6 minute Karen
175 push press
I have ridden horses since I was 6 years old and did cheerleading in high school. Both sports felt like they had the stigma of not being “real sports” so I felt like as a teenager I needed to work even harder to prove to people what I was capable of. That has carried over into my athletic career as an adult which started in CrossFit and has now migrated to Olympic Weightlifting. At 22 years old I’ve experienced a lot of physical setbacks due to injury and my autoimmune disease but it’s also taught me so much about what being an athlete means. I’ve learned a lot about the importance of proper movement, longevity rather than instant gratification, and most importantly leaving your ego behind.
I’ve found that my enemy is my physical body. Don’t get me wrong I’ve run into mental setbacks like everything else but the mental pain is nothing near the physical pain I’ve caused myself in the past. I was so determined to be the best that I never allowed myself to step back and see what it was doing to my body. Now, at 22, 10 months into my Olympic lifting career I’ve had to completely pivot my training. A year ago today I was working out to check a box, to say I worked out for the day and then would walk out of the gym in some level of pain. Now I go in every day with the intention to get my body back to 100% so I can train like the athlete I know I am. Forcing myself to slow down and relearn how to air squat has given me a new appreciation for the monotony of everyday training. My mind is ready to push and is now just waiting for my physical body to be ready to support it.
I started coaching at a young age because of the impact it had on my life. CrossFit gave 19 years old me a level of confidence I have never found anywhere else. It allowed me to appreciate the body I have and stop worrying about where everyone else is at in their journey. I coach now to inspire people so they can make themselves proud. But I make sure to do it with a watchful eye because I don’t want any of my athletes to end up in the same boat as me.