Athlete Spotlight: April

CrossFit Recreate
June 23, 2022
Athlete Spotlight: April

Each month we highlight a different CFR member using our “Athlete Spotlight,” where we will ask a series of “get to know you” questions. This will help introduce you to the members of our community that you have yet to meet, OR If you have met them, teach you a little more about them! You might just find out something new or something you have in common! 

April’s “Athlete Spotlight” is not only a rockin’ CrossFit Athlete, but is also a loving mom to two beautiful boys. She continuously inspires her family, friends, and fellow CrossFit athletes. We would like to introduce you to…. 

Michelle Dlugas

Michelle working out at home during quarantine with her boys close by.

Tell us a little about yourself (family, school, job):

"I live in Butler with my husband Tim, our 2 boys, Henry who is 5 and Nathan who is 5 months, and our dog Tali. I work full time as a physical therapist at Butler Memorial Hospital."

What made you decide to try Crossfit and why Crossfit Recreate?

"I first found out about CrossFit in 2009 from a physical therapist I worked with while I was in school. She was doing it and thought it would be something I’d enjoy. I finally decided to try it out in December 2012. I joined CrossFit Recreate after we moved from Pittsburgh to Butler in December 2018."

Go to class time?

"Normally 5:15 in the evening. I’d rather be an AM class attendee, but mornings are crazy enough already in our house and I’m at work by 6:45 every morning."

You recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy (Congratulations!) What ways do you feel that CrossFit helped you during your pregnancy?

"I’m grateful that I could continue doing CrossFit through both of my pregnancies, up until just days before both boys were born. I know that the mental and physical strength and stamina I’ve built up from CrossFit helped me through both of my labors/deliveries. During my second pregnancy, I was horribly nauseated all day every day, from before I even knew I was pregnant up until the day I gave birth to Nathan. Working out was one of the only things that helped to relieve the nausea and made me feel like myself."

How has your training been since giving birth?

"It’s been a little more sporadic since returning to work. I’ve actually been more consistent since the gym has been closed because I really do love working out at home with my family close by and I’ve been able to just fit workouts in when it works with our schedule a little more easily than specific class times. That being said, I’m looking forward to getting back into class with everyone too! I have to be extra careful to make sure I’m eating and drinking more than I think I need while continuing to work out at high intensity because it does have a negative effect on my milk supply (real talk!) if I’m not fueling myself enough too."

What is your favorite Wod/movement and your least favorite Wod/movement?

"Favorite: I LOVE weightlifting - form drills, tempo squats, percentage work, all of it. I also love double unders, pistols, high box jumps, wall balls, and anything with a sandbag.

Least favorite: Toes to bar, the ski erg, and anything handstand related."

 Words to live by/favorite quote?

My mantra during workouts or anything difficult is “you can do hard things."

 Any advice for long-time or soon-to-be mothers thinking about trying CrossFit?

"Trust your intuition and be smart. Just move and do what feels good, it’s not the time for PRs. And afterward when returning to CrossFit, take your time adding things back in, especially core work. Your body has been through the wringer and needs time to recover."

 Proudest CrossFit accomplishment?

"Doing chest to bar pull ups in one of the 2019 Open WODs. I can’t wait to be able to do them again!"

If you could create a WOD named after you…what would it consist of?

"Something long and grindy in rounds for time or chipper format with double unders, deadlifts, box jumps, and running."

What are your fitness goals for this year?

"Maintain consistency and slowly work back toward pre-pregnancy weights and skills. Also, I just ran my 5th half marathon (the Pittsburgh marathon virtual race) a couple weeks ago, and I’m thinking I want to either go for a PR half this fall or really go all in and run my second full marathon."

We’d like to thank Michelle for taking the time to answer our questions and being a committed member of the CrossFit Recreate community! We are excited to see what is in store for her in the future! 

Eager to learn more about our awesome members? Be on the lookout for next month’s Athlete Spotlight!

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