Kipping it Real with Katie!

Each month, Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. February’s Athlete of the Month is Katie Smith. Katie has been at OPCF for five months and is part of the 5:30 pm gang. Katie comes in with a smile, and is ready to work hard. She has the world’s fastest double-unders and amazing stamina. Without a doubt, Katie is a motivation to all. It has been fantastic having her here, and we are excited to have her continue crushing it here at OPCF! Please read below to learn about Katie and what she has to say!  We could not be more proud to recognize her for our February Athlete of the Month!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?

Almost 5 months.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?

I don’t remember what the workout was, but I knew I had to come back and keep doing it.

What has been your favorite workout so far?

Any workout where I get to stand in front of a barbell and not do any gymnastics.

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?

I wanted to be a firefighter. I now work in project management in the construction industry.

What do you like to do outside of work?

So many things: Pickleball, cycling, and going to Kansas City Current games, to name a few.

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?

Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone at some point started from day one.

What is on your bucket list?

Hiking/Skiing the Alps in Europe.

 

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

Is coffee a necessity? If not, coffee. 

 

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?

That I don’t share enough of my food with him. 

 

What is your favorite random fact?

Hippos can’t swim.

 

What is your go-to karaoke song?

…Baby One More Time – Britney Spears

 

Kipping it Real with Cody!

Each month, Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. January’s Athlete of the Month is Cody Kreutziger. Cody has been at OPCF since 2022 and is part of the 5:30 pm gang. One person every day will walk in lip-syncing to whatever song is playing in the gym…Cody K. He is someone who brings a smile to everyone’s face. He has progressed so fast and continues to get better. Cody also always welcomes a new face to the gym, making sure they feel welcome. It has been fantastic having him here, and we are excited to have him continue crushing it here at OPCF! Please read below to learn about Cody and what he has to say!  We could not be more proud to recognize him for our January Athlete of the Month!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?

Since June 2022


What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?

That it was way harder than I thought it would be and that I was not as in shape as I thought I was. It was also the start of my disdain for burpees. The open workout 22.2 ; 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 deadlifts/bar facing burpees.

What has been your favorite workout so far?

I’m not sure I have a specific favorite workout but I really like long grindy chippers and gymnastic workouts

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?

I wanted to play some type of professional sport like football, baseball, or basketball but I work at Country Club Bank.


What do you like to do outside of work?

I like playing cornhole, doing puzzles, playing video games, watching football, and going for walks with Abby and Honey.


What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?

When you see someone doing something really well, like pretty bar muscles up or handstand walks or hitting a weight total that you think you probably never could hit, it’s because they practiced. Everyone starts off in the same place but you have to put in the work. 

What is on your bucket list?

I would like to scuba dive the Great Blue hole in Belize

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

Honestly the gym. After a long day at work, the gym is the best place to de-stress and do some fitness with everyone.

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?

That even though she may act awkward and like she doesn’t like it, she loves when I pull her in close to snuggle with me

What is your favorite random fact?

That the eyes have their own form of immune system

What is your go-to karaoke song?

Real World by Matchbox 20

 

Kipping it Real With Lori!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. December’s Athlete of the Month is Lori Hayden. Lori has been at OPCF since 2022. Lori is part of the 5:30 am gang. She walks in, ready to get to work. She has a very caring personality, which shows through her interest in hearing about things going on in other members’ lives! She is also powerful, and an amazing runner! It has been amazing having her here, and we are excited to have her continue crushing it here, at OPCF! Please read below to learn about Lori and what she has to say!  We are so happy to have Lori with us at OPCF, and could not be more proud to recognize her for our December Athlete of the Month!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? – Since October 2022

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? – I remember it being a lot different than I thought but in a good way! Do you remember what it was? – no idea, it was too long ago!

What has been your favorite workout so far? – hmmm….there have been some good ones but I like the longer, chipper metcons (as long as it doesn’t involve the bike!).

What do you like to do outside of work? – Spend time at the lake

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? – It’s tough at first but gets better.

What is on your bucket list? – travel the southern coast

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? – Monster!

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you? They would say I leave them too much.

What is your favorite random fact? Key West doesn’t have natural sand beaches.

What is your go-to karaoke song? Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’

 

Kipping it Real With Zach!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. November’s Athlete of the Month is Zach Lieberman. Zach has been at OPCF for 6 months now. In the few months that Zach has been here, he has managed to improve his aerobic and anaerobic capacity and gain strength. He has also cracked some great Dad jokes.It has been amazing having him here, and we are excited to have him continue crushing it here, at OPCF! Read below to learn about Zach and what he has to say!  We are so happy to have Zach with us at OPCF, and could not be more proud than to recognize Zach for our November Athlete of the Month!

 

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?  I have been working out at OPCF since April of this year.  November will be 6 months participating with any type of CrossFit organization!

