Katie Kool-Wray – KW CrossFit Co-Owner
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
I grew up in Michigan where I was very active from a young age – playing basketball, softball and participating on the swim team. I loved being part of a team and competing and went on to become a 4-year letter winner in swimming in both high school and college and was an Honorable Mention All-American in the mile swim my junior year of college.
After college, I was done with swimming. I just couldn’t look at the bottom of the pool any more. However, working out had been part of my life for so long that I needed to find a new passion and outlet. I quickly gravitated to running – which I did for many, many years. I loved the middle-distance running, completing countless half marathons and 10K races, and one marathon – where I actually qualified for the Boston Marathon.
Unfortunately, I liked running more than it liked me, and my body started to break down about 5 years ago. It was about this time that a dear friend who lived in South Bend, Indiana introduced my husband, Frank, and me to CrossFit. She would send us workouts or direct us to various CrossFit sites for the WOD’s. For about 2 years, I completed the workouts on my own at my ”globo” gym. I loved the variety and the fact that I was making myself stronger versus breaking myself down. However, I found that because I was picking my own WOD’s and working out on my own that I gravitated to the movements that I was comfortable with and good at – not the ones that I needed to work on.
And then my world of fitness changed. Frank decided to join a CrossFit gym and after listening to him talk about the workouts and all of the people there, I finally “broke down” and joined too. This has been one of the best decisions that I’ve in a long time! Not only have I become stronger and more fit than I’ve ever been in my life, but I’ve also become so much more educated about taking care of myself holistically.
Three months after joining the box we did our first “Whole 30” challenge, and perhaps for the first time, I began to develop a healthy relationship with and understanding of food. I have continued to read and learn and am passing this knowledge along to my children so that they can make good food choices to last a lifetime!
Less than 6 months after joining the box, Frank convinced me to get my Level 1 certification. I was very intimidated by this, but was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had and by how much I learned. I was hooked!
The icing on top of all of this has been the incredible community of CrossFit. I have met and become friends with some truly amazing people. I am humbled to be part of a community who cheers just as hard, if not harder, for the person who finishes last as the person who finished first.
I’ve seen CrossFit change people’s lives. I’ve seen the confidence and empowerment that people get from accomplishing things like a “real” burpee, a pull-up without bands, or a box jump translate into confidence in all aspects of their life. It is so motivating for me to know that we are bringing this potentially life-changing experience to even more people!