Congratulations to our first Athlete of the Month for 2023, Colleen Feiglstok!
Colleen has been with Blackbird since April 2017. In that time, she has become a staple at the 6:30am class, bringing hilarity, sarcasm, and a hard work ethic. This girl is STRONG. She loves lifting heavy, but still comes in on her birthday and does her birthday burpees after The 12 Days of Christmas workout. So, yeah she’s a champ!
She jokes in her profile piece that she was shocked to receive this honor, but to us, it was not an if, but a when she would be named Athlete of the Month. She represents the majority of our members who just love to move their body each day, get stronger, stay healthy, be a part of a good community of folks, and be a more functional human being.
Colleen talks of overcoming the CrossFit curse of comparing your abilities and performance to those around you. Once she was able to shed that burden, she starting really enjoying her training…scaling movements and weights when necessary, not worrying about being the last to finish, and not dodging the workouts that weren’t her strengths. And because of that, she has become such a well-rounded athlete. She’s seen improvements in her engine, her capacity, and her abilities, plus her strength numbers just continue to soar.
Colleen can back squat 265#, front squat #195, deadlift 275#, and push jerk 155#! She’s a total bad ass, who still hates burpees and running!
Check out her inspiring story…
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
Hi! I’m Colleen Feiglstok. I work as an Information Security Engineer for Northrop Grumman. I’m 33 and have 2 mini-Aussies, Watson (12) and Wilfred (2).
WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT? WHAT HAS KEPT YOU DOING IT?
I’m honestly not sure the exact reason that made me want to start CrossFit. I grew up playing a bunch of sports – swimming, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, and track (field events only, javelin and shotput….discus was a hilarious disaster) so I have always liked being active. I moved to Odenton in 2014 and belonged to LA Fitness. For years I had been doing things on my own, but I got bored and wasn’t really getting enough out of my workouts without someone giving me exactly what to do. I saw a Groupon for a CrossFit gym in Columbia so I signed up. I knew the gym in Columbia wasn’t for me (I was moving to Eldersburg soon anyway), but loved the variety of the workouts and that there was someone giving me instructions rather than doing things on my own. When I moved to Eldersburg, I stalked the Blackbird workouts for a few weeks and thought “Ok, I can do those things” and finally got the courage to go.
I keep coming back for so many reasons – friends, managing stress, the community, and being able to translate it to my daily life. I love that I can lift heavy things safely. Recently, Watson tore both of his knees and had to have surgery. He didn’t walk for about 2 weeks, so I had to carry him around like a 45lb sack of potatoes. In that moment I was so thankful for how strong CrossFit has made me. This community is a huge reason I keep coming back. Everyone is always so nice and encouraging. The events that are held at Blackbird are ones that I always look forward to.
I don’t think my motivation has changed, but I know my mindset has. I was in a bad habit of cherry picking WODs a couple of years ago. Mostly if they were “for time” chipper WODs that I knew I would be so far behind everyone. Recently, I have changed my attitude and realize that:
- It’s ok to be the slowest as long as you show up and do your best
- Scaling is your friend, and
- It’s your favorite part of the day, get your booty out of bed!
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING BLACKBIRD CROSSFIT?
I’ve learned that I’m strong! And that you don’t have to play sports or join boring globogyms to stay active. I’ve learned that the CrossFit community is really encouraging. Sometimes I think my classmates and coaches are more confident in my abilities than I am. And even when I go over class time, they still stay and encourage me (thankfully at a distance, which I definitely prefer).
WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
I feel like CrossFit has made me a better person in general. I get frustrated with things at my job, and it’s the perfect release I need to get through the day. If I don’t get to the gym regularly, everything in my life suffers. I’m more tired, I eat worse, and I’m just more grumpy. I’ve said this a few times in these responses – the time between about 6:20 and 8 is the best part of my day. Without Blackbird, I’d be way more lonely, fat, and lazy.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
I can’t pinpoint an exact proud moment – I’m proud every time I show up and move well. These workouts are hard, and anytime I can finish a tough one I’m proud.
WHAT CROSSFIT GOALS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING TOWARDS?
I want what most people want – to be able to move great and feel better in general. And a 200# front squat. I’ve been chasing that and have been SO CLOSE for what feels like an eternity.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LIFT, MOVEMENT, OR WOD? LEAST FAVORITE?
Any workout with a barbell I LOVE! Especially clean/clean and jerk workouts. I don’t think I can choose my favorite lift. I love almost all of them, except for strict press. If you can’t use your legs, what’s the point?! (I know I know…strict strength is important.)
Least favorite movements are anything body weight. Burpees, running (sorry, Justin!), and I refuse to attempt rope climbs. I’m still scarred from elementary school.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT CROSSFITTING WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
Hanging out with my dogs, going to breweries, watching TV.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BLACKBIRD?
The friendships. Definitely not all those shuttle runs we’ve been doing recently. It’s hard to count that much first thing in the morning.
WHAT IS ONE TIP YOU WOULD GIVE SOMEONE CONSIDERING CROSSFIT OR NEW TO CROSSFIT?
Just show up. Don’t think you have to be a star athlete to be able to do CrossFit. CrossFit is for everyone. Don’t get frustrated if you can’t get something immediately. It takes time to get those heavy lifts – focus on good form and the gains will come.
WHAT IS ONE FUN THING WE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?
For about the past 7 years, every summer I play kickball through the Civilian Welfare Fund (CWF). My team’s name is “We’ve Got the Runs”, and in the team’s history, we have won the past 9 out of 11 league championships.
WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT?
My diet is….ok. I like my sweets. It has definitely changed since starting at Blackbird. I have participated in a few of the nutrition challenges with good results. I know the formula of what I need to eat, I just don’t always follow it. I’m always striving for that 80/20, but right now it’s probably more like 60/40.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT FUEL? WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SPECIAL TREAT?
I hate to say this because I know it’s not the greatest response, but just water. At 6:30am my body has no idea what’s going on to even think about food. I’m also afraid to puke. Favorite indulgence…I have way too many but probably beer and ice cream.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESULTS!
My results fluctuate. My body composition has definitely changed over the years. When I started at Blackbird, I noticed my once very defined quads were getting squishy. It made me sad. I’m happy to report that they are now back and stronger than ever.
When I got this email from Rebekah, my first thought was, “Really? Me?? Did they send this to the wrong girl??” I’m shocked and honored.
I want to thank Matt, Rebekah, and all of the coaches. You have impacted me in more ways than I can count! The community Blackbird has created is something so special, and I’m so happy to be part of it.
I also want to give a shout out to my 6:30 crew! I’m usually pretty grouchy when I come in, but it’s the best part of my day. There is no other group I’d want to crack jokes and suffer with every morning, and I’m forever grateful that you deal with my nonsense.