CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our September Member of the Month, Kathy Rupar! Kathy has been a member of CFM for over a year! She has been crushing WODs, growing a human, rocking the beginning of the motherhood transition, and is so supportive of everyone here at CFM and we couldn't be more proud to call you Member of the Month! Read on to learn more about Kathy and her CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!
Name: Katarzyna or Kasia – neither of which is easy to pronounce
Age: Masters Athlete 35-40; (oh fine, I’m 37)
Hometown: Rzeszow, Poland
How did you get exposed to CrossFit?
One of my fitness instructors got into it and kept posting crazy pictures on Facebook. Every time I saw one I thought: I want to try that, so I did!
What brought you to CrossFit Midtown?
I moved to Atlanta last year and sampled a couple of gyms in the area. I thought the coaching was excellent so decided to join.
What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like?
It was a drop-in workout about a month before I moved to Atlanta: all the running and all the rowing. I was quite grumpy throughout it all as I had just put in some 30,000 steps that day looking for an apartment in Midtown. However, everyone was quite welcoming and as usual I felt much better for taking the class.
What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit?
CrossFit began as a supplement to my typical globo gym routine and quickly turned into a second home. It’s led to numerous changes both inside and outside the gym. Fitness wise, I slowly began seeing some physical changes in body composition but more importantly in terms of my abilities and performance. I learned that I enjoy the challenge of mastering a new movement (no matter how many years that may take – yep, my first muscle up was a very long-term nemesis) and that’s led me to improve my rowing and running techniques as well as take on a long-term fear or swimming in open water (still working on making that more manageable). I also learned that I truly enjoy the competition side of CrossFit – both in terms of participating in competitive events but even more in terms of seeing progress in and competition with myself. Healthwise, performance in the gym quickly led way to an increased interest in my nutrition and eventually into other habits that have made me better (i.e. focus on sleep and some dabbling in meditation).
What kind of changes have you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected (ie. new friends, “family”, the community, more self confidence, etc)?
I think the community aspect of CrossFit is hands down one of the main reasons I love coming to the gym each day – why it is a second home and why I know, regardless of current mood, I’ll leave feeling better. The folks who select themselves into this lifestyle are some of the most driven yet humble and genuine individuals I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know. They make a hard day at work a mere memory and push me to do my best with just the right amount of humor, tough love, and motivation.
Also, one of the more freeing changes I saw within the first year or two of CrossFit was viewing food as fuel. I didn’t always have the healthiest perception of nutrition and often felt down on what my body had too much or too little of. Once CrossFit took over, all of a sudden my body’s goal was performance rather than looking a certain way. To perform better I needed to feed it the right mix of nutrients which means I needed to learn what that was. This seemingly small shift led to a more positive perception of myself and the motivation to learn all I could about what a healthy lifestyle should consist of – I’ve been evolving on both fronts ever since.
And absolutely, seeing progress in the gym and showing myself I could do what I before couldn’t even imagine went a long way to increasing self-confidence in other aspects of my life as well.
Favorite WOD: Annie (dubs are my favorite)
Least favorite WOD: Karen (it’s unnatural to be forced to do that many wall balls in a row) and 7min of burpees (just evil)
Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment (doesn’t have to be during a class, just any favorite moment at CFM)
There are so many to choose from: barbell club, movie outings, competitions in and out of our gym, and various celebrations of our awesome members. I certainly love any competitive event that includes a big portion of our CFM community and I’d say the CrossFit Open is one I excitedly look forward to each year. This past year’s open was no exception and although I needed to sit this one out, cheering CFM on from the side-lines was no less enjoyable. I got to see some insane feats of determination from our coaches and members, and more than one person face a movement or weight they thought they couldn’t handle (yet kicked butt on). Honestly, if ever you feel down on yourself, just visit a CrossFit box during Friday Night Lights – one of the most inspirational things you can do for yourself.
But by far my favorite was learning that so many CFM ladies got together to sign a card and gift upon learning I was getting married this past March. It was something I attempted to do very much under the radar so the sweet well wishes and truly genuine gesture left me a bit speechless. Thank you CFM for such incredible friends <3.
Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit:
Definitely not a talent but something I keep working on: my tennis (also love watching the pro’s go head to head).
I’m a proud cat lady >^^<
I love reading or better yet jigsaw puzzling while listening to audible and drinking a glass of wine (I get crazy)
Advice for new CrossFitters:
Give yourself at least 7 to 10 classes before you make up your mind about this crazy CrossFit thing. A few things will happen in that time: 1) you’ll see the full range of athletes that workout along-side you – that is motivating, 2) if you’re initially feeling humbled, you’ll become a bit more comfortable with the movements you’ve never seen before and if you’re feeling like a badass you WILL be humbled – both perspectives are quite motivating, and 3) you’ll see what your body is capable of with a bit of consistent practice – likely even more motivating. Most importantly though, you’ll get to better know some really cool folks and they will make coming back something you look forward to (well unless the WOD is Karen or something of the sort😉, but they’ll at least make that more bearable).