Tag Archives: community

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.

What Do You Mean, “No Excuses?”


What does that mean to you?

When you see it on social media, it’s laced with bravado:



Life should not be so hard that you have to FIGHT it all the time!

The truth is…”no excuses” means that you get to OWN your choices, and own your life.

It acknowledges that life is difficult. Really difficult. There are often circumstances outside of your control that make many of our goals, or even our daily needs, pretty impossible.

When we say “no excuses” we mean that we want to help you put your self-care and life goals at the forefront, because you matter!

“No excuses” really means- How can we help you get through this?

Carrie helps Jessica get ready for a CrossFit Open 2017 workout.

We happen to be at the beginning of a “No Excuses Challenge” right now, but, challenge or no challenge, all of us at Hale are trying to help each other fight through the difficulties in life. The coaches help you with this, but we see you helping each other every day!

Hale friends text each other in the evenings asking; “Did you see tomorrow’s WOD? Looks terrible! Want to meet me at 6:30??”

You cheer each other on when someone is struggling through a workout.

Notes of encouragement left throughout the box during the CrossFit Open 2017 workouts.

You have put together food brigades for Haler’s who have been in the hospital.

Haler’s pet sit for each other for vacations and family emergencies. You do each other’s laundry, and help clean each other’s homes when someone is sick, and you watch each other’s kids!

You have helped each other find new jobs, and get out of situations that were unhealthy.

You celebrate birthdays, new babies, new jobs, you even send off Haler’s who move out of state so that they know Hale will always be their home, no matter where they live.

You literally help each other fight through difficult things in life so that you can all have “no excuses” and take care of yourself and your families. You make life better for each other.

Hale Teens celebrating birthdays!

I don’t know what “no excuses” means to the rest of the world, but I like what it means at CrossFit Hale.

See you in the box,

Coach Katie