It took a year of casually attending events with her boyfriend, now fiancée, to get Courtney to feel comfortable enough to try a class at Blackbird. Such a sweet girl, we were thrilled to finally officially welcome her into our CrossFit community. When she’s not at a country music concert or some cool brewery, she’s hanging out at the 7pm class a few days a week werkin’ on dat fit’nass. All of the coaches agree that one of the best things about working with Courtney is how incredibly receptive to coaching she is and so appreciative of feedback. She is determined to get “it” right and is always willing to put in the work to do so, never sacrificing form to get a better time or a gold star in Wodify (which unfortunately can be the CrossFit stereotype we are fighting). That being said, over the past year watching Courtney become comfortable working at a higher intensity, surprising herself repeatedly, has been super cool.
Coach Chris works with Courtney 2 out of the 3 classes she attends each week. He had this to say: “Courtney is supremely coachable. Her attention to detail and desire to improve her movement is admirable. Her form improves every week, and her capacity continues to grow with it. Although Courtney can be quiet, she is always a positive presence in class. She encourages other and stays around until the last athlete finishes his or her last rep. She always has something nice to say and frequently goes out of her way to greet new members and make them feel at home in our BBCF family.”
Thanks so much Andrew for sharing this gem with us! MEET COURTNEY…
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
My name is Courtney Evans and I’m 30 years old. I graduated from McDaniel College in 2011 where I majored in Business and Accounting Economics. I currently work as an accountant (I know, super exciting) out in Towson. My fiancée, Andrew Kinsey, also goes to the gym and we’re getting married in August 2020.
WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT? WHAT HAS KEPT YOU DOING IT? HAS YOUR MOTIVATION CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED?
I started doing Crossfit because Drew had joined and was loving it and seeing great results. Also need to give some credit here to Jon Dorsey because he started the domino effect of Drew joining, then me, and probably 10 more people in between there.
When I had first started, I had wanted to try to get in better shape and realized I could really use a setting like this for some accountability and to get the help I really needed to push myself harder than I would if I was just working out by myself. I’ve kept doing it now because I love the way it makes me feel and I find it to be a nice escape from the stresses of the day. My motivation has changed because I used to go because I felt like that’s what I should be doing but now I go because I enjoy what I get out if it.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING BLACKBIRD?
I have learned so much since joining Blackbird. I’ve learned that my I can push myself a lot further than I used to think I could, that weightlifting isn’t as intimidating as I thought if you have people there to help you through it, and I’ve learned more about how you really need to show up on the hard days or days that scare you the most or you won’t really get to where you want to be. When I first started, I would skip some of the days where it seemed like a hard workout but I quickly learned that’s not how you get better and that I only had myself to blame that I wasn’t progressing faster.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
My proudest CrossFit moment would probably have to be doing the open last October. The thing that scares me the most about CrossFit isn’t the heavy lifts, but doing them in front of people so the thought of doing the open at Friday Night Lights was terrifying. That being said, I’m really glad I did it and the support you get from everyone on those nights is powerful. It’s also great to just get to watch everyone else crush it.
One of the great things about this gym is the people there help make even the smallest moments feel like a big moment to be proud of. I got my first pistol the other day, it wasn’t pretty either and you would have thought that I, well that I did something much more than one wobbly pistol with the way everyone was clapping and cheering.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LIFT, MOVEMENT, OR WOD? LEAST FAVORITE?
I think my favorite lift is cleans, somedays I like snatches, and Cindy is one of my favorite WODs (or at least one of the ones that scares me the least). I’m still more comfortable with the body weight movements, which is why I like Cindy but I’m getting more comfortable with the lifts as time goes on. I think my least favorite would have to be the dreaded thrusters and also overhead
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BLACKBIRD OR JUST CROSSFIT IN GENERAL?
I would say that by far the best thing about Blackbird is the people! For me I think my biggest obstacle to improving has been me because I just don’t have a ton of confidence in myself, which is why having great people around to help me has been so important. I was intimidated to try CrossFit but Matt and Rebekah were kind enough to let me come to the social events for months and months before I joined, probably close to a year, without ever putting pressure on me to join. They let me show up in my own time, although I doubt they realized it would take me as long as it did, but I’ve always appreciated that.
I still walk in the gym day pretty much every day feeling nervous about the workout but I almost always leave there feeling great. I’m often scared to try a new movement or a heavier weight but thankfully there are people there to hold me accountable and push me outside my comfort zone to get the most out of my workout. I’ve had so many times at the gym where I’m nervous to try a new movement or a heavier lift, and since my fear is usually written all on my face, a coach will come over to help give me the confidence to give it a shot. When I’m doubting myself and someone comes over and tells me “Let’s go, you’ve got this, I’m 100% sure you can do this”(paraphrasing here but you get the idea) their confidence in me makes me have some in myself. Having people around you that make you feel like they believe in you more than you believe in yourself at times is a really powerful and special thing for someone like me and it has really helped me immensely.
