With the Open beginning this week, I wanted to spotlight one of our members that has been training hard for the Games all year.  Tracy Kuipers is easily one of our most veteran members.  I’ve gotten to work with her regularly through our Olympic Weightlifting program, and it amazes me how far she’s come.  Not only is she a great athlete, but her knowledge of the lifts and of CrossFit as a whole is something I’m equally proud of.  I know when I have Tracy in a workout, it’s like having another coach in the room.  She’s constantly helping those around her get more comfortable with what we’re doing.  All of this along with her seemingly never-ending reserves of energy makes her a great asset to our gym.  Thanks TK for everything you do, excited to see what the next few months have in store for you! -Casey

How and when did you start doing CrossFit?

I started two and a half years ago.  I met Chris and Annie Mello through friends, and I knew them for a while before they talked me into coming in to try out their gym, CrossFit.

What is your favorite part about CrossFit?

The energy of this place and the people.  I pretty much just come to hang out and meet people, the workout is a bonus.  As far as actual working out, definitely power cleans, but really anything with the Olympic lifts.

What about your least favorite part?

Wallballs and Thrusters!  But seriously, I hate the negative perception that a lot of people have of CrossFit.  A few bad gyms out there give CrossFit a really bad name at times.

You’ve been training for the CF Games this year, how do you feel going into the first round of competition?

I feel stronger and much more prepared than last year.  I learned a ton last year competing in the Open, mostly about what I needed to get better at.  I’ve learned to manage my weaknesses.  I’m way more comfortable with heavy weights when I’m tired.  As much as I complained about all of the powerlifting we did, it made me so much better as a whole.  Everything else, even bodyweight stuff, got easier.  I’m much more confident because of it.

What goals do you have for this season?

To keep improving.  I know that I’m way better than I would’ve been had I not done the Open last year, which is why I feel everyone should try it.  Participating will also force you to meet people from other classes you wouldn’t otherwise meet.  You learn to push each other, it’s healthy competition.  We have a strong gym and I know that we’re capable of sending individuals and a competitive team to Regionals.  Along with that, I want to be consistent.  I know I’ll do well in heavy lifting, but I also want to consistently perform well in the bodyweight and skilled workouts.  I just want to be better than expected.