Congratulations to our September 2021 Athlete of the Month, Kelsey McSherry!

 

Kelsey is a beast. Now, there are plenty of women who may not like to be called a “beast”, but any female CrossFit athlete will beam with pride! Like so many of our Blackbird women, she juggles a successful career, being a mom to two young, active boys, and has the extra challenge of having a firefighter husband on shift work. So, she calls the 5:30am class “home” so she can make herself and her workouts a priority with the least negative impact on her busy family. But she’ll be the first to tell you that a healthy, happy momma makes the biggest positive impact on her family. Blackbird gives her an outlet and keeps her sane!

 

Meanwhile, this chick is STRONG! She took her back squat from 145# to 270#, she dead lifts 290# x 3, shoulder presses 110#, and can snatch 115#. It’s been awesome to see her gain confidence with the barbell, but especially with her gymnastics. It was incredibly exciting to see her get her 1st pull up, and now she has multiples in a workout. She has quickly picked it all up and made huge strides in the past 18 months. It’s hard to believe that she started just a month before COVID forced Blackbird to go virtual. She was consistent at home, logging in and working hard. And she has been in the Blackbird Committed Club for 9 months straight…on her way to that free shirt for attending at least 15 classes per month for 12 months in a row.

 

Kelsey’s got that feisty, internally competitive spirit that fuels her drive to be better than yesterday. We love that she finally gave in and became a Blackbird! Check out her story…

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.

Hi! I’m Kelsey McSherry. I am 32 years old and work as a Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer. I got my undergraduate degree from UMD and my graduate degrees at Shenandoah University. Currently I work in an outpatient PT clinic in Olney, MD. I have been married to Matt (who also comes to the gym!) for 7 years and we have two boys, Mason (6) and Colin (2).

WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT? WHAT HAS KEPT YOU DOING IT? HAS YOUR MOTIVATION CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED?

My husband spent a long time convincing me to try CrossFit. I have always loved exercise and since having kids I struggled with making it a priority. I was exercising from home but needed something new. 18 months ago (right before the world shut down) I made the plunge! I honestly didn’t know what I was getting into and my motivation initially was to lose the baby weight. Doing the at home WODS during COVID was my only sanity from the chaos of work and the unknowns we were facing. During this time I fell in love with the variability and my goals have changed to being the strongest and healthiest version of myself I can be!

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT?

I love the feeling of walking into the gym. Everyone is so welcoming and I think I laugh more during class than I do most of the day (particularly at the 5:30 AM!). The environment of Blackbird makes me want to continue to set goals and work my butt off to reach them!

Recently I have noticed a really big push to make CrossFit inclusive to everyone despite ability level, fitness level, or physical limitations. This is so amazing and something I talk to a lot of my friends and patients about!

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING BLACKBIRD CROSSFIT IN 2014?

If the workout looks easy it’s going to be absolutely horrible. Seriously though, I have learned the importance of taking time for myself and doing something I love. It makes you an all around better human!

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?

That’s a tie. First was getting my first pull up. I had never in my life gotten one! Second was completing Rx Murph this year! (going for the vest in 2022!)

WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?

I feel much more confident overall and I find myself wanting to continue to achieve more. I love setting a positive example for my kids and they love to workout with me on the days I do the WODS from home. It has been something we really enjoy together as a family!

WHAT CROSSFIT GOALS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING TOWARDS?

I can finally do kipping HSPU but I really want to master them. After that I want to start working on muscle ups!

FAVORITE LIFT, MOVEMENT, OR WOD? LEAST FAVORITE?

Least favorite is easy: Thrusters. The absolute worst!

Most favorite is much harder! I would have to say wall balls and ball slams are tied for the top spot!

WHEN YOU’RE NOT CROSSFITTING WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?

I enjoy being outside with my family gardening, going on walks, or camping. I also like sitting on my couch in yoga pants and watching trashy reality shows, currently Bachelor in Paradise!

WHAT IS ONE FUN THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE MAY NOT KNOW YET?

One of my life goals is to visit all of the National Parks. I did a lot of camping with my parents growing up and I want to continue that with my kids.

WHAT IS ONE TIP YOU WOULD GIVE SOMEONE CONSIDERING CROSSFIT OR NEW TO CROSSFIT?

Go in with an open mind. Even if something looks impossible there are ways to scale the movement or modifications. You may even surprise yourself and do something you didn’t think was possible!

WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT?

I did the nutrition challenge earlier this year and I still try to follow a lot of the principles of the plate method I learned during that. I am not going to lie, I have a huge sweet tooth but I have been doing much better with making better choices. This is definitely one thing I have to work really hard at but I think I have come a long way!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT FUEL? 

Depending on the time of day either an apple, oikos yogurt, or a rice cake with almond/peanut butter

WHAT IS ONE POSITIVE THING THAT YOU TOOK AWAY FROM 2020?

To be adaptable and flexible. I honestly learned a lot watching my kids handle the changes that they didn’t understand. They were great at rolling with the punches and I tried to embrace that. I learned to focus on the things I could control and the rest would work out!

RESULTS? TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESULTS!

I haven’t done an InBody since the nutrition challenge ended earlier this year, but I do know that in the past 18 months I have lost about 10 pounds… but the scale only says so much. I have gained so much muscle and lost a lot of fat. I am definitely at the healthiest body composition I have ever been!

FREEWRITE:

Wow! I seriously can’t say enough great things about this place, the people, the coaches, and the environment. You all are amazing! Everyone lifts each other up on a daily basis and pulls together to support each other through all of life’s tough moments. It took a lot of convincing to get me to join CrossFit but I am so glad I did! Coming to the gym is the only hour of the day I truly dedicate to myself. It has been so therapeutic and eye-opening to come to the realization of how important that is! I love watching everyone meet their goals, try something new, and come out of their comfort zone. So much thanks to all of you for always supporting me, encouraging me, and pushing me harder every day!