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Cristen Micu MOTM July 2020

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By Bethany Schmidl

Family: Husband Tim, Daughters Margo and Mia (currently still in the oven)
Favorite Movements: The Snatch
First Job: Lifeguarding and Swim Lessons
Current Job: growing a human while raising one too
Favorite Podcast: Classified Fit Podcast
Favorite Book Series: Harry Potter
Favorite Recipe: Honey Teriyaki with rice in the Instant Pot
Favorite Thing to do Outside CrossFit: hang out with Margo, friends and family, go to the lake

“I knew from the beginning that CrossFit was a life changer. I knew from the beginning it was a program that was easy to stick to and fun and that’s still my mentality.”

The beginning for Cristen started back in 2008 when she noticed some Air Force guys doing weird stuff in the corner at the gym on base, while stationed in Iraq. She knew one of the guys, so she asked some questions, was introduced to programming and has been in love ever since.

The real beginning for Cristen however, began in Yuba City where she was born and raised. She moved into the house that she currently lives in when she was five with her parents, six brothers and her sister. Soccer ran in her family, and she started playing at the age of four. During elementary school she attended Faith Christian and transferred to Yuba City High School because the girls she played competitive soccer with were going there, plus YCHS was a D1 school for soccer.

During the summer before her senior year Cristen played in a soccer tournament in Sweden with a program called Sports Ambassadors. She met her team in Denmark where they did a two week camp together. From there they went to Sweden for a week and competed in a five day tournament. The coach on the team was so impressed with her playing skills that he offered her a full ride scholarship to the college he coached at in Florida. Cristen agreed and once her senior year was complete, she moved across the country to Florida for her freshman year of college.

At the end of the year, her coach left so she ended up coming home and attending Yuba College for her sophomore year and playing there. Her first college coach offered her another full ride at the new college he was coaching at for her junior year, so Cristen went back to Florida and played what would end up being her final year.

During this time, Cristen didn’t know where she was in life. She didn’t want to go back to school and she was ready for a change. In high school, she knew that at some point she was going to serve. The military, like soccer, ran in her family. Her grandfather served for 30 years and three of her brothers went to WestPoint. For what would have been her senior year, she came home and attended a program called School of Leadership Development through her church. She also worked at Starbucks. During this time she met Tim, who she would eventually marry. Soon after, she enlisted in the Army.

Upon joining the army, Cristen became an Intelligence Analyst. She finished her degree online, majoring in Intelligence studies. When she finished her degree she applied and attended Officer Candidate School, where upon completion she received formal commissions as an U.S. Army Officer.

In 2007, Cristen was sent to Iraq for a 15 month deployment. It was here, while she was doing her normal routine of an hour on the elliptical in January of 2008, that she noticed some Air Force guys doing some weird stuff in the corner and she started asking questions. They ended up pointing her to programming and that is what she did for the rest of her deployment.

When she returned home, there wasn’t a CrossFit box near her. When the daily “.com” programming was released, there was usually a quick demo video for each movement. Cristen would study these videos and mimic them the best she could at Gold’s Gym and Snap Fitness. She can remember doing box jumps on benches in order to make it work.

She joined her first box two and a half years later in 2010 at Fort Lewis, Washington. There was a military affiliate run by a couple of volunteers. This was where she remained until she came off of active duty. After that she would pick a box close to wherever they moved.

In 2013-2014, her home was at NorthWest Iron and it was the firebreather gym. One of the coaches actually went to the games and sent teams to Regionals, when that was a thing. During this time Cristen got really fast and really strong, through the intentional programming at the gym, focusing on technique and the competitive atmosphere of the box. In 2015 she had her best year ever at the Open and soon after, she found out she was pregnant with Miss Margo.

In the summer of 2016, Cristen was transitioning off of active duty and her and Tim decided to move back to Yuba City to help her parents save their house. Cristen’s dad was really sick at the time and was beginning to decline more rapidly and he wanted to stay at home. So they came back and while a little rough at first, it has turned into a beautiful thing.

As soon as she moved back, Cristen started looking for a box. She stayed at her first one for a few months before trying a different gym. It was there that she met Ryan, Stevie, Antonio and a handful of others. At the same time, Margo began to go through a fussy stage and didn’t like to be left at daycare. So in January, Cristen stopped going to the gym until she began losing her mind, six months later. When she went back in the fall of 2017, a lot of familiar faces were gone but she didn’t know why until the next May when one of the members said they had done Murph over at Classified Fitness and she was like “what is that?!”. The member then told her it was the other CrossFit box in Yuba and Cristen was mind blown and then disappointed to hear that they didn’t have childcare.

Two months later though, she called Ryan to confirm whether this rumor was true or not. And to her delight, child care was available. In fact, it had been available the whole time! Cristen started that same month and can’t believe it’s almost been two years!

From the moment she stepped in, she was impressed with the cleanliness and organization of the box. Ryan, the head coach, was very professional and she felt different about it from the first time she went. And it has just proved true the longer she has stayed. “It’s a great community which is so important….I feel like everyone gets along with everyone and the coaching is great.” Cristen can tell that the first priority is safety and making better people.

Helping the community that she loves become better are two of the reasons that Cristen is studying to take her Level 1. She was going to take it in April, but because of COVID it was canceled. Cristen is hoping to take it sometime after the birth of Mia.

Being pregnant has not stopped Cristen from rocking it at the gym. For the first two weeks she was able to maintain her workouts, but soon after she knew she had to slow down, reduce the weight, bike instead of run. Her mindset is that she just needs to move.

Once Mia is born, she wants to get her muscle ups back and to lift heavier, and this time around it’s going to be truly for her and because she likes the way her body feels when she’s there.

When not CrossFitting, or learning about coaching CrossFit, you can find Cristen by the lake hanging out with Margo, family and friends.