We, the Solace coaching staff, are very excited to award our May Member of the Month to Tracey Rhodes! At 50 years old, Tracey is the FIRST regionals athlete at Solace after placing #101 in the Masters division of the 2017 Crossfit Open!!!! What an achievement! Tracey has come a long way from where she started. She has dedicated herself to always improving and spends time before and after workouts completing extra work. Tracey is always humble and is always helping and encouraging others to improve themselves as well. In addition to being a star crossfitter, Tracey is also a competitive figure skater. Talk about major fitspo!

We are so incredibly proud of your accomplishments and are constantly inspired by all of your hard work. Although you will not be able to continue your regionals journey this year, know the whole Solace community is behind you and supporting you with every step of your recovery. We cannot wait until you crush the Open again next year! So what are you waiting for ?! Keep reading to learn more about Tracey and her Crossfit journey!

Want to become a part of the Solace family? Click HERE  to sign up for a free introductory CrossFit class this week.

Member of the Month
Name: Tracey Rhodes
Hometown: Madison, WI
Age: 50
Occupation: Registered Nurse

How long have you been doing Crossfit and how did you get into it? I started CrossFit about 8 years ago. Some friends introduced me to it when I was at a fairly low point in my personal life and really, really out of shape.

What were your thoughts after your first CF workout? LOVED IT.  Even though I was completely  out of shape, I was immediately hooked and signed up for a membership the same day. I loved the challenge, the competitive nature of it and the camaraderie.

What were your goals when joining Crossfit? At first, my only goal was to try not to humiliate myself. As time went on that changed and I got to a point where I wanted to really push myself to my limits and find my  maximum potential.

How did you find Solace and what has kept you with us for so long? I was at another gym and heard about Solace’s opening through Coach Hayden. I decided to check it out and ended up joining soon after. I believe that  the environment and programming at Solace have really helped me improve by leaps and bounds in my strength and conditioning.

You are consistently in the gym early working hard. Talk to us about what gets and kept you motivated. Honestly I just love being at the gym. I love moving my body. I love pushing my limits and proving to myself that I can learn the next element or hit a new PR.

What has been the most challenging part of your training? Biggest obstacles? Up until 2 weeks ago I would have said time and money, however , a recent  medical issue  has changed that. Now my challenge is having the patience to wait until I can get back into training full tilt.

You qualified for regionals!!! Congrats! How does it feel to be the first regionals athlete at Solace? Well, it was actually bittersweet. Of course, I was thrilled to have qualified and looked forward to competing in the next round-the online qualifiers.  Unfortunately about two weeks after the Open, I found out that I had a large blood clot in one of the veins leading to my heart and had to have surgery to remove it. The clot was caused by compression to the veins and nerves in my neck, which is a rare thing that can happen in otherwise healthy athletes. The combination of my own anatomy and a lot of overhead repetitive motions made a sort of perfect storm for this to happen.  I am grateful that it was caught before a more serious complication happened but also slightly heartbroken to have missed competing further this year.  I will have a second surgery to correct the anatomical problem and hopefully be back in full force soon!!!

Going into these grueling workouts, what do you think are your biggest strengths? Biggest weaknesses? As a former gymnast, my strengths are definitely the gymnastics and bodyweight movements.  I also love deadlifts and overhead squats.   My weaknesses are definitely wall balls, running, and rowing.  I love the Oly lifts but need to improve my overall strength and ability to do higher volumes of heavy lifts.

You also compete in figure skating. How has that affected your workouts and training? It is a little tricky to balance.  The CrossFit Open and the biggest national adult figure skating competition fall essentially  the same time each year and so it can make it hard to train.  If I go too hard at the gym one evening, my skating can suffer when I try to do a lot of jumps or program run throughs at the rink the next day. Sometimes I will go lighter at one if I know I have something important in the other the next day (like an Open workout). In the long run, though, I think both things ultimately contribute to making the other stronger.

How has Solace positively affected you both inside and outside the gym? Well, working out at Solace has improved not only my physical conditioning but my psychological well being as well. When I started Crossfit I was at a real low in my personal and professional life, and it really helped to pull my out of that spot and focus on the positive and motivate myself to do more things….both Crossfit related and not.

What keeps you motivated? The thrill of learning and mastering something new.

Biggest achievement at Solace so far? Coming in #101 in my age group in the Crossfit Open.  Getting bar muscle ups. Multiple new PRs on benchmark WODS – Fran and Diane

New goal for the coming year? Be 100% healthy and hopefully have another shot at the online qualifier!

Something no one at the gym knows about you -I started Crossfit when I lived in SoCal and while still a Crossfit neophyte, attended one of the first Crossfit Games…. when it was still basically  in it’s infancy (2009).  It took place at the ranch in Aromas, CA and was a much different animal that it is today. Looking back it’s fun to see how far the Games have come and at the same time how much I have progressed as a Crossfitter

When you’re not at Solace, where are we most likely to find you? Skating rink… no big surprise there.

Pre and post workout meal of choice? I’m ashamed to say that coffee is probably my pre-workout meal. Post workout would be salad and yogurt. (Sorry, I am pretty much a vegetarian and non-paleo….don’t kill me).

Favorite WOD/ Least Favorite WOD: KAREN….YUK/Diane is my favorite

Favorite Lift/ Least Favorite Lift: DL and OHS are my favorite. Least favorite-front squat

Advice for someone looking to start CrossFit? Don’t get discouraged or compare yourself to other people.  Just do your best for that day, one movement at a time. Set a goal for the day (even if it’s just to finish the WOD).

Knowing how far you’ve come, if you could give your past self-advice, what would it be? Don’t worry about trying to RX everything.  Focus or techniques and form and getting stronger (aka…leave your ego at the door). STRETCH and mobilize more.


Rapid Fire Questions

If you had a theme song, what would it be? No idea….maybe “Eye of the Tiger” or “Don’t Rain on My Parade”… lol

What is your spirit animal? No idea… Did I mention I am really bad at thinking of answers to these. I was born in the year of the horse in the Chinese calendar so let’s go with that

Drink of choice? Coffee

Last picture you took on your phone: A picture of the bike I recently bought. The doc says it’s ok to bike.

Last book you read: Lamb by Christopher Moore

Favorite show to binge watch: Too many to list. I just finished watching the second season of Fargo on Hulu.

Last concert you went to: Grace Potter (friend’s choice)

Favorite pizza topping: None.  I’m a purist…. old style NY cheese pizza

Favorite NYC Doughnut Shop: I don’t really like doughnuts…. now cake is a different story, Billy’s Bakery in Chelsea

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Nerves of steel

One thing you couldn’t live without: Hope

Favorite emoji:Ice skate, weightlifter and the guy doing a cartwheel

Last song stuck in your head: Too many to list… I’m highly suggestible

Last dream you had: Too strange to admit

3 people you could party with for a night dead or alive, who and why? Probably any of the former SNL cast because I love comedy and what would be better than laughing hysterically all night?

First album/CD/cassette you ever bought? No idea…maybe Billy Joel “Glass Houses” circa 1978… I’m old!

Favorite hidden gem spot/restaurant in NYC: Can I say Billy’s Bakery again? I really love cake, especially cuz I rarely eat it anymore 😉

Favorite healthy snack: Trail mix

Go to karaoke song: I’ll pretty much try any song that I even remotely know.