28 August 2020 | by CrossFit Amsterdam


COACH: Merel

Merel is a great coach with a big spark! She really teaches athletes, motivates them to move better and get the best out of every workout.
She has a big heart with a lot of love for CrossFit, surfing, animals and her super tall boyfriend. Read all about it and get to know her a little better. Enjoy!

Our first qustion is of course, when did you start CrossFit?
Back in 2014 my best friend was totally stoked about CrossFit and I was like.. Naaah... That ain´t for me! Back then I was a fulltime Surf Coach in the tropics. So the thought of working out inside, throwing around with iron, wasn't appealing to me at all.

But at the end of 2015 he convinced me to do a try out and dayum.. I was hooked too! When I moved back to Holland, I never stopped working out. 

How did you end up at CrossFit Amsterdam?
I announced my resignation at my previous job as a full time CrossFit Coach  earlier this year on Instagram. Jarno and Marlene knew me from way back, so when they found out, they reached out to me, offering me a job! 

I felt so honored they wanted me to be part of their amazing team here at CrossFit Amsterdam. I didn't hesitate one moment and I am beyond happy to be part of it!

Since when are you a coach and what do you love most about it?
At the end of 2016 I was asked to help out and coach a CrossFit Box of one of my best friends in Haarlem. Being an experienced coach, even though in a totally different sport (surfing) it was an easy change!

What I love most about coaching? It’s exciting for everyone to find a new passion. Being a coach you are part of that awesome process. You are there for the new athletes to help them learn new skills and not to give up, even when things might not go as well as they had hoped for, but at these moments I’ll let them appreciate their efforts. Or coaching the athletes that are already bad asses, but with the smallest adjustment become an even better version of themselves. 

Being able to share my passion with anyone who is willing to learn and give their all, there is nothing more satisfying then to see that work become someone else's individual victory or achievement. Awesomeness!

Is there something you want to learn or get better at?
When it comes to CrossFit I would love to get better on my Jerks. And one day be able to bench press more than Mickey hahaha.. that will never happen. 

What I would want to learn is to be able to take my rest days more seriously. Surfing or going bouldering are my ‘rest days’. Being a couch potato, binge-watching a whole series on a sunday afternoon.. How do people do that?! So jealous.

When was your first competition?
My friend and I signed us up for my very first Buddy Competition, The Beach Throwdown in 2017. No clue if we would even qualify. But we did! And to even top that we won that year's RX Division. Last time I was that proud was when I won the Dutch Surfing Championship at that very same beach! Woohoo!

At what age did you start surfing and how long did you do it professionally?
I went to my first Surfcamp in Mimizan (France) back in 2001 without my parents knowing. Best two weeks of my life.

But it wasn’t until 2005 when I really started surfing. Back then there weren't any female wetsuits or many surfboards available in Holland. Only windsurf wetsuit with the zippers in the front and they hurt so bad laying on a surfboard. I went to Hossegor(France)and bought myself my very first wetsuit and surfboard and never stopped hitting the ocean ever since. I did competitive surfing for a period of 5 years.

What is your absolute favorite (cheat)meal?
That must be Full fat citrus quark from Almhof.

Do you have other hobbies than CrossFit and Surfing?
I don't have hobbies.. i have passions hahaha
Besides surfing and CrossFit I love bouldering, spend time away in my Camper Van and cuddle every dog I encounter on the street. Like in, EVERY dog.

Who is your favorite CrossFit athlete and why?
Lucas Parker. He is an amazing athlete, but at the same time doesn't take life too seriously and has a great sense of humor(Memelord). I cringe over Instagram nowadays with most athletes being a ‘motivational speaker’. I’m more inspired by someone's perseverance and skills, while being humble.

What are your dreams for the future?
That one day, they will invent a pill so I can eat all the Full fat citrus quark day in and day out, with no consequences. And a puppy.. anyone reading this? Pretty please?