Thursday, January 16, 2014

MissFit Athlete Spotlight: Krysty Geesey

Athlete: Krysty Geesey

Age: 25

Sport: CrossFit

Location: Hardbat CrossFit (Newark, DE)
 
Here a CrossFit athlete that you should keep in your radar.  Krysty is young, strong as hell, super athletic, and competitive!  I met Krysty sometime ago at a local CrossFit competition, and didn’t really take notice until I saw this:

 

In case you're wondering, that is 205 on the bar! This woman is a beast!  She is not shy to share her goal of making it to the 2014 CrossFit Games Mid-Atlantic Regionals that is coming up this summer.  If you are a fan of sport, CrossFit you should keep your eyes peeled for Krysty.



Krysty sandwiched between CrossFit Games competitor Emily Friedman and Champion Sam Briggs

Can you tell me about your background? 

I was definitely a tomboy when I was growing up and enjoyed being active and competitive. I was the only girl who would play kickball at recess in elementary school and would kick all the boys’ butts. I grew up in the small town, Dover, PA. I lived in Lancaster, PA for 7 years while completing my Bachelors and Masters degrees. I recently moved from Pennsylvania to Maryland after accepting my first job as a school psychologist.
 
Where do you train?

I am currently training at Hardbat CrossFit in Newark, DE, owned by Ian Hardin and Derek Batman (Yes, that’s really his last name—haha). Ian has been doing all of my programming. His program, Hardin-Fast, is solid (http://hardin-fast.com) for anyone who wants to be a competitive CrossFit athlete.  

What is your sport/fitness background/competitive background?

I didn’t get involved in any organized sports teams until I was in junior high and finally convinced my mom to let me play basketball. I played volleyball and ran track in high school. I also ran indoor and outdoor track at Millersville University. I was a sprinter, dabbled in long jump, and ran on the sprint relays. I’ve always had some natural ability and speed, but was never a standout athlete. I have now been doing CrossFit for over 2 years and also got my Level 1 CF certification over a year ago. I have done numerous competitions since beginning CrossFit and really enjoy that aspect.

 
How did you find CrossFit?
 
Annie, a friend in my graduate school cohort, was talking about CrossFit before one of our summer classes. She told me that she thought I would really like it. In September 2011, I went to my first CrossFit class at 5:45am. After trying it out, I knew that CrossFit was what I needed to kick my butt back into shape. It had been over 2 years since I had trained with any kind of intensity. I knew if I was paying for a membership and a coach was telling me what to do, that I would actually get myself out of bed to workout. That was the kind of motivation that I needed to become active again.

Are you competing?

I am competing. I think that has been one of the largest draws of CrossFit for me. I really missed being a competitive athlete after college. I have done a lot of local competitions over the past few years, as well as some partner and team competitions. I am also looking to compete in some Olympic Lifting competitions, as well. I think it would be really cool to qualify for the American Open next year.

What are your goals & ambitions?  What is your greatest accomplishment in CF thus far?

Right now, my goal is to make it to the 2014 CrossFit Games Mid-Atlantic Regional competition this year. I have a lot of smaller goals that I am working on daily in order to make that goal a reality. I am really working to improve my conditioning and gymnastics skills with a lot of help from my coach. I think that if I can make it through the Open, I could do pretty well at Regionals. Regionals tends to be much more strength-biased than the Open. That strength piece is definitely more within my wheelhouse, but I am trying to become more balanced in all areas of the sport.

I am not sure if I can pick a single greatest accomplishment. I am pretty proud of my 185# snatch. I would absolutely love to hit 200# before the Open. I am also proud of being able to consistently do muscle ups now. They are still a work in progress, but they are coming along.

What would your advice be to other women and/or young girls that want to try this sport (or any sport) but are afraid to try for any reason?

Trying something new can be scary. I was nervous when I first began CrossFit. I wasn’t sure what it would be like, if I would like it, or what the people would be like. You just need to take a leap of faith. Give it a try. If it isn’t for you, then at least you figured it out for yourself instead of just wondering. You don’t need an athletic background to try it either. Just give it a try and give yourself a chance to become a stronger version of your awesome self.
 
