Getting to know Coach Madison

Caring | Honest | Driven
These are the values we hold as a staff team.

Madison is dedicated and kind. She loves to help her athletes push to their highest potential. Super smart and a team player, we are lucky to have her on the team. Madison helps introduce new members to fitness at The Hill and she runs our High Intensity Interval Training class: Red Line on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Madison is a lady with many talents as you’ll read below, from stage to sport. Movement with grace and precision has been a theme throughout her life.

Let’s get to know more about Coach Madison!

Fill in the blank: I wanted to be a _ when I grew up. I wanted to be a performer on Broadway or a Technical Director for a big theatre.
Where did you grow up? Shawnee, Kansas.
Favorite class or activity in high school? My favorite classes were Drama or Choir. I actually lettered in Advanced Choir! Woop wood!
Voted in high school most likely to…? Or known for ? I was definitely known for my platinum blonde, Lady Gaga looking hair. Other than that, I was known for being a dancer. I also like to think I brought back the Chuck Taylors in my high school.
Most interesting part time job? I loved working at a veterinary hospital as a technician assistant. However, the most interesting was being a part of a murder mystery dinner theatre.
Movie or show you can quote? I can definitely quote most episodes of the TV show Friends. Season 3 Episode 2 is my all time favorite: The One Where No One’s Ready. Fun Fact: The episode takes place solely in the girl’s apartment.
Got any hidden talents? I was a dancer for about 18 years. Tap dance is my favorite style. I can also play the piano and ukulele. Also for the past year, I have worked part-time as a burlesque performer in Lawrence, Kansas with the group Foxy By Proxy.
What do you like about KC? I love KC because there is something for everyone. The culture, food, and all around atmosphere is overall inviting. I love that I can get online, search for local events, and find a concert, performing arts show, or food and drink event to attend all in the same weekend.
Coaching: Your Job Title at The Hill. Certified Personal Trainer and RedLine Instructor
How & when did you get connected to The Hill? It was time to finally decide on a passion I wanted to pursue. I used to do dinner theatre and would drive by The Hill every weekend. In January of 2018 I decided to join The Hill and have not looked back!
How long have you been coaching? (here or elsewhere) I have been coaching for about 9 months!
Why Coach? – what motivates you personally? What motivates me to coach is the mere fact that I have the privilege to motivate and empower others. I feel like I am still getting to meet all of you wonderful athletes and staff. I get to listen to your stories about your journeys, past and present. I get to learn about motivates you to show up and remind me of why I show up!

We try, we fail, we learn, we try again, we succeed, and then we are faced with a whole new level challenges. That never-ending “”KEEP GOING”” attitude is strong at The Hill and I am so excited to watch it continue.

You all motivate me. You are the people I want to continue to surround myself with. And I hope I can motivate you as well! “
What do you love about your job? (can list a few if you’d like ) I love that I get to walk through the doors of The Hill almost every day. The positive people and energy are infectious. Not to mention, I definitely don’t mind that I do NOT have to get all dolled up like I do at my other jobs. Come as you are, show up, and let’s go to work!

What certifications do you hold and which are you most proud of? Associate of Arts: JCCC
CPT: NASM
I am most proud of my certification from the Cavalier Leadership Development Program from JCCC.


What continuing ed are you planning or currently doing? (if applicable) In the next 7 months I will hopefully have completed my continuing education units to maintain my current CPT certification. I think I have narrowed it down to Nutrition or Behavior Specialization.

What’s something you wish everyone knew about health and fitness? “Small changes equal big differences. If you can make one small change each day to better yourself, then you will surely experience the change you desire.

A recent quote I came across on social media has seriously resonated with me on my own personal journey. It reads, “”The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.”” I love that so much.

