Meet an Athlete of Merit: Grace's Story

Grace Kohl 

Merit Member Since October, 2016

Grace is a 38 year old mother of three who was born in the Philippines. Grace lived in Dubai, UAE for part of her youth until her family later established themselves in Florida when she was in the eighth grade.

If Grace could only eat one food for the rest of her life it would be persimmons. If she could ditch one movement it would be running (so many of us CrossFitters can relate)!

Read on to see what else you might have in common with Grace!

Grace, her husband Ryan, and their three children.

Grace, her husband Ryan, and their three children.

How do you spend your time outside of Merit?

I'm a Bone Marrow Transplant nurse by trade who works the weekend night shift, but I recently took a sabbatical from nursing - I have three kids and three dogs that are a full time job in itself! I also volunteer as a dog walker at CAWL and recently started learning the ukulele.  I also like to sew and watch Korean drama. Occasionally you'll find me playing World of Warcraft.

Grace snatching during the Merit barbell lift off.

Grace snatching during the Merit barbell lift off.

What were your goals when you originally joined Merit?

I was looking for a way to improve my health and physical fitness.  After three pregnancies I was feeling tired too often and wanted to find more energy.

Have you accomplished any of those goals so far?

Yes, I certainly have more energy now and have changed my goals: improving my technique with my lifts.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?

If I can’t get a technique down, I practice the movement and work on the progressions to get myself closer and closer to the intended form.

Clean & Jerk. It always surprises me how heavy I can lift. I've already have set my goal of doing a C&J of 140lbs and a lifetime goal of possibly 200lbs

What is your least favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?

I would say running. I don't mind running on a treadmill because of that push or drive you feel from the belt, but when I run outside - I would get to a point and stop and ... yeesh - it's so hard to start running again just to make it to the entrance of the box. Running is something I need to work on for sure.

Putting in that work outside of the box!

Putting in that work outside of the box!

 

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment so far?

I attend Barbell Class on Sundays, and there was one Sunday that I came to class straight from a night shift. Despite a total lack of sleep, I PR'd at 100 lbs!

What/Who is your biggest motivator?

I would be lying if I didn't say food is one of my motivators. My relationship with food is a little different since I'm diabetic. I am supposed to count my carbohydrates intake blah blah blah, but seriously I want to enjoy and indulge in some food.

I motivate myself. If I can't get a technique down, I practice the movement and work on the progressions to get myself closer and closer to the intended form. With this mentality, it also creates an environment within my family that movement is a big part of our life. My kids for one are always ready to exercise. When I practice handstand pushups at home they are there next to me doing them too on their own little way. It's quite cute actually.

What would you like to say to people on the fence about trying CrossFit? 

Let me tell you a story - I tried Crossfit in Florida for the first time 8 weeks after I had my second baby. I was motivated -- I was breastfeeding, no sleep, but hell yeah if other people can do it why can't I?!  On my third day of working out I was flat on the floor and could not get up for the life of me. Obviously I was over-doing it, but I was surprised that the other people in my class were just ignoring me with sidelong glances.  It was uncomfortable, and I never went back.

Four years later I walked into Merit and found the community I had been looking for.  Everyone is not only motivated and awesome, but supportive, friendly, and just plain nice.  If you're on the fence, take the time to talk with some members, because community is a big part of the Crossfit experience.

Grace with fellow Merit members during a fun night out!

Grace with fellow Merit members during a fun night out!