We, the Solace coaching staff, are very excited to award our April 2016 Member of the Month to Malinda Feng. Malinda officially joined the Solace community right after attending a free intro class. Since then has taken full advantage of her membership: Mobility, Barbell, Gymnastics, CrossFit, a Strength Cycle, and Freestyle (RIP). She also attended the Swistak Seminar! Before she left for her trip on the Gainz Train to Gainsville, she was a 5am CF regular who always worked hard. Malinda is extremely coachable and dedicated to learning and getting better. Coach Greg remembers one class where she was the only person at 5am. The WOD included 400M runs around the block. She attacked it as if it was a full class and always came down the stairs with a smile on her face.  We love having Malinda as a part of our community!  Without further ado we present April’s Member of the Month, Malinda Feng!

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

Name:  Malinda Feng
Hometown:  New Orleans
Age: “The Answer to the Great Question of Life, the Universe and Everything…”  😛
Occupation:  Capital Markets Advisory Consultant

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I love learning and trying out new things like careers and getting out of my comfort zone.  Often times, my curiosity takes me to some very strange and unexpected places / positions. I like to think of my life’s trajectory as driven by a classier version of “hold my beer” sans setting myself on fire (so far) or getting run over by a monster truck (so far).
What is your fitness background? What were you doing before CrossFit?
Not a damn thing.  I tried a few series of classes but there wasn’t an identifiable trajectory or goal. I’ve joined and quit the big gyms because after the first rush of “getting in shape!”  I didn’t see the point of grinding away on a treadmill or stationary bike. It all seemed very hamstery.  And forget about getting anywhere near the weights. So my “exercise” was to walk everywhere.

What were your thoughts after your first CF workout?
“THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!!! I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON BUT THIS IS TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!!!!!” – running through my head during my first Foundations class.  The coaches were (are) fantastic by explaining not just the hows but, importantly for me, the why – why do you need to have a particular stance or grip.  Conceptually, it all made sense. (Getting it right, totally different story).


How did you get into CrossFit?
I was inspired by my two best friends to find a serious workout program.  We became friends when we were on a long project, working 10-12 hours every day and all up in each other’s business.  Both guys are total hardcore gym-bros who chattered incessantly about their workouts. First, it was all side-eye by me, then I got caught up in their enthusiasm for cardio, “leg day”, “chest day” and the like. . .When I expressed interest in doing something, it was unbridled encouragement. Damian recommended CF and Osman suggested weightlifting. These guys have been my biggest cheerleaders and have kept me honest.

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?
Initially, I had an amorphous goal of “being fit/losing weight” without any real idea of a target state. After a few classes, I realized my true goal was to get as strong as possible.

Favorite lift and Why?
DEADLIFTS!! I love it because I feel very strong and I can use it as a threat as in “you know I can probably pick you up. . .”

Least favorite lift and why?
Presses because I am terrible at it. But it’s a goal for me to work towards.


Has CrossFit affected your life outside the Gym?
Absolutely!  The direct impact of being unfocused or distracted during a WOD or strength training is swift and sometimes painful as I have experienced.  From these experiences, the importance of mindfulness finally clicked – you have to being fully present and aware to achieve anything.  I practice it at work and socially. I’ve definitely become more focused and calm.  Basically, the concentration and focus I use to stand up from a heavy squat is how I now approach many non-gym things.

Do you have any special memories/achievements during your time here?
My very first open in December after the October strength training cycle.  I was so nervous that I almost skipped. But I went and I hit all attempts!!! That was the first time that I truly felt the “I got this” feeling.

Money is no object. Where would you travel to?
I would go SCUBA diving all around the world.


What was the most awkward/embarrassing  thing you’ve ever done during a WOD/training?
Ahhhhhh I love this question! There are so many!! Dropping a bar on my head, hitting my nose when doing a press, falling on my butt trying to do an overhead squat with a pvc bar, squishing my finger in between plates. I look forward to more awkward moments – it’s a great learning experience and way to measure progress.  For example, now I can do an overhead squat without falling over!

Rapid Fire Questions

If you had a theme song what would it be?
Regret – New Order

Favorite guilty pleasure TV show?
Futurama on continuous loop

What is your spirit animal?
Elephants are awesome!  Largest land mammal, super chill with their familial / social herds.  No need to be aggressors because they can literally squash whoever bothers them – but they don’t!

Who’s your role model?
There are so many people I admire and respect.  The qualities they all share are fearlessness and an eagerness to embrace change.

Calories don’t count. Describe your most epic cheat meal.
A gigantic muffaletta with sides of red beans and rice and crawfish etouffee ending with a plate of beignets from Café Du Monde.  (I really miss New Orleans food and that was one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had).

Drink of choice?
On the reg – Seltzer. Fancy – Basil Hayden Kentucky Bourbon

What was the last picture you took on your phone?
My friend being a goofball in our very beige cube farm at work.

If you could only work out in one solid color for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
Dark grey.  Front-run the inevitable fading of black clothes.

Doughnuts or Cookies
Doughnuts all day every day!!

Summer or Winter
Winter.  I love icy days and snowstorms are the best! I’m also a spoiled city-dweller with no car or house to dig out, so there’s that.