Our February Athlete of the Month is a force, a presence. When she walks into a room, the energy immediately becomes charged. She gets people pumped up for lifts and hoots and hollars during tough workouts to rally the troops. Her positive influence radiates throughout the gym and throughout the halls of her school. The example she is setting for her students and fellow teachers with her dedication to exercise and nutrition is powerful. They are watching! She even has a nutrition accountability calendar up in her classroom and the kids are writing her encouraging notes and rooting for her. And the teachers have started bringing healthy snacks for her to meetings in lieu of the traditional sweet treats. Kacie is a mentor for our awesome Blackbird high schoolers as well.
Did we mention this girl is STRONG– inner strength and physical! Not only is she a cancer survivor with laser focus on living her best life, but she can throw around some serious weight. In the past 12 months since starting CrossFit, Kacie has put 100lbs on her back squat (265), 30lbs on her press (115), 70lbs on her deadlift (320), 75lbs on her clean (200), 95lbs on her jerk (205), and 70lbs on her snatch (150). It looks pretty intimidating to new members, but she has a great way about her that puts others at ease with where they are in their weightlifting journey. Then she starts walking on her hands around the gym and you start to wonder if there is anything this girl can’t do!
Kacie is uplifting, encouraging, supportive, and fun, and she rounds it out with plenty of snarky and sass. The days take an even better turn when she shows up and we are so thankful and blessed to have her at Blackbird. MEET KACIE NAMETH…
1.TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
Hey guys! I’m Kacie Nemeth! You’ve probably heard my loud obnoxious voice yelling at you during the WOD, screaming with excitement when my friends walk in for the workout or laughing and goofing off usually during the 5:30, 4pm or Saturday classes. I am 26 years old and living my life to its fullest. I have my bachelors degree in Middle School Mathematics Education and am working on my Masters Degree right now in Educational Leadership. I currently work at Century High School teaching students mathematics and have also been a coach there. I am the daughter of some of the coolest people you’ll ever meet and the older sister of the funniest girl on the east coast. My favorite color is orange and I’m an embrace life to the fullest kinda gal.
2. WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT?
What made me start CrossFit was hearing Coach Steve, Coach Justin and Jackie Dragon all talking about it during lunch. At first I was super skeptical as it was something new that I’ve never heard of before. I knew they loved it and were passionate about it, so I finally gave it a try. I needed to get back into the gym and once I did my first class, I knew this would be something that would have me continuing to come back for more. What has kept me coming back is the community. I never knew how badly I needed a community. I moved to Carroll County three years ago not knowing a single soul. The first year here was rough but I knew it would get better. After joining Blackbird a year after moving here, I was surrounded by people of all ages who were just friggin COOL people man. I had a community of people around me, that I didn’t even realize I needed. They filled my soul with so much happiness, I was a new woman. My motivation has changed as I see how much CrossFit affects my life in a positive way through all aspects of my life outside of the gym. The competitive side of CrossFit also has me coming back. Doing small local competitions or the MAAC really have filled that hole that was there once I stopped playing softball competitively. Nothing too serious though, just trying to beat the boys in the lift AND the workout, then you know it’s a friggin GOOD day!
3. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING BLACKBIRD?
Since joining Blackbird, I have learned that I am so damn mentally strong. My senior year of college at age 21 I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. Two surgeries, a thyroid, a ton of lymph nodes, and a round of radiation later, here I am. But also, 67 pounds heavier. What kind of girl gains 67 points and isn’t a little self conscious about it? I remember calling my mom and telling her my work clothes just weren’t fitting and she reminded me to relax and that my body was just taking its course and to just to patient. I joined Blackbird and my mindset started to switch. I could use all of that extra weight to lift some heavy weights. Soon, I felt like a rockstar. All of that extra weight that I gained was helping me do something SO cool and empowering, and especially helped beating the boys. I stopped weighing myself, because I didn’t care. I knew that being in the gym with positive influences would help, but I really didn’t realize HOW MUCH! I started to see changes in my body, gaining muscle and getting better at the cardio intense workouts. It’s crazy because the doctor’s told me that they might never be able to tell me that I am officially cancer free. Technically I still have a cancerous lymph node in my body that I get monitored regularly, but I have to life with that fact maybe for the rest of my life. But that’s okay. Because Blackbird helped me realize that I am many things. I am strong. I am independent. I am confident. I am motivated. I am courageous. I am determined. I am tough.
4.WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BLACKBIRD OR CROSSFIT IN GENERAL?
Blackbird is a place like no other. Sort of like a dream land. The people there are supportive to a new level. There is always a card at the front desk to celebrate life’s greatest moments or for those moments when life has you down and you need a pick me up. When someone is having a bad day, there will always be a few people to text you and let you know they are thinking about you. When you miss for a few days, they hold you accountable and give you crap. And especially when you cherry pick a WOD, there could be some public shaming. Whenever I walk into Blackbird it’s like a sigh of relief, I am in my happiest place. I distinctly remember having such a bad day at work that I went to Blackbird 45 minutes early just to sit on the couch, listen to some music, talk to my friends to turn my day around. That’s what type of place Blackbird is. I enjoy that Blackbird has now been a home to so many of my students lately, where they can view me as a role model outside of the classroom. Fitness brings so many people together, and I’m glad I can now share my passion for CrossFit with so many of my students now.
5. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
My proudest CrossFit moment had to be when I squat cleaned 200 pounds. It was a number I wanted to hit for a while, failed a few times and it felt so good to hit such an awesome milestone.
6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?
Favorite Workout for sure would be Grace. I love all of the Oly Lifts because it’s fun to beat the boys. WODs with bodyweight movements aren’t my jam like Cindy, blah. **Side note, Kacie can do Grace in 1:55!
7. WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
It’s so funny, because one of my biggest CrossFit goals is to climb that dang rope. I can get halfway but the rest of the way is a super big mental block. I would be ecstatic if I could do that in 2018. I know I need to not rush the process, because that rope has definitely had me in tears a time or two. I would also like to work on my friend/enemy mr. handstand push-up. Some Days we are friends and some days we are not. Also work on better form for some of my strict movements.
8. WHAT IMPACT HAS BLACKBIRD HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
CrossFit makes you a better person because it has a way of humbling you. There are days when you feel as though you could conquer anything, and there are days when you are in tears leaving the gym because you just revealed a huge weakness and it sucked and was majorly uncomfortable. CrossFit has recently help me to clean up my diet, and realize that my quality of life can be greatly impacted if I don’t understand what I am putting into my body. CrossFit helps to carry over to other sports and my favorite winter time activity which is snowboarding. Body and spatial awareness is huge on the mountain, as well as core and leg strength to be able to control yourself on the mountain.
9. WHEN YOU’RE CROSSFITTING, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
Arts and crafts have been a passion of mine but more specifically hand lettering, chalkboard lettering and bullet journaling. I also like to be a couch potato and relax, read a book or binge some shows. It’s really nerdy but I also love to watch the CrossFit podcast on Youtube or other accounts I subscribe to. Sometimes I’ll even watch old CrossFit Games events, nerd I know.
10. WHAT IS ONE FUN THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE MAY NOT KNOW YET?
One thing that you may not know about me is that in 3rd grade I won an Oreo Stacking competition at ACME (the grocery store), no I am not willing to defend my title, I’m going out on top!
11. THE ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT STARTING CROSSFIT OR JUST STARTED?
One tip for new CrossFitters would just to go in with a YOLO attitude. And I know that can be easier said than done, but if you don’t take a step into the class, you could be missing out on something so life changing. Your life should be about trying new things and putting yourself into uncomfortable situations because you can ALWAYS grow from those types of situations. Who knows, you may end up with a second family you didn’t know you needed 🙂
12. WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT?
Haha! Funny this question was asked. I used to meal prep before CrossFit. My favorite was pasta with spaghetti sauce and ground sausage with peppers, boy oh boy was that delicious. How wrong I was to think I was doing my body a favor. Then I started CrossFit and decided, well heck, if I’m going to be doing all of this work I need to not eat crap everyday so I can start to get better at these workouts, I’m not doing all of this hard work for nothing! Then came MACROS, which did work at first. I really liked it because I had to be accountable with adding my food and seeing how much of each I had left. That was good for a while but I fell off the wagon. To here we are today, in the middle of the nutrition challenge, which is probably going to be one of the best things to ever happen to me. I am eating a Paleo Diet and not hating it. I am seeing super cool changes to my body and this way of eating has really become just part of my normal routine. Especially since in college before my softball workouts I’d walk out of my apartment at 5:30 am with a handful of M&Ms. It’s been fun to stick to something and feel good everyday because there isn’t any processed crap in my body. Right now my favorite workout fuel has to be fruits. I like them before and after a workout. They are nutritious and friggin’ delicious.
13. RESULTS? TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESULTS!
RESULTS? No big results. No cinderella story here. Just some muscle gain, and a few PRs. The nutrition challenge has really been a huge help, but 1 month of anything is only a taste, so I’ll get back to you in a year when I can have some serious #progress. Like I said before, mental health results were a huge thing for me. Sometimes I feel like that progress is bigger than the physical. I’ve gotten stronger and have built up a pretty decent engine, which is super cool to see when I can re-test workouts and crush my old times!
I am totally honored to be the February Athlete of the Month! First, I want to thank Matt and Rebekah for opening an amazing gym that allows people to have a place to be who they want to be, make amazing friends, make fitter decisions, and grow as person in all facets of their life. I also want to thank my mom, dad, sister, and grandmas. They are without a doubt the best people you will ever meet and my main support system. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without them, love you guys! Special thanks to my 5:30 support system and accountability buddies, and also my friends at 4 o’clock woot woot! But especially to Patti and Chrissy, those girls really rock! Coach Justin and Coach Steve, y’all are the jam! Coach Justin, thank you for making me a better runner and making me like doing any type of cardio (as much as a give you the death glare during the workouts). Coach Steve, thank you for making me a better weightlifter, always giving it to me straight with no b.s. and for ALL of the nutrition advice through the months. Thank you to all of the Blackbird Community, you guys are something special and I am thankful for you every single day.