CVSC Committed Athlete - Kelly Kopp
Occupation: Professor at USU in the Plants, Soils & Climate Department, basically I’m a science nerd.
Type of training before CrossFit:
I was a competitive swimmer in junior high and high school. Once I got to college, I didn’t do much for a couple of years and then decided that running/cardio would be my thing. Ugh. I also did an occasional (wimpy) weight workout and played a few intramural sports. Later I got more serious about running, did a marathon, and continued training at longer distances. After a major running injury in 2004, I switched to triathlon. Finally, Amy Croft started talking to me about trying CF. She bugged me about it for a few months until I finally agreed to give it a try. My first WOD was a (seriously) modified Tabata and I was stunned by how hard it was! I will always owe Amy a great debt of gratitude for getting me started.
I like burpees!! Any WOD with burpees is fine by me. Also the Filthy Fifty. Clean and jerks also make me feel really tough, and I like that.
Any hobbies you have outside of the gym?
Anyone who’s seen my bruises, scrapes and sprains during the summer months knows I like to mountain bike. I also ski and REALLY LOVE to backpack. I try to take 1 or 2 week long trips and several weekend backpack trips each summer. I love the idea of having everything I need to survive on my back. I also travel a lot for work and like to drop in to CF boxes wherever I happen to be. The most exotic CF I’ve visited so far was in Santiago, Chilé. It’s a good story. Ask me sometime!
Something about me that people at CVSC don’t know..
I was once a balloon handler in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Any words of advice for newer members at CVSC?
I always tell new folks that when I started, I could not even jump on the smallest box. It also took me months to get pull-ups and double unders. But it definitely gets better and you will be amazed at how YOU can change by sticking with it. Notice that I didn’t say how your BODY can change. While it’s true that physical changes definitely come with CF, the mental/emotional changes are equally amazing. All that mountain biking and skiing I mentioned above? Yeah, I wouldn’t have even tried any of that if I didn’t have the additional confidence that I’ve developed at CVSC. I’ve also come to understand (and accept) that every workout is not going to produce a PR. In fact, at times, I feel like I’m absolutely going backward! But like so many things in life, our work at the box comes in waves. There are ups and there are downs, but I’ve started paying more attention to what’s happening underneath all that. My base level of fitness has never been better and it stays that way, even when I can’t work out for a while. So stick with it!
Also, about food….my eating has gone through the same evolution as my physical fitness at CVSC. I started out dabbling with Zone and then added some Paleo ideas and have now landed at a dietary place that really works for me. I’m not super strict Paleo, but it’s basically how I eat. My point is that it takes some time to figure out what’s going to fuel your workouts and your life in the best way. Paleo is a great place to start, IMHO.
Any other comments?
I’d also like to say a few words to the longer-term members of CVSC. I’ve been around the box for about 3 ½ years now and I’ve had injuries, illnesses, work travel, and all sorts of other complications in my life during that time. I’ve also had the pleasure of talking with many of you about how you’re feeling about your fitness, your workouts, your eating, etc, and I have learned so much! Sometimes I am motivated to get to the box just because I know I’ll get to see people I like so much!
Another thing….my daughter Emma has been going to Youth Fit off and on for a long time, and I am happy that she exercises and is developing her physical skills. But I am also happy that she gets to see CVSC’s strong, tough women (of ALL shapes and sizes) working hard, sweating and generally kicking butt. You are all great role models! Thank you!!
And my (really) last word…..it’s impossible to fully express the gratitude that I feel toward Brad and all the CVSC crew for what they do. Not only for myself, but for our community. You guys are the BEST!