A personal note from Lindsey…
Before you go on to read Meg’s interview, there are a few things that I would like to personally share about Meg. There are a lot of things that truly make Meg special but I would like to highlight a few of my favorite things. Meg was one of our Stockyard Founder’s Club members, meaning she was one of our very first members during our first month of operation in June of 2013. To this very day, I remember when I met Meg Baly. She was so sweet and kind and wore a beautiful smile, and I instantly adored her. I was so grateful that her neighbor, Laura, had told her to come to SYCF because without Laura’s referral Meg’s path might not have led her to our door that day. (Thank you Laura P.) Initially we worked with Meg’s son, Patrick, a high school athlete at the time. It wasn’t long before Meg and Patrick were both in classes together. Meg had previously been a long distance running enthusiast (she might still fess up to this now) and I remember admiring how effortless she made running seem in workouts. I also admired Meg’s desire to get stronger and her commitment to consistently showing up to the gym to get better. Her “showing up” paid obvious dividends in the gym and I have always been grateful to be celebrate those alongside Meg. It is a very vivid memory of mine to watch Meg realize that she was strong enough to complete “Grace” (30 Clean and Jerks For Time) at the prescribed 95# in the spring of 2015. I’ve witness Meg get her first pull-up, do double-unders in workouts, climb a rope like a pro, power clean triple digits, and continue to rack up PR’s as recent as last night! I feel a tremendous amount of honor to have been a part of Meg’s fitness journey over these years, but most of all I am grateful for the long and loving friendship that I gained while we were on this ride. Enjoy Meg’s interview…
What brought you in the door of Stockyard your first day? (How did you learn about CrossFit and specifically SYCF?)
I actually first walked in the door to sign up my two high schoolers at the time. I was the nervous mom who wanted my son to have a little more muscle so he wouldn’t get knocked around so much playing soccer! Growing up, my older brothers had a weight bench and some weights and I had seen the difference it made. My brother recommended CrossFit for my son, and my neighbor told me about Stockyard. She had been doing CrossFit for a while and I saw a noticeable difference in how fit and strong she looked. She said Stockyard was just opening and had two of the best coaches around - Lindsey and Ryan. I brought my kids in and loved Lindsey right from the start - who doesn’t?! I remember watching through the door and really wanting to try it myself. My daughter decided not to do it and I took over her membership. The rest is history!
What do you remember about your first day/week/month?
I remember being terrified and feeling like such a weakling. There was no on-ramp class, no 15# training bars, no kettlebells less than 35#, and no wall balls less than 14#. I remember having the 5# plates on the bar and wanting to drop it so badly between reps. It was a great day when I advanced to the 10’s and could drop the bar like everyone else! The kettlebell was a nightmare and I vividly remember Lindsey saying, “You got this! Your purse is heavier than that!” Ha! I remember being sore but so happy to work out - especially with my son. I also remember being impressed by how strong the other women were! Back then, “Wodify” was the white board and I remember trying so hard to not be on the bottom of that board. I loved seeing how much potential for growth there was in this sport. I could shoot for getting stronger, or learning a new skill, or getting faster, or getting more reps. Like chasing a faster time with running, there is always a goal to chase with CrossFit. Most importantly, I remember the patience Lindsey and Ryan had with teaching the movements and encouraging everyone.
How long have you been with SYCF? I’ve been with Stockyard since it’s first month, about 6 1/2 years. I did take a year off in the middle of that but came back because there is just no better fitness routine or group of people out there for me!! (and I missed Lindsey!)
What inspired you to start Crossfit? I ran cross country and track in high school and ran a few road races in college. I ran my first marathon when I was 26 because I though it would be cool to run 26.2 when I was 26. Then I got married and had kids. During that time I always tried to go to the gym or run several days a week. After my 3rd kid, I started marathon running again for a few years and all the pounding was taking a toll on my joints. I made it to Boston in 2011 and kind of felt like I had reached my running goal. I wanted to give my joints a break but still workout. I was not really into aerobics classes; I tried spinning but wanted more weights. I knew I could be stronger but needed a gym that would show me how and would help me get there. I knew CrossFit had planned workouts each day and I didn’t need to figure out what to do in a weight room. I liked the idea of having knowledgeable coaches teach me how to safely learn weightlifting. All I had to do was show up ready to learn and work hard.
Who is/was your biggest influence in your fitness journey? My dad was my biggest influence in my fitness journey. He was a football player and runner in college and took me out for my first run in elementary school. He encouraged physical fitness for my 3 brothers and I, and supported us in all of our sports. As a long distance runner, I was influenced by my sister in law who ran Boston with me when she was 50. Aside from running, I’ve honestly been influenced so much by Lindsey and all the other coaches and The Herd. There are people from every fitness level crushing goals and working hard. You all inspire me every day and make me want to work hard to keep up!
