MEET MELISSA HILL
I have always had an interest in fitness.
I played women's rugby throughout high school and university and found that I was having trouble committing to training during the week due to work commitments with the Royal Australian Air Force. Soon after deciding I could no longer commit to rugby, I was sent to the Middle East with work and started working out in the gym. This led to a short-lived fascination with the world of bodybuilding; culminating in a first place win in my second and last competition. More importantly though, just days before I did this competition (in May 2010) a very good friend dragged me along to CrossFit Newcastle and I fell in love.
I only managed four months at CrossFit Newcastle until I headed back to the Middle East, but this time I was fueled with a way of training which would keep me fit. I often had to substitute movements into my workouts, as I was still a newbie; e.g. I would do jumping pull-ups instead of normal pull-ups, but as it was a 'normal' gym that meant stacking plates below the cable machine so I could reach the bar. I got plenty of strange looks as I ran around the gym trying to get my metcons done. I also decided that to improve my Double Unders I would replace running with them (it also helped with the fact that it was often over 50 degrees outside and the gym was air conditioned). So I started doing Double Unders with my shoes off, it hurt more each time I tripped and I learnt to pick up my feet, I learnt pretty quickly to pick my feet up.
Over the past 4 and a half years my love of training has only increased, with the fire truly ignited while living in Townsville. I was lucky enough to train with a fantastic team and a brilliant coach - Daniel Strickland aka Stricko. We qualified for the Australian Regionals as a team in 2011 and 2012 - placing 3rd in 2012 and earning a spot in the 2012 Games. The experience was incredibly eye opening and showed me what it took to be a better, well rounded athlete. In 2013 all my continued hard work paid off and I was fortunate enough to qualify as an individual for the Australian Regionals. One of the highlights for me that year was the overhead squat event, when Stricko promised me I could definitely overhead squat my chosen starting weight and he was right. I went on to finish 6th in that workout and 14th at the end of Regionals.
By far my favourite moment would have to be as part of Tropic Thunder (CrossFit Townsville) competing at the 2014 Games. The Ocean Raft event was particularly memorable, it was a grueling test of endurance and bravery but we pulled together and represented Australia proudly, by placing seventh in the event.
I am nearing the end of my self-mandated 'year-off' and am looking forward to hitting my training hard again. At the moment I am training six times a week, doing normal sessions with Sale CrossFit, with two additional interval sessions to get me back into the groove. I'm heading to Gallipoli for ANZAC day and on my return my training will return to 9-10 sessions per week with a focus on getting stronger again and building up my engine. I would love to compete at the Schwartz Challenge this year and go into next years season strong and fit.
My three favourite CrossFit movements are:
- Overhead Squats
- Toes to Bar
My three least favourite would be:
- Box Jumps
- Anything on the Air Dyne!
Someone very smart once told me that as a athlete I need to try to be stronger than everyone smaller than me and better at gymnastics than everyone that is bigger than me. That's my goal. I want to be a better athlete, to work hard and see results from my training and to represent myself, Sale CrossFit and Beast Mode Athletica with humility and grace!!