Athlete of the Month – January 2015

Run Jump Lift

Athlete of the Month – January 2015

kate and leo airplane ride

kate and leo faces

getting to know Kate Hewitt

you prefer to be called:  Kate

you spend most of your time:  running a school library, teaching 7th graders English, playing various train-related games with my two-year-old son Leo, valiantly attempting to get enough sleep, failing to do so, and drinking a lot of coffee and tea

favorite quote or words to live by:  I try to remember that gratitude creates abundance.  I also love the Jivamukti yoga chant lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu: may all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may my own thoughts, words, and actions contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom (although I feel slightly fraudulent chanting this since I’ve started eating meat again).  

athletic background:  I have played field hockey (badly), taught aerobics (semi-badly), taught Spinning (pretty well although my music selections were sometimes controversial), practiced and taught vinyasa yoga (I’m sure I learned way more from teaching than I taught my students), and run a few sprint triathlons (the training for which revealed a previously-unsuspected skill for and love of swimming).  

how long at RJL &  your first WOD: 2.5 years; the first WOD I logged was 5 Deadly Venoms on 7/13/12

what do you like most about RJL: RJL is the kind of place that changes lives.  It is not just a gym — it is a community of people who really care about each other, who push themselves and each other to be their best selves, and who respect the body, the mind, and their interconnection.  The coaching at RJL is top-notch and I am so grateful for RJL’s emphasis on scaling and safety.  The goal, as in yoga, is not to impress the other athletes or to compete with anyone other than yourself — the goal is to listen to your body, to learn how to make the right choices for yourself on any given day, and to work hard and get strong without getting injured in the process.  

what are your training goals:  Improving the landing of my squat clean so I can get my load up into 3 digits, no-band pull-ups, 20” box jumps, handstand pushups, toes-to-bar, descending from a rope climb with control and without destroying my hands, and getting my 10K row under 45 minutes.  Oh, and running faster.  An 8-minute mile seems quite far off but I’m sure I can get there someday if I actually put the time and training into it.

favorite & least favorite WODs: I love WODs like Fight Gone Bad and Lucky O that cycle through lots of different skills at low reps but I also love insane WODs like Karen and Machine that require me to dig deep — it gives me an immense feeling of accomplishment when I know I’ve really put in my best effort (and hopefully gotten a PR).  I am not super-fond of tabatas, but honestly, even when I whine a little about the WOD on the board when I come in, I am just grateful every time I get to listen to my body, listen to my coaches, work hard, and walk out sweatier and stronger than I was when I walked in.

recent or next adventure: Oh, goodness, every day of parenting a toddler is its own thrilling adventure.

what training were you doing before RJL:  My body was quite busy growing a wonderful little person.  The only training I was doing was in various childbirth, lactation, and cloth-diapering methods :)  

Paleo or not so much: After trying out what felt like every possible iteration of vegetarian/Paleo/primal, I now eat everything, but I try to eat with awareness and intention. My goal is to treat my body with the respect it deserves and to nourish myself with food that keeps me healthy and strong and that gives me energy — however, as my aforementioned caffeine addiction proves, this is more aspirational than lived at the moment.  Thanks to Kara, I do eat much less sugar and gluten than I used to, and I (attempt to) indulge only when it’s really worth it.

Something you’ve heard or seen while at RJL that you never will or want to forget:  It’s such a privilege to cheer people on as they push themselves past the limits of what they thought they were capable of.  Every time I go to RJL I am inspired by the athletes I get to work out with and I’m left asking myself what preconceived notions I hold about my own abilities that could be circumscribing my possible experiences — not only at the gym, but in all areas of my life.  As Malcolm has wisely advised me many times (most recently when I was bemoaning the fact that “I can’t” do a 20” box jump):  “Do not say ‘I can’t.’”

What are some special memories or achievements since joining the team @ RJL:  I learned that I love to row and have been so excited to track my improvement over time with the rowing WODs.  Logging my workouts and tracking my progress has made every workout feel like an achievement because I am always able to see how much I have grown and changed.   

What impact has Run Jump Lift had on your life outside of the gym:  I am more confident and empowered and less stressed.  When you’ve begun your day with 100 burpees, it just puts every other challenge you encounter into perspective.  

Tell us something many of us do NOT know about you:  I love to read — not surprising for a librarian/English teacher, but not something I often get to talk about with RJLers.  Since most of my limited reading time these days is taken up with children’s literature and since the librarian in me loves trying to match the right reader with the right book, please ask me for a recommendation the next time a kid in your life needs a good read!

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