Athletes of the Month: Nikki and Neil

Nikki: Hamilton, NJ/ Neil: Collingdale, PA (Delco)

Current Location: Conshohocken, PA moving to Manayunk, PA

Nikki: 29/ Neil: 30

Nikki: Foot and Ankle, Podiatry Resident Physician at Main Line Health/ Neil: Full- Time Law Student

Nikki: The College New Jersey/ Neil: United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland

How long have you been a CrossFitter?
Nikki: Since 2013/ Neil: Over 2 years

Did you ever play sports?
Nikki: College Soccer at The College of New Jersey/ Neil: I played football, basketball, baseball, and track growing up. I played football in high school and also in college. I was a linebacker and defensive end.

Got some cool (or uncool) hobbies you'd like to share?
Nikki: I'm pretty simple, good company and a nice sunny day makes me happy. I love traveling to the beach or to anywhere I can hang out in the sun. / Neil: I’ve been trying to work on my golf game recently. I really enjoy playing but for some reason I tend to spend more time in the woods and in the sand than on the actual green.

What has been your biggest achievement at CrossFit in general?
Nikki: Fran 3:30 awhile ago/ Neil: I would say my biggest improvement is being able to do more of the gymnastic movements. I got my first Bar-Muscle up about a year ago and it was a great feeling.

What skill had you been working on all during 2018, and did they become successes?
Nikki: I always wanted to be better at strict pull ups, it's seriously why I joined CF to be able to do pull ups. I hit 10 strict pull ups in a row one day at CFKOP (I haven't gotten to that since) but it was a good day/ Neil: Double unders for sure. I have made improvements but I still end up whipping myself in the arms more than stringing together sets.

Goals for the whole 2019 year?
Nikki: Butterfly pull ups/ Neil: Be more consistent and disciplined in my training. It may sound cliché but I feel like these two characteristics will help anybody accomplish any goal. I can honestly say every class, no matter how exhausting the WOD, I come out feeling accomplished. I have definitely been trying to improve my nutrition as well, but I really love a good Hoagie ever now and then.

What's your favorite WOD?
Nikki: I really enjoyed Barbara, Nancy, Fight Gone Bad and 19.5. Anything with lots of reps and that includes thrusters, wall balls, and a good squat clean I'm game for/ Neil: Cindy

How about your favorite food/snacks?
Nikki: I love anything with rice - It's weird, I know/ Neil: BBQ Ribs, Enlighten Ice Cream, and anything with Peanut Butter in it.

What is the craziest workout outside of CF you have ever done?
Nikki: College, we used to run 2 miles in under 12 minutes every year - it was more the anticipation because I could never sleep the night before. In high school we did a work out called 7 and everyone cried/ Neil: During my training in the Marine Corps, we had to complete an Obstacle Course and Endurance Course that was built throughout the woods of Quantico, VA. The length of the course was about six miles and we had to run it in full uniform with all our equipment.

What’s your least favorite WOD? Nikki: Max Snatch

Favorite lift/movement?
Nikki: Thruster and Wall Balls/ Neil: Snatches

What’s your least favorite lift/movement?
Nikki: Snatch, who does that/ Neil: Thrusters and Burpees

Whats your favorite piece of workout "gear"?
Nikki: I like lululemon anything. Mama always told me if you look good you play good. Might start following Aimee and wear earrings. / Neil: wrist straps

Who is your favorite coach? Nikki: You are all my favorite in different ways. I can love one more than the other because you all offer something different. When Aimee is coaching I am scared to death and bring my A game. When Tim Papas is coaching I know he's timing my runs. When Steph is coaching I know she's going to make me put more weight on the bar. Manisha isn't going to let me modify and she's going to push me to work on form. Jenna is going to believe in me and give me good tips. Rachel is going to need coffee before class and give cues that actually makes sense "heels on the ground, push through your heels" during heavy KBS just makes life easier because of her. Justin always makes me smile, he's positive and pushes me to challenge myself and work on injury prevention as well. Evie has great playlists and her warm ups are hard which I love. Keith has good pointers and always brings a fun sarcastic and playful atmosphere to class/ Neil: There’s no way I could pick out one coach as my favorite. Every one of them at KOP is truly phenomenal at coaching and motivating members. Each coach has a different style to their class that makes each class exciting and a different learning experience. I feel each coach has helped me improve in different ways. Since finishing playing football in college, I never really expected to have this level of coaching and drive to push myself, but since starting CF at KOP I have found a similar passion again. CFKOP has been a great place to meet friends, learn new skills, get more fit, be competitive and have fun all at the same time. I believe it is this level of commitment from the coaches, as well as the community, that truly separates this gym from all the rest. Every CF I belong to in the future will be fighting to live up to the standard that has been set by KOP. I just want to thank every coach for their hard work and commitment in helping me improve during 60 minutes a day.

PR's to mention? Goals Reached? Nutrition highlights? Nikki: I never thought I would lift "heavy" after I broke my wrist. I hit my PR since wrist break with a hang squat clean 150 and C&J at CFKOP - these coaches and community have provided such a positive atmosphere that I had the courage to test it out. I surprised myself at some of the open WODs too. Nutrition I haven't figured out yet, woof - It's definitely a work in progress. Overall, I really want to thank this community and coaches for everything. You guys give me an hour of happiness during my busy days and my non busy days, you bring me more joy than you know.

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