This article is Part 1 of a new series we will be publishing that will consist of us following a CrossFit Games Regional Hopeful, Katie Harper, through her journey and progress over the next year. Her coaching will be executed by Jonathan Kinnick who, for those of you that don’t know, is pretty awesome. Jonathan is a Co-Founder of BTWB as well as the owner of CrossFit Kinnick. He’s a Board Member on the CrossFit Trainer (CCFT) Certification Board and a CrossFit CF-L3 Trainer. He’s also completed the CrossFit Coaches Prep, CrossFit Competitor’s, CrossFit Olympic Lifting, CrossFit Endurance, CrossFit Mobility and CrossFit Nutrition courses. He is also a USAW Sports Performance Coach.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” –Wayne Gretzyky and/or Michael Scott
Not to say that my life is completely fueled by Michael Scott references (lies), but the man has some wise words, and in all cases possible I try to apply them. My name is Katie Harper. I’m a physical therapist, a CrossFit coach, and like thousands of other athletes I am on the journey to qualify for the 2018 East Regional.
I first found CrossFit in late November of 2012, mainly because I was seriously feeling those post-thanksgiving turkey gains. A friend had convinced me to attend an intro class, which I was very hesitant to sign up for. I will admit that I have always had some decent strength and speed at baseline, but I have never considered myself to be a gifted athlete. I wasn’t exactly the one that made the newspapers and my trophy case of accomplishments consisted of more “Most Improved” than “1st Place” awards. Confidence in my CrossFit-abilities wasn’t exactly there from the get-go, but sometimes you just have to feel like the kid who had to study way too hard in school to make that report card.
Between 4 years ago and now I have dedicated a respectable amount of time and effort and have consumed more than enough sweet, sweet delicious fruit punch pre-workout to get me where I am today. I am excited to say that this year I placed 175th in the North East Region and 62nd in New York State by the end of the 2017 CrossFit Open.
I’m happy with where I landed this year. I had a few setbacks and a lot of life changes over the past year. Between the end of the 2016 Open and now, I’ve managed to graduate from physical therapy school, pass my boards exam, snag a full time job (or three), coach part time, switch apartments, and miraculously make it to the gym 4-5 times per week. It comes as no surprise that amongst managing all of the chaos, I sustained a minor back injury, lost my remote coach in the process, and fell off of my training just a few months prior to the 2017 Open. Regardless of everything, I am ready to get back on track. I realize what I’m up against, and if I’m being honest with myself, I haven’t worked hard enough to earn a slot at Regionals.
The real challenge will be finding out what it takes to achieve my goal. Quite frankly something has got to give. Everybody has their “goats”, and mine is most definitely lifestyle. On certain weeks, I am up to my earballs in workload and as a result my diet becomes way too flexible. Cap that off with a weekend filled with friendship and tequila-infused fun and I find myself in a world of hurt by the time training day hits on Monday.
I’ve got a few ideas on how to produce habit change, and am in the process of working on my time management. Just like we train in the gym, everything is a progression. I am guaranteeing that gains will be made this year, but what may be the most valuable are my personal ones. It will be an interesting process to see what challenges arise, and how I handle them. Do I think I can make the cut? I truly have no idea. But either way, I have a feeling this is going to be a good year.