Since Karen is a woman of few words and too humble to brag on her awesome progress, we will help elaborate on some of her accomplishments in the five short months she has been with Blackbird CrossFit. When Karen first stepped through the door she was looking for something to pick up where her previous boot-camp gym workouts ended. Unsure about the lifting and the workouts, but she decided to see what her friends were talking about and give CrossFit a try. Karen made us aware that she had bad knees and meniscus surgery in 2014, so we quickly gave her options to avoid aggravating her knees and still get a good workout. The first time Karen back squatted with us we had her use an 18” box for a target to monitor her depth and avoid knee pain that she experienced squatting deeper. Over the weeks and months to come, we continued to lower her squat target and work on technique until she was able to perform full range of motion squats. Over the past five months Karen has increased her back squat by 50lbs and is now effortlessly squatting full depth. Here are some of her other lifting highlights: increased her deadlift by 80lbs for a 1 rep max of 205lbs, shoulder press by 25lb for a 1 rep max of 85lbs, and clean by 32lbs for a 1 rep max of 97lbs.
Karen also avoided running and jump rope due to her knees issues. As her legs got stronger and her knees improved, Karen slowly weaned herself off of the rower and started running and performing jump ropes in the workouts. She recently achieved her first double under in a workout! We couldn’t be more proud of how far she has come. Karen also changed the way she eats by cutting back on added sugars and eating more along the lines of a paleo diet. So far in her CrossFit journey, she has lost 11lbs, dropped a pant size, and lost inches all over! Karen’s hard work and dedication in and out of the gym, as well as her ability to have a smile on her face even when she tells you the workout sucked, has led us choose her as the Athlete of the Month. One of the best things about coaching Karen is that big smile and thank you she gives all of the coaches without fail before she leaves each day! We have truly enjoyed coaching and getting to know this cool, incredibly sweet, and vibrant chic. MEET KAREN…
Hi! My name is Karen and I am 46 years old! I graduated from George Washington University and currently work for the government. My husband and I have been together for 19 years and we have three rescued retired racing greyhounds.
2. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START CROSSFIT? WHY DO YOU DO IT NOW?
I started CrossFit because I wanted to find a physical activity to do regularly. I am motivated to stay with Blackbird CrossFit because of the genuine camaraderie amongst the athletes, and I am constantly amazed at what can be accomplished.
3. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS AFTER YOUR 1st WOD?
“I am happy to be here but, OMG I am out of shape!”
4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT?
The community. Everyone is supportive of each other, working towards common goals while having fun, and that is awesome.
5. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
Completing a 205lb deadlift and realizing “I can lift heavy weight!” And the day I did a double-under in a WOD, that was pretty cool.
Favorite lift: Deadlift
Least favorite lift: Snatch
7. WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
My current goal is a handstand. I am still uneasy about the upside down part but I am working on it.
8. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE NEW TO CROSSFIT OR THINKING OF GIVING IT A TRY?
Don’t be afraid, you can do this.
9. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND/OR THE IMPORTANCE OF THE DEDICATION TO TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF?
You get out what you put in; it is your choice, make it a good one.
10. IN YOUR OWN WORDS, WHAT MAKES CROSSFIT DIFFERENT THAN OTHER FITNESS PROGRAMS THAT YOU’VE TRIED IN THE PAST?
The Blackbird community makes the real difference; the athletes are great and the coaches are fantastic. The WODs can be scaled to fit individual fitness levels, which is always encouraging.
11. WHAT IMPACT HAS BLACKBIRD CROSSFIT HAD ON YOUR LIFE, IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
I feel stronger, healthier, younger, and more confident.
12. WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HOW HAS THE CHANGE IMPACTED YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE?
80/20 Paleo. I thought my previous diet was healthy, but it wasn’t. Blackbird CrossFit helped me look closer at what I was eating and how making changes could help me feel better.
I am so proud to be part of the Blackbird community! Thank you to all the coaches for your continued patience, support and guidance. Thank you for seeing my potential when I could not. Thank you to my workout buddies; it wouldn’t be the same without you. What a great adventure this is!