 

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?  My very first CrossFit workout was with Coach Anthony.  I had a few sessions with him before I started to take classes in April.  The first thing he had me do were stretching exercises.  I thought I was going to get sick during my first “World’s Greatest Stretch.”

 

What has been your favorite workout so far?  Well, I haven’t found a favorite workout so far.  I do like Back Squats and Kettle Bell Carries.  My most memorable workout was the 40-minute row.   It was just us versus the rower versus the clock – have never done anything like that before!

 

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a game show host.  I thought it would be fun to give prizes and money away.  I work for KMBC Channel 9 where I am the Local Advertising Sales Manager.  I have been with this company for 15 years.  It’s my fault if you have ever been sick of watching commercials during the Bachelor or Shark Tank. 

 

What do you like to do outside of work?  Life is busy.  Both my son and daughter go to Mizzou.  Besides going to MU Football games, We all like to travel.  Our next trip is to Mexico in January.  We also like live music – Knuckleheads is our favorite Venue.

 

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?  As a newbie myself I’m still growing and learning.  What I’ve learned so far is that the coaches and classmates really care about your personal success and all work hard to encourage you to be the best that you can be.  I also learned that you have to play your own game and work hard and recognize your own accomplishments.  Don’t compare your performance to your classmates but compare yourself to where you were one week, one month and one year ago and you’ll be surprised at your own development and growth. 

 

What is on your bucket list? Speaking of traveling – I’d love to go on a yearlong RV road trip across America.  I’m also trying to talk my wife into going to Japan. 

 

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?  Coffee…..Every Day No Matter what.

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?  I wish he would drop more food on the floor.

What is your favorite random fact?  I know the planets as well as the first 10 presidents all in order. 

What is your go-to karaoke song?  ‘I Love a Rainy Night’ Eddie Rabbit

Kipping it Real With Lakshmiteja Yarlagadda

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. October’s Athlete of the Month is Lakshmiteja Yarlagadda . Lakshmiteja  has been at OPCF for 7 months now. She has improved tremendously. Her drive, determination, kind heart, work ethic, and positive attitude is so contagious. It has been amazing having her here, and we are excited to have her continue crushing it here, at OPCF! Read below to learn about Lakshmiteja and what she has to say!  We are so happy to have Lakshmiteja with us at OPCF, and could not be more proud than to recognize Lakshmiteja for our October Athlete of the Month!

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? – While growing up I wanted to be a Civil servant and help people.Currently I am working as a techie in the IT department. 

What do you like to do outside of work?  I love to go hiking with my husband and explore new places and try different cuisines.And i also love cooking and experimenting on desserts.

 

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? I would advise them to follow the coach and learn the proper techniques, and be consistent. What seems impossible in the beginning will one day become your warm up.  

What is on your bucket list? Traveling to all the national Parks and wanting to experience different kinds of adventures. 

Long term bucket list is to visit Venice,Paris and Switzerland.  

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?Usually I start my day with yoga. So making it part of my day to day life will help me stay focused and calm.

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you? Sorry I never had a chance to raise a pet. But if my plants are considered as pets then they would say ‘They look more radiant than me because my husband is taking care of them

What is your favorite random fact? I felt that I am more creative and think outside the box in the shower than outside.

What is your go-to karaoke song? Left And Right (feat. Jung Kook of BTS)

 

Kipping it Real With Kory!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. September’s Athlete of the Month is Kory Robertson. Kory was a Crossfit coach in the past, and it shows! He is always cheering on people around him, and always has a positive attitude and a growth mindset. He has been with us at OPCF for a couple of months and it has been amazing having him here. Read below to learn about Kory and what he has to say! Another unique thing about Kory is that he has a garden and makes some bomb pickles(ask our members)!!  We are so happy to have Kory with us at OPCF, and could not be more proud than to recognize Kory for our September Athlete of the Month!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?

– I started going full time back in May of 2023, which is crazy to think because I’ve been welcomed by so many people and have created several awesome relationships in my short time. 

 

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?

– My first CF workout was back in 2010 and I remember it had to do with doing tire flips, slam balls, and wall balls. That workout kicked my butt and I was hooked because I was fed a big ol’ piece of humble pie!

What has been your favorite workout so far?

– I really enjoyed the workout with 5 reps of muscle up + 2 ring dips because, again, that humble pie tasted bitter sweet. 

 

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?

– I remember wanting to be a veterinarian when I was young, then I when to college to be an engineer (for half a semester), then I did Kinesiology. I am now a firefighter for the City of OP after my 10 years of coaching fitness. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

– I love to golf, hunt, fish, take my boys places to run around and spend time with my beautiful wife, Carissa. 

 

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?

