March Featured Athlete: Vanessa Geer

March Featured Athlete: Vanessa Geer

Avid rope climber. Former Air Force Captain. Current reservist & law school student. CrossFit L1 trainer. Lover of her husband, daughter and mac & cheese.


Staying engaged and motivated through changing life circumstances and busy demands outside the gym, Vanessa is this month’s featured athlete. Her ability to manage family, work, coaching, training, and school is inspiring. Take a moment to get to know her and be sure to share some love with her on the white board next to our Member Wall!

Vanessa FA

1. What’s your athletic background?

I did ballet and gymnastics when I was young, and then did cheerleading and track in middle and high school. When I joined ROTC in college, I knew I would need to start doing a little more for fitness, so I mostly ran. During college I got more into weightlifting, but was on the typical back/bi and chest/tri and cardio routine, which carried into the military.

2. What was your first experience with CF?

One of my friends (Bill Henniger from Rogue Fitness) suggested I try CrossFit in 2007. I resisted at first–my program worked (or so I thought). He would text me workouts to do and I finally tried one. My very first workout was “Cindy.” I only got 8 rounds, and that was with terrible squat form and using the gravitron for pull-ups!

3. When did you start CF?

I moved from South Carolina to Germany in 2008, where a group had just put together a CrossFit affiliate. I would say that’s when I really committed to CrossFit. I had a very stressful job at the time. They gave my workouts structure, but more importantly, they were a fun group and became some of my very best friends. From there I got my CrossFit Level I, and then led a CrossFit group in Iraq in 2009 and in Afghanistan in 2011.

4. Why did you choose CrossFit Memorial Hill?

CrossFit Memorial Hill was the gym that was most welcoming, prompt in their communication and the most professional. They were also close to our home, and had a schedule that I thought would accommodate law school pretty well.

5. What keeps you coming back?

The people and that “Oh no! What’s the workout?” feeling I get when I open Wodify. I know even if I have to squeeze my workout in during open gym, there will always be someone to count a few reps or offer encouragement.

6. Why do you live in KC? And how do you like to spend your free time?

I moved to Kansas City to attend law school. I’m currently in my 3L year at UMKC Law. We love the area and have really fallen in love with the city. My free time (what’s that?!) is pretty limited. I am a traditional Reservist at Whiteman Air Force Base, and we had our first baby in September. I love to read when I can find a few minutes, and I enjoy music and eating out (which KC offers plenty of!).

7. What do you like about KC?

There is very little I DON’T like about KC–the city is vibrant, fun, and has amazing food and museums. I couldn’t ask for a friendlier, more fun place to live.

8. What are one or two improvements you have seen in your life since starting CF?

CrossFit has improved my body image, and the way I see food. I thought I had a good workout program when I was first in the military–running, light lifting, push-ups and sit-ups. But to stay the size I thought I needed to be, I ate around 1,200 calories a day. With my two hours in the gym each day, I was pretty much starving myself. With CrossFit, I gained healthy weight, and strength. I developed confidence from climbing ropes, doing pull-ups and beating a lot of the guys I worked out with. Now, I eat to fuel my performance. It’s still a struggle some days–I still have “fat” days, especially dealing with my body post-baby, but I know that I need to EAT to stay strong and healthy.

9. What are your goals for 2016?

My goals for 2016 are to take and pass the bar exam, and run the Green Monster Trail Run, which is a 25K race with a 4,000 foot ascent, in October. I’m also hoping to match some of my previous CrossFit PRs.

10. What would you say to someone thinking about starting CF?

Just give it a few weeks! At the very worst, you’ll improve your form in a lot of movements and make some new friends. The program really is scalable to any ability level, and CrossFit Memorial Hill will offer the support and structure you need to do CrossFit safely.

11. What’s your favorite & least favorite CF movement?

Most favorite: rope climbs. Least favorite: ring dips.

12. What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Macaroni and cheese

13. Anything else you would like to share with The Hill family?

I’m glad to be a part of the Hill. I couldn’t ask for a better gym or a more supportive group.