself to find out if it was something I liked.
What do you find the most challenging about CrossFit?
Mentally, the most challenging thing was getting started. I was surrounded by strong people who’ve been doing it for a while. They were all doing so well and I wasn’t there yet. So to overcome that was tough for me. I was also afraid of the expectations. Being my mom’s daughter, I thought everyone expected me to be great from the start, so that held me back at first, too.
What are your greatest achievements in CrossFit thus far – the ones you’re most proud of?
My greatest achievement thus far… I have to say not comparing myself to others. Physically, I squat almost my body weight yesterday, which was a PR for me. Seeing that progress pushes me forward.
What’s the most important part of your work here?
That I get a break! When I’m here, I can channel my energy into one thing. It’s a huge stress reliever… I’m in my junior year and with ACTs and my schoolwork, it can just get to be a lot. When I’m here, I can get my mind off of all that and just be here and be focused.
How would you describe your mom? Do you look up to her as an entrepreneur? As a CrossFitter? As a woman?
STRONG! She’s someone who has grit. I wrote about that in a paper I did for school… someone who has grit. She’s persevered to make this (CrossFit 100) the amazing community it is now. She literally started with like 10 people at Klode Park and now, it’s this supportive place where people want to come every day. It’s kind of crazy. It’s awesome to see the growth. She created this from nothing.
Do you feel like CrossFit has prepared you for more than just optimal fitness? If yes, how so?
When I first started coming here, I used to compare myself to others. Once I started focusing on myself and my own progress – and allowing the successes of others motivate me to do better and be better – I noticed that I stopped comparing myself to others at school, too. I’m disciplined now. I examine what works for me – what suits me – and I go for it.
What’s next for you? What goals do you have in mind?
I want to beat my mom – all the way around. She’s strong, but I want to be better.
Your brother Ian said that about your dad – that he wanted to beat your dad’s PRs.
Yeah, it’s something that keeps us motivated. As a family, we keep each other on track.
Describe your CrossFit experience in a few words.
Tough. Creative. Empowering. Familiar. Growth.
What would you tell someone who wants to get started, but is afraid of doing so?
Find what’s fun for you. You have to find something that works for you or you won’t enjoy it and you won’t find motivation to do it. It’s okay to test out new things – CrossFit or otherwise – to see what’s going to keep you interested and wanting to come back. If CrossFit isn’t fun, don’t do it. It’s as simple as that. But give it and give yourself a chance. And your activity can change over time, too… so just keep exploring.