Member of the Month: Pam Huyser

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Day Job: I run a Pre-Master’s Program Center at Merrimack College. I actually work for an international company based in the UK that recruits international students to universities all over the US, Britain, and Australia. At MC, it’s for students to get their Master’s degree in Business or Engineering. First, they come to the center as a bit of a “soft landing” so they can learn the US model of education and perfect some academic English skills like giving presentations and using citations while they also take their initial grad courses.

Hobbies & Other Activities: Photography, writing, traveling, hiking, swimming, vintage shopping, going to shows (live music), refurbishing/DIYing, road tripping, making maps (GIS), baking, singing, biking, etc.

Proudest Life Achievement: Being brave and open-minded enough to join the Air Force and leave my small, conservative, Michigan town of 5,000 when I was 17, which led to me obtain three degrees, travel the world, live in three different countries overseas, and become truly global. I have a diverse group of friends from all different cultures and am so glad that I didn’t stay in that very narrow-minded place where I grew up. It’s really made all the difference in my career and my life.

Previous Fitness: I have always been adventuresome and am up for anything. That said, I tried just about every sport when I was young, but wasn’t good at any of them as I am not competitive at all. I do enjoy running and have run throughout my life (but I don’t consider myself a “runner”) and even completed a marathon on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2001. Also, I grew up along Lake Michigan so I have always loved the water. Again, I can swim and enjoy it but prefer doing my own thing to any kind of competitive swimming.

Why CFFP?: I have joined gyms off and on throughout the years but last summer, felt I needed more motivation and a community of people. I knew that trainers, other folks, and a routine would be the right thing for me. Plus, I had never lifted weights before and wanted to get strong as opposed to just burn carbs.

First Memorable WOD: I don’t know that I have a first memorable WOD but I can say that the first couple months, I hurt after every WOD. And then one day, I realized that I completed a WOD and didn’t feel like I was dying. (Of course, that’s when you have to step it up and make things more difficult for yourself.) I think that’s when I knew that Crossfit was right for me.

Favorite CrossFit Movement: I like air squats because, although they’re exhausting, you really feel like your toning everything from the hips down. Plus they help in strengthening your form for when you lift.

What Motivates Her: My motivation is knowing that staying fit and healthy means that I can continue doing everything I want to do.

Biggest Goal: Right now, I have a goal to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro by next fall.

Biggest Challenge: Box jumps…it’s totally psychological—I’m great at visualizing and can see myself missing the box and skinning the whole front of my shin … I will overcome this.

Biggest Improvement: My shoulders and arms have always been really weak so I think that’s where I’ve improved the most strength-wise. Also, I have much more stamina.

Advice for New Members:   Show up, work hard, and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing/can do. Just do the best you can and try to improve.

Who is Your Superhero?:  Jessica Jones. She’s so badass (but deep down, she has a good heart).

Fun Fact: I’ve been to Kalamazoo and Timbuktu, but never Katmandu. (It’s on my bucket list!) Oh! And also, I have a varsity letter in Dutch Dancing.

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