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By Jen | In Testimonials | on February 4, 2014


Kristi Smith

Give us a little background about yourself.

I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia and have been in Richmond for 10 years due to my husband’s job.  Geoff and I have three daughters (8, 10 and 12) and a really goofy dog named Fenway.  I was a high school special education teacher before having our first daughter.  I’m a stay at home mom who rarely stays home and my husband travels frequently.  I don’t have much of an athletic background to speak of other than middle school recreational softball and a few years of high school softball.  However, watching and listening to me watch my girls play sports one might think I am an expert at basketball, fast pitch softball and lacrosse.

How did you hear about West End CrossFit

My brother in law is a marine and started talking about CrossFit  eight years ago.  My husband started CrossFit in 2011.  He would talk about it nonstop and tell me how much he thought I would love it.  It sounded crazy, way too intense and like a death sentence for an ordinary person like me.  Fast forward a year later.  I made the call to WECF in April of 2012 and talked to Jen. Within a week I was starting my On Ramp with her.  I’ve never looked back.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

I was diagnosed with skin cancer on my face in June 2011.  After the removal I spent a year in reconstruction.  The year of reconstruction changed my life in ways that are difficult to put in words. I knew my life was changing but I couldn’t put my finger on how.  I was suddenly very clear about the fact that we are in charge of our own destiny.  Feeling like I had been “asleep at the wheel” I set out to redefine myself and my life.  I didn’t want to just be a good wife and mom.  I felt as if I lost myself somewhere along my thirties to a body that didn’t belong to me for 27 months, newborn babies, dirty diapers, a never ending cycle of cleaning house, caring for young children who couldn’t care for themselves, sleep deprivation, and trying to be a good wife. It didn’t happen overnight and I’m still a work in progress but I’m certain getting stronger on the outside is not mutually exclusive from getting stronger on the inside. West End CrossFit encourages me to perform a lift/movement at a level that I might not be able to achieve and if I can’t it is commonly referred to as a failure.  Not only do they want me to push myself (while maintaining proper form and integrity) they provide a safe place to fail.  By reaching failure I’ve found my new starting point and can develop new goals.  But most importantly, I’m redefining what failure means to me.  For most of my life the risk of failure prevented me from exploring, taking risks and allowing myself to be vulnerable.  I look at failure in a completely different way now.  It’s a new beginning and validation that I took a risk and put myself out there.  Thanks to Jen, Tim, Kara and Brian at West End CrossFit I’m changing my body, my mind and my attitude.

What music can we find currently playing in your car?

Seriously, I listen to every genre of music out there. The radio station/ipod is usually reflecting my current mood/activity.  As I type this I’m listening to John Mayer.  But I also like country music (old and new), rap, 70’s and 80’s, bluegrass and pop music.

What current things are you working towards in your health, training, career and/or personal life?

I participated in a Nutrition Challenge at WECF for the month of October.  I made small changes in my diet that made a huge impact in my overall health.  My goal was not to lose weight but to feel better, have more energy and see an improvement in my training.  All my goals were met by the end of the month. I continued with the changes after the month long challenge was finished and I can honestly say I’ve never felt better.  However, I’ve let a few bad habits creep back in and I can tell the difference.  I’m currently working on getting back on track and implementing the few small changes that have made such a huge difference before.

Tell us about your most memorable WOD at WECF.

Although I had been working on double unders consistently for a few weeks I could only string together 4 or 5 at most.  I was constantly watching videos of athletes doing double unders to try and see what I was doing wrong.  My husband and I partnered for a Saturday WOD which included 25 double unders each round.  When it was my turn I started jumping the rope and consciously made a minor tweak in my jump/knee placement.  Before I knew what was happening I hit 25 unbroken double unders!  As I jumped my last one I was so happy I accidentally screamed in excitement.

What would you tell someone who is interested in training with WECF?

My hope is anyone interested in training at WECF will give it a try.  Forget whatever you’ve heard about CrossFit and try it for yourself.  Any exercise can be modified as necessary and you’ll see modifications in every single class.  West End CrossFit provides a safe, fun, supportive and challenging environment. The possibility of taking your physical health to a new level is practically guaranteed.  The sense of community, the strong support of others and watching your body and mind change as a result are just added benefits.  And don’t forget about mobility with Kara!

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