What was your first CrossFit workout like?  

My dear friend Jessica Neumann introduced me to Crossfit in May 2013.  Anytime a friend is visibly excited about something they’ve experienced, whether it is a book they’ve read, a place they’ve visited, or in this case, a gym they’ve joined, you can’t help but want to experience it, too.  There was little cajoling on Jess’ part, as I was bored and unmotivated at my current gym and anxious to try Crossfit.   Jess and I share a common bond through our photography, and I was excited to extend our friendship outside of that with her.  

The workout itself was incredibly difficult for me.  I believe it included 3 rounds of a 400m run, lots and lots of burpees (at the time, it felt like 1,000), and push-ups that I needed to scale.   


What do you remember from your first day?

I vividly remember Jessica and other gym members excitedly greeting me when I arrived.  It’s a moment that’s etched in my memory because it immediately made me feel welcome and a part of their community.   The hospitality I was offered that day is something I strive to extend to fellow athletes at Odin.  

After the workout (having finished dead last, absolutely exhausted, lying face down on the mat), I simultaneously realized I needed to change my health and Crossfit was going to help me achieve that.  I was helped up off the mat and encouraged to return.  I remember athletes asking what time I could do the workout the following day and assuring me that they’d be there, too.  And they were.       


What is your favorite workout/movement?

My favorite workouts are Annie (50-40-30-20-10 of double unders and ab mat sit-ups) and HAM Sandwich (50 wallballs 20/14, 25 deadlifts 245/165, 50 wallballs).

I absolutely love double unders, power cleans, deadlifts, and wall balls.  Any time they’re programmed in a WOD, I’m admittedly extra-excited for the day’s workout.  I enjoy rowing, too; my husband Ken rowed on Notre Dame’s crew team for four years and he’s helped me to stop hating the rower.  Unlike him, however, I’d much rather stay below the 2000m mark during rowing WODs.  

I have a love-hate relationship with pull-ups, mainly because they’re my “goat” movement and I struggled for so long to get my chin over that damn bar unassisted.  Eleven months and one day after I walked into a Crossfit, I finally succeeded.  Since that day, I’ve progressed to stringing kips together and strict pull-ups.  I have my sights on chest-to-bar pull-ups now, in addition to improving my pull-up form and max unbroken reps.  

How has CrossFit changed your life (in and out of the gym)?

The obvious, visible answers are my continued weight loss and muscle gains, though the most important changes have been how wonderful I feel and realizing what my body is capable of through persistence and perseverance.  At 37-years old, I’m performing movements that I’ve never been able to do, even as a devoted high school athlete (pull-ups, rope climbs, handstand push-ups!), and lifting weights I never imagined.  I believe I’m a better wife, mother, and friend because of my commitment to staying physically active.  I’m modeling a healthy lifestyle for my children and encouraging it through their participation in team sports and Odin’s Crossfit Kids program.  I want them to grow-up knowing that healthy choices will open doors; in school, athletics, and their relationships. 

 Crossfit has undeniably changed my attitude about fitness.  It encourages me to celebrate what my body can DO rather than what every inch of it looks like.  And that’s a message I want to share with my children, particularly my 8-year old daughter.   I want her to strive for a better 5K time rather than a number on a scale.  I want her to be more concerned with her softball teammates and their efforts rather than what size jeans she wears.  I want her and her brother to enjoy an active lifestyle and discover something they love just as much as I love working out at Odin.  

What does ODIN mean to you?

Odin is truly my extended family.  It’s a community filled with people who are actively trying to better their lives through fitness and friendships.  Odin athletes can count on members to support one another inside and outside the gym, too.  It’s a gym with an exceptionally-talented, encouraging coaching staff that reliably pushes me during workouts and celebrates my successes.   It’s a gym filled with athletes who inspire me, make me laugh, and encourage me to attend workouts regularly.  

Tell us more about you.  

I’m the proud mom of two ridiculously adorable kids, Ella and Cullen, and grateful to say I’m married to my best friend, Ken.  Our family also includes Andy, our 2-year old English Pointer rescue we adopted in March 2014.  I’m a former elementary school teacher, teaching 4th and 5th grades in D.C., the Delaware Shore, and Frederick County.  Shortly after Ella was born, I turned my pathological picture-taking hobby into a business (Crissie Traugott Photography), and I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to pursue something that I love.  Capturing memories for families, including many of those in our Odin family, is especially meaningful for me.  

I’m a Kansas City native and proudly cheer for the Royals and the Chiefs.  Witnessing the Royals win the World Series this year was a huge moment for me.  I have fond memories of going to Royals games with my family and vividly remember jumping on our family room sofa the last time they won the World Series (1985).  I was a first grader when that happened!   

I’m a road race enthusiast (I love running and watching them!), a coffee and chocolate addict, and a bit of a bookworm.  I love cooking, traveling, and being outdoors with my family.  And of course, I love working out and hanging out with my Odin family.