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Athlete of the Month: Kimmi Denesha

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Our Female Athlete of the Month for November is Kimmi Denesha!  Kimmi has been at CFPB since she joined one of our 6-week challenges 3 years ago. In 600 workouts completed, she’s always arrived and left with a giant smile. She always brings a positive attitude in the gym and makes sure to lift others up too. On Sundays at 1015am, she teaches a 45-min yoga class free to our members.  She always helps our members’ minds and bodies heal and prepare for another week. If you haven’t taken a yoga class with Kimmi before, put it on your calendar for next Sunday. She talks below about how CrossFit has helped her with yoga and living an active outdoor lifestyle.  Thank you Kimmi for being a bright, shining light in our CFPB family!

Describe your work and family life for us? A brief background of where you’ve been and what in your journey of life has made you you?
I consider myself very lucky to have grown up in South Florida, near Ft. Lauderdale. My amazing parents encouraged me to dream big but have a game plan ready so when I decided to pursue a career in marine science, I was prepared to move for the right job. Luckily, a position with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) brought my niece and I to Martin county.  As much as I love to travel, our little town is exactly where I want to be.

What do you do for fun? Any hobbies?
Fun to me is always outside. Anything on or in the ocean; paddle boarding, free diving, fishing, surfing- thanks to Heather! Lost nature is my happiest place. CFPB is also on that list of things I do for fun. I’m smiling as I write this out since working out used to be such a chore and now it has become challenging to take a day off. Who am I?!

Were you athletic growing up? Did you play sports?
Growing up, I always enjoyed being outside but gravitated more towards independent activities; skateboarding, rollerblading, anything that didn’t require a great deal of hand-eye coordination. Eventually, I got into cheerleading which was the best introduction to how much fun competition can be.

What did you do for fitness before CrossFit? How did you find/start CrossFit? What was memorable about first starting?
I tried out a ton of different workouts and fitness classes before finding CrossFit. Thanks to Groupon, I signed up for random 5k’s, tried out boxing for a while, workout apps, P90x and eventually, I found yoga. I fell in love with practicing and went hard- a little too hard actually. It took tearing my hamstring during a heated class to recognize I lacked the muscle to support myself in some of the postures and was relying too heavily on my flexibility.

Following some recovery, I was ready to incorporate strength training into my routine. However, after spending a few months awkwardly wandering around Gold’s gym, I realized I was wasting my time. An advertisement for a 6-week New You challenge appeared on my Instagram feed and decided I’d try it. Walking into the main building for the first time is one of those moments I’ll never forget. The energy was overwhelming, it was loud, heavy barbells were being slammed on the ground, everyone appeared to be near death but oddly embracing and enjoying it. Somehow, I still managed to talk myself into signing up for the challenge- as long as I got to stay in the North building.

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Kim E. and I became close during the 6-week challenge and convinced each other to try CrossFit together.  Jenny and Melissa (now Coach Melissa) almost immediately befriended us and I’ve admired them from that very first day on. I even remember Coach Tony pushing me to go for the “big girl bar” after nearly a year.

Ultimately, CrossFit redefined my concept of Yoga. I went from practicing yoga 6 days a week at maximum effort to taking a few yoga classes per week where I enjoyed my time on my mat to settle, stretch and move to feel good.

What are your most memorable accomplishments in CrossFit?
My favorite moments as far as physical accomplishments in CrossFit, all center around the Open season. The workouts always seem to challenge those limits I set for myself; showing me that in a year I can go from not being able to lift a 35lb dumbbell (17.1) to finishing a workout that included getting that same weight over my head (18.1) and an unforgettable deadlift 20lbs over my original PR- mainly thanks to an incredible amount of encouragement.

Do you have a favorite workout or favorite movements you like seeing when the WOD is posted?
I live for handstands and jerks.

Do you have future goals in CF or fitness related?
Dubs may be the death of me… Aside from getting a few of those, my greatest focus now is on improving my endurance.

Can you talk about your nutrition? What has working with a coach been like and what improvements have you seen?
I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with different food plans and programs and thought I had it figured out. And then, Coach Danielle completely changed my life. Tracking macros has become significantly easier with practice and time. Danielle is essentially a nutrition therapist; she’s taught me so much and helped me shift into becoming a faster, stronger athlete.

Kimmi has lost 5% body fat and added a pound of muscle since dialing in her nutrition. 

Do you do anything for personal growth you’d like to share? Routines, habits, or mottos that help guide you each day?
The best habit I’ve created for myself is putting my phone in the bathroom at night to charge instead of next to my bed. Not only has this routine helped me sleep much better but when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is hug my sweet pup and take those first moments of the day to be thankful.

What do you enjoy most about CFPB?
Being part of such an amazing community. From each coach to every member, it’s a gift to be surrounded by the most supportive, caring, inspiring and uplifting people I’ve ever met. Happy to call CFPB my very sweaty second home.

 We are very happy to call you our Athlete of the Month for November Kimmi!