Athlete of the Month-Meet Stefanie Kaiser

Stefanie joined CrossFit on the Plains in August of 2013 but her CrossFit journey did not start here. Here is her story:

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Stefanie and Flex

As a college athlete, Stefanie heard about CrossFit through the rumor mill.

“I learned about the sport of CrossFit my Freshman year of college, but with my life fully consumed by basketball it wasn’t until the summer going into my Sophomore year of college where I was really able to  be involved with CrossFit. As soon as I was introduced to CrossFit I remember telling my parents that CrossFit would soon be very popular in our area and my hometown of Orange Beach, AL would find a way to open their first box. Fortunately, it did not take long and the first box, CrossFit 1834 opened in Orange Beach. I went home for the summer and that’s where my addiction to CrossFit began. Immediately after becoming involved in the sport, I introduced CrossFit to my coaches and teammates and we soon began incorporating CrossFit into our workouts. I found CrossFit on the Plains when I moved to Auburn in August 2013. I called around different CrossFit places in Auburn, visited a few boxes, and it did not take long to find the box that became my home.”

Growing up in and around sport her entire life, CrossFit seemed like the next logical step for her.

“I grew up involved in just about every sport that existed. However, my main focus until age 15 was gymnastics. I was a competitive gymnastics, was a state vault champion, and had the goal of becoming a collegiate gymnast. When I was 15 I sadly learned that my coach was diagnosed with cancer and finding a new gym and coach was going to require moving or driving over an hour to practice each day. When I realized that I was going to need to be homeschooled in order to finish my gymnastics career I had to make the decision to find another sport that I equally enjoyed. I was on a competitive cheerleading team, played basketball, soccer, and ran track. My sophomore year of High School I realized I had a chance to play basketball at the collegiate level and began working toward that goal. My senior year of high school I ran into one of the toughest decisions of my life. I had the ability to cheer and play basketball in college. Knowing that Auburn did not allow girls to cheer their freshman year of college, I tried out for the Ole Miss and Florida cheer teams, but immediately knew those two places weren’t for me. That’s when I chose to continue my basketball career at the next level and enjoyed 4 great years of basketball at Birmingham-Southern College. In addition, I ran track my freshman year of college.” 

Recently, Stefanie got her first muscle-up

Recently, Stefanie got her first muscle-up

“Stefanie is a great athlete, and it’s been fun watching her develop with CrossFit. Once she was able to train consistently, she really started to make a lot of progress with more advanced movements, and her conditioning has gone way up. One of her goals moving forward is to get stronger, and improve in her weightlifting. I’m looking forward to seeing her continue to grow and get better.” – Coach Dalton Ard

“I seriously love everything about CrossFit. I think what I love the most are the friends that you make being involved in the sport. You become so connected with the people in your box and those people become your family. Also, I absolutely love the competitive side of CrossFit. Any former athlete can say that when your athletic career is over it is hard going without the competition. CrossFit fills that hole and allows me to set goals and compete as if it were playing college basketball. Also, I love that CrossFit is for everyone. every workout is scaled for people of all levels. We have pregnant women, people above the age of 50, kids, etc. all at our gym and CrossFit allows these people to perform at their own level. CrossFit has changed my life in more ways than I could ever imagine. CrossFit has bettered my lifestyle, improved my confidence, and has introduced me to some lifelong friends.”

Stefanie’s favorite workout is “Filthy Fifty”.

“Stefanie constantly shows her dedication to being a better athlete. Whether the timer is on or off she is always working on her weaknesses and improving her strengths.”- Coach Alex Maxwell

“Everyone at CFP knows that met-cons are my favorite. I like this WOD because it is a variety of exercises and is challenging enough to where it pushes me to my limits and forces me to go hard on each exercise.”

“I would say that my biggest obstacle would have to be leg strength. Throughout my basketball career I struggled with a bulging disc in my lower back which has hindered my ability to lift heavy. I have been working very hard to build stronger legs and a stronger back to increase my weight on my Olympic lifts. The obstacles that I have faced are also some of my biggest gains. When I started at CFP I could barely squat my bodyweight. It is funny because Dalton caught on to me skipping strength day when I first started at CFP and when I made the commitment to never skip strength day again I saw improvement in my Olympic lifts.” 

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Stefanie plans to enter The CrossFit Open this year

Stefanie has set goals for herself. Her short term goals include getting her legs stronger and to improve in connecting her muscle-ups. Long term goals include doing well in The CrossFit Open and entering competitions. You will usually find Stefanie at the 5:00 p.m. class

“One of the most driven athletes I’ve ever worked with. Stefanie does the right things in the gym, loves making corrections. Does the right things outside of the gym, improving in areas she knows she needs to. Fun to coach, fun to have in the gym.”- Coach Quinn Otte

“I love just about everything about CrossFit on the Plains. First of all, I love the environment. The coaches are very encouraging, personable, engaging, and supportive. I also enjoy training with each and every CFP member. Everyone is always so welcoming and I have built friendships that will last a lifetime. CFP exceeds any other CrossFit gym I have been to, with an incomparable facility and equipment. Once you join CFP, you become family.” 

Stefanie grew up in Gulf Shores, Alabama and went to school at Birmingham-Southern College. She currently works for the Auburn Athletic Department and will be earning my Master’s Degree in Adult Education/Sport Management this May.

“I absolutely love my job in Auburn Athletics and hope to continue my career here once I complete the master’s program. I have an older brother, who is definitely the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. My parents are literally the two coolest people on earth, they are my two best friends. I get all my athletic ability from my mom who is a runner, but have been trying for some time to transition her into CrossFit.”