Athlete Spotlight – Edel Sligh

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Athlete Spotlight / Athlete of the Month July 2014

We love our Edel !!

We love our Edel !!

Let us tell you about our Edel 🙂

Each month, CrossFit OutSpoken will shine the spotlight on one of our amazing athletes so that we may all celebrate their successes and learn a little more about each other.

July 2014’s Athlete of the Month is Edel.  

Most days, Edel is up long before the sun, attending the 5:30 am class at the box before making her trek to work as the Operations Director for Home Instead, which provides at home care for seniors.  She is hard working, focused and has improved her mobility, strength and endurance by leaps and bounds in the short time she has been at CrossFit OutSpoken.

Deadlift PR for Edel!!

Deadlift PR for Edel!!


Edel (pronounced E-del) has lived in the United States for about 7 years, having moved here from a little place in Ireland called Rathnure, or, in Gaelic “Rath an luir”, which means “Ring Fort of the Yew Trees”.  Her husband, Shay, was in the US Air Force based at Patrick AFB.

She grew up as part of a very athletic family.  All of her family played the Irish national sport ‘Hurling’ (or “Camogie” for the ladies) which is considered to be the fastest sport played on grass!  It looks like a cross between soccer, baseball and sword fighting! Many members of her family were part of All-Ireland Champion teams. She played it as a team sport until she was about 14 years old – but she still always has a hurley (stick) and sliotar (ball) with her wherever she lives.

Edel found Crossfit on the internet while looking at information about the Wounded Warrior Project and was hooked. She lurked on the websites and blogs for a long time, reading and wishing before she tried it. It seemed to her to be something, in her words, as “Heroic and warrior-like, where you strive and push your body and mind beyond what you think is achievable, you do it in a team environment with your brothers and sisters, and it ultimately defines who you are. Being Irish means being part of a long warrior tradition – without being silly about it Crossfit looked familiar. It is more than working out to me.”

Edel owning that wall ball, heart of a lion!!

Edel owning that wall ball, heart of a lion!!

She found an announcement that Crossfit Outspoken was opening, conducted some research and discovered that everyone would be starting with Foundations.  She also heard that Coach Michelle was renowned as a skilled coach. She had tried crossfit before at a couple of local boxes, but was not at a point in her life to be able to make the mental commitment at that stage, and she felt she “got lost” in the bigger box environment. At Crossfit Outspoken, she was immediately committed.  During Foundations, Coach Michelle spent a lot of time on mobility, proper technique and team-building, and she describes it as, “something just clicked on with me.”  Edel admitted to have struggled these past few years with exercise and has literally hated working out, but now she is “antsy” if she misses a day.

Edel Working on her Overhead Squat mechanics and looking amazing while doing so!!

Working on Overhead Squat mechanics and looking amazing while doing so!!

Her goal is to motivate her family…to show them that if someone puts their mind to something, no matter how impossible it seems, they can achieve it. Edel said, “I believe firmly in the Unbeatable Mind and what better way to illustrate that than by taking my 40+ year old, outta-shape body and making it strong again. To see the faces of my family when I finally do a rope climb, or a handstand walk, or even just run a mile; for them to know the struggle it took for me to achieve that task and to have it motivate them to achieve more in their lives would be a gift to me.”

Clean and Jerk PR!!

Clean and Jerk PR!!

Edel has accomplished a lot during her first six weeks, but she feels that her biggest accomplishment thus far with Crossfit has been at an intro class she attended recently.  She said, “Coach Michelle asked me to run along with one of our new ladies that day and it meant the world to me. It seems so silly, but understand, six weeks ago I could not run 50 yards without stopping. To know that there was no doubt in someone that I could do that, that I could help motivate someone else meant the world to me. I am still extraordinarily slow, I am still scaling everything, but I am getting better every day. The Crossfit Outspoken community, along with Coach Michelle, are simply the most accepting and motivating crew I have ever met. Crossfit Outspoken is a place for working out, true; but it is more than that. It is a place where pride is built.”

We are blessed to have Edel as a part of the CFOS family, and are proud of everything she has accomplished so far.  The wonderful part for us, and this amazing woman, is that her journey has just begun.

We love you Edel!! Better Everyday!! You inspire us all!!

by Harlee Stafford

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