Alex and Ashley_4

ATHLETES:  For the Valentine’s Day Edition of Beyond the Athlete we are interviewing one of our many 717 couples!  Alex Mullins and Ashley DeMauro have been staples at 5:30am for as long as they have been members.  Ashley was an original 5:30am Sweatshop member before she transitioned to the early morning CrossFit class.  Their romance started during the early hours at 717, they were introduced by another member and had their first date in May of 2014…the rest is history.

Ashley
1.  Where did you grow up

A little town named Trafford, PA, which is about 20 minutes from Pittsburgh.

2. What is your athletic background?
I played softball growing up and then started cheering during my freshman year of high school. In college, I continued to cheer and learned just how strong you have to be to stunt. People like to laugh about whether or not it is a sport, but I’ll just say there was a lot of lifting and strength training since people are literally lifting other people!

3. How did you get started with CrossFit?
I came to a Saturday Sweatshop class with a friend and was hooked.

4. How long have you been at CrossFit 717?
I started coming to the 5:30am Sweatshop in November 2013 and transitioned to Crossfit in November 2014.

5. What is your favorite type of CrossFit workout (ex: AMRAP, EMOM, Chipper, etc.)?
I love Chippers if they don’t include the exercises I dislike. EMOMs are my favorite.

6. What exercises/WODs do you dislike?
Prowler pushes…especially if you have to push your partners like we did at the wine night. I literally puked twice during the workout when Phil and I had to push Alex. I told him that he needed to lose some weight…jokingly, of course. 🙂  Rope climbs, OHS and lunges are sometimes a struggle.

7. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
Doing Grace at Endure for a Cure about a week after moving over to the Crossfit class and finally being able to clean and jerk 110 lbs. I remember when 65 lbs. felt super heavy. Next up, body weight!

8. What is your biggest goal in life?
When I was younger, it was always to fall madly in love…and since I’ve done that…onto the next step! 🙂  I want to raise children that prioritize faith and family. Since I’m an only child, I always thought having one child to raise and shower with my love would be enough…but now that I have all of Alex’s brothers and their wives/fiances, I want to be able to give that to our children, too.

9. Where did you go to high school/college?
I attended Penn-Trafford High School, Juniata College and received my M.Ed. in School Counseling from Millersville University.

10. What is your current occupation?
I head an education advocacy organization named StudentsFirst in PA. We lobby the legislature, engage in elections and implement a grassroots membership program in the state.

11. Who is your favorite CrossFit Athlete?
While I’m definitely just a recreational Crossfitter, I LOVE to follow the athletes. I love Brooke Ence, Andrea Ager, Nick Urankar and Alec Smith. But I also love Heather Welsh…I mean, the girl peed all over her box doing box jumps in regionals, kept pushing and then laughed about it!

12. What is your favorite movie and why?
I’d say Mr. Smith Goes to Washington because even though I’m sometimes jaded by government, I’m still an idealist, like the protagonist, who thinks I can be the change.

13. What is your favorite thing about CrossFit 717?
For me, it’s learning what I’m capable of…and also the things I’m not so good at, which is humbling. The fact that everyone is so supportive and non-judgemental is amazing.

14. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Loud breathing and chewing!

15. What is one thing you have never done that we would be surprised about?
I have never traveled outside of the U.S. Alex and I have made several pacts to get our passports and we always fail miserably. We’ll get them in 2016, for sure.

16. Where is your favorite place that you have traveled to?
I am definitely a beach girl and enjoy trips to Ocean City, N.J. and Pompano Beach, Florida…but my favorite destination is the Finger Lakes. Alex took me last January and I loved everything about it.

17.  What would you say is your worst personality trait and why?
I’m totally a Type A person and find it hard to give up control of things and delegate.

18. Did you or do you have a nickname?  What’s the story behind it?
My Dad called always me Bo growing up…unsure how it started, but when I became more of a girly girl in my teenage years, I hated it. But since he passed away, I’d give anything to hear him say it again!

19. What is your favorite genre of music to workout to?  What are your top 3 workout songs?
This is so hard…I love all kinds of music. I feel like my top 3 changes daily, so for now…
Chris Porter — The Water Dance, MGMT — Electric Feel, Jack U — Take U There

20. Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
My Mom, hands down. She was a hard worker and provided for our family while my Dad — who was much older and retired — stayed home with me! She is just a very resilient person and I think I get my resiliency from her.

