November Featured Athlete - Shannath Merbs

Published November 28, 2016

Shannath has come a long way in her fitness since joining Outsiders. Her story is truly an inspiration. Check it out below.

1. What was your fitness background prior to joining Outsiders?

I was working out at the MAC a few days per week, once per week with a MAC personal trainer. I was totally bored.

2. When did you first start at Outsiders?

July 2015

3. You overcame a lot of adversity the first year of starting CrossFit. We would love to hear you discuss your journey since joining Outsiders.

September 11, 2015, I had a ruptured cerebral aneurysm, less than 24 hrs after my last CrossFit class. I was eventually transferred from Las Vegas, where I was working, to Johns Hopkins. I had my craniotomy September 14. I survived the surgery, 2+ weeks in the ICU, and another week in the hospital, I believe in part because I had been working out at Outsiders. Two weeks after I returned home, I started back at Outsiders working with Jessica doing “baby CrossFit” and eventually modified versions of the WOD. I had double vision looking up (no wall balls!) and had to monitor my heart rate. By the time I went to Hopkins Stroke OT and PT, they said I was doing great and didn’t have anything to offer me. My first real Outsiders class back was a big accomplishment for me.

4. What do you see as your greatest improvement as well as some other results from doing CrossFit?

Recently, we did the Christine workout. I didn’t remember doing it before and just concentrated on keeping a steady pace, something I learned during my comeback. I went to log my time and saw there was already a time logged. I had done it 42 seconds faster than the first time and 10 lb more on the dead lift. When I looked at the date, I realized the first time was before my aneurysm. That gave me a big boost in my confidence. I think CrossFit has given me a much better sense of my body position and how to use my body when I am doing stuff around the house. I have made so many friends, and working out is fun!

5. What is one goal that you have this year?

A strict pull-up and mastering double unders!

6. What is one piece of advice that you would give someone considering Outsiders CrossFit or a new CrossFitter?

Don’t be intimidated in the beginning! I know I was! Stan, Jessica, and all the instructors really focus on technique each and every class. You just keep getting better!

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