April Athlete of the Month – Kiersten Colburn!

A picture of Kiersten.

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

I am not one to talk about myself a whole lot so here we go. In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground was where I spent most of my days … JUST KIDDING! I have lived in STL most of my life but Kansas is home! I have two fur children, Nitro, my cat, is 20 years old, YEP, 2-0 folks and Remington, my dog, is 10 years old. I am passionate about traveling and exploring new cultures. My family lives all over the world, we span from California to Saudi Arabia so family gatherings happen every 5-10 years.

2. What made you start CrossFit and what has kept you doing it? Has your motivation changed since you first started?

I originally tried CrossFit back in like 2010(ish) but working three jobs, I wasn’t able to dedicate the time. This girl needed her sleep! In January 2016 I did Couch to CrossFit and after that Kim told me I was skipping foundations and headed straight to classes (thank goodness for YouTube)! My motivation has definitely changed over the years and I think that is anyone’s mindset. It’s a fun and slightly scary process to adapt and learn as our bodies change.

3. What have you learned since joining the CrossFit St. Charles Family?

Oh my gosh! There has been so much knowledge gained and so much more to learn. It is so great watching anyone, myself included go from “there is no way I can do that” to “ummm WHAT just happened”. Plus the WODs that look easy or fairly decent … HA! I wouldn’t change it at all.

4. What’s your favorite CrossFit moment?

My favorite moments are watching other members do something they haven’t been able to do before or reach a goal they have been striving for! It is awesome to see their reactions and help celebrate those accomplishments.

5. What impact has CrossFit had on you outside of the gym?

To take on new experiences and push myself out of my comfort zone. It has been fun to see my mental growth in 3 years.

6. What’s your next CrossFit goal(s) and how close are you to reaching it?

I watched Kim’s video from the Open about writing down what we want to work on and then meet with her. The meeting hasn’t happened yet but stay tuned for some double-unders in my future and probably more Cirque du Soleil moves when I am hanging on the bar.

7. What’s something we might not know about you yet?

I have a random human party trick that can be entertaining to watch people attempt.

8. What advice might you give to someone who is considering joining CrossFit St. Charles or is new to the gym?

Get ready to have major positivity thrown into your life! If you are a newbie, we have all been there so don’t feel intimidated and have the mindset that it is you versus you in the WOD. Don’t get discouraged if your numbers/score are lower than others, everyone there will tell you good job and give you those little pushes where you tell yourself “I got this, I can do it”.

9. What’s the Kiersten motto?

Live Courageously.

10. Write us a WOD! What kinda movements do you love? What’s your favorite way to put in work?

YIKES! This is why I don’t program … It would have deadlifts and burpees in it. Those two movements are some of my favorites. My favorite way to put in work is to stay positive and avoid the I can’t mindset.

Last Lean Mean Military Green Athlete spotlight goes to……TWO ATHLETES Heather R. and Meghan H.

Last Lean Mean Military Green Athlete spotlight goes to……TWO ATHLETES Heather R. and Meghan H.

1. Heather Raines- I want to shout out Heather for being a bad ass in general. She crushed 19.5 and every single open workout she completed. She had a nasty sinus infection half way through the open but pushed through and even earned 1st place on 19.4 (while she was still very sick) hammering through those strict handstand push-ups like they were nothing. Heather is my inspiration. She is an incredibly hard-working and successful executive, mother and wife and she still finds the time to put in work at the gym and never makes excuses. Thanks for being on my team Heather!!!

2. Meghan Leigh Horstman.- I can’t say enough about this lady. First and foremost, she brought Dieter into our lives and that is the greatest gift of all. Second, yoga. Thank you for yoga. Third, she did awesome on 19.5 even with an upset Dieter trying to throw her off her game. She never stopped pushing herself and it was incredibly inspiring to watch. She’s also had some massive post-pregnancy PRs these last few weeks. Meghan is a dope ass friend and team member and I hope we are always and forever on the same open team.

19.5 Athlete Spotlight-Shelby R.

The #AggressivelyAverage Team’s athlete spotlight this week is Shelby R! While the rest of us are over here rubbing our calves from 19.5, I like to think Shelby is out somewhere lifting objects twice her body weight, basking in the glory of having just quietly dominated the entire CrossFit Open. This woman is a force to be reckoned with. Right before the very first workout, she told me she was going to podium as much as possible for her team, and then she went right ahead and did just that, placing almost every single week in the women’s RX division. Oh, and she hung out with Mat Fraser and Tia-Clair Toomey recently and we can all assume they wanted strategy tips from her. If you need us, Shelby, we’ll just be down here looking up at you on top of the podium, admiring your impressiveness! 💚

Open WOD 19.5 Athlete Spotlight-Anthony M.