Be patient. Be good to yourself. Give yourself a break. Above all, love yourself. “
What is something you are working on improving as an athlete personally? I am working on having more courage and less self-doubt. Instead of talking myself out of the tough situations and workouts, I will ask instead “What if it works out?” I also want to continue to improve my technique in gymnastic skills.
What is something you are looking forward to? I am looking forward to this year! I am excited for my future coaching experiences and for the what the future holds for RedLine!
Anything else you would like to share with The Hill family? Thank you to everyone for being so welcoming and supportive as I start this new career and chapter of my life! You are the best community of athletes and human beings!

Krista & Zach Krish: Featured Athletes of May 2019

Coachable | Hardworking | Positive
These are the attributes we look for in the Athletes of The Hill.

“It’s hard to believe that Zach and Krista have only been a part of this community for a couple months because of how ingrained they’ve become in the atmosphere of the gym every time they’re here. They both take an exceptional interest in making everyone else around them feel welcome and able to work towards their goals.
“Every time Krista and Zach are in my class, I’m always blown away by how willing and courageous they are in taking things on that they consider their weaknesses (but hello, they’re both insanely fit) and striving to get better to prove to themselves that they can.
“But beyond their friendly demeanor and determination to their health, I’m constantly inspired by the relationship Zach and Krista share with each other. Supportive in every sense of the word, the Krish’s are a true testament that surrounding yourself with people who make you want to be better will always pay off in the long run.
“All of us at The Hill are so grateful to have this power couple as a part of our family.”

-Coach Jay

Let’s get to know more about Zach & Krista…

What would your spirit animal be? Zach: duck (it can fly, swim, AND walk), Krista: albatross (if you don’t know what it is, google it. Amazeballs). Together we form the ultimate crime fighting bird duo.

Row, Bike or Run? & Why? Zach: Bike (have you seen me bike? I mean, come on), Krista: Run (Is there any other form of cardio?)
What is your favorite CrossFit Movement? Zach: Back squat, Krista: power clean.
Favorite Restaurant in KC? Or favorite Cheat Meal? Pig and Finch
When did you start working out at The Hill? February 2019
What were some of the emotional or physical challenges you were having before you started at CrossFit Memorial Hill? We just finished our PhDs and had moved twice in less than 4 months. We were mentally and physically exhausted and in desperate need of a community and a routine.
What did the frustration feel like as you tried to solve those challenges before you started at The Hill? We knew we needed to get into a community of like-minded individuals as soon as possible, but hadn’t been able to find a place we belonged. We had short and long term goals, but felt like we couldn’t achieve them.
How have you seen those challenges improve since joining The Hill? What does life looks like now? We are back into a routine and making progress on our goals. The people we see at The Hill each day push us to be our best. It’s our favorite part of the day.
How is The Hill different than other gyms you’ve been to? The people make The Hill the best crossfit gym we have ever been a part of. The encouragement is AMAZING and the positivity of every member is evident no matter the workout.
What keeps you coming back? And where do you find your motivation when the workout looks difficult? Crossfit isn’t a workout for us, its a lifestyle. We look to each other and to the people around us to encourage us to get through those hard ones. Most days the workout is the toughest thing we will do all day, and if we can push through that then everything else that comes after is easy.
How do you make working out fit into your busy schedule? We make class time a priority for our health and for our marriage. It’s one of the only times during the day we know we get to be together doing something we both enjoy.
What would you say to someone thinking about starting CrossFit? Don’t someday yourself out of a life. You don’t have to be a star athlete to be a great crossfitter, you just have to want to be better than you are today.
What are some of your goals in or out of the gym? Personal Records or achievements that your proud of? Krista: Goal-finish first 50K in September, PR-sub 6 Half-ironman, 1:52 half marathon; Zach: Goal- 275# snatch, PR-215# snatch, 2K row-6:23, 1K row-2:57.
What would your dream workout be? Wife carry obstacle course (kidding, but not really), Krista: 30 min AMRAP of running, KB swings, and power cleans; Zach: 19.1
Anything else you would like to share with our #fitfam? We are SO grateful to The Hill coaches and staff for providing an amazing facility for us to come to everyday (we are excited for the new facility). Thank you to The Hill members, especially our 6am-ers, for the laughter, encouragement, and support. You truly make our lives better!

