February Athlete Focus:

Val Mc

Member since:  December 4th, 2013

Every time I picture Val in my head, it’s with her carrying tons of gym shit with big sunglasses, running from somewhere to come squeek a workout in before running off to the next place! But when she’s here she gives it her all every time, even when she doesn’t feel like it ;P – Coach Jake

Tell us about you! Job, hobbies, aspirations, etc 🙂

My name is Valerie McCarthy; I am a resident of Foxborough Massachusetts and a proud member of CrossFit Torque. This year I will be married for 9 years and have two daughters Christina (7) and Claire (6).  Life has never been so busy! I am a staff nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston Massachusetts (weekend nights) as well as a part-time nurse educator at the Institute of Health Professions in Charlestown lastly, a full-time student at Regis College seeking a second masters in nursing.

I believe that excellence is achieved by small improvements and lifelong pursuit of learning and development. I received my masters in nursing education in Spring 2017, and I again set out to further enrich myself and started my educational journey for second masters as a nurse practitioner and will graduate in May 2019 (Yay!). I was raised to have a strong work ethic, to believe in myself and never settle. I have always loved fitness! I believe that fitness has been a big part of what keeps me energized and empowered to strive for excellence in all aspects of my life. I have had little time over the past 4 years for “the extras” and I must admit I have struggled to even keep fitness a part of my daily life. My husband Ryan is an amazing support and we both push each other every day to do some sort of exercise.

What was it about CrossFit Torque that made you want to join?

I have been a member at CrossFit Torque for 5 years now; prior to joining I was attending a gym that provided its members with a similar style of working out but was further away. I was looking for a gym closer to home and I heard about CrossFit from a friend of mine who was a gymnast and who thought I would enjoy the challenge. I have always had to work hard at everything I do and fitness has not come easy for me either but I enjoy the “fight”. I can honestly say what has kept me committed to CrossFit is the individualized yet family-centered approach that the coaches provide at CrossFit Torque. CrossFit Torque provides its members with a safe environment for working out both emotionally and physically. The coaches take pride in making sure we “all” achieve goals each class big or small.  I can honestly say that the environment breeds success as we push and encourage each other to be our best!

What has kept you coming back to Torque, day after day??

My favorite thing about working out at CrossFit Torque is the people! I love the workouts but with a busy hectic life it’s easy to sometimes say “No” to working out but it’s not easy to let someone else down. I have to say I am grateful for Coach Amanda and Coach Jake for reaching out to me the weeks I didn’t show up, reminding me of my goals and my accomplishments and not to let life get in the way of taking care of myself. Although I have a passion for fitness I too fall victim to being a wife, mother, student, teacher, and daughter and can easily put many things before or above myself. Amanda and Coach Jake are the reason I have found the time this year… working three jobs, being in school full time and having a family to still find time for the gym. This is not going to be my strongest year, nor is it the year I will look my best but it’s a year I will always remember because I didn’t let myself slide! And working out has given me more motivation and energy to complete what may be one of my biggest individual accomplishments yet, becoming a Nurse Practitioner.

What is your proudest accomplishment thus far?

This is a difficult question because I look at each workout at CrossFit as an accomplishment as all the workouts are challenging in their own way. Prior to joining CrossFit, I shied away from what some call “heavy lifting” thinking that I was not strong enough or knowledgeable enough in the gym to “lift” heavier weights. I also have learned a lot about my body and when I can push myself harder and when I cannot.

What has been your biggest challenge?

I find my biggest challenge is often the reason I keep coming back, FAILURE. The CrossFit workout at times pushes you beyond fatigue but you learn that this is really where the real fight for fitness lies. It’s challenging to push through the fatigue but when I push past the point of exhaustion I have learned I make my biggest gains. CrossFit is difficult; to succeed I often have failed and this is when I have seen my biggest accomplishments. The challenge of CrossFit is only understood by those lying on the ground next to you when the work out is over!

What is your favorite CF movement to do?

Overhead squats, because you’re using your full body!

What piece of advice would you give to someone who is looking to start CrossFit but hasn’t yet?

For those of you who have never participated in a CrossFit workout or have never been to a “box”, I can see how the CrossFit style of “strength and conditioning” can be intimidating or even overwhelming. However, if you’re someone who struggles to go to the gym or doesn’t particularly love “cardio” and traditional style of “weightlifting” CrossFit may be for you!  CrossFit is not as intimidating as one my think.  As I stated above CrossFit brings with it the bonus of a community and together we experience challenging workouts in which we all see measurable results. Furthermore many of us have become passionate about the sport of lifting as we have seen ourselves grow through perseverance. Furthermore, being involved in a community breed’s change, it becomes easier to “want” to make life style changes as the coaches and other athletes you meet are often high-energy people. Lastly, your energy will increase and you will be consistently releasing feel-good endorphins which combined with increased energy you will see positive effects in all areas of your life. If you don’t believe me…..come on in, we are always ready and willing to invite newcomers into our box! Take the challenge, become a better you and CROSSFIT!

people working out in a group fitness class


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