This weeks Snatch Me If You Can Spotlight Athlete of the week is Anthony M.! Anthony is inspiring to us all. He always shows up with an awesome attitude and makes WODs look effortless. He is incredibly fun to watch and I personally, have become a believer of Juicy J PRs! So happy he was on the team!

19.5 Athlete Spotlight-Michelle W.

19.5 Team Racks and Sacks athlete spotlight goes to Michelle W.! This girl is a beast! She’s motivated and driven. Before Friday she had just gotten her first chest to bar pull up a month ago. She then dominated Friday and got 43! She made contact with that bar like a boss! Every. Single. Rep! It was awesome to watch! Way to crush that goal! #RacksandSacks #cfstc #goals

Open 19.4 Athlete Spotlight

The Team #AggressivelyAverage 19.4 athlete spotlight is the AMAZING Mary Nolan! I’m pretty sure Mary is superhuman. I know I speak for all of us when I say that Mary’s work ethic, calm fierceness and constant accomplishments are something everyone around her admires. She has been so fun to watch this Open, like that time she knocked out 50 handstand push-ups and reached the handstand walks in 19.3, or just this past week when she PR’d her chest to bar pull-ups in 19.4. We are SO lucky she is part of the Aggressively Average team and CFSTC family! 💚

Open 19.4 Athlete Spotlight

Snatch Me If You Can Spotlight Athlete of the week is Brandie C!! Brandie made such an impression on her peers that they reached out to me! Brandie got her very first pull up during 19.4! It was so easy she went on to do TWO!!! Congrats on the accomplishment Brandie! Keep kicking butt! Proud that you are on the team! Can’t wait to see what you do on 19.5!

Open 19.4 Athlete Spotlight

19.4 Racks and Sacks athlete spotlight goes to Jason K! Not only is he a super kind dude, he’s down right awesome! He came to do 19.4 saying he couldn’t do pull-ups and even thinking he wouldn’t even get that far. Boy was he wrong! Not only did he get through the first part, he got his first ever 2 pull-ups! 2!!!! 💪🏼 So exciting! Congratulations Jason!! #RacksandSacks #cfstc

Get Fit, For A Change…

If you have ever tried to start a new healthy habit or perhaps eliminate an old one you know difficult change can be.

Our bodies are adaptation machines however and will adapt to the stimulus they experience most frequently. One way to prime your body for change is to exercise. Exercise causes a whole host of changes in your physiology that can make learning a new habit or skill easier. It is also a great replacement for bad habits you are trying to eliminate. Whatever your goal may be fitness can play a huge role in your transformation. The most important part of change is starting, taking action towards your goal. Even if you slip and fall it is way better than never having tried at all.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly” -G.K. Chesterton

That’s why if you are interested in pursuing a new career, relationship, or habit you should make it a priority to dedicate time each week to rigorous physical exercise. Exercise has numerous physical benefits but it goes beyond that. The way you eat and the way you move your body has a direct impact on the way you think, your mood, and how you make decisions.

Improving cognitive function can give you the energy and mental stamina to make other great changes in your life. Numerous studies have shown significant brain benefits as a result of both cardiovascular and resistance training routines. Exercise has been proven to increase the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin and other neurohormones like the endorphin dopamine. These act on the opiate receptors in our brain to reduce pain and boost pleasure.

“Nothing will work unless you do.” -John Wooden

Exercise has also been shown to stimulate the growth of the hippocampus, synapses, and glial cells in your brain. The hippocampus is responsible for memory and individuals who exercise are able to better recall information.

Synapses are the junctions where our cells communicate with one another, sending signals throughout the body that guide our actions. Exercise stimulates the growth of synapses which helps reinforce learning. The stronger we develop neural pathways through our synapses the stronger we reinforce the pattern. If you are trying to learn a new routine or information exercise can help.

Glial cells provide support and protection for cells in the brain and central nervous system. Exercises stimulates the growth of these cells helping you literally build a bigger brain. It is believed that a bigger brain leads to enhanced cognitive function.

Exercise also increases blood flow, improves our hormonal balance, and aids digestion and insulin sensitivity. These are all tremendous factors in our ability to be alert and energetic. If you are looking for the attitude, attention, and focus to make positive changes in your life then exercise will help you.

If you don’t know where to begin when it comes to fitness or any other change you want to make in your life get in touch with a coach who can help you. A coach will help you evaluate your situation and come up with a plan that fits your needs and lifestyle. A community that is focused on fitness and self improvement will also help you stay dedicated to your goals.

Athlete Spotlight-Suzanne B.

19.3 Racks and Sacks athlete spotlight goes to Suzanne B. This girl is awesome! Hard working and determined! She walked in Friday morning having never tried strict handstand push-ups and couldn’t get one before the WOD then during got that adrenaline pumping and ended up with 13! 13!!! Beast mode!!