I have had the pleasure of really getting to know Kat during her time here at CrossFit Hippo. Kat will come to me and tell me something personal and profound while standing in my doorway then try to run off and try not to discuss it. I’ll usually catch up with her on messenger and push a little. She is a natural introvert and I like lovingly push her out of her comfort zone. A while back I asked her to share her experiences with her friends and write about it in her blog. I told her as scary as that might seem, she is such a motivation for anyone out there who might be like her and scared to start. Thank you for trusting in me to push you Kat. I love our talks and you are truly an inspiration whether you want to admit it or not. Keep doing the scary stuff. That’s where the grow is. That is where you build a better you and continue to inspire others. Stay weird. Stay nerdy. We love it. The coaches have chosen you as the Athlete of the Month for October and it couldn’t be more well deserved. Keep smilin. Stay Humble Hungry and Happy.
1.TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
TX – wait, what?!
I work in one of the best hospitals in the city as a nurse’s assistant. I have a chihuahua named Polly and a one-eyed shih tzu named Kalem. I like to sing in the shower and dance in the rain; I like the colors pink, blue and purple; Charlie Hunnam’s King Arthur is my favorite version of the Arthurian legend; I enjoy going to and dressing up for The Texas Renaissance Festival; I love strawberry margaritas, beef fajitas, Filipino spaghetti, pepperoni-hamburger pizza, and rocky road ice cream. Dr Pepper with espresso is my go-to caffeine drink AND the affogato.
2. WHAT IS ONE THING WE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU OR BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT?
I’ve never participated in any kind of sport…in my life. Growing up in the Philippines I used to get sick a lot as a child. I spent a lot of my childhood in the children’s hospital, plagued with migraines, seizures and asthma. My grandparents who raised me made sure I didn’t do anything strenuous that would trigger any of those things so I joined choir. I’ve been a choir girl from elementary, throughout high school and even college. Was also a member of the praise & worship team and the chancel choir at a church. Being selected “athlete of the month” is a bit of a shocker.
3. WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT?
I was looking to fill a void. I needed something to get myself out of an unhealthy and unhappy place mentally, emotionally and physically. I saw one of my coworkers post a video about CrossFit Hippo and on a whim (or desperation, either one) I messaged her about it and asked all kinds of questions and I told her I was the biggest couch potato but she was like just go for it so I did and here we are!
4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT?
I’ve come to enjoy the community. I remember my first sessions and it was super awkward, I’ve never picked up a barbell in my life and I didn’t know what to do with it. The coaches are so amazing here, very patient and they really take time to teach the basics and the hows and whys of CrossFit. The other athletes are great, very welcoming, and we all get through the workouts together. Going to a class feels like social hour even at 5am on a Monday morning.
6. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
A few things actually… being able to finish a WOD within the target time without having to scale it too too much; not having to scale my runs; running my first official mile under 15mins!! THAT moment blew me away!! I am not now nor have I ever been a runner but that one day when we had to run a mile at max effort and I finished at 12:13. I was very surprised with myself and probably surprised everyone else when I yelled wtf after coach told me my time. And then I said ARE YOU SURE??
7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?
Deadlift is #1, clean and jerk second, and the snatch terrifies me. But I’ll be able to do it one day with weights and not have to use the trainer bar.
8. WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
I want to be able to deadlift my body weight and I’m 20-ish lbs away from reaching that goal! I’d also like to be able to do strict pull ups and muscle ups. I also need to work on a stronger core so I can carry that darn yoke down the rig. And I wanna do rope climbs (said no one ever). And hand stand push-ups.
9. WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HIPPO HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
So many changes in less than a year of this #crossfitlife. I’ve lost the 20+ lbs I’ve been carrying in the last five years because of my hypothyroidism. My diet has changed and I’m eating more vegetables (I hated vegetables once upon a time) My LDL went from 123 to 108. I haven’t been this “small” since August of 2014. The things that normally trigger my anxiety and depression have been diminished. When your “normal” is a level of sadness and defeat but you find neither of those inside you when you’re scrolling through social media and you’re like… wtf?? My coworkers have noticed a big change in my moods and personality–how I’m nicer and happier. A daily (yes daily) routine of 5am classes before work or 6am when I’m off because I’ve found out going to a later class just throws off the rest of the day for me. Clothes fit better! I’ve had to buy new jeans and get rid of my old favorites. It’s kind of bitter sweet, shedding an old life in a way to make room for new and improved everything else. I almost feel like I can’t keep up with myself and all these changes. But when I step into the box and put a barbell in my hand, it’s tunnel vision from there and I try to lift heavier, move faster, do more reps, and somehow not pass out or throw up.
10. WHAT MAKES CROSSFIT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FITNESS PROGRAMS THAT YOU’VE TRIED IN THE PAST?
I like the structure and the programming. Sure I can look at a class and see what the workout is and choose not to go because why put myself through that torture… and then feel anxious and sluggish the rest of the day for not going and not putting a work out in and THAT’S even worse torture. CrossFit is more mental than it is physical. You can train your body to lift heavier and run faster but it’s the mind that needs extra special care and training. There’s more to it than saying “I can do this.” Because I can but I have to think about how I’m doing it so I don’t injure myself. Learning the mechanics is more important than putting more weight on that bar and this is where you learn to be patient with yourself. I like tracking my progress and actually seeing the progress. I’ve had gym memberships and done the Zumba classes and the step aerobics and night club cardio…and there’s nothing more to it. It worked for me at the time, years ago, because I wasn’t looking for anything more. CrossFit has so-much-more. It’s exactly what I needed.
11. IF YOU COULD CREATE A WOD, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
It will have deadlifts, clean and jerk, and some burpees. Yes. Burpees.
12. WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT CROSSFIT, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
Sleep. Play with my dogs. Play tabletop games like dungeons and dragons or some Eurogame. Find new restaurants and foods to try. I’ve picked up my reading again so finding a good sci-fi fantasy novel to read. Go on road trips. Going to karaoke bars. Watch movies. Flood my social media with CrossFit things because I might be a little obsessed….