Andrew Graziano Featured Athlete of October

Coachable | Hardworking | Positive

These are the attributes that we look for in our athletes. Each month we like to Feature an athlete who exemplifies these core values.

From the moment Andrew walked through our doors, we could tell that he was Our PEOPLE. It was love at first WOD.

Andrew is not daunted by anything we program. He happily goes for it with intensity and positivity. He is humble and easy to coach. Andrew encourages others so much, Miss Hollie recently made him our Deputy Cheerleader.

It’s also rare to see someone work so hard yet have fun and not take themselves too seriously. Andrew captures the essence of The Hill in this way- We’re not trying to set records or go to regionals, but we still give it our all and leave everything on the gym floor.

What’s your athletic background? I have been CrossFitting for about four years. Before that I was a lifeguard instructor and runner.

When did you start working out at The Hill? 24 May, 2018. It was a 5pm class on a Thursday.

What keeps you coming back? The community. Leadership at The Hill has fostered a community of positivity, support, and encouragement. This place and these people welcomed me when I moved to Kansas City where I knew absolutely zero humans.

Was this your first experience with CrossFit? My CrossFit journey began in Upstate New York at CrossFit Mohawk Valley. It was my first time picking up a barbell, attempting a pullup, and touching a kettlebell or rings. The coaches at CFMV were patient with me as my knowledge base and skill level grew. Never once in CrossFit have I ever been made to feel inadequate or weak. It is that mentality that I try to bring to every WOD I do. To make sure every human, no matter skill level, knows that they are putting in hard work and are adequate and amazing.

If you could write the WOD what would it be?



What are some of your goals, fitness or personal- for 2018? I want to be able to clean over two hundred pounds. Also, I would be absolutely buzzing if I could get two or more strict ring muscle ups in a row.

Any PR’s that your proud of? One time Josh said he wanted us to go light for snatching one day. I PR’d twice. It was awesome.

There was a WOD where we had HSPUs, Bike, and Rowing. I was able to string all of my HSPUs together for each round. Which was a huge moment for me because I am very uncoordinated.

OH AND there was the day I PR’d C&J at 185. Everyone was watching because it was two minutes before class ended (obviously). Coach came up to me and said, “Get tall before getting under that bar.” And when I fired, something just clicked, and the bar was overhead. I screamed out MISS VANJIE and ran around the gym. It was a great day.

List one or two improvements you have seen in your life since starting CF? I gained ten pounds of muscle in two months. So that has been fun.

Also, I am more confident in who I am. Not in like a douche way, in that I am content with the person I have become. I am loud, and goofy, and HELLA awkward. But I know that I am kind. I encourage others. I make a concerted effort to bring joy to others. There was a time where I would be too scared or insecure to talk to people for fear that they would make fun of me or not like me. I am okay now being authentically me. Because I don’t think there are a lot of people out there that genuinely want to be kind and give life to others. CrossFit has helped me be authentically, transparently, unashamedly Andrew.

What do you like about KC? The Hill.
The people I have meet here at The Hill have accepted me into their lives. I cannot express how much this means to me.

Also, Tiki Taco is legit.

Why do you live in KC? And how do you like to spend your free time? I am a medical student completing three of my Third Year core clinical rotations at St. Luke’s Hospital.

When I am not at SLH or The Hill, I am hanging out with #fitfam from The Hill. Literally any of the members, I just turn up where they are. Like an awkward piece of furniture in their spectacular, beautiful lives.

I also read. Mainly Stephen King or YA fiction. 

What’s your favorite cheat meal? Probs Tiki Taco consisting of the Surf & Turf burrito, a chupacobba, and a steak quesadilla. Yes, I have and will eat that all. AND AFTER I WILL HOUSE A PINT OF BEN & JERRY’S CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE TRUFFLE


What would you say to someone thinking about starting CrossFit? This is YOUR journey. No one starts knowing this. We all have to learn and grow. Be patient with yourself and know that you will make progress. I am on your side. I know you can do it.

Anything else you would like to share with our coaches or the whole #fitfam? In all sincerity I cannot express how grateful and humbled I am. That all of you have accepted me into this beautiful community. I am very touched and thankful that you have let me be a part of your lives.

I must single out Coach Josh. You are patient and kind. You never get upset with anyone in class. Even when we get distracted. Even when I pull my clean too early. Or call you Dave Castro. I very grateful for your guidance, your example as a man of character & coach, and your friendship. Thank you.