Melissa M.

Coach Aryan
August 27, 2021
Athlete Photo

Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself or something that would surprise us.

I was born and raised in Houston, TX and trained in competitive gymnastics and cheerleading for 9 years starting at the age of 3. I also attended the High School for Performing and Visual Arts for the flute/piccolo and switched to dance (ballet-focused) in my sophomore year. Even though I grew up living in the same place for 17 years, I went to 3 different elementary schools and switched school systems/districts 4 times between elementary, middle, and high school. All my life I’ve been a woman of constant change. I’ve come to learn over the years that I really do not enjoy routine and will do anything to avoid it. My sweet corgi, Georgi, whom I rescued from Harris County Animal Shelter during my 1st year of graduate school, has helped me cope with accepting a form of daily routine. Within my ever-evolving world, I am blessed with some constants in my life that have helped guide me when my compass is feeling a bit off. I greatly cherish my family, friends, Aggies, and best girlfriends as we share an incredible bond of loyalty.

How and when were you introduced to Behemoth?

I arrived to Behemoth in October of 2017 looking for a safe alternative to physical therapy. I had torn cartilage in my hip and exasperated an existing spinal disc injury while trying to lift a heavy desk away from rising water during Hurricane Harvey. I did a bit of research online about what I could do instead of going through P.T. and also sought advice and support from my doctor. I had to take it slowly at first, but Behemoth’s program helped me learn proper movement mechanics while building the muscles I needed to protect my spine. With a lot of consistency and determination, it was only a few months later that I was able to begin transitioning from injury recovery to pursuing my passion for movement and fitness.

What are you most proud of, physically, mentally or both since beginning with us?

I’m most proud of the community I’ve grown up in these past 3 years and I feel so fortunate when I’m around my Behemoth family watching them go after their goals. When I see them working hard towards something, it amps me up to go after what I want to achieve as well. Motivational support has always been the fuel to my fire and I live for it every week at Behemoth.

What has been your biggest, yet most rewarding obstacle to overcome, whether in the gym or on your health journey to date?

There was an amazing, transforming experience that happened to me mentally while at Behemoth. All my life I felt like I’ve struggled to fit in somewhere. I would try niche after niche fitness centers looking for something that I could really call my home. Earlier this year, there was a moment of truth where I really understood my purpose, my why I chose Behemoth, and why I chose this type of workout from all others. In that moment, the fog cleared and I was laser focused in on my goals and going after my purpose.

Why Behemoth?

I came for the recovery and I stayed because of the people, the place, and the programming. Behemoth became my family and they always will be no matter where I go.

What next? What are you excited about pursuing here in the future?

As I’m preparing for an upcoming relocation to Colorado for an unknown duration of time, I’m excited for two things particularly: sharing my experiences and knowledge I’ve gained from Behemoth with others while encouraging them to experience it for themselves and coming back often to workout with my Behemoth family. No matter if I travel across state lines or across the world, Behemoth and Houston are my home. I will always return to them as they have nurtured me and made me who I am.

“3, 2, 1…Go” Mad Lib section

-My favorite lift (movement) is snatch (and burpee box jumps), both are tough and challenging!

-My most frequent class I come to is 6PM! I also love my 9:30AM crew.

-I have always wanted to quit my job and become a professional athlete. A gal can dream, can’t she?

-When I’m not crushing weights, my favorite thing to do is experience cultures outside of my own. I love traveling for that reason but, when traveling is limited, Houston is a great place to immerse in a variety of cultures.

-If I could make ANY of the Behemoth coaches do 100 burpees it would be any coach who is up for knocking them out with me. Nothing wrong with being 100 burpees stronger.

-Favorite “application of fitness” outside of the gym is applying my focus and endurance to all aspects of my life, especially life’s changes and challenges. My favorite workouts are those that push me beyond my mental limits, the more uncomfortable it is the better, because then I know that I’m getting stronger for the unplanned and unexpected things in life.

-Favorite band/genre/Pandora station to workout to is YouTube “CrossFit Motivation Music” mix. It’s the perfect pace and variety to keep me going.

-Beast mode engaged when this song comes on Fabian Mazur & Snavs ”Arena” and Post Malone ft. 21 Savage “Rockstar” (Zaitex Remix)

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