– Remember to challenge yourself. That doesn’t mean you have to “kill” yourself every workout. It just means be consistent, ask the coaches for guidance and give yourself small wins with the occasional failure to keep your hunger for humble pie. The big wins will come when you least expect them. 

What is on your bucket list?

– A bear hunt, a Canadian moose hunt, and shooting a 160+” deer in KS

 

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

– I couldn’t go a day without Jesus. I don’t deserve the life I have. I’ve messed up so many times and probably should have died at least 5 times by now, but by the grace of God I have a wonderful family, an awesome job, something to work toward and eternal life with my Creator. If you are wondering what that is like, come talk to me. 

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?

– My lab would tell me I stretch myself too thin sometimes and I forget to stop to give her snuggles. Life gets crazy with kids and I don’t really remember life without them so it is nice to be reminded to slow down and love on my pup that’s been my shadow for almost 9 years. 

What is your favorite random fact?

– Pain will always go away. Whether it be the pain of your lungs and muscles burning during a workout, or pain from life beating you up; all pain will cease. The workout will end and you WILL recover from the workout, I promise. All other pain will cease when Jesus returns and finally brings His people home. Again, if you don’t know what I mean, please come ask me. 

What is your go-to karaoke song?

– I’m not a great singer at all but if I had to pick one it would have to be “Chicks dig it” by Chris Cagle. You’re welcome.

 

Kipping it Real With Annie!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. August’s Athlete of the Month is Annie Wasman. Annie is so fun to be around! She brings all the energy, jokes, happiness, hard work and dedication every day she walks through the doors! She has been putting in the work; she is currently working towards the goal of a pull up. She has also been upping the intensity with workouts and doing some of the RX track. She is also our official plant mom. All of our real plants in the gym are brought and taken care of by Annie! We are so happy to have Annie with us at OPCF, and could not be more proud than to recognize Annie for our August Athlete of the Month!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?

I started the day lock down ended in May 2020!

 

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?

I was terrified to walk through those doors! Covid lock down was not fun for me, so I was feeling extremely insecure.

I still remember at that Saturday morning I went to my first class; Amanda Hayes told me I was strong (we were doing air squats…) but damn I needed to hear those words! I don’t remember the rest of the workout, but those simple words of encouragement gave me the motivation to come back the next week!

 

What has been your favorite workout so far?

I love anything with thrusters! I was also excited to do Karen and see how much my wall balls have improved over the years.

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?

I really wanted to be a professional tennis player; Serena Williams is still my favorite player. I’ve played tennis since I could hold a racket and learned mostly from my mom and grandpa. I played on scholarship in college as well!

I currently work for The University of Kansas Health System – Cancer Center as an admin for multiple physicians. I love being able to support these intelligent individuals and watch us make positive impacts on patients’ lives!

 

What do you like to do outside of work?

Travel! If you see me at a Saturday workout, it’s only because Spencer wouldn’t let me book a trip! We’re trying to go to all 50 states together, so you can find us road tripping across the US or visiting friends and family. I’m also an avid plant keeper and gardener, with some stunning 10ft tall sunflowers this year. Some would say I have too many house plants but I’m pretty good at ignoring the haters.

 

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?

Underachieving is still achieving – Ron Swanson. You do not have to be in shape to show up, even if you must scale a scaled workout! Everyone starts somewhere and everyday it’s going to get a little bit easier.

 

What is on your bucket list?

Going to all 50 states with Spencer, doing a road trip through New Zealand, sitting at center court at Wimbledon!  Getting a pull up is on my gym bucket list next!

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
Coffee. Just a nice cup of coffee in the AM keeps me from murdering feeling grumpy all day!

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?
Sadie, our 10.5-year-old boss dog, is a daddy’s girl and would probably talk about how annoying I am cause I always want to snuggle. I also don’t share human food with her so she would probably complain about how lame I am!

What is your favorite random fact?
I know waayyyyyy too many facts about credit card miles and points. Most of our traveling is done by racking up miles and points, and lots of research on how to hack the systems. I’ve travelled to Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malta, and all over the US by redeeming points and miles!
If you ever need to know something about Southwest Airlines or Chase points, come ask!

What is your go-to karaoke song?
Nelly – Hot in Herre. It’s a gift to humanity.

Kipping it Real With Charlie!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. July’s Athlete of the Month is Charlie Martel. Charlie has been coming to OPCF for 7 months now. Charlie has been putting in the work like crazy over the past few months. He took charge on nutrition, getting down skills, and technique at the gym. He comes into the gym with a smile on his face ready to work. We have seen Charlie improve day by day, as he has been putting in the extra work. We are so happy to have Charlie with us at OPCF, and could not be more proud than to recognize Charlie for our July Athlete of the Month!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?

7 Months

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?

