Kipping it Real with Danielle!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. May’s Athlete of the Month is Danielle West. Danielle was chosen because she NEVER misses a day. She makes working out a priority and shows up no matter the workout. She is also very dedicated to making sure she moves with proper technique and does a really good job of listening to the coaches and taking their cues to heart. She has been an awesome addition to our 6:30 class! Her hard work is paying off and we love having Danielle as a part of our OPCF community!

1. How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? I have been working out at OPCF for a year!
2. 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 remember there were a lot of air squats. Although it was a challenge and I was incredibly sore for the next several days, I remember feeling very accomplished and knowing I was 100% going to be back on Monday. I was definitely scared coming into the gym but everyone was so welcoming; I left feeling so encouraged. I remember Klaudia (who I didn’t even know was a coach at the time) stopped the accessory workout that she was doing to help me with my squat form, which I thought was so kind.

3. What has been your favorite workout so far? That’s tough. I would say the first Open workout from this year because I came into it so worried about the fact that there was going to be a person judging me and that it was going to go terribly, but I actually ended up really surprising myself!

4. What is your favorite cheat meal? 
Any type of Mexican food is by far my favorite cheat meal.

5. What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? 
Growing up I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I now work as a Kindergarten (soon to be fourth grade) teacher and am pursuing my Masters in Mental Health Practices in Schools.

6. What do you like to do outside of work? 
Outside of work, I love coming to CrossFit (obviously) but aside from that I enjoy trail walking, listening to podcasts, cooking/baking and hanging out with family/friends.
7. What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? My advice would be to stay consistent and to just keep moving in workouts. The workouts can be so intimidating and I remember, especially when I first started, I would get really hung up on the fact that I was finishing last, getting time capped, struggling to perform a movement, etc., and I’ve really tried to switch my mindset going into every workout to just, “Do your best and keep moving”. Also, if you have 10-15 minutes before/after your workout to practice any movements you’re wanting to improve, it’s amazing how big of a difference it can make!

8. What is your favorite/least favorite movement? 
My favorite movement is the clean and my least favorite movement is a thruster
9. What’s one CrossFit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year? 
One of my goals for this next year is to do a pull-up.

10. What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? As cheesy as it may sound, CrossFit has really helped to make me stronger not only physically, but mentally, and has pushed me to do more than I previously thought I was capable of. Growing up and throughout college, I was not even the slightest bit athletic and like a lot of people, I’ve always struggled with body image issues. CrossFit has really helped me shift my focus from wanting to be “thin”/ looking a certain way, to wanting to be strong. I have begun to focus so much more on what my body can do for me versus what it looks like. CrossFit has also been a huge stress reliever for me and I have met some of the most amazing and encouraging people.

11. What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far? I would say my proudest accomplishments thus far have been getting my first rep of some of the higher skill movements like double-unders and toes-to-bar.

12. How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? 
I just really try to make it a priority and I plan ahead. Going into each week, I look at my schedule and if need be, I will adjust the class time that I attend. Starting out, I told myself that I would only allow myself to miss a day if I was sick and I have held myself to that. Even if I can’t make it into the gym for some reason, I still make sure I get in some sort of a workout. I genuinely enjoy CrossFit and coming to OPCF, so working out never really feels like a chore to me; it’s something I truly look forward to every day.

13. What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet? 
Something I have always wanted to do but haven’t yet is go hiking in Colorado!