April Athlete of the Month: Kristin Stewart
“I woke up this morning to a text message from Suzie saying I was the April athlete of the month and I almost started crying. The world is such a crazy place right now and I think all of us are a little anxious, scared, and cooped-up. When you can’t even see your community outside of zooms (which by the way, have been a major bright spot in my day the past few weeks), it feels like such an honor to be recognized.
I started Crossfit in 2013, the same year I got diagnosed with cancer. I attribute a huge amount of getting my health (both mentally and physically) back to Crossfit. Crossfit immediately gave me a sense of hope in my body. I felt for a long time like my body had betrayed me; being sick felt really dark sometimes.
I lost about 35 pounds from cancer, which I did not really have to lose in the first place. My first Crossfit class I struggled to get out of the bottom of an air squat, I could not push-up from my knees, and I definitely couldn’t clean more than the PVC pipe. But after my first on-ramp class I was hooked. Crossfit gave me goals to strive for, took my mind off being sick, and made me feel like part of a community. It also completely changed my body image.
Like a lot of women, I had been really into the idea of being skinny. As I started getting healthy, I started putting weight back on. I needed to gain weight, but there was this part of my brain that raged against the idea of no longer being sickly thin. Crossfit, and the women of Crossfit, was giving me a different standard of beauty. I wanted to be able to DO things with my body. I wanted to do pull-ups, and snatches, and things that I saw really strong girls doing. As I got healthier and put on some more muscle, Crossfit kept challenging me. I had never done something that always felt new and where the better I got, the harder the sport got. Another life changing aspect of Crossfit: I met my now fiance, James, at a Crossfit gym. I can’t imagine my life without him.
After 7 years of participating in this sport, and being a member of probably just as many gyms, I can safely say that Crossfit 128 is special. Walking into a new gym is always a little scary. When I joined 128 last year, everyone at immediately put me at ease. The 6am and the 5pm groups both feel like family. I feel so lucky to have found a place that challenges everyone to be their best selves, gives each of us the tools to reach all of our goals, and where the coaches truly care about each of us.
For real though, if you haven’t been doing coach Ryan’s zoom classes during this quarantine, you’re missing out. It is so incredibly comforting to see everyone’s smiling faces for a few minutes every day. Sometimes, you even get glimpses of Suzie’s new puppy, Reese! I have to admit I do not always feel motivated to workout after sitting at home all day. But once I start moving, I feel so much better. Knowing that the Crossfit 128 crew is still there to support each other during these trying times is really special, and I’m truly grateful. I can’t wait to see all of you back in the gym, hopefully really soon. “