CHRISSY KANTHER is BBCF’s May 2015 Athlete of the Month!
Chrissy Kanther has been with Blackbird since day one. When her name is mentioned in the gym, everyone replies with “She’s a beast and she works so hard!” She is always in a good mood and smiling, and is welcoming and sociable to new members. Through her dedication, consistency, and positive attitude, Chrissy is a natural leader in her 5:30am class. She helps set the tone for hard work and attention to form. She is very coachable and encourages everyone she lifts with to focus on their technique, all the while, motivating them to achieve their best. And of course, she is a beast in her lifts and workouts! We have a term at Blackbird that we use to describe a member who inspires and motivates others to achieve more and push themselves…”a rabbit”. Your rabbit is someone who is performing at a level that you aspire for yourself. So you set higher goals, work harder and “chase” your rabbit. Chrissy is the “rabbit” for MANY of our members! The rest of our classes will check to see what Chrissy did that morning and use her performances to motivate themselves and push harder toward their own goals. Chrissy is so humble, she does not even realize how many people she inspires and how many look up to her in our community.
We are also all touched by the amazing family dynamic of Chrissy, her father Bobby and her sister Denise. They began doing CrossFit as a way to spend quality time with each other. They are the most supportive, involved, and loving family. It’s hard to describe, but this strong bond gives the gym good vibes and serves as a great and positive influence to us all. Meet Chrissy!
My name is Chrissy Kanther and I am 45 years old – I don’t know how I got half way to 90 – dear God☺ Anyway, I am married to Brett and we have two boys, Jake and Cole. I went to University of Delaware and received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. I also have a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology and I have my MBA. I worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist at Levindale Geriatric Hospital, Maryland General Hospital and Carroll Hospital Center. I worked with patient’s birth to 100 years old. I have worked in all aspects of healthcare including acute care, rehab, subacute, outpatient and home care. My husband and I opened Sun Valley Communities in 2005. Our company is now comprised of six assisted living homes in Carroll County, ranging in size from 13 beds to 23 beds. We have five general assisted living homes and one home that is Alzheimer’s and Dementia specific.
2. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START CROSSFIT? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING IT?
I started working out to reduce my stress level and spend time with my sister, Denise. I was introduced to CrossFit at my old gym when it was first brought there. I was excited when BBCF opened and I tried it and was hooked.
3. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS AFTER YOUR 1st WOD?
I had a couple of thoughts after my 1st WOD. I liked the different movements, I was sore – of course, and I wanted to try it again to do it faster and better.
4. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
I have a few proud moments. When first learning to do handstand push ups, I was excited to just be able to do a handstand! Sherene and I practiced and practiced just the handstands and then we finally were confident to try to introduce a partial push up! I also loved participating in the Baltimore Area CrossFit Affiliate Team (BACFAT) Competitions last fall and our own Blackbird CrossFit Open Team Competition this year. I was excited to be able to do Rx pistols – and that is a movement that stays with you for days and days! I was also really, really happy when I achieved my first strict pull up!
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?
My favorite CrossFit lift is the back squat and my favorite movement is burpees. My least favorite is pull ups.
6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL?
Ok, at home my favorite cheat meal is pizza and french fries with ranch dressing. But if I am going out, it would be to Tio Pepe’s for rockfish topped with lump crabmeat in champagne sauce and red sangria (and if you have been to Tio Pepe’s, it’s the large pitcher of sangria not the small one).
7. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT?
I enjoy the constant variety of workouts. I also love being able to track my progress. I like working hard to get better, sweating, and I love the camaraderie. I love how you are working against yourself and there are others pushing you and cheering you on no matter what your skill level. The competition we did during the Open was really awesome. It was great how everyone cheered each other on and it was so nice to get to see people that come to other classes.
8. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
I am working on stringing together unassisted pull ups. All of the 5:30am crew know that I do not like pull ups. But I have recently purchased a pull up bar at my house so I can get better and finally achieve this goal! (COACHES NOTE…we are only 1/2 way through our special pull up progression work and Chrissy is up to 5 strict pull ups!)
9. WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOU IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
CrossFit is good for my competitive nature! I like to work hard and improve myself. And I like watching others improve themselves, get PR’s, and reach their goals. I never understood the importance of strength training until I started CrossFit. It really makes a difference! I have also enjoyed learning about nutrition and getting introduced to the paleo diet. This has made me more aware of the importance of looking at the ingredients of the items that I am purchasing. It has helped me make healthier meals and snacks for my family (although my 6 year old is still a challenge to get to try other foods, but I remain hopeful).
10. WHAT IS THE ONE TIP YOU WOULD GIVE SOMEONE CONSIDERING CROSSFIT OR NEW TO CROSSFIT?
Anyone who has heard about CrossFit and is intimidated should just TRY IT!!! There is awesome coaching that takes place every class to teach all lifts and movements. Everything can be scaled to your level and ability. Take advantage of all of the coaching and learn the movements and lifts correctly. The coaching and training on proper form is for everyone – new and old to CrossFit.
I want to thank all of the coaches for their guidance, training, and patience. And to Matt and Rebekah, thank you for all of your vision, hard work and dedication to making Blackbird so special. I can’t believe how far BBCF has come in such a short time. I am so glad to be a part of it!