CrossFit has truly been one of the best things in my life for the past two years. With the stress of a break-up and graduate school, it was great to have a place to go to escape and focus on me. I’ve met countless people since beginning CrossFit. The community aspect is one of the best parts. I have friends from many gyms in different states and I consider many of those people as part of my family now. I have gained so much through that support system. I love going into the gym and watching others put in hard work and reach their goals. It makes me even more motivated to push myself.
 


 
Why are you a MissFit? 

I have never been good at acknowledging my own accomplishments because I am a perfectionist, and my own worst critic. I am a MissFit because I can now be happy with my accomplishments, but good is never good enough. I feel there is always a way to better myself—mentally, physically, emotionally, or intellectually.

I have worked hard to obtain both of my college degrees by myself. I’ve worked to become the athlete I am now in a sport that I love.  I have been blessed to be surrounded by amazing people throughout my journey who have believed in me, and pushed me to be more. It catches me off guard when other women say that they look up to me or they want to be like me. It makes me step back and acknowledge how far I have come and that I need to give myself credit sometimes. Those women have become the voices in the back of my mind telling me that I can’t give up.  I think this quote embodies me:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover." –Mark Twain

 
In the last 6 months, I took a leap of faith accepting a job, moving to a new state, and training     at a new gym where I literally knew no one. When I decided to make that leap, I never anticipated that I would have made the gains that I have made or that I would be living and training with a Games athlete. I believe that everything happens for a reason and will work out the way that it should. I would advise all of the MissFits out there to continue on their own journeys and take a few chances to get where they want to go. It will be worth it.

 

 
 

 
Good luck in the 2014 CrossFit Open, Krysty!  The MissFit Movement is pulling for you.  Go all in and don’t look back!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

2014 is Coming. Make it Exceptional.


I have a sudden urge to blog.  I'm not sure why I'm blogging.  I haven't blogged in so long, I feel like I forgot how to.   Maybe I just want to say hi (which I do).  Maybe the reason I'm blogging is to motivate you and/or inspire you to rise higher than your current situation.  Maybe I'm writing this to remind you that you can do whatever you desire, but you have to take action.

2014 will begin in 10 days, and you should cease the moment, follow your dreams, and go after your goals with no apologies!  I hate to sound cliché and redundant, but seriously...time does not stop for anyone, and the longer you put off your to-do list and the longer you tell yourself "I'll do it later" the longer you're putting off true joy.  I tell you from experience that the more you put your goals to the side, the more you accept complacency and the status quo.  Don't accept mediocre.  Don't accept average.  Dare to live an exceptional life.  Dare to live your dreams out loud.  Do it and don't apologize.  You won't be disappointed, the journey is the best part.

I am proud to announce that I am the co-owner of Black Powder CrossFit in Dallastown, PA.  It is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, but not for the reason that most people might think.  It's not about the money.  It's not about the status.  It's not about anything but following through on a vision that I have had, for many years, to help others help themselves through health and fitness.  It's an accomplishment for me because I finally took a chance on myself, threw caution to the wind, let go of any insecurities, and brought my dreams to reality.  That is something I have been mortified of for years!

I am not kidding when I tell you that for YEARS have I brainstormed and scribbled idea after idea on many notepads.  I have had countless conversations with some of my closest friends in which they encouraged me to take the leap and follow through on my dream.  I never would step over that ledge because I was mortified of how I might land...or not.  Looking back, I am unsure if I was scared to fail or afraid to succeed, but the one thing I was certain of is that I was not happy.

I don't claim to know it all.  I never have and never will.  But I will tell you this; if you have a dream that is being fanned by a deep desire and passion...DO IT!  Stop wishing.  Stop day dreaming.  Stop putting it off and do it!  Seriously.  This is not a Nike ad, but Just do it. 

What is the worst thing that could happen?  Will you lose free time?  Sure.  Could you lose a little money?  Maybe.  Could you lose a little sleep?  Certainly.  Could you lose some friends.  Probably.  Will you question your sanity?  More than once, yes.  But believe me, it's worth it! 

