The hot California sun shone down and the audience roared it’s approval as CrossFit Conjugate Black were crowned the 2nd fittest team in the world at the 2014 CrossFit Games. Not a bad finish for a rookie team. "Being out there was so much fun" team member Melissa Doss tells me, with more than a hint of nostalgia. "It's going to be hard to top that."
2015 is a different year for Blonyx ambassador Melissa however, as she reluctantly parts from her close friends and Conjugate Black teammates Lindsey Kelly, Britt and Mark Nelson and Sam and Jennifer Dancer, to take on the girls from the highly competitive Central super-region on her own two feet.
After an 11th place Individual finish in the Open Melissa is about as relaxed as you would expect someone used to Carson-level competitive intensity: "If I was returning as a team, there might be a bit of pressure, but as a successful team competitor switching to individual competition, I don't feel any[...] Regionals are usually quite barbell dominant. Put me in front of that bar and get out of the way".
Groupon to Games Podium
After passing her BAR exam and becoming an Attorney of Family Law, Melissa found CrossFit in 2012, by purchasing a 3 month Groupon Voucher with every intention of getting her money’s worth and ending with that. Not an illustrious beginning to a 3 time Regional’s qualifier and Games competitor.“I had no idea what I was signing up for, I got hooked and I’ve stuck with it ever since”.
There are not very many people out there that can boast a top 25 open finish in their very first season, and a CrossFit Games podium finish in their second, especially in a region like Central East with the likes of Julie Foucher and Nicole Holcomb to contend with. It takes a strong work ethic, unwavering confidence and some natural talent.
“I was always strong as a kid…I was as big as my older brother for a long time…people thought that we were twins. “
100 mile an hour lifestyle?
At age 29 the Kentucky born full time Attorney and part time coach at CrossFit The Tracks is a big advocate of a work/train/compete/life balance: “I truly believe in having it all when it comes to my life” Doss said, when asked about her professional, athletic and social life. “Don’t get me wrong, I work for it…I work my ass off…and I enjoy my down time”. No doubt, Melissa... but do you ever sleep?
As an example, Melissa is taking this weekend off: “I’m going away with some friends, we’ve rented a cabin for the weekend…I’ll go for a walk, drink some wine, eat some Doritos and maybe not get enough sleep… but that’s my time and I’ll be back at it Monday morning.”... and this is just weeks before regionals.
Don't get her wrong however. This is Melissa's way of making her fast paced life sustainable: “If I’m not having fun then I can’t put in 100%, and then what’s the point?”.
Photo credit: Andy Williamson Photography www.awilliamsonphotography.com
Taking this into account, Melissa's approach to her training may be seen by some to defy odds. Only a week or so ago, veteran Australian Games winner Amanda Allen posted her essay on the huge sacrifices modern day Games athletes must make in their personal lives to go all the way (read it here), .
sports psychology model of optimal confidence
To cope with the daily pressures of both her high-powered job and CrossFit commitments, Melissa puts a lot of faith in herself. "One thing that I focus on is having the confidence to believe in myself.” a trait that many aspiring athletes find difficulty in times of intense pressure. Melissa puts this down to the daily trials and tribulations of legal practice combined with strong support from home: “My husband is a successful engineer, an avid volunteer and my biggest fan, he’s super supportive and keeps me grounded”.
Supplementing her lifestyle
Melissa started supplementing her training with Blonyx HMB+Creatine 7 months ago. Like many, the biggest difference she's noticed has been in her recovery, and points out, "I notice when I miss days, I'm incredibly sore...especially in my shoulders/ back." Even though Melissa seems to have mastered the balance of intense training and real-life responsibilities (and a little fun) that intensity in the gym wears on the body, and the improved recovery from Blonyx has allowed Melissa to walk into the gym each day ready to put in 100%.
Melissa joined the Blonyx team in April 2015, and we are glad to be supporting Melissa, a role-model for top level athletes who are juggling a profession