Kat O’Sullivan: Every Body is Beautiful

What do I enjoy the most about Albany CrossFit.  Do I enjoy the community and support the most? Or do I enjoy the knowledgeable and gifted coaching staff the most?

I couldn’t decide so I looked up the definition of "enjoy."  What I found was “to take delight or pleasure in” and also “possess and benefit from”.  This did not help me at all…so I have two answers.

I ‘take delight and pleasure in’ the community and the non-stop positive vibe.  There is not one day I can think of that I have walked into Albany CrossFit and left feeling negative or down.  I have definitely entered feeling that way, but always left on the flip side. 

The constant hello’s and what’s up automatically make you smile.  The immediate cheering of each other on and friendly competition during the WOD is addictive.  I can’t think of a better hour of the day. Then I think of "possess and benefit from”.  This immediately reminds me of the coaching staff. 

I feel honored to be coached by the staff we have at Albany CrossFit.  I enjoy Murph yelling in a strict encouraging tone ‘Get to the bar Kat!’  I enjoy James’ more calm approach as he walks towards the members and gives them simple, yet extremely important cues.  I enjoy Jay popping in during the WOD and pushing me, literally, to the floor, to do pushups.  I enjoy the push, mental, physical, emotional push.  I need the push.  We all need the push.

The push, that’s what keeps me coming back.  I need someone to push me and help me to be better.  I am a competitive person.  I need someone coaching me and pushing me past my mental and physical limits.  I want to be better, faster, and stronger…but I KNOW I need help and guidance in doing so. 

The other athletes keep me coming back.  Because without them; I don’t have a support system or team I thrive with.  The coaches keep me coming back; because without them I don’t have guidance and safety I feel I need to be better.

I have a constant mental battle with my image and weight.  I have for been this way for years.  As I struggle through this mind and emotion game, CrossFit has helped me realize the beauty in many of our female athletes.  I’m sure ‘Sue’ wants a smaller ass. I want her ass!  I’m sure ‘Jane’ can’t stand her stomach. I think she is lean and gorgeous!  CrossFit has helped me to begin to accept the body I have and teach me ways to make it stronger. 

It’s all a mental game!   Personally I have seen the biggest improvements in my strength.  When I first joined Albany CrossFit I used the bar for every workout.  Bumpers were not even in my sight.  I joined and thought I will use the bar for the rest of my CrossFit career and honestly, I was ok with that.  A few years later, I am now completing almost every workout RX. WHOOP WHOOP.  Strength. Realizing, the skinny leg, no upper body muscle distance runner from high school and college can actually be strong.  No more skinny legs! I have thighs. I have an ass. That’s fun! My shoulders are the topic of conversation every time I visit my family.  I enjoy that my sisters make fun of my large traps! I know how to lift weights in a safe functional way.  That’s amazing to me!

CrossFit has helped me in many of life’s obstacles.  I have used, and continue to use CrossFit as an outlet.  CrossFit has been an outlet for my anxiety and an outlet for my frustrations. 

Being a high school physical education teacher and coach I find myself needing something extra to push and challenge me in a physical and mental way.  Every day I am dealing with high school children.  Their issues and concerns, meetings, and cranky adults are my everyday norm.  Every day I am also laughing and enjoying my students as we participate in activities and games together. 

I love my students and I love my job.  It does take a toll on me though.  CrossFit helps to center myself.  It is the challenge I need to be ready for the next day!  I accept the challenge knowing I am a better teacher, coach, friend and wife when attending classes.  Albany CrossFit has helped me push through some of the hardest parts of life. 

The list of life’s tough times can go on and on.  We all have life obstacles to face, but it’s how we deal with them that sets us apart.  I attend class. I push myself.  I thrive on my fellow athletes and coaches support and energy. I use the positive energy and carry on.  I read the sign everyday ‘be better than yesterday.’

I think Murph's story is my favorite.  I remember the ‘old’ Murph.  The Murph that could not move. The Murph that always finished last.  The Murph that struggled with everything.  The Murph that fell off the pullup bar (video needs to be posted again PLEASE!) Murph always seemed to stay positive.  He set goals.  He finished the workouts.  He continues to push himself to be better.  Murph lives and breathes CrossFit.  His coaching is amazing.  I try to schedule as many WOD’s as possible in the week when I see Murph is coaching.  He knows what he is talking about, he is passionate, and he is one hell of a motivator. 

I appreciate him as a person, friend, and value him as a coach.  He is a fantastic face for Albany CrossFit and an amazing success story.