Get To Know Kelly French

If you aren’t familiar with the term B.A.M.F. look it up and you may find Kelly’s photo.  Read on to get to know one cool, strong, kind, and overall awesome chick!  Ladies and Gentlemen…. Kelly French!

What do you do for a living?

I work at Legend Technical Services, Inc.  in St. Paul, MN as a Senior Chemist and a Department Manager of the inorganic and Medical Device departments 20 years strong.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of the gym?

WOW! This is a loaded question, I enjoy so many things. I love to trail run, go windsurfing across the Mississippi to Wisconsin, Garden and landscaping, Shooting Hoops, Swimming, Longboarding and sitting in front of a fire with friends enjoying a glass of wine and telling stories.

What made you decide to try Progression?

A friend of mine wanted to try CrossFit to see what all the fuss was about and to understand it. I told him I would do it with him, so he went to all the CrossFit boxes in Rochester to choose the one he felt was the best fit and Progression chosen hands down.  So, the first day I went, it was my new drug of choice, I drank the Kool-Aid and I haven’t stopped yet!

How long have you been at Progression Fitness?

I have been at CFP for almost a year and a half.

What was your experience with fitness like prior to Progression?

Fitness before CFP was running, some Insanity workouts biking, master’s swimming.  Basically, I was doing most of my exercising alone except for running at work with co-workers or my daughter.  I have always been a busy body since I was a kid participating in about every sport you can think of, softball, basketball, cross country, swimming and track & field.  I love being active and competing.

What was your biggest fear when you started?

My biggest fear was lifting weights over the shoulder with the barbell, especially overhead squats and snatches. I am loose jointed and my shoulders can and dislocate easily.  Coach Rob knows this and since my double dislocation during a WOD over a year ago and Coach Rob putting them back in, my shoulders have not dislocated since.  I know the reason is due to the great coaching and strength building they have been making me do.  The result is miraculous! The CrossFit lingo also took a while to understand (thank you patient coaching staff) I thought I would never get it!

Favorite cheat meal?

My favorite cheat meal would be homemade Lasagna or Specialty Mac-N-Cheese.

What goal(s) are you currently chasing?

I have several goals which include joining the 200lb deadlift club (short term), Bar muscle up (long term).  I would love to be able to perform a squat Snatch that looks good technically and compete in one of the Olympic lifting events (beginners) at CFP that Nic runs, maybe this January? Nutrition goals also play a big role in life, such as adding lean muscle mass and getting the proper nutrients, counting and understanding Macros is a goal I need to work on as well.

What’s the hardest part about your fitness journey at the moment?

The hardest thing right now for me is that at 55 my hands hurt with arthritis at times making lifting heavier weights harder and painful, however, everything I do at CFP also helps in the fighting the aging process.  Working out of town is also a challenge and prevents me from going to other types of workouts such as OLY lifting.  There are never enough hours in the day!

What’s one thing your fellow CFP’ers would be surprised to learn about you?

 This is a trick question, most people who know me know that I love to try new things and I love adventure and challenges, I don’t know what would surprise anyone except maybe to know that I like to knit, draw, cook and that I like writing poetry or that when I went to St Pius X catholic school I got the school record in the girls shot putt in 6th grade and still have it today. The track and field coach asked me to do it because no one else would, so of course I did. Go Figure!

What’s your favorite piece of advice you’ve received from a Coach or member at Progression?

Don’t over think it, technique before speed and weights.  There are no mountains too high to climb, just start climbing!  Set goals!

How has your outlook on health/fitness changed since starting at Progression?

Today my emphasis is on building lean muscle mass, getting stronger, working toward my goals, eating healthy, embracing the positive environment at CFP and being supportive to my friends. My outlook before Progression was how many miles was I running a week, my weight, I ate good but my awareness was different and most friends my age are not very active, hence I did a lot by myself.  Today I have so many wonderful friends at CFP. We are always doing activities outside and inside the club.   Everyone is so supportive and passionate.  Life is good, I am blessed! My Life is surrounded by beautiful people all reaching for the sky and living life every minute of every day, that’s what Progression Fitness offers me today. Priceless!

What has been your fondest memory during your time at Progression?

Friday Night Lights!  It was my first CrossFit team competition experience and it was with the greatest teammates ever! We got so CRAZY!  FNL is where the “CLOSER’S”, Rob Murry’s 7:30pm Late Night group was born, unforgettable!  Another great moment was at Festivus last April when Wendy (aka JR) displayed his phenomenal burpee talents with two finger burpee jump ups pointing to the sky.  We all were in tears afterwards.

Why do you think you’ve stuck with Progression Fitness?

I have yet in 55 years ever experienced an athletic environment or setting as wonderful as Progression Fitness.  Josh, Jen and all the wonderful coaching staff are so committed, involved, and are always adding, growing and reinventing the program to include such diversity in the WODs, new programs and health & Nutrition.  The coaches always make you feel welcome, are professional, supportive and make the classes fun and keep us coming back.  Thank you, CFP!

What would be your one piece of advice for someone who’s just joining Progression Fitness?

Know that when you walk through the doors at Progression fitness that no one will judge you by your looks, age, size, color, race, hairstyle, clothes, or ability.  Just keep coming, workout, set goals, enjoy the community, participate in the Progression events and grow in the fullfillment of helping yourself become a better you, both mentally and physically.  Take risks go beyond your comfort zone and let your journey begin.