To be honest, money comes and goes.  In regards to sleep, once you turn 30 it seems you can never get enough.  And if others turn their back on you because you envisioned a different life for yourself...so be it.  It doesn't mean that you shouldn't live your dreams out loud.  Sometimes little sacrifices must be made in order to rise to the purpose of your life. 

Really all I'm saying is take a chance on yourself and believe in what you can do.  Do you have a desire to travel around the world?  You only live once.  Are you a CrossFit athlete and want to compete?  Train hard and go hard!  Would you like to go back to school and get your degree?  There's no time like the present.

Don't put limitations on yourself.  Don't accept complacency.  Don't sit back and think about it, take action and do it.  Anything is possible.  Anything.  Think about it.  Humans are capable of inventing electricity and traveling to the moon.  We can do anything, and that includes you.  Make 2014 an exceptional year!   

"We all have dreams.  But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort."  Jesse Owens   










Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jill Blair: A Survivor Story

 





MissFit: Jill Blair
Sport: CrossFit
Age: 39
Location: York, PA    
 
 
 
Meet Jill Blair. Wife and Mother of two.  She didn’t play a sport or run a race.  Jill didn’t set any world records or set an Olympic weightlifting PR, but Jill is a champion. She is a MissFit.  A fighter.  A survivor.  Jill is a Breast Cancer survivor. 
 
Would you mind telling the readers a little about yourself?
 

I am from Latrobe, PA and moved to York about 6 years ago to be closer to my husband work. I have been married to a wonderful, supportive man, Chris, for almost 17 years. We have two beautiful boys who keep us both on our toes at all times.  I am the owner/photographer at the Jill Blair Photography studio in Wrightsville.  I specialize in newborn portraiture, but I also love working with babies and children. I am currently working on the boudoir side of my business. I believe that all women are beautiful, no matter what size or shape.
 
What is your fitness and/or competitive background?
 

I have absolutely NO fitness background. I never played any sports in school. I grew up with two older brothers that didn't play sports either. They were avid hunters, and dirt bike riders, which is probably the reason I didn't have any desire to play sports. It wasn't really big in our household.
 
How did you find CrossFit? 
 

Chris has been doing CrossFit now for around 5 years I would say. I started doing a little bit of it right before I got pregnant with my youngest son. Then the morning sickness hit, and lasted for months. I had no desire to go to the gym at the point. So CrossFit again fell on the back burner for me. Then he joined a CrossFit gym in the area, I still had no desire to go. To be honest, I was intimidated. Everyone looked so much stronger than me, and I didn't want to appear weak. Then in 2010, all of that changed and I realized just how strong I really was.
 
Can you talk about when you were diagnosed and your survival story?
 

In September of 2010, I felt a lump in my breast. I quite honestly thought it was my rib. Chris felt it and thought the same thing, so I tried to forget about it. The next month, I decided I should go and have it checked. My gynecologist said the words "you are too young for breast cancer, and I don't really think it's anything to worry about, but since you are due for a mammogram, let's go ahead and order one." So off I went the following week, alone, for my mammogram. I sat in the waiting room and waited with women that were all older than me. I was called back, and then had to sit and wait again. The nurse came out and said that they needed to do an ultrasound, so off I went for that. I was then left in the waiting room alone.  At this point I was shaken up a bit and called Chris. He assured me that everything was all right, and I did feel better…until they called me back to speak with the radiologist who said I would need a biopsy. That happened the following week, along with MORE waiting! That was the longest week of my life. Chris and I went in to find out the results on a Friday. I remember seeing a doctor, nurse, and a social worker walk in the room, and I immediately burst into tears. I knew that it was bad news. "You have breast cancer", is all I heard and I cried even harder. I remember saying "I have two small boys to take care of!" over, and over again. The doctor was so nice…he let me cry until I could calm down, and then told me "if you had to get breast cancer, this is the kind you want to get". I was diagnosed with Stage 0 DCIS, which is cancer cells that are contained in the ducts, and it does not spread. I was then scheduled for surgery the next week for a lumpectomy, and was told I would need 6 weeks of radiation after that, but my margins weren't coming back clear, so I had a few more lumpectomies, and another MRI. My margins came back clear, but the MRI showed yet another spot of concern. The pathology of that spot showed more DCIS. My surgeon said I would need a mastectomy of my right breast, but I opted to have both breasts removed. I wanted to do whatever I had to do to give me the better odds of not having to go through this again. So on March 18, 2011 I had a double mastectomy. When I went back to my surgeon the following week, she told me that the pathology showed even more cancer than they had seen on any of the scans. That confirmed I made the right decision.  Even though some days are hard for me to get past the scars that I see everyday, I never once have regretted my decision.
  
