January 2022 Athlete of the Month, Kasey!

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

Prior to Keystone CrossFit I didn’t think I had enough time in a day to commit to anything other than my job. I was 23 years old still adjusting to a new career and fully living and paying for my own apartment by myself for the first time ever. I wasn’t fully convinced that CrossFit would be a good fit for me. I was holding on to a LOT of anxiety and was going through some big changes in my personal life. In complete honesty, I was depressed, stressed and was not sure where my life was taking me at that moment in time. Little did I know that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, in order to accomplish what came next.

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

My fitness background goes all the way back to elementary school. I played soccer from the age of five through freshman year in college. I played a mid-field position which means I basically would run up and down the field several times and chase after whom-ever had the ball. In order to train for soccer, I mostly stuck to cardio and would go to the team weight room to squat… never training for strength just speed. I also ski, and snowboard. Once I was no longer in school, I enlisted in the Army Reserves. My fitness was challenged frequently, and I really had to push myself physically in so many new ways, so when I came back home, I had to continue to exercise to meet all the demands my military duties required as well as my civilian career as a USPS Mail carrier. Therefore, I did exercise consistently before becoming a member at keystone, I had (Have) a membership at Crunch Fitness in Scranton and would often go after work maybe 2/3 times a week. I always attempted to lift with what I thought was good form, although was frequently disappointed that I wasn’t getting any stronger or reaching any of the aesthetic goals I had in mind.

3.  What originally prompted you to seek us out?

There are so many reasons… I’m small, petite. My entire life everyone has always pointed out my size. I work in very masculine fields, and I’m constantly being told “let the man handle that” or “you shouldn’t be lifting that, it’s bigger than you!” I joined with something to prove not just to myself but to everyone who doubted me. Shoutout to my friend Mackenzie who I met in the Army, we would gym together while away at army schools and this girl is so strong. I wanted to be that strong and she’s an avid “crossfitter.” I started looking for the right gym in this area: Tim messaged me back the fastest and met with me the very next day, listened to my life story, and told me I would fit right in. Reagan might’ve really sold me though, I’m a sucker for a dog.

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

The two biggest goals I had would’ve been to find a healthy place to put all my anxiety and to build muscle. I’ve considered myself athletic for years, but I never looked like an athlete. I wanted muscles that made people say “oh” when they looked at me, I didn’t want to just look small anymore. When I began CrossFit, I would look at woman like Tia Toomey, Brooke Wells, Danielle Brandon and aspire to be like them. I still aspire to be like them. The media has always taught woman they needed to be thin and small, I just want to be strong. I was hoping CrossFit would prepare me for the new Army Combat Fitness Test (Which it did and is still doing with flying colors.)

5.  What have you liked best about working with us?

The people. I have a soft spot for every single person I’ve met at keystone. The comradery and the team aspect. I even love being the last one to finish a workout just to hear everyone cheer for me. I love cheering for everyone else. The knowledge, I love learning new movements and all the tips and tricks that come with them. CrossFit and the coaching staff have changed me in so many ways: one of the biggest being patience, although I’m still on the patience learning curve. Being a member here has made me grow into a better person mentally and physically.

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

All the things…I found my passion. When I fell in love with CrossFit and fitness in general, I attended a military school to become a “master fitness trainer.” Now I’m a certified trainer and I’m working towards my CrossFit L1. I want to help others live healthier lives. I want to share all my new knowledge. I’m proud of myself and how CrossFit taught me to push myself in life at everything I didn’t think I could accomplish. In the years I’ve been a member here I’ve reached my body goals, surpassed my strength goals (although now I have new ones), got married, bought a house, a promotion at work and became a Sergeant in the Army. I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished since starting because I grew into my adult life here at Keystone and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

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

Yes. I see myself as a well-rounded, disciplined, and strong Woman. I can accomplish anything life throws at me. My mental health is stronger than it has ever been. I treat my body with respect now. I fuel my gains; I prioritize my nutrition. My lifestyle has changed dramatically. I struggled with disordered eating for YEARS. Somewhere along the lines here I decided to take care of myself, and I learned the proper way to eat as a very active young female. Like patience I’m still working on the rest-day curve ball.  Most importantly and not to sound to cheesy but being a member here helped me Love myself and love my body and everything that its capable of.

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

I want everyone to know that there are healthy ways to cope with your problems. Exercise releases happy chemicals in your brain. Muscle burns more calories at rest than 30 minutes of cardio. Lifting weights as a female won’t make you bulky!

Being a member at Keystone CrossFit is a healthy coping mechanism, and a second family. No matter what you’re looking for Strength, lose weight, emotional escape, friendship, I think you can find it all here.

9.  Do you have any special moments/memories?

I’ll narrow it down to my top three at this moment: first being my wedding day WOD, who wakes up at 7am on their wedding day to get a WOD in? This girl (and the back pump I had in my dress was so worth it.) second would be when I got my first muscle up literally just a week ago. I felt like a kid on Christmas I had been working on that for two years! And lastly although I could count every good workout as a special moment would just be meeting some of my best friends in the gym. Surrounding yourself with people who have the same outlook on life as you is a great feeling.

10.  What is your favorite movement/lift?

10/10 hands down the Deadlift. Nothing makes me feel better than lifting something 2.5x my body weight. I’m coming for you 300# I’m Also a big fan off pull-ups because it’s something I see progress in quite frequently as well.

Just want to give a huge shout out to all the Coaches at Keystone because none of my journey would have been possible without them.

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