Athlete of the Month – Marc Pelka

We'd be hard pressed to find someone quite as positive and uplifting as Marc. No matter what happens during his days, he comes in with the best attitude, ready to take on whatever the coach throws at him! He takes feedback like a champ, immediately applying advice from his coaches and fellow athletes.

Marc- Thank you for being a ray of sunshine inside of CrossFit New Haven!!


1.  When and where did you start CrossFitting?
I started CrossFitting just over three years ago, in April 2016. My previous box was Oculus CrossFit, in New York City. In January, a few days after moving to New Haven, during a drop-in to CrossFit New Haven on a Sunday afternoon class in which Sean was the coach, I was positive I wanted to be a member.

2.  What are some of your goals to accomplish in 2019?
Improved shoulder mobility generally, which has come a long way since I began attempting snatches in CrossFit but still holds me back from movements. I’d also like to string together double unders and complete rope climbs.

3.  What are some of your recent accomplishments of which you're most proud?
Comfort with barbell movements generally. Before joining CrossFit, I hadn’t done much with barbells. After practice, they, especially dynamic, explosive movements, are usually my favorite parts of workouts.

4.  Do you adhere to any form of daily/weekly diet regimen to power your workouts?  What does your dream cheat meal/day look like?
Before joining CrossFit, I mistakenly thought that a steady exercise routine allowed athletes to eat whatever they wanted! Joining helped me appreciate the foundational role nutrition plays. I can’t say I follow a strict diet but I incorporate as many fruits and vegetables into my routine as possible, try to avoid processed foods, and plan ahead for smarter snacking and meals.

I don’t know if it’s a cheat day because the food is healthful, but it would have to consist of Korean food, my favorite cuisine. My favorite Korean restaurant in the area is Seoul Kitchen. Not only would I enjoy soju (Korean rice wine) and banchan (complimentary small dishes provided) but also kimchi jjigae (a spicy stew), tteok-boggi (spicy, stir-field rice cakes), and more! And if I’m splurging on a cheat day, I’m also enjoying banana cream pie elsewhere!

5. Design 2 WODs:  1 that is your bread & butter, filled with your movement strengths; 1 that is all goats (movement weaknesses you feel you need to improve).

Bread and Butter

Row, Clean, Run, Box Jump, KB Swing


Hand stand push ups, push jerks, and ab tuck ups.


6. How do you spend your time when you're away from CFNH?
I love film and live theater. It’s been great enjoying New Haven’s art and culture scene since moving here.

7. What is one fact that other CFNHers may not know about you?
I’m getting married Memorial Day weekend to Jeff, who recently started CrossFitting at the box!

8.  Do you have any motivational thoughts or suggestions to folks just getting started at CFNH?

To recognize that the CrossFit program enables everyone, no matter his or her starting point, to be exposed to a constantly varied workout with movements that can be scaled to where the athlete is. Everyone in the class is getting fitter and stronger no matter the scaling.


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