- SCHEDULE CHANGES: Active Recovery is CANCELLED today.
October Athlete of the Month: Kayleigh Rose
By Chris Fox
This month’s spotlight is on one of our ladies who’s lately been quietly turning into a TFBA*. Kayleigh has been with us for a few years now, but the coaches all agree that she’s recently shifted her performance into another gear. She trains consistently before the dawn during the school year and later in the day when school is out, so many of you have surely noticed her and understand the reasons she’s on the blog today.
Fox: Hey Kayleigh, thanks for sitting down to chat, and congrats on being chosen as our next AOTM! Tell me about how and when you started CrossFit.
Kayleigh: Thanks! It’s an honor to be included with all of the previous names on this list! Former co-worker and SBK member Matt Edwards first told me about CrossFit. He knew I was looking for more athletic opportunities—we used to kick a soccer ball around Prospect Park—and he mentioned it. He didn’t really tell me what it was, he just said that I should go and that I would like it. So, I did! I signed up for Foundations in July 2012 and never really looked back.
Fox: Over three years now and you’re still making progress! What were you doing fitness-wise before joining SBK?
Kayleigh: I’d always gone to the gym but I was still following the same routine my field hockey coach had us doing when I was in college. I guess to go back further, I played field hockey at Ithaca College where I got my degree in Math Education. I did Karate in high school and was a second-degree black belt. Since moving to Brooklyn, I’ve done my fair share of laps around the Prospect Park loop. So I was active but sort of bored. Luckily my college coach had us squat and bench press so I’d lifted for a while, but I’d go to the gym and do the same weights for the same reps week in and out.
Fox: That’s great that you had learned to lift in college. I remember you having a pretty solid base with lifting when you first started. What is it about CrossFit that has you still here 3+ years later making gains?
Kayleigh: I really liked that I could push myself as easy or as hard as I wanted, and realized that a lot of the responsibility was on me to push hard. Based on what I’d heard about CrossFit, I didn’t expect such a focus on precision and the amount of detail involved in moving well. You made a comment that a lot of teachers like to come because we get to give up control and just follow directions. I think it’s more that we recognize and appreciate the teaching techniques used: skilled differentiation in scaling options, laying out clear expectations—including timing, and even the QOD to engage everyone.
The community support is obviously a huge factor both in the emotional and physical senses. I mean, you can’t really lift heavy without proper spotters and every class here has that when you need it. I could tell right away that there was support for both men and women to be strong and badass, so I guess the TFBAs keep me motivated and feeling empowered. Also, as a 15-year pescetarian, I appreciated knowing that you used to be a vegetarian, and that Coach Whitney is one. It made me feel comfortable with not being an uber paleo woman here. I used to be sort of a junk food vegetarian, now I eat much better. Also, I love the dogs of CFSBK.
Fox: Well you’ve turned into quite the TFBA yourself! What do you do when you’re not picking up heavy things and putting them down?
Kayleigh: I’m a math and computer science teacher at Sunset Park High School and taught in Canarsie before that. I love teaching math and trying to make it less intimidating. It’s a subject that teens seem to either love or hate. I try to make it more accessible to all, and maybe even enjoyable. I realized that I’ve adapted a quote that I use in my math classroom into my CrossFit experience: “Respect the struggle.” Everything is a process and it is important to respect the hard work and the mistakes you learn from along the way.
I actually taught my students to properly squat recently and have used the concept of linear progression (LP) to help teach about graphs. My other hobbies are really math and education related—I am the definition of a Mathlete. I am part of Math For America, which provides professional development, and have travelled to Utah with one of their programs. I read lots of stuff for work in addition to my “junk food” novels, and I certainly enjoy a teacher’s “book club” every now and then. And of course, watching the New York Giants.
Fox: I love that you taught your students to squat and that you used an LP to help them learn about graphs. Ithaca and the Giants? Are you a NY girl?
Kayleigh: Sure am! I was born in Hyde Park and grew up in Pearl River. I moved to Crown Heights right after college and have been there since. My parents and one brother are still in Pearl River and I also have one brother in Boston.
One of my favorite CrossFit memories actually involves my parents. My mom was nervous about me once I started lifting heavy weights here. They both came to Iron Maidens and realized how great this place and the people involved in it are and they’re now very supportive. There’s a great video that I believe David took from the event where you can see my parent’s faces as I complete a lift. I’ll never forget that look.
Fox: That’s such a great story. Speaking of lifting heavy weight, you recently set a new deadlift PR. Care to share your goals and goats in the gym?
Kayleigh: Yep! I recently deadlifted 330 for a new PR (BAM!) so I obviously love to deadlift. I’m all lower body. Since learning how to do them properly I really love cleans, they’re so dynamic. My goats are upper body movements, particularly gymnastics ones, but they’re getting better. My pull-ups, toes-to-bar, and inversions are moving in the right direction through consistent practice and I’ve also finally gotten double-unders.
Fox: Great stuff, Kayleigh! Last stock question: What should we look for in a future AOTM?
Kayleigh: Most of the same things that everyone says, really. Being encouraging of others is important. Someone who takes pride in their performance but stays humble, who appreciates their success but then looks forward to the next objective.
*Total Fucking Badass, of course
Want to Win Awesome Prizes? Keep Up the Fundraising for Fight Gone Bad! (T-4 Days)
Thanks to our new Events Coordinator Danae M., we’ve lined up a ton of amazing prizes for our Fight Gone Bad fundraisers and competitors:
- The Brooklyn Community Foundation is giving us 8 tickets for the Brooklyn Get Down party (learn more here!). The ticket is a $35 value because it includes entrance and 2 free drinks. Since the Get Down is a costume party, we’ll give 6 of these tickets to the team that wins best costume!
- Reebok is sending us a ton of swag to give out to winners in any category and they’re offering one spirit award that includes a trophy from Reebok and $250 outfitting in Crossfit Reebok Gear. This prize will go to highest fundraiser!
- There are 6 $50 gift certificates from Lululemon that will go out to top competitors and fundraisers.
We also have lots of good stuff from CrossFit gear companies and neighborhood sponsors:
Danae can be reached at Events [at] CrossFitSouthBrooklyn.com, if you’d like to sponsor an event or have an idea for an event at the gym.
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