Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. December’s Athlete of the Month is Janelle Balarashti. Janelle was chosen because of her consistency and dedication to staying fit over quarantine this spring; she never lets an injury or soreness keep her from getting a workout in; she always comes to class with a positive attitude; she graciously accepts the coach’s feedback and implements it the best she can; and she is just an all-around super hard worker that is very inspiring! Her hard work is paying off and we love having Janelle as a part of our OPCF community! Learn more about Janelle below.
How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? 1.5 years
What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? “Oh my gosh, this is hard! Can’t wait to go back!”
What has been your favorite workout so far? No particular favorite but I like the RFT workouts best so that I know a specific number.
What is your favorite cheat meal? Tacos….all the tacos!
What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? I always wanted to be a teacher. Now, I work for The Family Conservancy on our Early Care and Education team. I’m able to take my passion for children and families and use it with early care and education providers throughout the metro.
What do you like to do outside of work? I love to go hiking, lose myself in a good book, and always like trying a new recipe out for yummy, healthy dinners.
What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? Just keep coming back. Leah and the other coaches always have scaling options for if something seems impossible.
What is your favorite/least favorite movement? Least favorite movement is overhead squat….definitely room for improvement there! Most favorite movement is probably deadlift.
What’s one CrossFit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year? One CrossFit goal for this next year is to finally be able to get a strict pull-up.
What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? I’m definitely more self-confident and have a higher self-esteem. As I’ve gotten more fit (still so far to go!), I’m more comfortable in my own skin and more willing to take on new challenges and those things that just seemed impossible before now.
What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far? My proudest accomplishment thus far is that I keep coming back, especially when I see a WOD and think “I’m going to be scaling every move, why bother”. Those are the days that I make myself go and feel so much better for doing it.
How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? I deliberately block time off on my family and work calendars each day so that I make sure I am taking care of myself and my own self-care needs.
What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet? I’ve always wanted to do a family hike up Pike’s Peak, hopefully in the next couple of years.