Getting to know Mark Campbell of Core Strong Fitness

We might be two unique fitfams sharing space, but we also share the same core belief that caring about people comes first.

Mark and Matt agree that if you don’t care about people, you shouldn’t be in the fitness industry. Get to know Mark and why we are so glad to have his TRX fitfam under The Hill’s umbrella.

Mark is a super effective coach and with an IG following pushing 25K @trx_core Plus, he’s super patient and kind and we love having him at our staff meetings each week.

“Mark at CoreStrong Fitness has been amazing at coaching not only TRX, but also overall lifestyle changes. I have changed my mindset, have learned how to love myself more, and that eating healthy and exercising can be a form of that self love. CoreStrong has provided an outlet for stress as a crazy graduate student that truly as more like a family than a gym.”
– Carly Kempf
Core Strong Fitness Athlete

Let’s get to know more about Mark!
Fill in the blank: I wanted to be a _ when I grew up. Paleontologist

Where did you grow up? Independence, MO

Favorite class or activity in high school? Anatomy

In high school known for? Being an Eminem look alike. LOL!

Most interesting part time job? Abercrombie and Fitch

Movie you can quote: Dumb and Dumber

Got any hidden talents? I can whistle like a bird.

What do you like about KC? I love the growing community of startups, coffee shops, AMAZING BBQ and actives to do trough-out the week.

Title: Owner CORE Strong Fitness @corestrongkc

How & when did you get connected to The Hill? Just over 3 years through coach Bri who I knew from the Chiropractic I use to work for.

How long have you been coaching? (here or elsewhere) I became a certified Personal Trainer in 2010 and started training at a wellness clinic in Lee’s Summit.

Why Coach? – what motivates you personally? I love to help people MOVE better, get stronger accomplish task in their daily lives that may not be huge feels of strength but help them live a better life and be injury free by build resilience and healthy habits.

What do you love about your job? (can list a few if you’d like ) Watching other gain a stronger sense of self confidence and self love through challenge and adversity.

What certifications do you hold and which are you most proud of? NSCA CPT, Black Ranked TRX Coach ( First one in the Midwest to achieve this), Barefoot Training Specialist, RockTape FMT Certified, and Postural Respiration Certified.

What continuing ed are you planning or currently doing? I am currently taking the Precision Nutrition Course and I am planning on taking my level 1 DVRT Sandbag Certification, along with StrongFirst Bodyweight course and Kettlebell Certification within the next year.

How would you describe your coaching style? I am a stickler for form and helping people do things better to reduce risk of injury and get more from the exercises the athletes are performing but I like to have fun being my quirky self.

What’s something you wish everyone knew about health and fitness? Less can be more. It doesn’t have to take a full time commitment to better your health, just a more conscious effort at the foods you put into your body and the simple extra things people can do or not do to advise their health.

What is something you are working on improving as an athlete personally? I just recently got into rock climbing and bouldering, so trying to improve my climbing skills and technique and breathe control.

What is something you are looking forward to? The next time I get to climb.

What else should we know about you? I LOVE coffee and I love to talk about coffee like people talk about wines. I probably drink too much coffee but I love the taste and flavors and the buzz! LOL

Featured Athlete: Kristen McCullough

Coachable | Hardworking | Positive

“I love to see Kristen as she walks into the gym. She is ready to greet you with a smile, and a sincere “how are you?”. She never makes excuses, and is always ready to challenge herself. But is perfectly OK to dial it back if her coach recommends it. Coachable, hardworking, and positive; that’s Kristen without question.” -Coach Brianna

