As we move into the beginning of the fall season, we would like to recognize a Mischief Member who has now been with us for nearly two and a half years: Michelle VanderBand is our Mischief Athlete of the Month for September 2020. As is common with many adult CrossFit participants, Michelle joined CrossFit Mischief in May of 2018 with the goal of addressing her joint health. Stiffness caused by arthritis can be a major deterrent to exercising and engaging in other types of physical activity. Michelle’s knees were not only keeping her from exploring her athletic potential, but were making everyday tasks, like walking, irritatingly painful. Learning proper powerlifting and weightlifting technique from the coaches at CrossFit Mischief helped Michelle improve the structural stability of her vulnerable joints and develop a strong foundation on which she could build. Today, Michelle can claim a 95-lb. power clean and a 65-lb. power snatch—two of her proudest fitness accomplishments since becoming a daily attendee at early-morning CrossFit classes. Deadlifts are a personal favorite of Michelle; although, she would be content never seeing movements like box jumps and man makers.
Michelle’s presence at the gym—whether for class WODs or for interactive community events—is always positive and contagious, marked by smiles and inspirational recollections of her youthful experiences as a three-sport high school athlete. As a student-athlete, Michelle excelled in cross country running, track events, and gymnastics; as an adult, Michelle prefers softball and bowling, and she is more than happy to hold her own in a conversation about National League Central Division MLB contenders. Other hobbies Michelle enjoys are riding her bike and walking her two dogs. If you were fortunate enough to catch a Zoom CrossFit class while Governor Pritzker’s Stay At Home Order was in effect, you may have even had the opportunity to meet Michelle’s pups, or at least hear them vocalize their support for the daily workouts. Michelle, it is always a pleasure speaking with you at class and listening to you encourage the others in attendance. Keep up the hard work.