Athlete Spotlight – Amanda

Let me introduce to you, Amanda.  

Amanda usually joins us bright and early for the 6:30 am class, always with a warm smile.  In the time she’s been consistently attending CrossFit Merge, Amanda has devoted herself to giving each and every workout all she’s got. We are so impressed with her positive attitude, determination, and hard work! The accomplishments and progress she is making are just awesome!

And now, a little bit from Amanda:

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started mid-August of this year, so about three and a half months.

How did you hear about CrossFit Merge?

I found what I guess is the main CrossFit website/hub ( and searched for the locations closest to my home. I contacted two gyms – Merge and another one – and tried both out. CrossFit Merge won (in my mind) hands down. Much nicer, plus the gym was not stinky. I can’t stand a stinky gym.

What’s your athletic background?

I swam all four years of high school – 500 meter free was my favorite event – and then didn’t do much at all through college. A few years after I graduated I grew bored of the gym and joined a running club (the L.A. Leggers) spur of the moment and with little reason. I spent the next six years running, and still love it! I’ve completed five marathons and the distance at many more times (in training runs) and I’ve lost count of the half marathons. I never did any strength, core or functional movement training prior to CrossFit, just running. I’ve never done any team sports because my throwing/catching/hitting/kicking skills are dismal. Ha!

Is there anything you’d like to people to know about you?

Grew up in Lompoc, CA and have lived in LA for 12 years. I have an undergraduate degree in business from USC (Fight on!). Since graduating in 2003 I have worked in the AEC industry (architectural/engineering/construction) and am currently the Marketing & Business Development Manager at a multi-disciplinary architectural design firm, Rios Clementi Hale Studios, located in Larchmont Village. I am an active member of the Los Angeles District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and am President-Elect for the Los Angeles Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS). I have one cat, am blessed with so many great friends, I love good California wine and enjoy little weekend trips to the desert or the Angeles Forest. I think my next trip abroad will be to India and Sri Lanka.

What is your greatest CrossFit accomplishment thus far?

So far…I guess finally getting that first double-under, getting over my fear of box jumps and then loving them, and I am proud of my dead lift weight (all 153# of it), even though I still have a lot of work to do to improve it.

What is your favorite WOD and why?

Any WOD with box jumps is OK with me. I like the rhythm they create. Plus, you get to throw your arms up in the air like you just don’t care. Hahaha.

Least favorite WOD and why?

I think the first or second WOD I did is still my least favorite. A ladder of burpees and kettlebell swings. Start with 20 burpees and 1 kettle bell swing, end with 1 burpee and 20 kettle bell swings. I’m not sure if it has a name. Let’s just call it “The Most Awful One.”

What does CrossFit mean to you?

There are a lot of things we do during a CrossFit workout that I never thought I could – or would – do. Throw a weighted ball in the air AND catch it? Sumo dead lift? Turkish get-up? What? Truly, each time I try something new, I don’t expect myself to do it. But, might as well try, right? I like the moment of surprise I experience when I do something I didn’t think I could do. But, I also like finding that fail point and then knowing where I am at with something. I guess I could sum this up by saying I like to explore my limits, both physically and mentally. CrossFit, for me, is about exploring limits.

What advice would you give a new member?

Pacing, persistence and form have helped me improve, and will continue to help me improve. I also like to approach each new challenge as if I was a kid again. Kids tend to have less of a mental block about a challenge than adults do. So, I try to have as much fun with it as I can, as if doing all those burpees was some kind of game 🙂

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?

I think being Elizabeth I would be pretty awesome. The golden age, the renaissance, Shakespeare, the “discovery” of America and having a New World to think about…sounds so very exciting!

Who is your favorite musical artist?

Am currently falling in love with Neko Case and her music.

Where do you see yourself one year from now?

Finally doing a pull-up.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Amanda.  You are an awesome girl and we are excited to see you get that pull-up! And for the rest of you, make sure you stop in and do a few box jumps with her!

Wednesday’s Skill

2 power cleans on the minute for 10 minutes

Try increasing the weight each minute

Beginner Skill


3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 (3 reps, increasing the weight each set)

Workout of the Day (WOD):

5 rounds for time of:

6 clean and jerks (bodyweight)

12 box jumps (24″/20″ for women)

24 double-unders

Beginner WOD:

5 rounds of:

15 dumbbell front squats

10 burpees

Strength WOD:

Part 1:

3 back squats at 75% of your 1 rep max

3 back squats at 80% of your 1 rep max

3+ back squats at 85% of your 1 rep max (3+ means doing at least 3 reps, but also as many as you can with good form) 

Part 2:

3 x 5 Press

15 hip extensions in between sets of presses

Post times and loads to comments


2 responses to “Athlete Spotlight – Amanda

  • Larry David

    What a great thing to add to the website, spot lighting the athletes. What I really like about the questions is that they don’t all focus on the crossfit aspect, but include personal questions , it’s always nice to really get to know about a person, especially one that you are training with side by side. Keep up the good work Bryce.

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