Kipping it Real with Kyle!

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 Kyle Geary. Kyle is a regular at the 5:30 pm class. His dedication to the sport of CrossFit is inspiring. He drives a long distance to come and workout with his friends. He has brought such a light to the community and, overall, is a very friendly person. His hard work does not go unnoticed. 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 Kyle and what he has to say!  We could not be more proud to recognize him for our May Athlete of the Month!

 

1. How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?
I’ve been at OPCF for 7 months and have been doing CrossFit for 3 years.
2. What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?
My first workout was a hero workout – I had no idea what I dropped into. I found out very quickly how intense Crossfit could be and was hooked.
3. What has been your favorite workout so far?
I love gymnastics and barbell work. Handstand walks, ring muscle ups, deadlifts and back squats are my favorite movements. So I always look forward to workouts with those.
4. What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?
I wanted to be a reporter growing up – and I actually ended up doing TV and Radio for a few years after college. I switched careers and am now a Web Developer at Augeo (@augeomarketing on instagram).
5. What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, my main hobbies are working out, playing video games and catching up on some anime.
6. What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. We were all new once and know how intimidating it can be to learn the movements and lifts. Focus on the basics before adding weight, and when in doubt – scaling is always an option.
7. What is on your bucket list?
To visit all 7 continents – I’ve got two left. Any guesses which??
8. Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
I usually get my caffeine fix from Diet Coke, so let’s go with that.
9. If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?
My last pet was a fish I ended up with due to a white elephant gift exchange – he’d probably have a lot of questions on how he ended up in my apartment.
10. What is your favorite random fact?
The Eiffel Tower was originally made for Barcelona, but the city declined it due to aesthetic concerns.
11. What is your go-to karaoke song
Backstreet Boys – I want it that way.

Kipping it Real with Stephanie!

Each month, Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. April’s Athlete of the Month is Stephanie Cruz. Stephanie is a 5:30 am regular. She walks in ready to work, and with a smile on. A fun fact about her is that she has a ton of experience with kettlebells(you won’t want to go against her in a workout with kb in it;)). She has also been running for a few months now and has run some of her first races. She was also one of our team captains for the Crossfit Open…this girl is an amazing leader! Her hard work does not go unnoticed. 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 Stephanie and what he has to say!  We could not be more proud to recognize her for our April Athlete of the Month!

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

-I joined in Aug 2022, 4 months after moving here from NY.

 

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

-I was petrified to walk into the gym.  After I did an intro session, my first class included thrusters and jumping over the bar.  I didn’t know what was happening, but I definitely wanted to go back!

 

What has been your favorite workout so far?

               -Anything kettlebell!  Back squats and hang cleans are also my favorites!

 

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

            -I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I soon realized I would not be able to save all the animals.  After a long and winding road, I am now a Senior Corporate Recruiter for Elevance Health, which is one of the leading health insurance companies.

 

What do you like to do outside of work?

            -Anything with my bulldog, Cece.  We go on walks, hikes, swimming, and exploring KC.  When I am not with her, I will write poetry, tinker with my plants, go shopping, or hang out with family and friends.

 

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

               -Just go for it.  Just try.  It might seem scary and that’s okay, you can still try it.  You won’t regret it!

 

What is on your bucket list?

               -Solo trip to Puerto Rico!

 

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

               -Music!  Whether its in class or while working, music is always on around me.

 

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

            -If Cece could talk, she would say that I spoil her and always make sure she has tons of treats.  She’d also ask you to talk to me about getting her more treats. 

What is your favorite random fact?

            -I have clairaudient and clairsentient skills.  Clairaudience and clairsentience are the abilities to hear and sense things outside of our five senses.  I have had many instances where I will hear and sense things in advance of them actually happening.  

 

What is your go-to karaoke song?  

               -I have yet to actually do karaoke, but I have done quite a few concerts in my car.  There is a tie between “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell and “Someone To You” by Banners.

 

Kipping it Real with Will!

Each month, Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. March’s Athlete of the Month is Will Walls. Will has been at OPCF since 2021 and is part of the 5:30 am gang. Will is the jokester of the class. He typically shows up right at 5:30…or a few minutes late;) He has improved tremendously. His work does not go unnoticed. 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 Will and what he has to say!  We could not be more proud to recognize him for our March Athlete of the Month!

