The inspirational story of Megan Dromey
1) Meg, first and foremost thank you for you time. I would love for you to share your story with the community, lets start with an introduction.
My name is Meg and I am 17 years old. I am a senior at Notre Dame down the street. I have a passion for helping anyone I possibly can so I pray that I will one day be a nurse and travel the world healing as many people that I can. I hope to be able to spread hope and peace to people around the globe. My favorite thing to do is laugh until my stomach hurts and I try and make anything I do funny because I think that’s what keeps life interesting! I am deeply rooted in my faith and religion, I wouldn’t be introducing myself if I didn’t talk about that! I have found peace in spirituality which grounds me when I am stressed or anxious. I believe thats what helps me get through senior year 🙂
2) Can you please share the story of how your mom cried tears of joy for one of your physical accomplishments?
For years, I had extremely tight leg muscles. Now when I say extremely, I mean I could beat anyone with the most “inflexible” touch-your-toes stretch. I struggled with that for a long time, and it affected my back, as well as my feet, creating pain during running, jumping, or really any type of workout. My mum and I struggled to find an answer and we saw multiple doctors after realizing that it wasn’t that I didn’t try hard enough to touch my toes, but that I physically couldn’t do it. It hurt me, mentally, too. I was always embarrassed at my lacrosse practices through elementary and middle school when I was the only one that couldn’t even get past my knees, never mind touch my toes. The summer going into ninth grade changed my life when I was diagnosed, through a painful EMG test, with Charcot Marie Tooth and Pes Cavus. That doesn’t even sound real right? Well it is and it was finally answered, I am not “strange” or “different.” I felt better when I knew that I wasn’t doing anything wrong, it was my body. After a summer filled with physical therapy and stretching, I entered my next test. Could I touch my toes? That was the final test to see how much flexibility I could obtain. The answer was no and my mum and I thought that getting a little below my knees was about as far as I was ever going to get. Flash forward a year later when I started CrossFit. I had been regularly working out at Bare Cove for a few months and doing those weird mobility stretches us crossfitters do! I was in the back room one day when I wondered how far I could get towards my toes, I mean what was I to loose if I just tried? So I did. I just kept going down, and down and down. Holy crap I made it. I touched my toes for yes, at sixteen years old, for the first time. When my mum picked me up I didn’t even tell her on the car ride home because I needed to wait to get home and try it one more time before I showed her. It happened again, I touched them again! It was a giant moment in my life and I felt pride that I hadn’t ever felt in myself before. I then showed my mum, who didn’t know what hit her! She took a picture because it was such a huge moment. After I got up she said, “Do it again.” Ill never forget that. She looked at me and tears fell from her eyes. I had succeeded. It was not impossible, nothing was after that moment.
3) It is very intimidating for most people to walk through the doors here at RCFBC. But you were dealing with much more than the human element of fear. Is this correct?
Being diagnosed with CMT, I let myself believe that I was “limited.” “I have CMT,” was all that went through my mind and it was honestly my biggest excuse, it over took my mind to the point where every day I walked around feeling so bad about myself. I was treating this syndrome as if it was me, and not just a small thing I had. I didn’t stand tall because I wasn’t proud. I struggled a lot with feeling “ good enough” because I didn’t do high school sports due to my CMT. Running was out of the picture because of the pain that I would get during and after in my feet and back that made the experience horrible. But, I stilled tried to do it, hurting myself every time, because I felt like I should be more “athletic” and I just wasn’t. Just the name “Crossfit” scares the hell out of people and I wasn’t any different. At that time I cared so much about what people thought of me and I went through my days feeling like I wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t known as the “best athlete” in the class. So, after going to the gym next door for about a year, never pushing myself to the point where I don’t believe there is any air left in my chest (like I can feel during a Hero WOD!!), I decided to try cross fit just because I believed it was something so powerful, so unreal, that I could have attached to my name when people heard “Meg Dromey.” At that sad period in my life, I had no idea where RCFBC would take me, and I will be forever grateful for the lengths, risks and limits it has pushed me through, making me stronger than what I believe any of my doctors and nurses would ever believe I was going to get to.
4) How has Crossfit played a part in your physical well being?
