As one of the most popular fitness programs in the country, CrossFit has positively influenced thousands of individuals to live healthier lives. Bill Meli is a prime example. CrossFit provides an array of blood pumping and sweat dripping workouts, and Meli has embraced every aspect of the life changing training
Meli, a retired Air Force veteran, originally hails from northern California, but he credited the military as the main reason for his move to Valdosta. The 51-year-old is a devoted husband and father of three. Although his military days are over, Meli serves the local community as a hospice manager at Hospice of South Georgia. As a former triathlon athlete, Meli prides himself on staying physically active; his passion for working out transferred to CrossFit
“CrossFit is a high intensity programmed workout that you perform with other athletes that become friends and then become family,” he said. “You learn that your mind wants to quit long before your body does, and when it gets tough and you want to stop, rest for a moment, take a deep breath, and keep going. Your body can stand the pain. It’s your mind that needs convincing.”
Meli attends CrossFit Winnersville, and he takes prdie in their strong community.
“It’s a myth to think that we can improve on our own,” he said. “We all need mentors and coaches in our lives who help us reach that next level, including in fitness. Allowing someone to critique and modify your progress — whether it’s in fitness, business, or your personal life — improves that area of your life. What you allow others to speak into strengthens that area of your life. Iron sharpens iron, and that sharpening of iron has been my CrossFit community of coaches and athletes.”
About a year ago, before Meli’s 50th birthday, he decided to set a goal that was practically unheard of. Every year on Memorial Day, CrossFit honors soldiers who have fallen in the line of duty with what they call the Hero Workout of the Day. The Murph is a classic Hero WOD that specifically honors the late Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy. The Murph is known as a rigorous workout consisting of a 1-mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats, and another 1-mile run. Meli’s objective was to complete The Murph every week for an entire year
“You have to have a ‘why’ in every significant area of your life to be successful,” Meli said. “Why do I complete the Murph once a week? It’s to honor Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy and to simply push myself. Hero WODs are intended to be performed with intense effort, in honor of our fallen heroes. The goal is to not think about yourself, but instead think about the Hero that has given his or her all for our freedom.”
It’s safe to say that Meli’s perseverance has paid off because on April 6, 2019, he finally reached his one-year mark. To say his task was challenging would be an understatement, but Meli wouldn’t want it any other way.
“My mental game has become a lot stronger,” Meli said. “Consistency is the key to any endeavor, and CrossFit makes it easy to stay consistent with a full range of classes throughout the day.”
Meli set a goal for himself, visualized his success, and conquered his challenge. The old saying — time waits for no man — is accurate, but it’s also true that Meli has stood the test of time. He is the product of consistency, and it doesn’t seem like he’s even close to stopping now.
Written by: Dominic Ligon | Photography by: Eric Vinson