Mel and Patti have lived in the Wylie area since 2009. These two met when Patti answered a personal ad that Mel wrote in a Boston Magazine. They talked on the phone for four hours, got engaged two weeks later over Indian food, and were married two weeks after that. That was 31 years ago!! Mel grew up in New York and has a Master’s Degree in Industrial Labor Relations and is currently retired. Patti grew up in Florida and has a Bachelor’s in Nursing and Masters in Occupational Health. Patti currently still works in health care involving operations and technology. They have two children together, Sara and Matt. Mel and Patti are proud of being the oldest members at CrossFit Wylie. They inspire us all with their worth ethic in the gym.
Alex: How long have you been at CrossFit Wylie?
Mel: About a year and a half
Patti: It will be four years in May
Alex: Why do you CrossFit?
Mel: I like to exercise, and I wanted to work on my flexibility and strength.
Patti: I was doing personal training and cardio on my own and wanted something a little more competitive.
Alex: Favorite CrossFit movement or lift?
Mel: I like doing back squats with the safety squat bar.
Patti: Deadlift! It’s something I can do and that I am good at.
Alex: Least favorite CrossFit movement or lift?
Mel: I really don’t have an objection to anything. If I was going to pick one it would be burpees.
Patti: Overhead Squat is the hardest thing for me because it hits all my weak points in mobility.
Alex: What is the thing that has surprised you the most since you started CrossFit?
Mel: The constant improvement on the two things I wanted to improve which is strength and flexibility.
Patti: The community. I never enjoyed going to group classes until I came to CrossFit Wylie. I love how everyone is so motivating and encouraging.
Alex: Mel, you started your fitness journey at CrossFit Wylie with our onsite physical therapist Laura Coker. How did she help you with your general physical well-being?
Mel: I had two hip replacements (nine and eleven years ago) which has restricted my mobility. Before Laura, I had a personal trainer and I was not getting the results I was looking for. What Laura did was take it back to the basics and taught me how to just get up from the ground. We worked on the elements of strengthening my muscles, so I could get up from the ground unassisted. After that, we worked on overall mobility and strength to improve my overall fitness.
Alex: Mel, you are currently in the CrossFit Wylie regular classes now, what changes have you seen in your overall health now from when you first started?
Mel: I do CrossFit three days a week. My aerobic capacity and upper body strength have improved greatly. I am able to squat full depth holding the squat rig which I was unable to do when I first started.
Alex: Patti, I hear you travel often for your job, how many CrossFit gyms do you think you have dropped into, and what separates CrossFit Wylie from the rest?
Patti: I would say I have dropped into at least fifty different CrossFit gyms across the United States. Across the board, the coaching at CrossFit Wylie is superior by far, and the focus on each individuals’ capabilities. When I drop into a gym and a Coach watches me snatch and says I am doing a good job, and he has no comments, I know something is wrong.
Alex: Patti, you have competed in the Open in the master’s category for a number of years now and have qualified for the regionals event in your age group. What is your regular training like as a master athlete?
Patti: The first two years I qualified I wasn’t doing anything extra. The last 6 months Laura and Chris have started to program for me. Laura programs mobility and Chris programs extra work geared on my weaknesses. I think the added recovery and programming that Chris and Laura provided for me has helped a lot.
Alex: Patti, any tips or info you can give to a master’s athlete who is looking to compete in CrossFit?
Patti: I would say get nutrition under control very early on and have realistic goals. You can’t compete with the twenty-year-olds in certain things. Masters athletes have different challenges, work with what you have and focus on your stamina and strength.
Alex: Can you tell me an interesting fact about yourself?
Mel: I am a published poet. I also started a writing class for individuals who would like to write a novel.
Patti: I was a competitive swimmer and softball player in high school. I also sang competitively in high school and college.