July Athlete of the Month: Samantha Kirby
Our Female Athlete of the Month is Samantha Kirby, aka Sam! Sam has a robust love for life and using her fitness outside the gym. She admits to not wanting to join a gym because she loved using her fitness out in the wild so much, plus it’s free. Sam is a regular at our 5am class. We love how she always brings a smile and a hearty greeting for her coaches. She’s a teacher so it’s important she gets her workout in early in the morning. And even though it’s summer now, she still shows up each day at 5am. She talks about her journey into BeachFit, transitioning to CrossFit, and the habit she’s built to make it to 5am every day. Sam gives some great advice for people looking to make fitness a priority so they can get the most out of life. Make sure you read this one all the way to the end. Thanks for sharing Sam!
What does Sam Kirby do when she isn’t at the gym?
When I’m not at the gym, I like being by the pool, going to the beach, and exploring new places and restaurants with friends. I’m very social, so I like spending a lot of my time around other people even if it just means hanging out with friends and making dinner at the house. I also love to cook (and eat) so I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. Since starting Crossfit, I’ve become really interested in nutrition, and I’m actually taking an online nutrition course to learn even more. I like to stay busy, always moving and growing!
Have you always been an athletic person?
To some extent, yes. I played field hockey growing up and through high school. When I went to college I enjoyed running a few times a week, and would occasionally go to the gym on campus and pretend like I knew what I was doing with the machines and equipment. Through college and after I graduated I tried getting into yoga and pilates but they were too slow and painful, so that felt more like torture than a workout. I tried workout classes with friends at their gym but nothing stuck because we would do the same thing every time and I got bored. I also tried the home video programs like T25 and P90X, but again they got monotonous. The only thing I really enjoyed was running. I was also super cheap and refused to pay for a gym membership. Whenever someone asked me to join a gym I would say “Nature is my gym! I’m not paying for anything!”
Can you talk about your journey into CrossFit? How did you start, what motivated you to come in?
It was a Facebook ad that got me in the door! I was tired of feeling frustrated and unhappy with my bandwagon-hopping fitness routine and wanted a change. I saw a Facebook ad for this 40-day challenge at CFPB. I didn’t know anyone there, I just decided to give it a try by myself. I met Andrew, who connected me with Coach Steve for my intro sessions, and after the first few BeachFit classes I was hooked. I was doing back-to-back BeachFit sessions for about 6 months until I finally got the courage to do the transition to the CrossFit side. Since then, I’ve been totally hooked to the 5am class and that fantastic group of humans. They’re such beasts! They’re my daily motivation to keep showing up and pushing myself.
What do you remember most about when you first started?
The thing that was apparent to me from the beginning and continues to keep me hooked is the community feeling. I remember feeling so good after workouts and how nice it was to be able to share that feeling with others.
You’re here super consistently. Is it always easy for you to come to the gym? What could you say to others who struggle getting motivated to workout?
Coming at 5am has just become a non-negotiable habit for me. I leave my phone in the bathroom overnight so I have to get up to turn the alarm off. Once I’m up, I don’t let myself go back to bed.
Before joining CFPB, in my bandwagon-hopping days, I would try and get up before work by myself and do some kind of workout, like T25, or an ab program I found on YouTube, or whatever I was trying to get into at the time. I really struggled with working out in the afternoons because I was just exhausted from work. Then I started BeachFit. At first I was going in the afternoons but it was so hot and I was tired all the time, so I started coming in the mornings and it totally changed my life! I went from feeling groggy and grouchy in the morning at work, to feeling energized and motivated to tackle the day. I work at an elementary school with children with Autism, so I have to have a lot of energy and patience. Once I got consistent with coming at 5am, my friends at work started asking what had gotten into me because I was so different. I was just so much happier about life! And since then, I’ve only missed a handful of 5am workouts. I look forward to it every morning. The people I workout with have truly become my family. I see them every morning, we go through some pretty painful moments together, and then we celebrate when it’s over! Or sometimes we just go next door and workout some more!!
As far as words of advice for someone else who is struggling with motivation, my suggestion would be finding something that you enjoy and making a habit of it. One quote that often pops up on social media pages is “You won’t always be motivated, so you must learn to be disciplined” and I think the way to be disciplined is to form a habit. If it is something you enjoy and makes you feel good, chances are it will stick!
What are your favorite types of workouts? Do you have a single favorite workout or favorite movement?
I have movements that I enjoy and movements that make me cringe when I read them on the board. I like barbell work, handstands, running and dubs. I strongly dislike sled drags and pushes and heavy carries. I really enjoy the quick sprint workouts with built-in rest in between rounds. I like that if I just finish the round as fast as possible, I earn more rest before the clock starts back up again!
Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?
“Progress not perfection” is my favorite motto to tell myself. CrossFit has taught me to view my life as more of a journey. I used to have the “on track” and “off track” mentality, like a light switch. I would workout and eat well and feel great, and then not workout for three days, eat like crap and feel guilty about it. Since starting CrossFit, my mentality has completely shifted. Now I enjoy the great workout days, embrace the days when I don’t eat well, and move on. I’ve stopped punishing myself for those “off track” days. I still struggle when I miss more than one day of workouts, but I’m so much more educated about health and nutrition now, so I do a better job of managing it when I get those feelings.
What do you love most about CrossFit Palm Beach?
EVERYTHING! But top of the list is probably the coaches. They set the vibe for the classes, for the community, and for the way the whole gym runs. The members follow their lead, cheering and encouraging fellow classmates and making the class the best hour of our day. The personalized, attentive, positive and uplifting mentality of our coaching staff amazes me constantly. I’m so proud to be part of such an incredible community of like-minded, self-motivated badasses!
Not many are more badass than you Sam, hence the A.O.M. honor. Thank you for being a part of our FIT family!
2019 07 16