Mary Claire Burke and Kate O’Leary College Edition Pt.2

1. Tell us a little about yourself?

MC-  As a 20 year old, I live in scituate, and always try to be happy and positive.  I enjoy going to the beach, and working out at Reebok CrossFit Bare Cove. I have worked at the Olde Salt House in Cohasset for 4 years.  I recently decided to take a semester off from East Carolina University to explore my options and redirect my focus in life.  CrossFit has been an influencer in my decision to consider Exercise Science, which will eventually morph into a career in Physical Therapy.  Nutrition and fitness is something that seriously interests me, and as long as I can do something that will make me happy I will know I’ve become successful.

Kate-  I am 19 years old, born and raised in Weymouth, MA. I grew up with my triplet brother and sister, Ian and Mollie, and 23 year old brother, Ryan, as well as my parents. I graduated from Notre Dame Academy in Hingham, MA in 2013 and just survived my first year at Loyola University of New Orleans where I now attend. I worked at a restaurant/ ice cream shop on Wollaston Beach with summer and during the school year I work at our school gym! I am a member of the sorority Delta Gamma at Loyola and I also attend CrossFit NOLA while at school. I am a pre-med biology student with a minor in spanish and I hope to attend medical school or PA school after I graduate!

2. Tell us your CrossFit story (where were you before RCFBC and where are you now?)

MC-  Prior to joining CrossFit, I was extremely self conscious about my body shape, and although I have never been over weight, I always felt chubby. I began working out in order to lose weight and tone my body.  Roughly, 4 months ago my friend began CrossFit, fell in love and convinced me to try it. I signed up for the local On-Ramp program at school and immediately fell in love. It has definitely switched my mentality of wanting to work out to lose weight, as opposed to now wanting to work out to be happy and healthy.  I was so happy to find RCFBC when I returned home from school! 

Kate-  I joined CrossFit about one year ago, which was the summer after I graduated from high school. I played volleyball, basketball and softball throughout high school and was playing at least two sports at a time due to club teams and off season programs, so I knew I needed something to keep me busy once I graduated. Almost all of the colleges I applied to were for volleyball, but due to many different factors I decided on Loyola which was the one school I did not apply to for athletics.  Mike visited NDA with a woman from Reebok CrossFit One my senior year and they spoke to our school about CrossFit and I immediately wanted to try whatever it was they were so happy to be a part of. I started fundamentals as soon as I could and haven’t looked back since!

3. What does being part of RCFBC community mean to you?

MC-  The vibe here at RCFBC is amazing!  Everyone at the RCFBC community is so encouraging, particularly when you need it most. So often, it would be easy to skip a workout, and knowing that coaches and class mates, at RCFBC are behind me and my success, it keeps me going.   I knew as soon as I walked in the doors my first day this was the box for me.  You can immediately feel the sense of community as soon as you walk in the doors.  We offer each other encouragement, and that is what community is all about…. belonging and feeling like you fit in.  

Kate-  The RCFBC community is my family! I would not be able to make it through most work outs without the help of the community. Most of my PRs this summer are all thanks to my RCFBC family that pushed me through every lift and refuses to let me quit. Most days I am too sore to even walk but I love seeing everyone at the gym so that alone motivates me to get my butt there everyday! I have only ever known how to be active/ work out in groups so I thrive from the RCFBC community! The coaches and amazing members make me a better athlete everyday.

4. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

MC-   This whole month has been full of PR’s for me which has been super exciting, I think my kip pull up and deadlift of 205 has been the most exciting. Since I quit gymnastics when I was 14 I have lost all my upper body strength so to get it back has been both challenging and exciting at the same time.  Then the fact I lifted 205 pounds is something I never thought I would ever be able to do. It’s exhilarating doing things I never thought would be possible. 

Kate-  I am most proud of my pull up progression and deadlift! When I first started about a year ago I realized I could not do a single strict pull up and now I can do 8-10 unbroken! And just the other day we tested our deadlift 1RM and I hit #310 with the help of Mark Bologna who refused to let me give up after I missed a lift at #275.

5. What are your challenges and goals going forward?

MC-  I definitely want to work on my double unders and making them more fluid. Being able to do ring dips would be awesome and then transitioning to being able to do a muscle up would be awesome. My upper body strength is something I want to continue to work on.

Kate-  My challenges are going to be balancing CrossFit with my class schedule and extracurriculars as well as keeping a balanced and healthy diet. I hope to improve my snatch and to be able to do a muscle up when I come back this winter! 

6. How has CrossFit change the way you feel about fitness? After college do you see yourself competing at the elite level? 

MC-  CrossFit has changed everything I ever thought about fitness, before I only worked out to lose weight and stay toned now I work out because I want to be healthy and improve my strength. After college I don’t think I would compete at the elite level but doing general competitions would be fun and is definitely on my bucket list. In fact me and Katherine just signed up for a partner competition in September so I guess I can cross it off my list!

Kate-  After playing team sports I didn’t think I would find another way to stay fit that was fun and challenging, CrossFit completely changed my opinion. I have never been more fit in my life and CrossFit definitely saved me from the Freshman 15 this year so thank God for that. I would love to compete at a higher level in CrossFit! I am in no rush to try and qualify at an elite level, but after 3 more years when I graduate college I will absolutely try and compete if I am ready! 

We are so proud of the accomplishments these strong ladies have made.  Realizing the way a person looks speaks nothing about what they are capable of doing.  Focusing on staying fit and  having a healthy lifestyle is the way to go!  Good luck this semester and come back to visit ASAP! 


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