“Kristen embodies the word “strength” in so many more ways than one. Yes, she can lift a lot of weight and crushes metcons on the regular, but even more impressive is the amount of courage and grit that Kristen shows every day in all aspects of her life. Through good times and not-so-good times, Kristen shows up for herself to put in the work for her goals and to continue to develop a greater sense of what health means for her personally. She also brings out the strength in all of those around her. By connecting with other members and being her encouraging self, Kristen elevates every class she is in. To put it simply, Kristen gives a damn, and she does it gracefully, and I don’t know what else a coach could ask for. The Hill will miss Kristen dearly when her and Josh move away this spring, but we know she will gracefully conquer everything life throws her way in the future.” -Coach Jay

Kristen’s Featured Athlete Interview:

What is your favorite color? Maroon

What would your spirit animal be? I had to ask my sister for this answer and she said “llama”. They portray confidence and perseverance and never back down from what they want! Plus they can be sassy!

Row, Bike or Run? & Why? Run…as long as it’s 50 degrees or warmer! That bike, I hate that bike.

What is your favorite CrossFit Movement? Squat cleans!! So much power, strength and form involved!

Favorite Restaurant in KC? The Westside Local And Betty Rae’s!

When did you start working out at The Hill? Early 2018 I started at the Hill and loved it from the start. The coaching and programming are amazing.

What were some of the challenges you were having before you started at CrossFit Memorial Hill? My strength on lifts had plateaued and my love for Crossfit had dropped for a bit and that’s why I joined the Hill! Working out keeps me level headed and striving for new goals.

What does life looks like now? I have had new struggles since starting at the Hill with my health but everyone, especially Kim, have worked to get me on track and supported my goals. I know things will turn around soon! Feeling supported helps you get through the tough days.

What keeps you coming back? And where do you find your motivation when the workout looks difficult? There is so much about the Hill that keeps me coming back.
The coaches help me improve on everything and give me great alternatives when my lower back is acting up. They truly care and want you to be the best you.
The awesome people at 6 am motivate me to get there because their vibes and cockiness is infectious.
The awe of a gym full of strong and friendly people on a Saturday morning with different goals, backgrounds and strengths yet all their to get their ass’s kicked together.
My personal fitness progress over the past year! I surprise myself sometimes by the weight I have on the bar.
Dr. Heather is how I was introduced to the gym and I frequently come to see her.

How do you make working out fit into your busy schedule? I have to get my workout in before I go to work everyday! It sets me up for success. I rush home after the 6 am workout to shower and get to work by 8! It’s so worth it!

What would you say to someone thinking about starting CrossFit? It’s the best thing I ever decided to do for my fitness.

What are some of your goals in or out of the gym? Personal Records or achievements that your proud of? “My current goal is body fat loss (weight loss).

What would your dream workout be? (list your favorite movements) “My favorite days are 1 rep max days!!!! I love seeing how strong I’ve gotten!

Anything else you would like to share with our #fitfam? “Thank you to everyone that’s been there for me lately through the recent struggle that led to finding out about my hypothyroidism….you’re all amazing and have truly made a difference in coping!
May will be my and Josh’s last month at the Hill as we embark on a new journey to Pennsylvania but we have no idea how we will find a gym that compares to the Hill!!!

Jon Lord My CFMH Story

“I have gotten to know Jon over the past 1.5 years, and it has been great to see his growth. Jon is a quiet, laid back guy in the gym; and even though he doesn’t make a big fuss, he’s always ready to throw down some weight, and push himself in the workouts.
He’s eager to learn and apply what he’s given. It’s been fun to see him become more and more a staple part of our community. An avid sports fan (he works for CBS!), he doesn’t let his busy work and travel schedule keep him from making it in on the regular.”
– Coach Brianna

What was your mental and physical state like before you found CrossFit Memorial Hill? I was generally tired and stressed too often.

What did the frustration feel like as you tried to solve those issues on your own? It was very frustrating, knowing I had done it before and not being able to stick with anything.

What was different about The Hill KC than other fitness program you’ve tried? The Coaches and the Community.

Describe the moment when you realized working out at The Hill was actually helping to improve your mental state or physical challenges? It didn’t take long, going through Fundamentals with Coach Brianna was a very rewarding experience which helped get me started again. The way she coaches, teaches, motivates and cares I am extremely grateful for.

