July Athlete of the Month, Nikki!

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

In all honesty, before becoming a member at Keystone Crossfit, I was struggling. My life had recently been scandalously flipped upside down, and I was lost both mentally and physically. I had recently moved my entire life across the country from Denver, CO back to my hometown of Scranton. I had lost a lot of confidence and motivation, and I desperately needed a change. 

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

My background in fitness is kind of all over the place. I had almost no fitness and was extremely overweight and out of shape nearly all of my young life. I should note that I was also very sad. In my 20s, my best friend introduced me to CrossFit and I was totally hooked. It changed my life. I dumped a bunch of weight, but more importantly, I gained a lot of mental fortitude and confidence. I cannot reiterate the mental benefits of working out enough- but it’s often something I need to remind myself of. I bounced around between some gyms, but as a poor graduate student, then a poor post-doc, then a mentally exhausted research associate in a regenerative medicine lab- all the while being in a relationship with an extremely toxic individual- I made plenty of excuses to stay away from CrossFit.  I was exercising, but my focus was all over the place. I would sometimes go to the gym, run, hike with friends, and sometimes do yoga, but I had a hard time dedicating myself and making any real gains. 

  1. What originally prompted you to seek us out?  

I was watching my fitness and mental stability slip away, and I desperately wanted to get them back. I also needed to prove to myself that I could make this change, succeed, and do great things for myself. 

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

My goal was to simply enjoy working out again and use those endorphins to my advantage (Go, Science!).  

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

The community and camaraderie, hands down. Everyone at KCF (coaches and athletes alike) are so uplifting and supportive. It’s an honor (and so much fun) to “do fitness” with such an impressive group of humans. 

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

It might sound silly, but I’m most proud of finally being able to climb a rope! That always felt impossible for me before now. 

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

I view myself in a much more positive light. During the last few years, I had tragically allowed people I thought were close to me to make me feel small, weak, and hopeless. Thanks to all I’ve been able to accomplish, I’ve learned that I’m not at all that person. I’m better off, I’m strong, and I can do great things – and thanks to this, I’ll never again allow someone else to steal my joy. 

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

“Yes, YOU can.” We are our own biggest critics, and I think the general population’s idea of CrossFit is NOT at all what CrossFit really is. Everybody is capable of doing this. There is always a way to get through the workout, no matter the level you’re at. We all have bad times. We all have weaknesses. We all have fears. We cannot allow them to get in the way of our potential for greatness. I mean, if you’re reading this, I already think you’re pretty great, but we can always be greater . Hindsight is 20/20, so many of my life’s struggles would have been helped by prioritizing my fitness – I wish I had sought out CrossFit sooner, but I’m so happy to be here now. 

  1. Do you have any special moments/memories?

So many, but my favorite was taking part in the 2022 CrossFit Open (my first one, ever)! While it was an incredibly humbling experience, it was just so awesome to watch everyone come together and cheer each other on – the vibes in the box were so good. Love to see it. 

  1. What is your favorite movement/lift?

Snatches are my favorite lift because they are so darn scary for me, I love the challenge, and small PRs feel REALLY big. 

Please excuse my excessive cheesiness, but I’d like to use my remaining space to thank everyone at Keystone CrossFit for their amazing instruction, support, and friendship. Coming to class each day has truly been a light in the dark for me, and it’s thanks to all of you.  Tim, Alli, Jess, Nikki, Taylor, and literally everyone else have made every moment simply the best. You are all incredible people, and I’m super excited and proud to be a part of this community.

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