Each month, in order to get to know our Centex community better, we are going to highlight an Athlete of the Month. This athlete has exhibited determination, growth, and a great attitude in the gym. They challenge and encourage their teammates on a daily basis and represent CrossFit Centex with pride.

For the month of September, we wanted to highlight one of our UMHB students so give a big shout out to Caitlin McTaggert who is our athlete of the month. Caitlin is finishing up nursing school at UMHB and has made Centex her home since her freshman year. She is focused, driven and obviously, based on her major, has a passion for helping others. Any time spent with Caitlin at the gym, one quickly learns that she always has a smile and truly loves life. And when you get beat by her in a wod, you also realize she’s pretty good at crossfit too.

Tell us little bit about you and your family.

I am the only child of Hope and Jay McTaggart.  My dad is a retired police officer that now teaches middle school special needs to autistic boys. My mom is an executive assistant for a mortgage company.  My mom has just passed her one-year Crossfit anniversary, which I am very happy about.  They live in the North Dallas area.  We have 3 dogs and a hedgehog: a geriatric golden named Jack, a 5 year-old golden retriever mutt named Doofinshmertz (Schmertz for short and it fits him), a 5 year-old cattle dog mutt named Candace (she’s mine when I get my first place and I’m excited), and the hedgehog named Roxy/Henrietta who is my dad’s class pet.

Caitlin2

What are your hobbies and interests?

Beyond nursing school, which is far too all consuming for my taste, I avidly bake and cook, help in the nursery at Temple Bible church, and lead/coordinate a local children’s outreach program. Also, I suffer from a bad case of wanderlust.

What is something we don’t know about you?

Something many don’t know about me is I have a very strong sense of “home.”  Meaning, I like feeling I am “home” or am comfortable and welcome without feeling like a burden to someone.  Consequently, it’s hard for me to see people taken from one. The refugees and foster kids have a soft little spot in my heart since they are without “home.”

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When did you start crossfit? Why?

I started Crossfit when I was 15 as cross training for swimming.  At the time I was nursing a chronic shoulder injury and was on a serious yardage restriction.  Even though I was partially out of the water, I still saw an improvement that season. I was sold. I loved Crossfit. I later stopped swimming and immediately joined that Crossfit box.

Do you remember your first wod?

o My first WOD was named “Rip” after the owner’s dog.  It was five rounds for time of 200m run, 12 box jumps (20in), and 9 thrusters.  It took me 13:32.  I started thrusters at 45lb but had to back down to 35lb because of the pain in my shoulders.  That was September 2011. It was rough.

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about crossift? (movement, wod, etc.)

My least favorite movement/WOD is anything with wallballs or thrusters or sprint WODs.  Basically “Karen” and “Fran” are my nemeses. Oh and box jumps…they scare me. I tend to dislike shoulder heavy movements, but as of late, I have gained affection for overhead squats. I love endurance or chipper style WODs—the longer the better.  Running, rowing, double unders, deadlifts, squats…those, those I like.

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How has crossfit and/or Centex affected your life?

Crossfit added to traits swimming had instilled in me: hard work, diligence, and ambition. Crossfit and the people I work out with have taught me I am far more capable than my mind thinks I am. It is okay to fail—get back up and learn from it.  Be willing to accept instruction and criticism. All of the coaches, especially Jodi, have been very patient with me on my Olympic lifts. I love crossfit for the community it creates.  The people I train with are encouraging and are wonderful to be around.  After an awful WOD, Ben or Terry will crawl over and give out sweaty, chalky high fives or fist bumps.

What advice would you give a newbie?

For those who are new, don’t panic about the rx weights. The beauty of crossfit is that it is scalable. Please don’t compare yourself to those around you.  It is ultimately you against the clock, you against yourself yesterday, you against challenges not yet overcome.  We are all doing the same thing right beside you and want you to succeed.

Tell us your most memorable moment/wod/etc. at Centex?

Last February, Terry and I competed in Civil War as a team—we were “Cait y Terry” and that was too good to not share (Ben gets credit here).  Favorite quote from Jodi I have heard when someone says the bar weighs a lot, “It’s weightlifting.  It’s supposed to be heavy!”

Have you met any goals since starting crossfit? What future goals do you have?

As simple as this is, I can touch my toes now when I stretch.  Flexibility isn’t my forte, so let that be a testimony to good, consistent mobility.  My handstands are still a work in progress and I’d love to do a muscle up at some point, but that’s me dreaming big.

Give a favorite quote or encouraging word.

I leave you with this: work hard and be kind to all.