What got you through the door that first day? Honestly I’m not sure, but I consider myself very lucky for trying The Hill. I had gone to another CrossFit gym for a few years but had stopped going due to changing jobs and fitting it in a new schedule, etc. I had been trying to get back into a routine and eventually convinced myself to try The Hill.

What physical challenges were you facing? I was facing various nagging injuries (ankle, knee, back, and shoulder) at times and was never able to get into a consistent routine on my own.

What would you tell someone afraid to try CrossFit at The Hill? Try it, you won’t regret it. There’s something for everyone no matter where you are starting out.

What motivates you to work out? First and foremost I enjoy it, but also a desire to be in good health as my nieces and nephews grow up.

What is something you are proud of? I’m most proud of the progress I’ve made since I started in mid 2017.

What goals are you working towards? A lot, but probably the top goals are consistent attendance, gymnastics movements, and rowing technique.

Anything else you’d like to share with The Hill? I’d just like to say Thank You!

Gaining Independence After a Stroke

In 2016 Anita had a stroke on her right side. She went from taking care of her household and caring for her husband to being unable to walk and needing a caregiver for herself. Because of her hard work in the gym, she is walking and using her wheelchair less.

My stroke was on my right side, severely affecting my speech, arm and hand, and leg and ankle. I was in a wheelchair. 
After the stroke I had speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy; and they did an excellent job. I had to learn everything from swallowing, dressing myself using my left hand instead of my right.
But the therapist can not be permanent.  I needed a way to feel encouraged — it is amazing how much the statement “Good Job” from Coach Brianna means to me. And I feel challenged and taught to do new ways of exercises.


What would you tell someone afraid to try CrossFit at The Hill?
The staff knows their clientele and are very protective. I will try things with them, that I am afraid to try on my own, because they are there if I need help. They are very cognizant of the limits of the clients, but also what they can do. So they can challenge them. 

What caused you to walk through our doors that first time?
My son had come to CrossFit and been pleased with the facility and the physical success, and felt I could benefit in spite of my stroke. 
I was ready for challenges, I enjoy trying new things. 

I keep coming back because I feel I am visiting with friends that are helping me achieve my best. 

Some of my goals are to walk well enough to get in the car so I can drive, to strengthen my knees to prevent damage, to get out of my wheel chair easily. 
I am proud that I have started to walk some places. 

There is so much everyone can learn from Anita.
Talk about a positive attitude in the face of adversity. This incredible woman has it. From the moment Coach Brianna met her, her spark and fire to learn and be challenged was contagious.

Whenever Coach Brianna suggests they try something new, Anita never hesitates to give it her best shot. Does it always work? Nope.
But that doesn’t deter her or bring her down.
She keeps trying, telling Brianna how it feels, what she has to think about to do that particular thing; and little by little we unlock more and more movement. More of her grand potential.
We know she comes to The Hill to better herself, but we are all better because of her bravery. There isn’t one person that doesn’t feel encouraged after talking with Anita, or seeing her willingness to work hard.

Getting to Know Joelle Gosda

CARING | HONEST | DRVEN
These are the core values that we hold as a staff and coaching team.

Joelle is incredibly passionate about taking care of people. She is willing to learn and open to anything that will improve her current skill set.

“Not only is Joelle the one who has dramatically stepped up the social media game at The Hill but she is also the smiling face who greets everyone each night. I have had the absolute joy of getting to know Joelle and her family over the last year plus at The Hill.

I have also witnessed Joelle’s care and compassion for people shine through in quiet moments when our members need a sympathetic ear after a hard day, a hard week or even a hard year. We are incredibly grateful to have Joelle as a member of our fitfam and we are very excited for her to welcome the newest member of her fitfam.”

-Matt

Let’s get to know Joelle…
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
All I wanted to be was a mom and a singer.

Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin.

