Athlete of the MonthAugust

Kari Leonard

Career: Financial Analyst at Montana CSI

Years at FireTower Athletics: 2

I like how the scaling and the positive and accepting atmosphere allow everyone, regardless of ability, to be in a class together and all get a great workout. 

I’m originally from Minnesota but have lived in Montana over 25 years.  I’m married and have two daughters and a son, ages 26, 12 and 23.  I work as a financial analyst at the Montana CSI, which is not the cool CSI on TV, as my younger daughter was recently disappointed to realize, but the securities and insurance commission.  My favorite activities are listening to audio books, which I do constantly, and trying to learn Vietnamese, which is really, really hard but still fun.

After several years of trying to get my daughter interested in some kind of sport, all of which she hated, we had her try CrossFit kids.  She loved it, thankfully, but after a couple of months, she started asking me to do the adult class.  I told my husband there was no way I could do it, because the women there weren’t just doing pull-ups; they were doing pull-ups up to their waists (which I later learned was called a muscle-up.)  I was pretty sure I couldn’t even bend my elbows if I was hanging from a bar.  However, my daughter kept giving me the sad puppy eyes and saying how great it would be if we had a mother-daughter activity to do together, so I caved in and tried a class.  Two years later, we’re still having fun and encouraging each other on our progress.  I’m also happy to say that the upper back and neck pain that I had for ten years, after a car accident, is now gone.

I love CrossFit because it’s never boring, and I never feel like I have to force myself to go.  I like how the scaling and the positive and accepting atmosphere allow everyone, regardless of ability, to be in a class together and all get a great workout.  The very best thing is how my daughter now has all the amazingly strong ladies at CrossFit as her role models.  (Wonder Woman really is so much better than Barbie.)

Like most parents with kids still at home, all the hours in my day seem to be spoken for by my job, parenting, housework, etc.  I go to work early and usually eat breakfast and lunch at my desk.  Then after work, I do everything else that need to be done.  It took me about 20 years, but I finally learned that taking the time to cook and eat good quality food, to exercise, to get adequate sleep, and to relax (even if only for a few minutes), are super important for my well-being, so I work at fitting those things in every day.

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