September Athlete of the Month - Danielle

Published September 9, 2015

When you first meet Danielle Parkes, you notice her sweet smile and charm.  Danielle is one of the most friendly people in the gym and her positive attitude shows it everyday.  Under that sweet charm, though, is a fighter, someone who works hard to conquer her goals.  Mediocrity is not acceptable for Danielle and she has proven herself time and time again that pursuing her fitness evolution is important in her daily life.  Also, so is listening to gangsta rap, because that’s her thing, too.

Before becoming a regular at Roughnecks, Danielle’s fitness journey began at age 22.  After realizing she was living an unhealthy lifestyle, it was time to make a change.  “I joined a gym, modified my eating habits and lost 40 pounds.”  Although she joined CrossFit Roughnecks two years ago, six months ago Danielle began to learn and understand the role nutrition plays in an active lifestyle.  

The combination of the fitness and nutrition has kept Danielle from being bored with exercise and herself and staying on a healthy path.  “You never understand the benefit of a complete body workout and proper nutrition when you hit the gym and do as you have always done,” says Danielle.  

Danielle isn’t a Houston-native (as many of us aren’t), but found her place in being a Roughneck this has played a large role in her health.  “I have more energy, sleep better, manage stress more effectively and I'm finally having to find new goals as others are achieved,” reflects Danielle.  Some of these achievements are adding weight to her squat and unlocking the success to completing pull-ups, as prescribed, in WODs.  

Besides being September Athlete of the Month, the coaching staff at CrossFit Roughnecks has taken notice of her effort.  “Danielle is someone who never complains about a WOD or not having a skill.  She takes it upon herself to put the work in.. and she has been rocking her diet!” Coach Sally says about Danielle’s demeanor and attitude in and around the gym.

All of Danielle’s hard work has certainly paid off, and she is a fixture in the gym with her husband, Jesse.  The two can be found working out together and supporting one another every week.  They truly embrace the CrossFit couple mentality and push one another to be their best.  

“It is easy to stay motivated when you have people that share the bond of sweat and the love of personal growth that is embodied by CrossFit Roughnecks, ” Danielle notes when reflecting on her time as a member of the gym.  She is apart of the Roughnecks family because she truly embodies what it means to be a Roughneck, and that what makes her September Athlete of the Month..  Oh, and finishing a WOD makes her feel like a total badass.

What's one piece of advice you would give to someone starting CrossFit?
Listen to the coaches and focus on form, mobility and stretching early in the process and throughout your first months.  The techniques will not get easier by loading on weights or reps, but they will by executing on form.  A wise man once told me "they (snatches) aren't going away" - AR. Clearly, I'd be further along if I had recognized this early on.

What's something interesting people at the gym don't know about you?
After a margarita, or two, I've been known to battle rap with my husband.

What's your favorite cheat meal?
Esquites, chicharrones, barbacoa, queso fundido, mescal-ritas; preferably all in one sitting.  

What's your favorite movement?  

What would be the perfect WOD for Danielle?
Spring or summertime class with the doors open rocking a hip-hop playlist, 300 meter runs intermixed with squats, cleans, deadlifts, burpees, and 5 half kip/half strict pull-ups.


What's your greatest accomplishment at CFR?
Pull-ups! Outside of that movement, I truly learned the meaning of competing against yourself.  One Saturday, Clay was coaching a WOD with a high number of thrusters and burpees.  I was exhausted and wanted to reduce my bar’s load but I didn’t let myself take the path of least resistance.  Although I finished dead last, I felt so much more accomplished finishing with the original weight than I would have with a reduced weight and a higher ranking.


What does being Athlete of the Month mean to you?
I have an attitude of gratitude. I am humbled and inspired by the tremendous athletes and coaches at Roughnecks. I have a long way to go in my training.  I realized, just this year, that the work and challenges provided by CrossFit are the best way for me to achieve and experience that satisfaction of my own progress.

CrossFit is equally a mental and physical journey. Many lessons that I have realized apply to other areas of my life as well; visualizing victory, celebrating small wins, and recognizing self-imposed hurdles.

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