February 2024 Athlete of the Month, Britney!

  1.  What was life like before you became a member?

Before I became a member, life was pretty busy. I was a stay-at-home mom who was always putting the needs of others before myself. I also have my own little cleaning business. So I was constantly stressed and worried about being the best version of myself in my home life, and my professional life. I started running to help with my mental health and it definitely worked, but I knew I wanted something more.

  1.  At the time you enrolled, were you already exercising? What was your previous background in fitness? 

When I joined Keystone CrossFit I was a pretty avid runner. I was training for the Scranton Half Marathon but I felt that I needed a different form of exercise to help than just running. I had heard that cross training was beneficial to running but I had never done any form of lifting so I was nervous about joining a gym. I had joined Planet Fitness multiple times, but always ended up quitting because I truly had no idea what to do or even where to begin when it came to lifting weights.

  1.  What originally prompted you to seek us out?  

I was always interested in joining a CrossFit gym, but again, my lack of experience made me nervous and I could never make the jump to join. One of my good friends had recently joined Keystone and she was always talking about how much she loved it and the different lifts and movements she was learning. She sparked my interest even more, so when she asked me if I wanted to go to a class with her, I thought this was the perfect opportunity! After that first class, I was hooked!

  1.  What was your goal when you originally signed up? 

This is going to seem so silly, but other than helping me to get stronger with running, I also wanted to join to help me get stronger so I could continue to hold/pick up my son. There is a picture we take every Fall at Ritters and the fall before I joined, I realized that taking that picture was becoming a struggle and I didn’t know how much longer I would be able to hold him. That’s when I knew that running alone wasn’t going to make me strong, I needed to get over my fear and start weight lifting. It has definitely paid off because now he is six years old and I am still able to hold him with ease!

5. What have you liked best about working with us? My favorite part of Keystone is the atmosphere! Joining a gym has always been intimidating for me. I struggle big time with social anxiety, so putting myself in new situations has always been scary. But the very first class I went to I felt accepted right away! The coaches were all incredibly welcoming and friendly, and even the other athletes made me feel right at home. Everyone is so supportive and will cheer you on whether you’re struggling to finish a workout, or attempting a new PR. It’s such a good feeling to walk into a gym and have it truly feel like a second home.

6. What are you most proud of achieving since you started?  

I am most proud of my dedication and commitment to myself. As a mom, it is hard to put yourself first without feeling that dreaded “mom guilt”. But I realized that I can not be the best version of myself, if I am not taking care of myself. I am also proud that I was able to push myself out of my comfort zone and overcome my fears of the gym. Of course, I am also proud of myself for how far I have come when it comes to my strength.

7. With everything that you have accomplished, has your view of yourself changed?  

Absolutely! I realized that I am way more capable of doing things than I always thought! It’s hard for me to not get in my head and tell myself I can’t do this movement, or I can’t lift that weight. But that’s where the coaches and other athletes support really help. Having people that know you’re capable of more and giving you that little push you need, even if you feel like you’re dying during the workout, goes a long way! I realized that workouts are mainly mental. There’s a quote that I once saw that goes “Whether you think can, or you can’t, you’re right.” It’s all about mindset. That is something I remind myself every time I step into the gym.

8. What would you say to anyone else who might be dealing with any similar struggles you did?   

I would say to just keep going! Lean on your coaches and other athletes. Be open about your concerns or fears. There is always a way to work through them.

9. Do you have any special moments/memories?

Everytime I hit a new PR is a special moment for me. But I have two specific memories that stick out. The first is the 2023 CrossFit Open. It was the first Open I ever did and I was debating if I should even do it or not because I did not feel ready. But multiple people told me to just go for it and I would surprise myself. They were absolutely right! The first workout had toes-to-bars in it and that is a movement I truly thought I would never get. I was nervous but I just went for it and I was somehow able to get not one, but three of them! And because I was able to get those, I RX’d my first ever Open workout. That was an amazing feeling. My second memory is doing Murph. This past year was the first time I’ve ever done a Murph and seeing the entire gym come together to honor a hero and grind through a tough workout, but still cheer on others, was something that I will truly never forget.

10. What is your favorite movement/lift?

My favorite lifts are the deadlifts and split jerks. I am terrified of lifting weights over my head still, but for some reason I really enjoy the split jerks. I also really enjoy rope climbing. I had never touched a rope before joining Keystone but that is one movement that just clicked in my brain and I was able to achieve fairly easily.

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