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January 2017 Athlete Of The Month- Katie Johnson

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Athlete of the Month, this is such an honor! As I think about writing my story I have to give credit where credit is due and that's to the team of coaches. Without their expertise, dedication and belief in me I might still be driving by the gym thinking it is too hard!

In 2010 I started using apps like Couch to 5k to learn how to run and ride a bike. I wasn't going to a gym, the weightlifting aspect was something I had no knowledge of or desire to learn. I liked to be outside pounding the pavement, it was a way to relieve stress from my job that turned into motivation to run / ride further than I did the year before. By the end of 2015 I had participated in many 5k's, 10k's, a half marathon and a handful of sprint triathlons. I wanted a bigger challenge in 2016 and preferably one that didn't involve running! I was determined to participate in Ride the Rocky's. A 6-day, 403-mile bike ride across 6 towns in Colorado climbing a total of 30,000 feet!

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This was a pretty extreme goal, it even scared me a bit and several others thought I wouldn't be able to do it. I had to find a cross-training program that would get me to the highest level of physical conditioning possible while pushing me outside of the comfort zone I preferred to stay in while exercising alone! I thought about Crossfit TNT, the place I was driving by twice a day thinking it was too hard since I couldn't handle an introductory class I tried in January 2014. I decided to give it another try and in January 2016 I went in for another introductory class.

Oscar was my coach and after the first class I left feeling encouraged, determined and, signed up for the rest of foundations! I met Rochelle during the next class and like Oscar, she also gave off such a welcoming vibe and genuine desire to help people. After starting regular classes I went through Oscar’s nutrition program and shared my goal of participating in Ride the Rocky's. He really helped me understand proper nutrition, supplements and meal planning.

I eventually decided to try the 5am class. Not because I was a morning person rather I had to find another time for Crossfit that didn't interfere with my family, career and the hundreds of miles I had to ride in training by end of May. What I didn't expect to find at 5am were the friendly athletes whose support and encouragement helped me grow. Knowing they were always there made getting out of bed at such an ungodly hour not seem sooo bad.

I had a rewarding journey during Ride the Rocky’s and I contribute that experience to Crossfit TNT. The intense physical conditioning and mental toughness I learned from completing the WODs was incredibly important during this ride. So many times my mind wanted to quit. During the first huge descent I freaked out and stood on the side of the mountain waiting for a sag that thankfully, never came. I thought about all the WODs I completed and how far I had come before seeing my friend Julie flying by on her bike. I knew I had to suck it up and get back on my bike. The most exhilarating moment was on day 3 riding from Aspen to Copper Mountain. That was the 85-mile day I was dreading because of the 20-mile ascent straight up Independence Pass, one of the highest paved roads in North America that peaks at an elevation of 12,100’. Because of all the oxygen sucking crossfit WODs leading up to that point....I was able to climb it without walking or catching a ride!! I cried as I arrived at the top and literally felt like I was “on top of the world”. I knew then that Crossfit TNT would stick with me for a long time.

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I have increased my visits to the gym because it is a habit now and not something I do in preparation for a bike ride. I will always be one of "those people" at 5am because I find it rewarding to accomplish something so challenging before my day really begins. It makes the rest of the day seem easy, no matter what happens! I truly enjoy the culture that exists at CrossFit TNT and all the athletes who have helped me grow this past year and still inspire me to be better than I was yesterday.

I'm looking forward to becoming more confident in my lifts and mastering a few other standards in 2017! My other goals are to complete the long course triathlon in New Town and I have my eye out for another bucket-list worthy bike ride!

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Crossfit-TNT

3683 New Town Blvd,

St. Charles, MO 63301

Phone. 636-724-6464

Email. Rochelle@crossfit-tnt.com

URL. http://www.crossfit-tnt.com