April Spirit Award Winners
Each month the CrossFit Xtra Mile coaches nominate an athlete from each gym as the monthly Spirit Award Winner. At the end of the year, members from each gym will vote for the yearly winner of the Clayton Pfeiffer Spirit Award who best represents the character and qualities of Clayton Pfeiffer, a young Xtra Mile athlete lost to us much too young. Clayton was a college baseball player and a gym junkie. He was not the biggest athlete, but he would not be outworked, and he had a kind and fun personality. At the CrossFit Xtra Mile gyms, coaches are constantly on the lookout for athletes that honor Clay’s memory.
April Spirit Award Winner–CFXM Fenton
Christy Hempen and her kids Trinity (9) and Nehemiah (7) are definitely a CrossFit family! Christy has been CrossFitting for 4 and 1/2 years, and the kids have been coming for almost 2 years. Often, Christy will workout while the kiddos attend XM’s Youth level 1 program.
Christy found CrossFit Xtra Mile through her awesome chiropractor. She won on-ramp classes in a drawing–choosing them over a spa package. She feels it was a great choice and has been here ever since! All three of the Hempens love CrossFit and CrossFit Xtra Mile. Christy’s favorite part of CrossFit is always the strength portion, especially the Push Jerk. Trinity likes jump ropes, pull-ups, and box jumps. Nehemiah’s favorite movements are rope climbs, box jumps, and running.
The family has had many memorable moments at CrossFit Xtra Mile. For Christy, those moments include deadlifting shortly after she joined the gym. She ended up lifting much more than she expected, and that was the first time she realized just how strong she could be. Just last month, she competed in her first powerlifting meet, finishing first in her age/weight category.
Nehemiah’s most memorable CrossFit moment is beating an older (and much bigger) kid at the musical wall balls game during warm-ups. Trinity remembers all the fun obstacle courses Coach Corey makes for warm-ups.
A Lot of Changes
All three Hempens have seen lots of changes since they’ve started CrossFit. Christy feels she is more confident and willing to try new things. She is realizing how strong she can actually be. Trinity has gotten better at rope climbs, and Nehemiah thinks he has gotten more muscley.
The family is thrilled to be a part of the Xtra Mile family. Christy says that it is her second family. She loves that even though we all lead very different lives outside the gym, we all come together in the gym. She loves that no matter what level someone is at, we all fit in and lift each other up. Trinity has so much fun in the gym and thinks that her fellow athletes are silly. Nehemiah describes his fellow Xtra Mile athletes as his friends.
CrossFit Role Models
CrossFit Xtra Mile is also thrilled to have the Hempens as members! Christy’s progress has been super fun to watch, and she is willing to put herself out there and try new things–whether is a powerlifting competition or filling in on a team, she gives her best effort no matter what. Trinity and Nehemiah are also great to have in class. They work hard every workout without complaining. Nehemiah will climb anything and everything, and Trinity gets stronger and stronger every day!
Outside the Gym
Outside of the gym, Christy is a stay-at-home mom and homeschools Trinity and Nehemiah. When they aren’t at the gym or working on school, Christy enjoys family time or binge-watching Netflix shows with her husband, Dan. Nehemiah likes to climb anything and everything and build stuff in Minecraft in his spare time. Trinity enjoys coloring pictures and writing stories on her computer. She is currently writing her own cookbook.
Thank you Hempen family for being such an awesome part of our gym family!!
April Spirit Award Winner–CFXM Central
Talk to CrossFit Xtra Mile Central’s April Spirit Award winner for just a minute or two, and you will immediately realize why she was nominated by her coaches! Meghan Ekern is outgoing, super fun, and full of passion for CrossFit and life! Just being around her makes you instantly in a better mood!
An Old Young Lady
Outside of the gym, Meghan works in advertising. When not at work, she spends most of her time at the gym, but when she isn’t working out or hanging out with her gym friends, she spends her time like an 80-year-old crossed with a 6-year-old–cross-stitching and coloring. She has also spent quite a bit of time moving–33 times in her life, with 34 right around the corner.
Filling a Hole
Meghan has been brightening up XM Central for about 18 months. She found the gym at a time in her life when she was down and looking for more work/life balance. Growing up, she had been a dancer. The dance studio was her special place and where her friends were. CrossFit Xtra Mile filled that hole for her. She says that she traded the barre for a barbell. For Meghan, the gym is a place where she can be herself and feel that she has a purpose.
For Meghan, her time at Xtra Mile Central has resulted in many memorable moments, including her first TTB and her first pull up. She loves watching fellow athletes hit PRs and celebrating with them. She also enjoys any chance to deadlift and considers deadlifts as her superpower.
A special moment for her was when she entered an RX competition with Coach Kevin and Tiffany. It was a tremendous learning experience for her and pushed her in ways she had never been pushed. She was completely touched by the way Kevin and Tiffany supported her.
Coachable and Fun
Meghan’s coaches find it very easy to support her because of her attitude in the gym. She is super coachable and will do anything her coaches ask her to. She has a burning desire to work on her weaknesses and is always asking for extra work. As a cherry on top, she is friendly and motivating to her fellow athletes and is especially welcoming to new XM members.
One of Meghan’s greatest attributes is her attitude towards failure. In fact, she feels the biggest change she’s seen in herself since starting CrossFit is that she is getting better at failing–in and out of the gym. Now, she actually tries to fail because if she pushes herself to failure, it means she’s pushed herself to the limit.
In regards to failure, she has great advice for anyone just starting out in CrossFit: “Don’t worry about looking stupid. Everyone has to learn sometime. Everyone has a weakness they ‘re working on. Ask the dumb questions, laugh at yourself when you fail, and just be you. At the end of the day, we’re all a bunch of weirdos throwing weight around.”
Make sure you give yourself a chance to get to know this weirdo a little better. Drop by an evening class at CrossFit Xtra Mile Central and throw some weight around with Meghan. Congratulations, Meghan! Thanks for being you!