Who’s Who…Katie Nichols

On Friday during Low Intensity, I had the class attempt some max box jumps out on the “grass”.  All of a sudden I hear a happy scream so ran out to see what the commotion was all about and see Katie Nichols standing on top of the 20″ box.  This was the first time she had ever jumped on the bigger box.   Since it wasn’t documented, we made her do it again to get a video…and then again to get a picture…and then again to get a better picture…and then again to get a picture from a different angle.  No big deal…just hitting her PR  five times in one session! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t help but think about her the rest of the day and how excited I was for her.  We all know that box jumps are a huge mental challenge (as well as physical) and she deserved every bit of attention she got and celebratory screams she let out.  Then I got to thinking about what a huge change Katie has made and knew that everyone else should know her story.  She’s always smiling and cracking jokes but at the same time she takes her training seriously and knows that the effort put in will pay off.  Here’s a bit more about Katie Nichols.

 

When did you start at NorCal and how did you hear of us?

I started a year ago in August. I had had two babies in two years and had gained a lot of weight. I had a three year old and a one year old and NO time for myself. I was ready to focus some energy on me and make my health a priority. I told my sister I was going back to In Motion, for the millionth time, and she suggested “CrossFit”. I had no idea what it was and stopped by one day on a whim to check it out. Natalie called me and was super encouraging about starting up. On Ramp started in like three days and she signed me up.

 

What has been your biggest accomplishment IN the gym?

Surviving On Ramp as a sleep deprived, out of shape 30-something year old mom! And winning (ok…tying) the Paleo Challenge.

How has your effort in the gym most benefitted you in real life?

Eating Paleo has shown me how good I can feel with proper nutrition. I knew nothing about Paleo until I googled it about a second before I started On Ramp. I never thought I’d stick to it this long. I’m far from perfect with my Paleo eating, but I’m so much healthier than I was. The other benefit is I am confident in my strength and fitness level. I’ve learned a “goal weight” is less important than my overall health and have a different appreciation for what my body CAN do. My confidence has soared in the last year as I am able to reach new goals at the gym.

 

What is something about you that most of us at the gym may not know?

I can hang multiple spoons from my face. Nose, chin, cheeks. My max is six. I know. Impressive.

If you could take all the coaches at the gym through a workout of your choice what would it be and why?

Bar hopping, liquor drinking, dancing, then closing down the bars. I bet I’d be the last man standing for that workout. Except maybe Jaime.

Explain your first impression of the gym when you started and how that has changed throughout your journey here this far.

I thought you were all crazy meat heads carrying huge weights over your heads and I wouldn’t really fit in. I was so wrong. This group has become a close knit, fun loving group of friends. Being last in many a workout, I’ve learned how much love and encouragement can build someone up. I love it when new On Rampers come to class and I can be that person to them. I’ve learned that slow progress is OK because I continue to improve myself with each workout.

 

What would you tell people that are considering starting at NorCal that for whatever reason are hesitant?

I tell them if I can do it, anyone can. I’ve worked through lots of modifications to be able to do the basics and I never felt dumb or inadequate while working towards my goal. I always talk about the “community” at NorCal and the amazing trainers we have. It never gets boring and we always have FUN. Except when we do burpees.

 

Anything else you’d like to share?

NorCal has been a blessing. In so many ways. I plan to continue there for a long time.



Written by Jenny

Jenny LaBaw has been an athlete her entire life. As a 3-sport collegiate athlete, she competed in soccer, indoor and outdoor track and field. Post college she found her need for competition fulfilled through endurance running races anywhere from 5K’s to marathons. Her competitive drive led her to CrossFit in 2010 where she started training to compete at the elite level. In 2011, her first year competing in CrossFit, Jenny placed 2nd at the Northern California Regionals earning herself a spot to The 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games where she gained the title as the 6th Fittest Woman on Earth. In 2012 she improved her regional standings, taking 1st in Northern California and once again a spot to The Reebok CrossFit Games. Injury took her out of the 2013 season, but is working hard at returning to the Reebok CrossFit Games in 2014. Although, she enjoys competing, Jenny's true love is being outdoors mountain biking, hiking, waterskiing, snow skiing, camping and more with her boyfriend, Marcus and two yellow labs, Ziggy and Pogo. With her love for sport and exercise, Jenny chose a career as a personal trainer so she could share her passion of health and fitness with others. Attending Cornell College, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in Fitness and Wellness. Prior to Norcal, she has trained in gyms, private training studios, and coached soccer. Her 10+ years of coaching experience has allowed her to work directly with a wide variety of people from children trying to discover their coordination to adults wanting to shed a few pounds to professional athletes looking to be the best in the world. No matter what walk of life you are coming to her from, her mission is to make you realize your potential and help get you there. She will prove to you that you can be stronger, more fit, and healthier than you think you can be. With her inspiration, motivation and dedication, she will challenge your body, encourage your mind, and help you to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Jenny will help you be your best!

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7 Comments

  1. Great job, Katie! I love it when we end up at the gym together, you always make me laugh. And I know that you secretly love burpees, but don’t worry I won’t tell anyone.

  2. Excellent! Love Katie and her enthusiasm!!!

  3. Now you should be able to jump over me….

  4. Shawn G

    Katie, You are awesome! I think Jaime and I will take you up on that “trainer workout” some day….Jaime and I will not remember any of it, but you can tell us what we did the next day. :-) Keep doing what you are doing, we love having you at the gym….oh and my wife likes beating you at that iPhone scrabble game. :-)

  5. Congrats Katie! You are so fun to workout with. Love your spirit!

  6. Katie, I am so proud of you!!! I am honored to be your friend and gym mate :) You are super woman!!!!!!

  7. Jo Ann B.

    It’s always fun working out with Katie! Congrats on the box jump:)

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