 

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? 12 days of Christmas ‘21. Liz was the coach!

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

What has been your favorite workout so far? Prob commando pull up

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? Candy chef & heavy duty parts manufacture.

What do you like to do outside of work? Hang out with my littles or MTB

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

What is on your bucket list? Sell my start-up

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

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you? what in gods name…

What is your favorite random fact? There is a percentage of the population that think chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

What is your go-to karaoke song? Faithfully

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 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 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 Haley!

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 Haley Molden! Haley was chosen because of the hard work and constant encouragement she brings to OPCF. She is a phenomenal athlete, and has made huge strides since joining OPCF. She is also a person that brings a smile to everyone’s face. When she walks through the doors at OPCF, the room is instantly filled with her bright smile and positive attitude. Haley is kind, funny, hard working, and just a great person! We are so grateful to have Haley as a part of our community!

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

I’ve been at OPCF for 6 months!

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

I can’t remember much except being really sore for the first few weeks! I think it had heavy back squats in the work out which has always been a favorite of mine. 

 What has been your favorite workout so far?

I love a good E3MOM or anything with a bike and barbell! 

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

When I was growing up I wanted to be a strength and conditioning coach or a swim coach at the collegiate level. Now, I am a school counselor at a middle school in Kansas City, Kansas. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

Workout at OPCF!

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

Lower your expectations of yourself, don’t expect perfection right away and approach CrossFit with the mindset of learning and having fun.

 What is on your bucket list?

I’d like to run a free after school program for kids in low-income neighborhoods to come to the gym, work out, and get healthy food. In hopes to help heal trauma and keep them out of trouble. 

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

Laughing

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

I like dad better.

 What is your favorite random fact?

I share a birthday with Tupac 

 What is your go-to karaoke song?

Firework by Katy Perry or Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson

 

The Third Stage of Pacing Awareness: The Shrinking Violet

It takes time and practice to learn how to pace efficiently. But sometimes, being too good at pacing can actually backfire and hinder an athlete from maintaining their full potential. ‘The Shrinking Violet’ is an athlete who has become so efficient at their pacing that they often underpace a workout and leave too much in the tank. These athletes typically know their numbers so well that they can tell you how many RPMs they should complete any Assault bike workout at, how many minutes they should rest between heavy squat sets, and how many sets of handstand push-ups they should do during a long chipper workout.

This knowledge isn’t necessarily bad, but it can prevent the athlete from working out at their full capacity – they stay away from ‘redlining’ and therefore are no longer aware of what a truly difficult pace is for them. Here are a couple strategies to help you learn how to pace outside of your comfort zone:

Option 1: Pre-determine a specific pace to hit on the machines or how quickly to cycle certain movements. 

Example: if you consistently bike at 63 RPMs, then try something like the following workout but at a higher-than-normal RPMs.

  • 10 rounds:
    • 6 burpees to a 6” target
    • 8 kb swings (70/53)
    • 10 Assault bike calories

The goal of this workout would be to move smoothly and efficiently through the burpees and kettlebell swings and then maintain 65+ RPMs for each round on the bike. This will push you outside of your comfort zone and will probably hurt a lot more than you are used to, and may even result in you blowing up, but it will give you an opportunity to test just where your capacity lies and recalculate if necessary.

Option 2: Regularly include “messy” CrossFit workouts in your training. 

Sometimes it’s easy to spend too much time focusing on building up one’s capacity in running or rowing, strict gymnastics, or barbell cycling, but then shying away from incorporating all of these components together in classic CrossFit-style workouts. Sometimes the simplest couplets or triplets can be the most painful and effective. Take the following workout for example:

  • 10 min AMRAP:
    • 3-6-9-12…power cleans (115/75)
    • 4-8-12-16…bar-facing burpees

This is a great way to practice working outside of your comfort zone because even if you start off pacing this workout well, it will start to get uncomfortable and you will have to adjust your pacing strategy based on how you feel. 

Sources: https://wodprep.com/blog/crossfit-pacing/