Natalie Dees: Featured Athlete of January


“Getting to know Natalie, and see her grow as an athlete and a human, has been an honor and a privilege. I love seeing the transformation of exercise and nutrition as punishment, to exercise and nutrition as a form of  celebration to what your body is capable of. Natalie has made that transformation in herself, but also outwardly expresses self-acceptance and love to everyone around her. Encouraging of everyone who takes a class with her, celebratory of everyone’s victories. I couldn’t be happier to have Natalie in our community!” -Coach Brianna

Your Name? 
Natalie Dees

What is your favorite color?
Black 🙂

What would your superpower be?

Always being temperate. No one likes to be sweaty for no reason.
What is your spirit animal?

Probably an otter…they just seem like they’re having a lot of fun
Row? Bike? Run? Ski? Why?
Row mostly because I’m good at it and doing things you’re good at is generally enjoyable.
What is your favorite CrossFit movement and/or workout?
Ohhh so difficult – I’d say any oly lift really just gets me going.
Favorite cheat meal in KC?
I don’t believe in “cheat” meals; but, that’s a whole different conversation so I’ll say tacos from Rico Lupe’s (at least 5).
When did you start working out at The Hill?
January 2016
What were some of the emotional or physical challenges you were having before you started at CrossFit Memorial Hill?

Before The Hill I exercised exclusively for weight loss and without realizing it that’s how I valued myself and it was completely consuming, so I feel like in turn I was pretty self centered. Now I measure my success based on what I can do and it’s a really interesting shift that has had a positive affect on my life in general and how I relate to and treat other humans. We’re all a little bit vain; but, my time at The Hill has helped me realize that what I look like is honestly the least interesting thing about me and I have a lot more to offer and so does everyone else. Still waiting for abs though – maybe in 2020.
What did the frustration feel like as you tried to solve those challenges before you started at The Hill?

It was really just a hamster wheel before, feeling like you could never get ahead. I would set some arbitrary goal for myself “if I lose 5 lbs, I’ll be content” or “if I can do a 300 lb deadlift, I’ll be happy with my fitness” and of course, you check whatever it is off the list and you don’t feel more content or happy. I think we compare ourselves to one another by nature so I slip back into that thought pattern sometimes; but, having a community of genuinely nice and supportive people around you every single day helps feed that positivity that is very grounding.
How have you seen those challenges improve since joining The Hill? What does life looks like now?

I think it’s all a perspective thing – I value different things. For example, over the past holiday season, did I crush workouts and nail it in the nutrition department? Definitely not. Did I have the most fun with my friends and family? Hellz yeah. Now that the holidays are over I’m not going to feel bad about it and I don’t regret it. Really, I’m just living my best life over here and sometimes that looks like buckling down because I want to reach a fitness goal and other times it looks like drinking too much tequila and going to brunch. Neither are better than the other and neither make me a better or worse person. In conclusion, I’m here for doing whatever makes you happy whenever you feel like it. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
How is The Hill different than other gyms you’ve been to?

There are a hundred things that I could say; but, for me the most important one is just that everyone at The Hill is really kind. Everyone has positive intent and really cares about the people around them.
What keeps you coming back? And where do you find your motivation when the workout looks difficult?

I can’t say I’m always motivated; but, showing up everyday is a force of habit that generally is pretty easy to get myself to do because I just like hanging out with everyone. When a workout is especially crappy and I’m really in the mood to push myself mentally and physically I think it’s just about making that choice. You make the choice, do it, and feel good about it. But, to be honest sometimes I’m not about it and I just show up, get through it, and check the box. Even if I’m not completing a workout “to my full potential”, I’m still better than I was before.
How do you make working out fit into your busy schedule?
Prioritization. Sometimes you have to be late to a happy hour or get up an hour early to workout in the morning; but, if it’s important you do it.
What would you say to someone thinking about starting CrossFit?

Here…..have some of this Kool-aid. And then I’d say, just give it a shot. If you’ve never done it before you won’t know if you like it until you try it. I think it’s kind of like getting a new job, you’re going to be a little bit scared or intimidated at first because it’s new, but you made that decision because ultimately you felt like it was a good fit and you’ll feel comfortable before you know it if it was the right thing it do.
What are some of your goals in or out of the gym? Personal Records or achievements that you’re proud of?

2020 – new year, new me. Just kidding. This year I’m going to pick a new skill or movement every month and dedicate time outside of class to improving that skill. I’m not great at motivating myself outside of the class setting, so I want to be a little more independent in that way. Also, I really want to get rid of things I don’t need and work on being more organized.
Anything else you would like to share with our #fitfam?

Welcome to all of our new athletes, and I’m excited to see what 2020 has in store for everyone 🙂 I love you all and we’re bringing back brunch after Saturday workouts.
Categories: Wod

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