Top Ten things I’ve Learned as a Small Business Owner—Month 1

10–Crying in front of contractors makes them work faster

9–Apparently, the urinal is just a suggestion as guys seem to miss the target quite often

8–There are actual men and women that work INSIDE of the bank to help you with your account!  Who knew? (I thought the purpose of the bank structure was to have solid walls to which the ATMs could attach)

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October Athlete of the Month: Michelle Donnelly

Congrats to Rising’s first “Athlete of the Month”,  the amazing Michelle Donnelly….if you haven’t had the pleasure of working out alongside this dynamo, please take some time to get to know her a little better by checking out her crossfit story below.
Editor’s Note:  She wasn’t selected only because she is a loyal NY Yankees fan….but, that did sway the vote in her favor 😉

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The Biggest Loser Wins

Last week, we advertised a contest of sorts….a biggest loser theme if you will….whoever posted the most awful, awkward looking photo of themselves for all his/her peers to see would win a week of free mobility classes and a free Rising CrossFit t-shirt.

Initially, the offerings were scant and pretty mild.  A cute picture of someone when he was 5 years old wearing an outdated outfit was submitted.  Then a dance recital portrait that was kinda funny was uploaded.  People would come into the box, scroll through the WODify attendance record and chuckle a little.  I overheard one member say, “I’m not going to post a bad picture of myself, then everyone would really see me!

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At a time when my life was in a complete turmoil, my sister bought me my first punchcard – so I started crossfitting, hesitantly at first, and more as just an escape from the horror that my life was becoming than for any other reason.  I would go 2 times a week, and for 2 blissful hours a week, I would be able to forget … and I would be able to feel good about myself, about my abilities, about who I really was.  As I started going more often, I found that I was actually pretty good at this “sport of fitness” — and, more importantly, I started making friends, becoming part of a wonderful community, creating a new life and a new “me” – not Libby and Henry’s mom, not Alex’s wife, not the poor girl whose husband cheated on her and was going through a horrible divorce – but just me – an athlete, a person who actually cared about doing something for herself, and who needed to start taking her life back into her own hands.

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She checks out Mozart while she does tae-bo

So I really love the band Train.  So much so that I walk around singing their songs and reciting their lyrics all the time.  My family and friends make fun of me about it but secretly, I think they are just jealous because they don’t sound as amazing as I do….but, I digress as  this jealousy over my repressed musical talent is perhaps a topic for another blog.

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Never Say Never

A few weeks ago, I was exiting the grocery store in haste with my two girls, ages 7 and 3, in tow.  As I was rounding the corner with my cart chock full of bags, I noticed a young mom strolling in with an approximately 6 mos-old baby girl. The baby was carefully perched on top of  a crisp white and pink pillow-top grocery store seat cushion.  She had a sun bonnet on her head and her mom was wiping down any portion of the seat not covered by the protective pillow.

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The Zig Zag Run

“Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior.”—one of my favorite song lyrics, probably ever, from Hillsong’s  Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)


Five minutes before “The Zig Zag Run”, Event 5, at the 2013 CrossFit Games was scheduled to start, I was unable to put on my cleats.  I was in tears and I was considering pulling out of the competition I had worked so hard all year to earn the right to compete in.

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Testimonial: Obviously, Michelle is an amazing athlete, but that just scratches the surface of who she is… an amazing PERSON, friend and coach. I’m looking forward to training at Rising Crossfit Ballantyne, given she will be setting the standard for training, the environment at the box, and everything associated with its operation. Michelle genuinely wants people to get better at whatever they do, and her dedication to that goal is evident in the way she interacts with the people she trains. You can tell this is truly her passion and, based on past experience, everyone that’s fortunate enough to be a part of Rising Crossfit Ballantyne will benefit immensely. – John Scerri

Testimonial: I have had the privilege of working out with Michelle for the past eight years. First, in a group exercise setting where I enjoyed a varied, well thought out and thorough workout. More recently, Michelle has personally trained and coached me for a 2nd place finish in a fitness transformation contest. (No small task for a 40 yr. mom of 3) She has an apt sense of how to bring out the best in her clients in an encouraging yet challenging way. Her broad knowledge in the fitness arena is exemplary and her commitment to her clients is only surpassed by her passion for providing an excellent work out, experience and service to her clientele. – Elizabeth Martinsen

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