When did you realize that you wanted to make a change? When the running was hurting my joints, I knew I needed cross training to get stronger. I wanted to build muscle to be able to do things with my kids and for myself longterm. As I get older, I think it’s so important to keep using these muscles and trying to stay strong and independent.
What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment while at SYCF? Would your coach agree with you? It’s hard to choose just one, I think Lindsey would agree! When you start with very little strength, you have a lot to gain! I’ve come a long way from barely being able to lift a 45# bar, not being able to do a double under, not being able to do a single pull-up without a band, being terrified of climbing the rope, overcoming back issues with deadlifts, etc. Basically, the only thing I was able to do fairly well when I started was run and do sit-ups! Hitting a 110 clean and jerk and 150 deadlift were huge for me. I may never lift the really heavy weights that some of you do, but I’ve learned to accept that. We all have our own fitness journeys and mine is to stay strong and fit despite the ever growing number each birthday!
What keeps you motivated everyday to keep doing what you’re doing?
My kids! I love being able to work out with my kids and to share my love of fitness with them. I’m also motivated by knowing that EVERY TIME I leave Stockyard, I feel so much better. Even if the workout was brutal and I don’t feel like I did as well as I wanted, I know I got an awesome workout in and got to see some really great people. It is also an hour just for me - a time to block out everything else and focus only on the workout.
What has been or was your biggest struggle to stay motivated? Excuses. We all have them. I’m too tired from work, or I have too much to do, or I don’t feel like driving 288! It takes planning and making fitness a priority to stay motivated. If I don’t make it to Stockyard, I try to go for a run at home. One of my goals for 2020 is to work on turning off the excuses!!
What has brought you the most happiness in your journey? The people at Stockyard! Also, being able to accomplish a new skill or hit a new PR brings me a lot of happiness. I’ve said before, some of the things we do make me feel like a kid on a playground again. Climbing the rope and swinging on the rings to practice toes to bar are two examples. Oh, and then there’s Lindsey’s warm-up ideas like relay races, dodge ball, hula hoop relays, caterpillar races?! It’s definitely hard work and challenging, but the people make it fun!
How is your mindset different than from the first day you walked into SYCF?
I am no longer terrified to walk in the door, although some workouts still scare me! I look forward to it and am upset when I miss a workout.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment since you started your fitness journey or CrossFit? My biggest accomplishment as a runner was qualifying for Boston. My biggest accomplishment with CrossFit has been sticking with it and being open for any challenge.
Lastly, what is one short term goal and one long term goal that you have for 2019 and how do you plan to accomplish them? My short term goal is to get toes to bar strung together. This has been a goal for a while, so I guess it’s become long term! I plan to work on core and grip strength and the kipping motion. My long term goal is to work on being more consistent with being in the gym - at least 3-4 days a week.
Tell us some things about your life outside of the gym...(I know the answers to these...so let’s tell those who don’t).
Pets? Kid(s)? Family? Where are you from? What is your favorite sport? What is your favorite thing to do (other than cfit? 🤣) What is your favorite movie? What is your favorite holiday?
Let’s see, I grew up a military brat with 3 older brothers and we moved all around every 2-3 years. We lived in Germany twice and got to travel a lot there. I learned to ski in a Swiss ski school. My dad was a 2 star General, my brother was in the Special Forces and served in Afghanistan after 9/11, and now my nephew is an Army Ranger. I am very aware of and appreciate all the sacrifices military personnel and their families make. I went to University of Richmond for undergrad and law school. Not many people know I practiced law until my second child was born. I’ve been married to my husband, Chris for 25 years. We have 3 kids (Patrick 22, Hannah 20 & Kendall 15) and one crazy dog, Layla, we adopted from a rescue organization. I’ve been an assistant preschool teacher for 7 1/2 years and am taking classes to become a lead teacher. If all goes well, I’ll be done at the end of the summer. I love my 4 year olds, but that is often why I NEED to get to the gym at the end of the day! I am super passionate about early childhood education, keeping kids active, and getting them outside away from electronics. I love photography and art and going for walks by the river with my dog. My favorite thing to do other than Cfit is spend time with my family, preferably doing something outside. We are usually watching my daughter play soccer on weekends, so that is probably my favorite sport right now. I love movies - action packed or “chick-flicks”. I do NOT do creepy, scary ones however! ha! Favorite holiday is Christmas.