“Celebrate your small successes”

Today we celebrate the successes, both big and small, of Krissy O!  She has always been a consistent and solid athlete, but recently has made gains that most would dream of.  But as they say, with hard work and perseverance, dreams CAN come true.

The odds have been stacked against her since day one.  She was born with twisted femurs and had major surgery when she was 10 years old to correct the issues.  In a body cast for two months, she had to relearn movement and rebuild every bit of strength she lost.  Throughout her early years, swimming was the one thing her body tolerated. Having been told she may never walk, not only overcoming it, but also succeeding as a competitive athlete, was a tremendous win.  And while she relished in her victories, by 18 she was burned out.

She joined the YMCA after college and at age 25 was determined to run a half marathon.  Through consistency and focus, she ran and completed the Baltimore Half Marathon.  Then she dabbled with sprint triathlons and hit a few more half marathons after that.  She was proving everyone wrong and seeing successes she never thought she’d have.  But she still lacked the strength piece she knew she needed and landed herself in kettlebell classes and started from the ground up.  “I couldn’t even do a push up.  My trainer had to pull me up with bands.  I knew I was out of shape.  But knew I had to start somewhere. “  And she found success there too. “I remember my first strict chin up.  I was jumping around so happy when it happened.

Krissy doesn’t find success just because of her work ethic.  It’s because she sets CLEAR AND MEASUREABLE GOALS and holds herself accountable to them. “You HAVE to write them down.  I keep a notebook in my gym bag and write everything down.  Oh, and I’m a book nerd so my goal is read 12 books this year (I’m already on 11 and its only July).”

Two years ago she had a goal to start CrossFit and made it her birthday present to herself.  “I started at another area gym, but needed one with childcare and made her way to the Cove.  Mattie, Brent and I worked out together at our old gym.  We were supposed to be on the same team for the Open, but we all came her together.”  That made for an easier transition to a new box, but by no means did it make any of the hard work she put in ‘easy’.  “It takes me a long time to grasp concepts; or seemingly longer than the people I see around me.  So I know it will take a lot of effort and I have to be patient.”

She also makes the time.  Arguably no one is more time starved than she is.  She’s up at 4:30am and at work by 6.  She works full time, has three kids (who all play sports) and works out 4-5 times a week.  “I hear people at work talk about how out of shape they are (and we have free gyms!).  It drives me crazy.  People know that I’m a direct person so I tell them, ‘if I have time to work full time, meal prep, take my kids to sports, and workout – you can too”.

In the last few months she’s spent a lot of effort dialing in the nutrition piece of the puzzle.  “In January I did the Whole 30 Challenge set a goal to start macro counting for 45 days after that.  I started with Brittany (FLEX) in March.  I’ve dropped 16 lbs and I just feel so much better.  And with that comes confidence.  And I’m seeing the results not just on scale but with my workouts too.  I’m hitting goals more quickly.”  In the past she’d see incremental improvements over several months, and now it can be seen over several classes.  “And I’m now in the best shape I’ve been in years.  This summer was the first time I’ve worn a two-piece in 10 years. “

While she’ll admit macro counting was hard at first, she’s got it down now.  “At work there are so many temptations too.  Donuts, pizza, candy – are all easy to find.  And for birthdays my Chief brings in your favorite thing to eat as a treat.  Most people do cake or cookies, but this year she came in with veggies and a bowl of fruit for me. She said ‘normally people want cakes and sweets.  But today is about you, not us.”

So what’s on her goal list?  “My first workout was half Murph.  Well, a SUPER SCALED half Murph (laughing).  Push-ups on a high box and tons of bands. This year I want to do full Murph with my bodyweight.”  And she’s well on her way.  “Last summer I worked with Coach John and my goal was 1 kipping pull up.  Last week I did a workout and did 60.  I got time-capped on that workout, but I did all 60.  I don’t focus on the fact that I was time capped; rather the fact that I did 60 pull-ups was the victory.  I mean, holy crap!  I just did 60 pull-ups!  That’s the one thing I’ve learned to do — celebrate your small successes.   Now it’s about getting more proficient.”

And for this busy mom of three (whom are often in tow), this place is her sanity.  “I can reason with my kids now.  We tell them we do so much for them and now I need need to do something for me. This is my hour and I need it. I’m constantly telling people this is what energizes me and makes me whole again.  I’m incredibly introverted.  I spend my whole day, starting at 4:30a focused on other people and I spend most of the day talking.  I sit in an open environment, with a big group of people and we talk all day.  Meetings. Desk conversations.  I have zero personal space.  And absolutely no personal time.    The Cove is an investment in me.  People tell me they can’t believe I spend so much every month on fitness, but for me that’s a small price to pay for my sanity.”

There’s been a mental shift for Krissy too.  Being an introvert and not liking attention, “ I used to hate to come in last in any workout. Not that I’m embarrassed to come in last, but I’m embarrassed to be the center of attention and have people cheering for me.  So I used to scale my weight because I didn’t want to be that that last one standing.  But now I go with what I know I should do and know that I can pull the weight off.  I actually used this as a lesson to my kids recently.  Annie told me that she is last a lot in swimming I told her ‘I’m last all the time at the gym. All I care is that you push yourself to be your best and put your best foot forward’.


Once I heard her say to someone ‘I want to be strong like my mom’.  I always tell her ‘you can do whatever you want and break the glass ceiling if you put your mind to it’.”  And that’s what Krissy does every day when she steps in the Cove.  She puts forth her best every time and is doing things she never thought possible. Her coach’s see it.  Her fellow athletes see it.  And most importantly her family sees it.  Keep setting the goals Krissy.  And keep crushing them too!