21. What do you feel is the most important invention in the past 100 years and why?
Cell phones. I talk to my Mom every day and can do it from anywhere!

22. What are your hobbies and interests outside of the box?
I love to cook, find interesting places to visit, and I recently started making jewelry. I have a blog at TheSkeletonKeyLife.com, where I like to share a lot of the recipes I make, places we go, DIYs, fashion, home decor, etc.
Alex and Ashley_1

Alex
1. Where did you grow up?
I am from Glen Mills, PA (only known for their golf course and juvenile school). For those of you who have never heard of it, it is about 9 miles southeast of West Chester, PA.

2. What is your athletic background?
My dad was a soccer nut. Growing up, my three brothers and I all played from a very young age. I also tried my hand at basketball, which I enjoyed…and baseball, which I hated. I could usually be found sitting in the outfield looking up at the sky…but not for a fly ball. My soccer stint ended when I got cut from my high school team. I ran track in high school (I know, this is surprising) until my junior year.

3. How did you get started with CrossFit?
I had just moved to the Harrisburg area and my brother Brad (a 717 alumnus) was really interested in joining a Crossfit gym. Although I wasn’t fond of his idea to go to the 5:30am class at that time, we made a pact to sign up together. We attended the beginner’s class (I died) and the rest was history.

4. How long have you been at CrossFit 717?
I started in October of 2013.

5. What is your favorite type of CrossFit workout (ex: AMRAP, EMOM, Chipper, etc.)?
Anything with a time cap. Just kidding… I tend to like a good Chipper or any workout that incorporates heavy lifts.

6. What exercises/WODs do you dislike?
Wall walks, weighted lunges, and OHS are dislikes.

7. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
First muscle-up and finally squat cleaning 225 lbs…although I’ve added more weight to that lift since. It was a pivotal moment for me because I remember the challenge of squat cleaning 95 lbs. when I first started.
Alex and Ashley_3

8. What is your biggest goal in life?
I would say my biggest goal in life is to raise a family in the same way my parents did. Although I did not really realize how important that was when I was younger, they taught me many life lessons and values that I see lacking in younger generations today.

9. Where did you go to high school/college?
I went to an all-boys private school in Wilmington, DE (go ahead, start making comments!) named Salesianum. I did my freshman year at York College but transferred to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) my sophomore year, where I obtained my degree in business management.

10. What is your current occupation?
I operate the Harrisburg branch of Pro-Fast, Inc., a family-business started by my Dad back in 1986. We started as a fastener supply house, but we have recently expanded to become a one-stop shop for the commercial building trades.

11. Who is your favorite CrossFit Athlete?
I like watching Nick Urankar…he is an animal. Elijah Muhammad is also another favorite.

12. What is your favorite movie and why?
I can remember the day when my older brothers rented Super Troopers when I was young. I found it left out the next morning and watched it while I was home alone. I still quote lines from it to this day.

13. What is your favorite thing about CrossFit 717?
The coaching staff has been amazing…I’ve never had as much encouragement about fitness. Even from the very first day when I knew nothing, everyone was so supportive. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet a very diverse group of people that I wouldn’t have otherwise met.

14. What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people misspell things…I get oddly annoyed.

15. What is one thing you have never done that we would be surprised about?
Like Ashley, I have never been out of the U.S. Someday!

16. Where is your favorite place that you have traveled to?
My parents have a place in Florida and my older brother lives there with his wife, so I love traveling to Pompano Beach.

17. What would you say is your worst personality trait and why?
I always have a cautious approach towards things, which leads me to overthink things sometimes.

18. Did you or do you have a nickname?  What’s the story behind it?
Al…no back story here, just a shortened version of my name that my parents and siblings always used. My Dad also calls me Champ.

19. What is your favorite genre of music to workout to?  What are your top 3 workout songs?
EDM, though we don’t listen to it a lot at the gym (hint, hint).

20. Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
My Dad is the hardest working person I’ve ever known in my life. He started a business from scratch 29 years ago and put everything on the line to build it. Everything I have learned about hard work and integrity, I’ve learned from him.

21. What do you feel is the most important invention in the past 100 years and why?
Home automation. It’s amazing what a connected home can do these days.

22. What are your hobbies and interests outside of the box?
Skiing, trying new craft beers, traveling and finding new adventures with Ashley.
Alex and Ashley_2