I find the coaching here to be exactly what I need. Sometimes that means bringing me heavier
weights than the ones I selected and suggesting I give those a shot. Sometimes it means I turn
around in a tough workout to a lighter bar already built up behind me because I said I wasn’t
sure if I could do the weight I started with for the whole workout, and when I was struggling a
coach got another one ready for me. I could list a ton of more examples but basically, the coaching goes above and beyond and they usually have a better idea of what I am capable of more than I am.
That being said, everything else about Blackbird is top notch. The gym itself, the workouts, the
nutrition help, the way Matt & Rebekah run the gym…they give you everything you could need to help you accomplish your goals as long as you’re willing to do the work.
WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOU IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
It’s given me more energy and drive in and out of the gym. There are so many hard-working people there that inspire me to want to work harder and do better. It’s given me at least a little more confidence and faith in myself. It’s encouraged me to make less excuses to not make it to the gym since I see people with much more on their plate that make the time to show up. I used to go the gym “when I had time” and if something else came up then I wouldn’t go but now I find myself working my other plans around my gym schedule. It’s made me make my fitness and health more of a priority than I have before and I’ve felt better because of it.
WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT? WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT FUEL?
I use the tray method I learned at Blackbird most of the time, especially during the week. I
thought I was doing ok with dieting before CrossFit but I’ve gotten better with it since joining the
gym. I eat a lot more vegetables, drink more water, and eat less sugar. Don’t get me wrong, I still
love my sweets but I eat less of them. I enjoy those Perfect protein bars, at least when I can find
them if the rest of the Blackbirds haven’t scooped them all up!
WHAT CROSSFIT GOALS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING TOWARDS?
I have a ton of CrossFit goals I’m still working towards. I’m trying to get a pull up and a rope
climb this year and I’d really like to build up my endurance and get better at running. Outside of
the specific goals, I’d also like to make some more progress with my form on the lifts. I still have
progress to make before I can get the pull-up but I’ve seen a big difference from when I started. I
know if I put in some extra work that I can get closer to achieving this goal and my other goals as
WHEN YOU’RE NOT CROSSFITTING WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
Outside of CrossFit, my favorite things to do would easily be going to country concerts and breweries. Drew and I go to about 7 or 8 concerts a year and I honestly never ever get sick of them and would go to even more if I could. They’re definitely my happy place.
WHAT IS ONE FUN THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE MAY NOT KNOW YET?
I recently realized that I love riding motorcycles. I’m thinking about getting my motorcycle license and told Drew he could ride in my sidecar…he said no. Also, I love breweries and drove about 5-6 hours one way and back the next day a few weekends ago to go to my favorite brewery, not sure if that’s a fun thing or a crazy thing though.
WHAT IS THE ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE SOMEONE CONSIDERING CROSSFIT OR WHO IS NEW TO CROSSFIT?
Don’t let the fear or intimidation of CrossFit stop you from getting in the door or staying once
you’re there. There’s something for everyone at every level and there’s always someone there to
help you figure out what’s best for you at your level. I still scale a lot in my workouts and I’ve
never once felt judged because I can’t do something at an RX weight, only encouraged and
supported for doing the best that I can for myself!
RESULTS! TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESULTS!!
I’ve loved the results I’ve seen in the past little bit over a year and half since I started Blackbird. I still need to do another InBody scan to see exactly how I’ve improved but I can tell I’ve gained muscle and feel a lot stronger and better about myself. I’m still scaling most workouts but every once in a while, I can do one RX which I’m really proud of. I’ve definitely seen a lot of progress in myself and while I know I still have so much to improve upon, I’m also doing things I could never do when I started.
I was completely shocked to get to be the Athlete of the Month, but wow does this mean the world to me. Blackbird has brought so many great things and great people into my life and I think all the time how grateful I am for this place and how glad I am that I get to be a part of something like this. Everyone at the gym has included me and made me feel more at ease since the first day I started and I’m lucky enough now to get to call a lot of those people my friends. The way the people in this group support and show up for each other, whether it’s for something big or something small is really amazing and I’m thankful to have this group in my corner. Blackbird has been so many things to me that I never knew I needed or even wanted and now I don’t know what I’d do without it so thank you Matt and Rebekah for everything!