When we polled the coaches at Cróga to see who should get the Member of the Month award for August and Kassi’s name was thrown in the hat, there was an instant flood of responses all with her name. What that says to me is that she has been attending a lot of class lately, has made some big strides, and that we all love coaching her.
When Kassi walks in the door, every one of our coaches is happy to see her, and so are her fellow classmates. She always has a smile on her face even when she’s tired, never stops wanting to learn, is willing to make changes, and always seems to giggle her way through the awkward moments that come with trying new techniques.
She’s also a tremendous teammate/cheerleader for her fellow athletes, which makes her the perfect person to reward with our Member of the Month title. So now it’s your turn, Kassi. Congratulations on all the progress you’ve made so far and thank you for being such a great part of our community, you deserve this!
Here is a little Q&A with Kassi about her experiences here at Cróga CrossFit:
(Coach Dave): When did you join Cróga CrossFit?
(Kassi): I joined Cróga in July of 2015. I had a few ‘friends’ (people who you only keep track of via Facebook really) who were ALWAYS posting about how much they loved CrossFit. I had been embarrassingly unsuccessful in keeping myself motivated when going to a ‘normal’ gym, I had to be shamed into going most of the time (shame…(ding)shame…(ding) . Cardio was my sworn enemy. While on one of our walks, I saw the sign for Cróga and thought the logo looked neat. So I looked it up on google and was sold. The success stories really inspired me to give the free class a shot. Besides, who can say ‘no’ to free?! I figured if people who were twice my age could do it, then I was pretty sure that my little asthmatic lungs and metal reinforced arms could survive it. Or I was going to at least test it out.
(D): What were you doing before for fitness?
(K): My fiance Ross would occasionally get me out of the house to hike, seeing as Pokemon go wasn’t a thing yet, we were doing a whole lot less walking. I also tried to convince myself that the 5+ miles I walked a day at work around the clinic counted as exercise.
(D): What was your first WOD? First reaction to your first workout?
(K): O man… I think it was an AMRAP that involved all my least favorite things. Running, wall balls, and something else that I have managed to block from my memory. I couldn’t walk for at least 5 days afterwards! Which was made worse by the fact that we live on the 2nd floor of our apartment complex. I don’t know how I survived. But everyone was so nice, and friendly that I was really encouraged to come back and do the other intro classes.
(D): What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
(K): Where do I start?! I originally signed up with the hope of losing weight. I’ve always been embarrassingly self-conscious and while I have noticed a few subtle, physical differences (definition that was never there before) I am most proud of the self confidence I have gained. Just last summer I would have never worn a shirt without sleeves, or a dress without a little sweater cover-up because I never liked the way my upper arms looked and now I no longer feel like I have to hide them. Next Summer might even see me in a pair of shorts.
(D): What days and times do you come to Cróga?
(K): I’ve always gone to the night classes. I used to frequent the 7:30 class more when I first started since I get off work around6:00. BUT then I met and became friends with Jill and Cathy who normally frequent the 6:30 class, so it made me hustle out of work and drive like a crazy person to try and make it to the 6:30 class, I also like getting home sooner so we aren’t eating dinner at 9:30. I still work out at 7:30 on the days where I just can’t get out of work on time, and I am so grateful for all the cool people in the later class that make me not want to wuss out and go home (Clare, Dimitriy, and Chloe shout-out!). I usually kept my workouts for the weeknights, but I have discovered that the team workouts on the weekends aren’t as scary as I thought they were.
(D): What’s your favorite WOD?
(K): Anything with lifting, specifically power lifting. Back squats are totally my jam! I love pushing myself and seeing how heavy I can go. Being labeled as ‘petite’ made me want to lift as heavy as possible. Little girls can lift heavy too! Best way to motitive me at times is tell me that I ‘can’t or ‘shouldn’t’ do something. Don’t tell me what I can’t do!
(D): What’s your least favorite WOD?
(K): Anything heavy on the cardio. Or burpees. Or… Pistols. Nothing makes me angrier then those stupid pistols! (Only because I haven’t managed to do one yet.)
(D): “The Kassi Broten” WOD! What would it be?
(K): Back squats, push-press and deadlifts. And lets throw some handstands in there just for fun.
(D): What do you love about CrossFit?
(K): It’s about so much more then just working out. It is it’s own little community! Being new to the bay area I was having a hard time connecting with anyone, I couldn’t be myself around my co-workers without getting myself into trouble. Croga saved me from just clinging to Ross like a crazy, lonely koala and it gave me a place where I could go be myself and ‘let my hair down’ so to speak. It’s a place where my mouth won’t get me in trouble, and I can go dance around like a dork and talk with my friends.
(D): What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
(K): Have you tried almond butter? I am pretty sure it’s a gift from the gods. I’ve also had a lot of success with the Paleo diet. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be and I’ve lost about 20lbs. And that’s only what the scale shows. Everyone knows that muscle weighs more then fat, right?!
(D): What’s your biggest fitness goal for the rest of 2016?
(K): I am going to back squat 200lbs. Just wait and see! And I am going to get up that stupid rope too!
(D): What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
(K): I can’t believe how much everyone at Croga looks out for me; it’s as simple as Dave reminding me to wear my wrist wraps, someone offering advice when it comes to anything food related, or Jill encouraging me when I am being too hard on myself when I just can’t do something as well as I want to. Croga has become my family in the bay area where I don’t have any besides Ross and our kitty Faye. It’s a family that I have gotten to choose for myself, and that have no obligation to pretend to like me. You guys love me, you really love me! You let me ramble on about all the broken bones I see at work, the wedding planning, and my love of everything Harry Potter.
(D): Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
(K): I wish I could end this ‘interview’ with something painfully cleaver. But… My best advice it this ‘Just laugh through the pain. Sometimes it’s all you can do. Laughing makes everything better!’