Member of the Month – Katelin Anderson

Congrats to our latest Member of the Month, Katelin!! She has been super consistent and is always getting after it and having some fun in class. Since joining Katelin has broken out of her previous fitness routine that was a cycle of starting and stopping and never seeing real results. She has been crushing it and has the results to show: down 10lbs, stronger than she has ever been, ran a full mile for the 1st time in 10 years, and positive shifts in her mood and attitude. Not too shabby for someone who didn’t think she would be able to do “The CrossFit”. Check out her story below and keep up the awesome work Katelin!!! Big shout out to Rattlesnake Market and Cafe for sponsoring our member of the month!

Tell us a little bit about yourself (background, work, fun, etc.)

I’m originally from Glasgow (Montana, not Scotland) and grew up playing almost every sport available in the community, from soccer to basketball to tackle football. From t-ball through youth baseball and high school softball, baseball/softball has always been my favorite sport, and I went on to play a few years of college ball. I moved to Missoula in 2015 to start graduate school, and I’m now a licensed mental health counselor for a school-based mental health program. I recently started playing softball again in a rec. league, and in my spare time, I’ve been enjoying going to the gym, cooking, reading, writing, exploring the outdoor scene with my wife and friends, and working on house/yard projects.

What were you doing for fitness before you joined?

I was somewhat inconsistently doing P90X workouts at home and/or walking/biking/hiking around town.

What was your biggest challenge prior to joining?

I really struggled to stay consistent with my fitness and nutrition habits. I’d get through a round of Whole30, get a couple months into a new routine, and then get bored with what I was doing, get busy with work, and call it quits until I’d hit the “Get it together or buy bigger pants” point. Then I’d start the cycle all over again. So, instead of making steady progress, I just circled back to my starting place over and over again.

I felt really out of sync with myself, or at least the version of myself that I wanted to be. I value health and wellness, as well as hard work, personal growth, and self-discipline, but I wasn’t choosing habits that were fully in line with those values. This was especially hard to look past, considering I spend most of my day helping people to consider the relationships between their values, goals, and behaviors/choices. Also, being an athlete has always been a big part of my identity, so not having anything I thought of as “athletic” to do left me missing even the 6:00 AM, middle-of-winter-pool-workout days of being a competitive athlete.

What changed after joining 5 Valleys?

I joined in February and have been going 4-5 times a week fairly consistently ever since. I’ve had a few periods of time where I’ve missed a week or so because I was sick or traveling and a few times where work got in the way of making it on all 5 of my usual days, but instead of letting a small setback derail me completely, I’m able to get right back into my routine. I’ve noticed positive shifts in my mood and attitude, and I’m feeling like my life has more of a balance to it. I’m also much more mindful of my food, sleep, and alcohol choices, because I don’t want those things to interfere with my ability to enjoy my time and make progress at the gym.

What specific results can you share (Improvements/accomplishments in the gym and life)?

When I started, I wasn’t looking to lose weight so much as I was hoping to change my body composition, but I’ve lost about 10 pounds since I started at the gym. My clothes are fitting differently all the time, and things that used to be more difficult to do just keep feeling easier and easier. I used to focus mainly on lifts and movements I enjoyed or felt confident doing and either skipped or wouldn’t push myself when it came to things that were uncomfortable, either mentally or physically. I “wasn’t a runner,” didn’t “do leg day,” and to be honest, was super intimidated by heavy barbell lifts. CrossFit has forced me to push myself to the limits of what I’m actually capable of, and because of that, I’ve run my first mile (without stopping to gasp for air) in at least 10 years, put more weight on a barbell that I ever imagined I could, am working toward doing full range of motion handstand push-ups, and have started to get the hang of pistol squats. I never would have tried any of these things if I’d stuck with my previous fitness “routine,” and there’s no way I would be making the progress I am now—physically or mentally.

What would you say to somebody on the fence about joining?

Before I joined the gym, I let myself think of CrossFit as something that was only for super-humans who eat nothing but precisely measured Paleo meals 365 days a year. Since joining, I’ve realized that letting myself think that “regular” people can’t do CrossFit was just a really convenient excuse for avoiding a challenge. I mean, how can you fault yourself for not being a super-human? Not challenging yourself to do something someone just like you can do, though—that’s a much tougher chat to have with yourself. But pushing through those fears and doubts and insecurities is empowering! Take the risk. Venture over to the other side of the fence.