With my team at a COMPETITION.


Good. Holy. God.

I’ve been Crossfitting for an ENTIRE YEAR.

That’s INSANE!

What’s even more insane is this:

Elements Day 1
Elements Day 1

And this:

First WOD ever.
First WOD ever.

Holy Mother of the Bar, can you believe that that is/was me? I know that I can’t. Good. God.

When I stepped into Albany Crossfit a year ago, did I ever think I would still be doing it now? Probably not. I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to tell my story of how I got to Crossfit several times. You probably remember my Six-Month Crossfitaversary and my Sunday Chat:

but it really all did start with Jay and Caleb being annoying nice enough to invite me to a WOD. Little did I know, I’d gain an Albany family.

Back in January...a typical WOD weight.
Back in January...a typical WOD weight.

I’m not quite sure what can be said that I haven’t already gushed about. At the bottom of the post, you can find a table outlining very tangible fitness improvements. But the last year wasn’t really about going up in weights or getting faster at WODs. I would like to tell you that I’m the same person who entered the box last November, but that would probably be a lie. Or some people tell me that, at least.

My first time doing heavy deads.
My first time doing heavy deads, in February.

Yes, I can lift more. But…for the first time in my ENTIRE life, I have muscle definition in my arms. I’m showing off bruises (you should have seen the people at Wednesday’s WOD staring in shock and awe at a gnarly bruise I have on my shoulder from lifting 75# stones at Tuesday’s Strong(wo)man). I’m in far better moods regularly. I stopped taking crap from people. I walk with my head high. I think my ripped up hands are badass.

It’s been a truly crazy year.

I’ve moved from being the fat, weak, sad girl, to being one who’s strong, fit, and stoked. I’ve moved from being scared most of the time, to being scared and letting that fear drive me to do something with it—like compete. And then have a good enough attitude to win a Spirit of the Games trophy.

Oh yeah, and I started coming in for WODs that include burpees (gasp!).

Can you believe that this is me now?

Putting a 70# stone over a bar.
Putting a 70# stone over a bar.
Swinging some kettlebells.
Swinging some kettlebells.
PR'ing a 10RM back squat.
PR'ing a 10RM back squat.
With my team at a COMPETITION.
With my team at a COMPETITION.
Working on mobility with my girl Anne Marie.
Working on mobility with my girl Anne Marie.


My fitness goal for the year 2011 was to be able to do a band-assisted pull-up. A few weeks ago, I got the pull-up, and am working on some volume training, when I have time. I’m not at a point where I’m using bands for WODs, but it’s something I’m still working on.

In the next year of Crossfit, I have a few more fitness goals:

  • Move up from the 6″ baby box for box jumps
  • Move up from 35# kettlebell for American swings
  • Continue to PR Olympic lifts; get past 220# deadlift
  • Practice the overhead squat; stop falling over with 45#
  • Nail a double-under
  • Do WODs with a band-assisted pull-up
  • Make it a point to attend at least one WOD that includes running

Will you hold me accountable? I feel like this is the best way for me to stick to something. When I first began Crossfit, I had a hard time completing 10 sit-ups. Now, I’m regularly doing 100+. But I wouldn’t be there if someone hadn’t pushed me.

And, if you don’t mind, I’m curious to hear what YOU think my biggest change has been…

…in short, thank you all for being here for me on this incredible journey. I feel optimistic about the future, and I appreciate everything that everyone has done to support me. Thank you, from the bottom of my little Crossfitting heart.

Movement Baseline Present
General WOD Weight 25# bar 45–55#
Front Squat 75# (5RM, 01/24/11) 110# (5RM, 11/09/11)
Back Squat 1RM=90# 1RM=160#, 10RM=115#
Deadlift 1RM=195# (02/23/11) 1RM=210# (10/22/11)
Power Clean 45# (01/25/11) 2RM=90# (11/08/11)
2k Row DNF at 12:00 Sub-10:00
500m Row Sprint ~3:25 ~1:48
Crossfit Total Not performed 430 (10/22/11)
Grace 3:27 @ 45# (02/15/11) 3:10 @ 55# (10/15/11)
Diane 5:56 @ 85# (01/21/11) 3:39 @ 85# (11/07/11)
Pull-Ups Jumping Transitioning to black band
Kettlebell Weights 8kg, period 35# American Swing WOD weight, 45# Russian Swing
Competition Row for the Red Cross 5k Row (03/05/11) Fall Face-Off (10/29/11)
Attitude “You always have a crappy attitude.” —Dean “STOP SMILING!” —Kevin (11/09/11)
Weight Lost 69.8#

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Exuberant photographer, artist, writer, designer, wannabe chef, and Crossfitter.


  1. WOW you’re amazing. I wish we lived closer so I could join you next Spring after my 6 weeks post delivery are up and I’m “allowed” to work out aggressively again ;D I’m more than a little nervous about going by myself. I don’t know anyone in the area that does Crossfit. You’re my inspiration ❤

    1. Wait, are you planning to try Crossfit after you have your next bundle of joy?!! Just FYI, I go to 9 a.m. classes pretty much religiously during the week, and there are several STAHMs, and one who had a baby 8 months ago. So don’t be scared!

    1. I think rates depend on the box, and I’ve seen many that have plans that are for twice a week, but I don’t think I’ve seen any that do just once a week. I’m sure you can benefit, as long as it’s not your only source of exercise!

    2. Just saw this comment, and I wanted to extend an invitation for you to come in for a free trial session so you can have a better feel for what we do at CrossFit. It has been a privilege to work with Danielle (DK as we lovingly know her) and want nothing more than to be able to help you enjoy the same success within our community and fitness program. Please feel free to email us at anytime and we’ll do everything we can to help you

  2. We don’t know each other, but you may know my son, Brett, who coaches at Albany Crossfit, and my daughter-in-law, Miwa, who works out and competes there. I am also a Weight Watcher (lifetime) and wanted to give you a thumbs up for your hard work, positive attitude and weight loss. Way to go!

  3. DK, congrats on your accomplishments and thank you for being so candid! I wasn’t sure if I was cut out for Crossfit and still get annoyed over the lingering sense of intimidation I feel when I enter AFC to tackle a WOD. Thank you for making it so clear that YES, a regular ol’ gal can get stronger, fitter, and WOD with confidence right along with the seasoned bad asses! You rock

    1. Thanks for your words, Rian! I’m glad you’re doing Crossfit, and I hope that sensation of intimidation has dissipated—or at least lessened. Keep up the awesome work!

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