April 4, 2012
Owner First, Athlete Second
By Thomas Patton and Alex Andrade

"The main purpose is to give it your best. That’s the only thing that can really make you proud.”

This is the story of Melanie Martillo, who got hooked on CrossFit in an unconventional way. She opened up a gym first, and then got into CrossFit“CrossFit is now my way of life,” she says.

Martillo says her athletic past only includes a little volleyball in high school and a little surfing when she was 16. After having her daughter, she quit all physical activities and undertook smoking for an average of a pack a day. Her brother had been showing her CrossFit videos for some time and when he got his Level 1 Certificate, she decided to invest in the business and open up their functional training center called GO EntrenamientoUrbano or GO Urban Training.

But that is now when Martillo started training in CrossFit. It was purely business. “I knew I needed to train. I started seeing it as an advantage to have a place to train,” she admits. “I never thought I would like it that much to the extent that it would change my life.”

After her first CrossFit workout, she quit smoking and put a focus on nutrition and intensity. “I don’t remember what my first WOD was, I remember there was some running involved and I felt I couldn’t breathe,” she recalls. “In the first weeks, I started to see some changes. Nowadays I couldn’t dream of living without training because the adrenaline and sense of well being of CrossFit is irreplaceable.”

Her first competitive experience was in a local competition in Peru. She was coerced to sign up by her brother, and to her amazement, she took 3rd in the female intermediate category. Her brother stepped in once again and convinced her to register for the 2012 Open, which she later accepted in order to be able to rank herself, get experience in hopes to qualify for Regionals in 2013. To her surprise, she qualified this year after finishing the Open in 46th place.

She began the Open with 88 burpees in 12.1, 60 snatches in 12.2, a little short of 6 rounds in 12.3, and then was able to complete 14 double-unders after the 150 wall balls in 12.4 and 55 reps on 12.5. “All of the workouts have had their degree of difficulties, but the 100-pound snatches and the wallballs also drained my strength,” she says. “But at the end, the main purpose is to give it your best. That’s the only thing that can really make you proud.”

After qualifying for Regionals, Martillo feels more inspired to focus on her training. “I feel proud of having been able to participate because a lot of women competed in the Open, of which I now feel a part of,” she says. “Because of the Open, I am now stronger mentally, and the mind is the only factor that’s makes us stop or keep going.”