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June Athlete of the Month: Carmen Middleton

We are happy to announce Carmen as our June Athlete of the Month. She continues to bring a hardworking, contagious energy that encourages everyone around her. Carmen’s kindness and light-hearted banter were just a few of the many amazing words the coaches had for her. Read more about Carmen below!

Coach Garrett H says, “Carmen is bad-ass! She shows up like a boss and makes the workouts work for her. She’s always good for some witty banter. I love having Carmen in class – she’s a powerhouse and is a great example for other athletes. It’s a pleasure to have her as a part of our community.”

Coach Traci shares, “Love having Carmen in class. She works hard.  She brings a great energy to the room, with her head down and is hard-working, but is always good for some joking around.”

Coach Garrett states, “I really enjoy having Carmen in class. She is super consistent and is clearly making progress while also remaining really centered and taking each workout as it comes. I think she can be a good role model for athletes around meeting herself where she is, while also being really ready to learn, try things and push her own comfort zone. She also seems to genuinely enjoy connecting to the coaches and other athletes and helps to create a welcoming and comfortable space. She is a joy to coach and have around.”

Carmen has been a member since September of 2021, and shares a story about what her experiences have been living in a large body and working out at Solcana, “I want them to see that Solcana is a safe space. I have a complicated past with exercise and diet. For years I exercised (including running a marathon and five-half marathons) because as a fat person, then I could at least say, “But I exercise!  I may be fat, but I am trying to be thin!”  Very unhealthy, but what society does to us.”

“Now I exercise because it makes me feel better and stronger.  It has been a long journey to this point and sometimes I think if only there had been a Solcana in my life years ago. A Solcana ad for the Body Relationship Bootcamp is how I started.  The welcoming atmosphere is amazing and the coaches are the best.  I schedule Solcana weekly in orange on my calendar and have been working to break old habits of guilt when I can’t make it to the gym.  I really love the variety of the one hour group classes because as I tell myself sometimes when we get to a METCON or AMRAP, “I can do hard things for 12 minutes.”    

“In the past, I have struggled with having one fitness instructor for so long and then when a new one starts I hate the change.  At Solcana, I love the variety of coaches.  They each have their own personalities and styles but are all so supportive and amazing teachers.”

Coach Brooke chimes in, “Carmen brings bold, fun energy to each class she attends. She demonstrates great attunement to the body. You can tell she knows her strengths and her weaknesses and approaches both with a genuine, humble attitude. Her down to earth personality truly makes class more fun. One of my favorite moments at Solcana was being buddies with Carmen for the banded “sled” pulls.”

“Carmen is such a great advocate for herself and others. She’s been so open with us from the very beginning for ways we can best support fat bodies in the gym and make our workouts more accessible. I love that she always finds a way to contribute her ideas and actions to improve our community – and I’m guessing she is the same way everywhere she goes. Additionally, she is hilarious, always bringing the fun to every room she is in. In the gym, she is consistent and committed despite having a crazy schedule and needing to be 3 places at one sometimes. I love Carmen and I’m so grateful she is here”, raves Coach Hannah.

7 Fun Facts about Carmen!

  •  She once spent July 4, 2012 in three different countries (Vietnam, Japan, and the US).
  • She loves to travel and has google maps for her travels, with restaurants etc. that I am happy to share!  She’ll talk about traveling with anyone, and she’s been to 31 countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Israel, and Myanmar. 
  • Carmen was a teacher on a US Army base outside Tokyo for the past nine years.  She is now a graduate student in Sports Management at the University of Minnesota (TC).  This is her first time living in the Cities (as the out-of-state people call it).
  • She studies mindfulness and the use of mindfulness with athletes.
  • Carmen believes donuts are a gift from the Universe and burpees are from the Devil (We agree!).
  • She was once the peak moment in a Jenny Jones episode, and was in the audience.
  • And she loves going to sporting events and thrift shopping.  Ski-U-Mah!! Go Gophers!!

Carmen is an incredible athlete, and an all-around incredible individual. Her kindness and humor keep us all going, and we can’t wait to continue to see her thrive in and out of the gym!

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