November Athlete of the Month

Mikal Lake

Tell us about yourself, hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.

I grew up in Pennsylvania with my four sisters, but we’ve lived in Georgia for the last 9 years. My oldest sister is married, and I now have two nieces and a nephew. I’m a Christian and involvement in the church is a big part of my life. I love anything that gets me moving, so I would consider CrossFit to be my favorite hobby. I also run in Spartan races (OCR) whenever possible. I moved to Michigan 5 months ago to work for Stoneco. I went to school for Business Management and I’m currently working my way through a 3-year management training program with Stoneco.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started CrossFit nearly 2.5 years ago. I was in Pennsylvania for a summer internship and an old friend convinced me to give it a chance. I was member of that box for 3 months and I have kept doing CrossFit on my own for the past 2 years.

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?

I remember that it was hard, and I felt driven to work harder than I had ever pushed myself while working out alone. I also remember how welcoming and friendly everyone was. To this day, my two favorite things about CrossFit are the way that it pushes me to continuous improvement and the community associate with the sport.

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?

My favorite element of CrossFit is the community. There’s something about the sport that creates a tight knit group of athletes who are all committed to growth, as well as to encouraging and supporting each other.

What do you most enjoy about being part of Light the Fire CrossFit family?

Of course, I love the people there; everyone is supportive and encouraging. However, I also appreciate the emphasis on proper form and technique and the designation of specific classes to teach these things (Olympic Lifting and Gymnastics).

What motivates you to come to the box?

It’s my way of unwinding from stress. I always feel so much better after each WOD and I really want to see just how strong, fast, coordinated, and flexible I can become. Also, as I said before, I’ve really come to enjoy being with everyone.

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?

It was a huge victory for me when I was able to snatch 160 lbs. I’ve always been uncomfortable with snatch and I only weigh 160 lbs. myself. So, being able to snatch my bodyweight was a big moralbooster.

What is your favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?

I’ve always been a fan of Linda (a.k.a. 3 Bars of Death). My favorite movements would have to be the gymnastic ones, such as muscle-ups, pistols, and handstand push-ups. I love exercises that require only your body and teach muscle coordination and whole bodyawareness.

What is your least favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?

I hate the assault bike. I don’t know why, other than that it’s just hard for me. Also, I’m not a big fan of wall balls or thrusters. They manage to exhaust every muscle, while also pushing my cardio to its max. However, the fact that I hate these exercises most likely implies that I need to work harder at each of them.

What is your current CrossFit goal?

I want to learn how to do butterfly pull-ups.

What would you tell a newbie or someone that has never done CrossFit?

Don’t get down on yourself and be careful when comparing yourself to others. Competition often can help people push themselves to go further, but what’s important is improvement, not beating someone else. Right now, you may not be able to run as fast or lift as much weight. All that matters is that you give 100% of what you have at this moment. It’s the only way to get better.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit?

Yes, I started CrossFit. Also, it’s only because of CrossFit that I started running in Spartan races. It’s not exactly a “life changing experience” but I really enjoy them, and I would have never given them a chance otherwise.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?

CrossFit is my stress reliever. If I go more than 3 days without a trip to the box, I feel the difference. I feel more energetic, calm, and positive when I’m able to make it to a WOD.

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