What was your motivation and inspiration during your fight?   

My motivation has always been and always will be my boys. They were only 1 and 7 when I was diagnosed. Devin, my oldest son, still to this day wears pink for me and tells everyone how his mom beat breast cancer. Chase, he still doesn't understand any of it, which I am okay with for now. Someday we will have that chat.
 
What is your motivation now when you think about what you have been through?
 

I want to be healthy and strong! This past year, Chris become co-owner of CrossFit CDI. I made the decision to try it again. I figured, my husband is a coach, so why not give it a go. In February 2013, I signed up for their bootcamp class. The first WOD about killed me. I've always been thin, but I knew I wasn't in great shape. I would get winded walking up a flight of stairs, but I kept going. I was the slowest, I wasn't as strong as the others, but it didn't stop me. I graduated the bootcamp and began going to the main classes, and became hooked. The community is fantastic! No one cares what weight you lift, or what time you finished. What they care about is if you are putting in the intensity and the effort. I try to get in the box at least 4 times a week, and miss it when I don't. 
 
 
 
Do you have any advice to other women that may being going through the same thing or know someone who is? 
 
My best advice to anyone that is going through/went through what I did, is don't give up. Don't sit back and let it take over your life. Fight…fight with everything you have. Life is so worth it. Yes, there are days when I still cry, but that's okay. Crying is good every once in a while. Let it out, then move on. If you know someone that is going through this, just listen. That's all you really need to do. Let them be afraid, don't dismiss anything they say. All of their feeling are real, no matter how silly they sound to you. Just listen, and be there for them.
 

I can honestly say that CrossFit has changed my life. Did I think after having a double mastectomy that I could do the WOD's that I am doing now. Hell no, but I am. As long as you discuss it with your doctor, don't let anything hold you back. If I can do it, you can too!!

 

Why are you MissFit?

 

Why am I MissFit? I am MissFit because I never stopped fighting, and never stopped believing that I could get healthy again. No matter how hard things got, I kept moving forward. My faith, family, and friends never let me down.

 
The MissFit Movement was created to build a community of fit and confident women.  If you go to the mission page you can read for yourself that it is the intention of The MissFit Movement to empower, inspire, and encourage all women.  Being a MissFit does not mean that you can run the fastest, lift the heaviest, or climb the highest.  Rather; being a MissFit is about overcoming all odds, taking on any challenge, and fight to the bone for their goals.  They believe in themselves, take action, and take control of their lives and in the process motivate others to do the same. 


Thank you Jill for sharing your story and demonstrating what the heart of a champion looks like! 

October is Breast Cancer awareness month.  Take the initiative and go get a breast exam.  Go to http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org to learn more.




Empower * Inspire * Encourage
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fear Nothing

Fear nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  No one. 

Don't be afraid to face the unknown.  Don't shy away from a challenge.
Do you want to know what's behind the door?  Open it.
If you want to know the answer, you can't be afraid of the question.

Don't walk around with your tail between your legs.  Stop cowering in the corner.  Being afraid will not get you where you want to be.  It's simple.  If you want something, go get it!  In the face of danger move towards your dreams.  Champions are not made of fear.  They are made of courage.  To achieve greatness, one must ignore any and all fear and move into the life that they so desire. 

We are all afraid at some point in our lives.  We all experience fear, but that does not mean that we have to live scared.  Next time you're tempted to run away from a situation because of fear, do this.  Give it the middle finger and make your move!  Learn to fear nothing.

Remember Gymnast, Kerri Strug of the '96 Olympics?  If she had let fear take over, you probably wouldn't.