Athlete Spotlight: Karen V.

At CrossFit Hale, we like to give a public shout out to folks we feel epitomize our core values: consistency, hard work, positive attitude, overcoming of fears or obstacles and community spirit.

We are lucky enough to have a gym full of amazing people and today we are shining a spotlight on Karen!

Karen joined us a year ago, in September 2016 with out MissFit program.  Karen always shows up with the willingness to try anything, do her best, and increase her skills. Karen not only works hard and kills it in her workouts, but her care for others has added a lot of joy to CrossFit Hale. You may remember the amazing decorations and team spirit Karen and her partner-in-crime, Carrie, brought to the Hale Open for Team Tigerclaw this year!

Let’s get to Karen a little bit better!

Age: 49 (stop saying you are old, Jay!)

Day job:  Family glue stick

Dream job: I think I’d really like to bottle feed baby lions and tigers, and maybe pandas. Or be a taste tester for TheKitchn, TastingTable, Bon Appetite, or Saveur.

Can you give us some of your benchmark stats?
The achievements I’ve been most proud of (think strutting around the house like a peacock) have been: 30″ box jump. Running 800m in 4:18 (It took me the entire 6 week challenge to barely run it non-stop). Getting my first toes to bar and then being able to link three! 165# back squat and #175 deadlift. There was also a WOD where the girls almost beat the boys (1 second off!) – I rode that high for a week!!  LOL!  I’m also pretty proud of being able to keep pace with some folks half my age.  That feels really good.

What is your athletic/fitness background?
I was a swimmer in high school. “No Pain, No Gain” was our coach’s favorite saying and it still rings in my ears.  I played some lacrosse in college and became addicted to step classes. Lol! I miss step aerobics. Generally I was just active. Starting a family derailed my fitness patterns (kids come first) and juggling schedules and being exhausted was a perfect excuse for not staying physically active for… oh, about 18 years. Eek.

What’s your biggest strength in the gym?
I don’t like to quit. I really like breaking down workouts into steps, they feel more achievable and I can jump to the next mini-goal as soon as I complete the last one. It’s harder for me to think big, I like to focus on what’s in front of me.

Biggest weakness?
I believe every strength can be a weakness and vice versa.  It’s all about balance.  See how I answered the biggest strength question?  LOL  Self doubt is probably #1 on the list though.

What’s your drink?
Just one? G&T (Bombay Sapphire with a lime – perfect summer drink).  You know how everyone has that ugly tequila story?  Not me, love the stuff.  My ugly drunk story would include sweet rum drinks so, no.  No rum.

What is your current fitness goal?
Pull up, just one measly pull up please! And ten linked double-unders. I really need these life skills.  I’m positive they will be important in my future.  And not just for next year’s Throw Down or Open.

What do you enjoy most about Hale?
The community. I look forward to my Hale time. I’m basically running out of the house with a smile on my face. I’m making lots of friends, have a lot of laughs, and feel like each day I come is a good day. I enjoy the variety of the workouts; I never get bored and I’m sooo appreciative of the thoughtfulness the coaches put into planning the workouts as well as coaching us through them.  I like the competition, it’s low key and mostly all me against myself (see mini-goals above). And I’m enjoying that my son, Henry, has been equally welcomed at Hale and that he feels proud to call Hale his gym, too!  This is pretty huge for us.  I’m absolutely grateful for the support and the camaraderie at Hale

What are some improvements you have made since joining Hale?
Putting myself first, if only in this one thing.  I’m learning barbells – Woot!  I’ve improved my family’s eating habits. I’ve reintroduced me to myself. I did my first Whole30 and since starting MissFits last September, I’ve lost 27 pounds and found myself again. “Hey, there you are! Long time no see, Karen! Super long vacation there, Buddy!” I’ve also found my inner athlete again, the one that grits her teeth and pushes through. So much of the last 20+ years of my life has been about mental growth that I’d forgotten how to push myself physically and what kind of effort that takes. It feels good.

Any advice for those new to or considering Hale?
The kool-aid is gooooood. Have fun, be open to some pain, set some mini-goals for yourself, keep coming. Laugh!!

Most importantly, what do you think is the greatest SPORT MOVIE of all time?
Aliens – there’s a lot of sweat and adrenaline in that movie, so it counts.