April 2018 Athlete of the Month - Kate Flynn

I am proud to announce our April Athlete of the Month is Kate Flynn. It was a pretty easy choice for me as I brainstormed who was deserving of this honor. Kate's presence and attitude is a true example of the type of person we all want to be and the type of person our community cultivates. As you read her Q&A, many of you may relate to the words Kate uses. She was a very active kid growing up, had no worries or concerns about exercise or diet because you were always doing something. Then life gets in the way when we grow up and school and jobs. Having the discipline to continue and work towards the happiness and goals you set out to attain is something that is very much respected. Kate joked with me saying she joined the gym to get less fat. I responded to her with, "and now you want to out-squat the guys." It's funny how our initial intentions change as we realize that many of us joined CrossFit for similar reasons (to get in shape or lose weight). Now, several months or years into it, we are a community of fit, health-conscious men and women who hold ourselves to a much higher standard than before we committed ourselves to this lifestyle. Kate also said to me, "the gym has reshaped my life in countless positive ways and I'm very excited to see what the next year brings." I'm excited to see what you're able to achieve this year as well. 

Written by: Coach Rob Moloney

Why you started CrossFit? What’s your background? 

I was always a multi-sport kid growing up, I played volleyball, tennis, I have a black belt in kung-fu, even did shot-put for bit.  Once I started college though, I completely stopped everything.  I was more focused on cramming last minute for exams and partying than any kind of fitness or nutrition.  By the time I finished grad school in 2015, I had hit my heaviest weight.  I was completely out of shape and miserable.  I spent 2+ years in and out of trying personal trainers, yoga, running, anything to just get me out of the slump.  A few months after I moved to Long Beach, I decided to give CrossFit a try.  I called CrossFit Island Park, started elements that following week, began frequenting the infamous 8pm class, and I haven’t looked back. 

How long have you been a member and how long have you been doing CrossFit?
I’ve been a member/doing CrossFit for a little under a year now.  
It’s crazy how fast it has gone by. 

What is your favorite thing about the gym?
There is a lot to love about the gym.  The programming is always fun and challenging and the coaches are fantastic.  But, it definitely comes down to the culture for me.  The 8pm class very quickly became the best part of my day, and continues to be.   People really support each other, cheer you on, celebrate PR’s, and some of them have become my closest friends. 

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome since joining the gym?
Definitely my own self-doubt and frustration.  Learning a new skill, not hitting a weight, being too slow etc...  If you’ve seen me trying to do double-unders then you know exactly what I am talking about.  There is always some swearing and complaining involved.

What is your favorite moment at the gym so far?
This is the hardest question for me.  There have been so many incredible moments in the gym that have shaped my life for the better over the last year, it’s really hard to pick just one.  The first was the night we maxed out pushing the sleds back in October.  It was the first time I think I had ever truly given 100% on a workout in my life.  Even though I couldn’t get the sled back to the start in one go on the last run and I dropped to the ground, I knew that I gave it everything I had.  That was a very powerful feeling, and it made me want to really commit myself more to the workouts after that.  The second has to be when I was the only one who showed up for 8pm in a snowstorm.  Coach Rob stuck out the storm with me and helped me find out I could do HSPU’s (16 of them!) when I had never even attempted them in class once.

What's your favorite "cheat" food?
NY style cheesecake.  Bonus if it has oreos involved.  

What would you say to someone who is thinking about starting?
It can be a lot to take in at first, but embrace what the gym has to offer you, and just give it your all.  You will get back what you invest 10x over.

What drives you?
I think if you asked me this 9 months ago, I would have said I just want to be less fat.  Now, I’m driven by the training process and having fun with everyone at the gym.  I enjoy the work we put in for over the course of a few weeks and getting to test our progress.  Fortunately, by loving this process I’ve become less fat, so it’s worked out pretty well so far.

What is you biggest fitness goal right now?
Squatting 300# is definitely on the radar for 2018.  I’m really looking forward to getting better at the Olympic lifts, and competing in my second power-lifting competition in July.  And, of course I want to do at least 1 workout RX in the 2019 Open.