I have overcome challenges that I whole-heartedly never imagined possible. I had always wanted to lift a barbell over my head, but never imagined I would. I just didn’t think “quiet insecure me” could ever accomplish such a feat. Nowadays, I get the biggest rush when that barbell swings up my arms into a clean and then is jerked over my head and it is so heavily that I need no jump to get it over. That’s what drives me. (Yes that’s exactly what I am doing in my photo!) I just feel so strong. Like I mentioned before, I never stood straight. Now, I stand tall and straight because my back doesn’t hurt so much that I hunch over, and my muscles in my back are strong enough to easily hold me in “perfect form.” Crossfit has made me realize that working out is about being YOUR best and not THE best. I walked into RCFBC with the fear that I wouldn’t be good enough, and that everyone strived to win and be on top. But thats not what I found, I found that everyone here has their own best and when they achieve it, its pretty darn good. We all have ways to improve, but we do so in the manner that every day is a day to get better, every day is a new day, and if we mess up we keep going.
5) You are in the middle of a hectic schedule, college applications, senior projects, but you still find time for Crossfit and now Rip Rides. How do you do it?
I do it because when I stop doing it I give upon everything, loose drive and motivation, become overwhelmed, mad, sad, and anxious. To be honest, my last few months have been some of the busiest of my life. I cant’t remember when I got even half a day to myself, just to relax. I have gotten very little sleep, and have had so much on my mind that I don’t always think straight. With that being said, I became so overwhelmed that I almost lost my drive and commitment every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the teens class. Although all of this was going on, I found that I lost my passion for everything else. I was tired and loopy. I couldn’t function, never mind function with a smile on my face. It was the days that I went to CrossFit that I could wear a true smile on my face, and not just for show. The days I completed a WOD were the days that I got stuff finished completely, not just “half-way good enough.” CrossFit holds me together and without it, everything else falls apart. So with my hectic, sometimes annoying, schedule, I have truly learned the value of getting a good sweat in. As busy as I get, I can’t skip CrossFit because then my mood goes down the drain. So I do all of this not only for my physical well being, of course, but also for my inner-power, my inner-drive and my overall inner-peace.
6) How do you always keep a smile on, even in the darkest of WODS?
To me, life is like a box jump. We start from the bottom ready to fly but things hold us back, like the fears and what-ifs. We pray a little, finding a small hint of inner confidence telling you it’s okay. Then you jump but don’t make it high enough and miss the box, completely (has happened on multiple occasions). If you have a sense of humor, you laugh it off (I do!). So then you remember, hold your core in, or in the instance of life, pull your shit together (haha). Hope a little more, now jump! Land gracefully or with a loud bang, you made it. You can work out the tweaks of perfecting your landing or jumping higher, but you made it. So thats how I keep a smile on. It’s about faith in knowing that it will all work out, it will all land, you can never jump up without landing. I take that lifestyle into all of my WODs. I have the grace to know that it will work out. I will make it. So with that knowledge, I will smile.
7) You said and I quote, “my mom is the best athlete I know”. Have you tried to introduce her to Crossfit?
Even though I don’t always show my appreciation to her, my mum is my biggest role model. She, to me, is the face of dedication and strength. She may not be the “gold-medal” or “number 1 athlete,” but she constantly proves to me that hard work is excellence. She works so hard and I don’t thank her enough for exemplifying hard work. She gets to the gym, works incredibly hard (I can’t always keep up!), and switches up her routine to never stay the same and always get more challenging and new. I remember last year when we were both members of another gym I would be on the bike and look over to see her running sideways and backwards, working her butt off, and I would smile to myself and think, “Oh my God that’s my mum.” She’s constantly motivating me (even though I admit I may be a little hostile when she gives me advice!) to “eat right and exercise.” She puts me before herself, doing everything to allow me to get fit and she follows me through whatever new healthy food I want to try. As for getting her into CrossFit, I’m not gonna push that because begging will make her not want to! Yes, I am trying to get my entire family involved, we can be the next Monarch family! But for now, I am not sure if we will get to that point, but I can promise you, I will not stop pushing! I believe my mum and I would be the best dynamic duo and I think it would be so cool to do these kinds of workouts together. I think we would both be so out of breath we couldn’t bicker with each other either!
8) Lastly how would you define your short and long term goals?
My goals have remained the same since I started CrossFit and I hope they never change. They are to become stronger, physically and mentally. I hope to always remember that this is not about being number one or being THE best, but it is about being MY best. I hope to never give up and to always be thankful that I can do anything I set my mind to. If I can touch my toes, I can conquer any challenging WOD and I can do so with strength. So my long term and short term goals are the same, to never give up. I also would love to get a pull-up!!