Athlete of the month for December: Katie Barkle

When did you start with Cumming Strength and Fitness? 

Started fundamentls with Alex on 4/8/21, tested out on 4/22 and have been 5-6 days a week since

Favorite Workout?  

I honestly enjoy all aspects of CrossFit because I intend on bettering myself across the board from the weight lifting to the gymnastics to the metcons.  

Least Favorite Workout?  

I don’t know that I’d say least ‘favorite’ versus simply my weakest areas needing most improvement and/or what still makes me uneasy and that would be running and snatches.  🙂

Favorite Movement?

I would probably say back squat because I’ve always felt strong where leg-centric moves are concerned 

Least favorite Movement?

The snatch only because I am still mentally training myself to not be intimated/uneasy with dropping under a heavy bar and I’m still getting used to wide hook-grip

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, military, interests, etc.).

Most prominent piece of information is I’m not good at talking about myself!  😛  I grew up in Northern California in a small family. I currently run operations and production for a specialty manufacturing company and have been with them for 21 years (nearing 22) since I was 15. Some probably already know that I love chasing the sun for sunrises and sunsets – particularly over water. My dog(s) have always been a huge love in my life, too. Currently just one doggo, though, and you’ll often find us hiking around the lake. I’m a bit of a chamelon and love many activities/interests where good people and good times are involved.      

What were you doing before you joined CS&F?

Having faded from the gym scene at the end of 2017, I was settling my life from several major changes across personal and professional areas after moving to Cumming in June of 2018. In working on finding my way back to weight lifting/fitness, I was steadily hiking 4-7 days a week with my pup until I mustered my courage to join CS&F.   

Favorite music to workout to?  

I have extremely diverse taste and enjoy many genres – definitely prefer upbeat/faster tempo for workouts and enjoy many of the coaches playlists at CS&F. 

Favorite Cheat meal?

Oh goodness! This is very much mood-driven for me… Probably a medium-rare filet with asparagus and mac & cheese and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for dessert. 

What were your goals when joining CS&F and have you achieved them?

The journey will never end with reaching for my goals. Where do I start and end on goals?! To be a skilled lifter in form, technique, and continuing in increasing strength with all lifts. To be faster and have better/increased stamina. To be more flexible with better coordination and balance. If I had to remark on something actually specifiic then I would say I have worked on and am returning to my original abilities with pushups which makes my heart happy. Next endeavor will be true pullups (being able to move off of ring rows). Oh, and for me, accomplishing 400+ meter runs unbroken was and is still a big deal for me. Every day that I show up and put in genuine, solid effort is another day closer to achieving my goals (which are many and always evolving).   

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?  

I have many already in 8 months probably because of how I’ve approached this journey which has been to throw myself in full force. Many of my memories and achievements are very much tied to the amazing coaches (along with fellow classmates) that I’ve come to know and love at 6am classes as I make progress in form/technique/strength/overall performance. Probably one of my favorite moments was with Alex in fundamentals when I was struggling with the push jerk movement because I have a tendency to get stuck in my head. I just couldn’t mentally get the step-wise flow of each aspect of the movement from start to finish and fluidly translate physically. We actually had to drop the concept and move on the first time/session we went over it. Then when it came down to testing out of fundamentals, I somehow got out of my head and just completed the movement without much overanalyizing. (Looking back, my issue was mastering the dip-drive aspect.) When I accomplished the lift without much back and forth regarding the technical – Alex’s face was priceless and that moment made me giggle at myself for making it so complicated in my head and then I just suddenly had it. I know, as does Alex as my one-on-one coach, that I can very much get in my own way.        

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Cumming Strength and Fitness?  

Don’t be/try not to be intimidated and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are not alone. Scale until appropriate to go Rx! (The first couple weeks, I would sometimes forget about scaling and end up in my head about the WOD ahead of time until the coach helped me with the best scaled approach for that day/reminded me of scaling.) Be teachable. We are ALL learning and growing no matter the length of time dedicated to CrossFit. You have a beautiful and incredible support system surrounding you in both the coaches and fellow classmates – use that support system at all times. Never hesitate to lean on those around you, ask questions if you find yourself uncertain, and trust in the process and programming. 

Something we might not know about you is?

I have a twin brother who is 7 minutes older. (Him being 7 minutes older is a special story all its own!) And yes, there’s certainly a unique twin bond.

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