Makayla Perrault pushes past limits

More stories from Abby Dzikowicz

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Makayla Perrault finishes a 95 pound clean during her CrossFit competition.

The low murring of the car roars in her ears. The wind spilling from her open window tugs at her hair, cooling her down from her runner’s high. The sense of euphoria and accomplishment after pushing herself past her limits in Crossfit is exhilarating. 

A little farther.

A little faster.

A little heavier. 

She gets home and takes a shower. The pain starts to catch up with her as her arms ache and legs throb. But, that’s how she defines success. 

Starting in the midst of COVID-19, Makayla Perrault wastes no time in her Crossfit journey. 

The sport of Crossfit has increased in popularity and expanded globally across 120 different countries. It is a combination of high-intensity strength and conditioning workouts.

“I remember Makayla’s parents offering to take her when she was a freshman or sophomore and she said no,”  junior Johanna Weigle said. “I think she’s improved because now she wants to go and obviously it has shown with how strong she’s gotten”.  

Now, Makayla is hooked on Crossfit. She goes to the gym nearly every day of the week. 

“I do it more for fun, but the health benefits are good,” Makayla said. “I like watching my weights get up or my times get shorter”. 

While progressing with CrossFit, Makayla has taken up other healthy habits.

“I noticed that she’s made positive changes with her eating and is making exercise a priority,” Angela Perrault, Makayla’s mom, said. “She manages fitting in a Crossfit class as well as other obligations”.

Makayla and her mom became partners through encouragement from her dad. Her parents have been doing Crossfit for five years.

“I’m happy she’s found something active that she likes and I love getting to work out with her,” Angela said. 

Not only are their physical benefits, but Crossfit and other teamwork activities strengthen relationships as well.

“It’s brought us closer,” Angela said. “She joked yesterday, saying that I birthed my friend. I love when it’s a partner work out, we’re instantly together.”

Makayla and her mom have participated in two competitions. At the previous competition, friends came to cheer Makayla on. 

“I was scared at first because of all the intimidating people but everyone was so nice,” Weigle said. “There was loud music playing to hype up the participants and the audience. Overall it was super positive and everyone encouraged others to keep going and try their best.”

Contrasting the tense competition, participants motivate each other to push farther and harder.

“Each competition is made up of WODS which is like a workout with different movements in each one,” Makayla said. “Then they add up the total weights into one big total, or otherwise you win by being the fastest”. 

CrossFit tests your ability in a variety of exercises, pushing yourself in all areas.

“Competitions are kind of stressful because I don’t want to do bad, but people are working really hard and it’s fun to watch people push themselves,” Makayla said. “In class, the environment is really carefree and happy. They play loud intense music, it really helps. I like being able to work at the pace”. 

The new sport, CrossFit, has progressed and encouraged change.

With fitness, it is stereotyped to be a sport led by men. There can be a sense of gym intimidation for women. However, these barriers, created by gender, have blurred. 

“Don’t give up,” Makayla said. “It gets really hard and it’s exhausting and it’s intimidating to watch people around you doing more weight, but the rewards are good. I feel better, I feel good.” 

In the future, Makayla plans to continue with CrossFit as something to do for fun.

“If I continue I won’t be an overweight middle-aged woman,” Makayla said.