I couldn’t tell you what my first CrossFit workout was, but my initial thought, after laying there on the ground contemplating peeling myself up, was what did I just get myself into. I do not remember what the exact workout was, I was just trying not to die 🙂 That being said, everyone I met was so awesome that I knew I’d be back. 

What has been your favorite workout so far?

None that really stick out in particular, but any strongman-type workout where I am able to utilize brute strength is always a favorite. 

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?

When I grew up I wanted to be a doctor, but instead I became an entrepreneur. I own two businesses. One in construction and one in real estate. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

CrossFit, grilling/smoking meats, golf, and spending time with friends and family.  

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?

Keep showing up and focus on being just 1% better than yesterday.  

What is on your bucket list?

Skydiving,Travel to Europe and Australia, F1 Race in Monaco, and a Big Game Hunt.

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? 

The internet! Definitely the internet!

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?

Depends on which pet. One would say I’m a super hero and the other might say I’m evil.  

What is your favorite random fact?

Cursing is a sign of intelligence. It’s true–go look it up! 

What is your go-to karaoke song?

Either Tim McGraw – Something Like That or George Strait – Check Yes or No

Kipping it Real With Marcelina!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. June’s Athlete of the Month is Marcelina Januszek. Lina has been coming to OPCF since March of 2023. She is one of the most caring, and kindest people you will meet. A light of happiness is brought with her as she walks through the doors of OPCF. She is ready to get to work, and is willing to push herself in workouts. We have seen Lina improve an incredible amount over the few months that she’s been with us. Lina has become so strong in such a short amount of time. She is very outgoing and will get a silent room talking and laughing! We are so happy to have Lina with us at OPCF, and could not be more proud than to recognize Marcelina for our June Athlete of the Month!

 

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?

 Officially from the beginning of March 2023 but my first workout was in September 2022.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?

 It was 7:30am Saturday partner workout. Single unders, row and power cleans – for time – I hated every second of it. I thought I was going to pass out, hahaha. But now I would gladly do it again. 


What has been your favorite workout so far?

 I can’t choose just one. I am having so much fun (for most of the time) that I feel like choosing one wouldn’t be fair. So let’s say all of them are my favorite.

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?

 First I wanted to be an actress, then a teacher. Right now I am an au pair (nanny) and I’m taking care of baby Maia. There is a plan to become an ethics teacher or a negotiator one day (since I already have a degree in both it should be easy to find a job in it + I think I would really love and be good at it).

What do you like to do outside of work?

I like going on walks, spending time with my friends playing board games, going to the movies and I really LOVE talking and listening to people. 

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?

 Listen to your body. Rest days are okay! 

What is on your bucket list?

 Too many things, hahaha. I definitely want to see more places. I’ve been dreaming about Japan during the blooming season. In CrossFit – there are so many things I want to be better at that I don’t even know where to start. Right now I’m working on getting one nice pull up. 

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

Music. My head is a non-stop radio. 

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?

She would probably say: “She seems like she doesn’t like me and she doesn’t care about me but when I’m sick she always worries about me the most.”

What is your favorite random fact?

The faces of the people you see in your dreams are the faces of the people you met in your life. Your brain remembers them even though you may have forgotten them.

What is your go-to karaoke song?

That is probably the hardest question of all, because 85-90% of my time I sing, hum or just think about music. Technically every song is my go-to karaoke song J But if I had to choose I would probably go with “I wanna dance with somebody” by Whitney Houston or “I want it that way” by Backstreet Boys.

 

Kipping it Real with Parma!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. May’s Athlete of the Month is Parma Pullagurla. Parma has been putting in all the work, and it’s showing. He comes into every workout with a strategy-and crushes it! We have seen Parma improve in the short amount of time that he has been here. He is so fun to be around as he has a very caring, funny, and outgoing personality! We are so grateful to have Parma at OPCF and want to give him a special shoutout!

 

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?

 Since last June( just a day before Murph was my first workout)”

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? 

“It was great.. I do remember it was a Saturday workout and Matthew Sumpter was my partner. I loved that workout.”

What has been your favorite workout so far? 

“Squatting!”

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?

 “Hmm, I wanted to be here (In the United States) :).. I work for Verizon.”

What do you like to do outside of work?

“Hiking and spending time with friends and family.”

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?

“Don’t get intimidated.. take one step at a time.. you made a great decision being here just stick with it dont give up.”

What is on your bucket list?

“Crossfit wise :  hands stand walk and Ring muscle ups..I want to Hike all 14er’s .. so far I have done 15.”

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

“Protein shakes;)”

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?

           “That I probably have more Patience probably :)”

What is your favorite random fact?

“I was fascinated by the fact that there are 7 identical people just like you exist in the world and in a lifetime will get a chance to see at least one.”

What is your go-to karaoke song?

“I am not very much into listening to any songs other than Indian music.. but I like this song-Alejandro ( Lady Gaga).”