Favorite class or activity in high school? I was surprised to win the Fine Arts Award for my class. If it was music related I did it all. Musicals, plays, played the trombone in jazz band, pep & marching band, and french horn in concert band. Competed at all the state singing competitions, madrigal choir and plays, and show choir. I was even in the A/V club with all the greasy awkward boys, running cameras and teleprompter. And sometimes they’d let me fill in to report the daily school announcements.



In high school known for? I was known for playing the Innkeeper’s wife in Les Miserable my Junior year. I played opposite one of my best friends and we were disgusting. It was so much fun.

Most interesting part time job? My first real job was at a Movie Magic video rental store. VHS & DVDs for rent when that was a thing.

Movie you can quote? Don’t sit next to me while watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding unless you want a quote-along. One of my favorite lines is, “Keep your mother off my lawn, out of my basement and away from my roof!!”


Got any hidden talents? I’ve been practicing the baritone uke for a few years. And I have a handful of original songs that I’m always working on. Also I know way too much about Star Trek, Harry Potter, and I’m ashamed to admit…Twilight.

What do you like about KC? I like how the history of KC has shaped the present. It was the gateway to the West.. and ever since moving here in 2012 I feel the “land of opportunity” spirit in the air.

Your Job Title at The Hill: Social Media Curator & Front Desk Lady
How & when did you get connected to The Hill? Caitlin is a friend and told me about the front desk job. She encouraged me to put in my resume and I was lucky enough to join the team in November of 2017.

How long have you been the Social Media Curator?
I’ve been running the social media for The Hill since January of 2018. Matt saw my potential and created the role for me.

How do you approach creating content for Social Media @thehillkc? It’s all about our Athletes. You guys are so much fun to celebrate! When I look around the gym I see so many stories of ordinary people overcoming challenges and improving their lives. It’s continually inspiring. I see them helping and encouraging each other every day.

What do you love about your job?
I love our team.
We are growing together and it is so much fun to see how each one brings their talents and shares their struggles. We support each other. We learn from each other and are free to try new things. Plus I just like each of them a lot.


I love our members.
I love how our community has proven over and over that they are so willing to serve others and give back to Kansas City. When we ask, you show up and it makes a difference for real people.


I love CrossFit.
I am a socially motivated athlete. In highschool the most active I was while playing on the volleyball team. I loved that it required us to play as a team (bump, set, spike!) and being a setter was so fun. But I dropped it when it started to conflict with musicals. CrossFit at The Hill feels like a team sport. You never workout alone and the Coach is right there setting the goal and helping you win. This is the most I’ve ever worked out in my life. I am proud of how consistent I’ve been and the skills (and muscles ha)  I’ve gained. 

When I took the front desk job, I had never touched a barbell and had to google what a ‘WOD’ was. All the coaches were so patient and encouraging to me as, not just a new member of the team, but a brand new CrossFitter too.

What’s something you wish everyone knew about health and fitness? You don’t have to feel stuck. You don’t have to run in circles. You can see your body and your view of yourself change. And you don’t have to figure it out alone.
What is something you are working on improving as an athlete personally?
Now that I am pregnant and my body is changing, I’m working on being confident that no matter what the workout says, there will be a modification that I can do with the class. I don’t have to do the same thing as everyone else. I just have to keep moving and listen to my body (and to the baby’s kicks!).
What are you looking forward to? I’m looking forward to meeting the new little person that I’m growing, this summer. And I’m looking forward to seeing who I’ll be next year. I can’t imagine her or her life no matter how hard I try. Life in general and especially parenthood, is an act of surrender and sacrifice that requires you to live and do your best with the 5 minutes you’re in. 
Anything else you would like to share with The Hill family? When I think of you, I am filled with gratitude and joy. I love you all. And having the honor of celebrating you is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.





Andrew Watson Featured Athlete of March

Coachable | Hardworking | Positive

Andrew is the poster-child for coachable, hardworking, and positive. He approaches each workout, whether it’s in his wheelhouse or not, with the same tenacity and vigor. He accepts feedback with an open-mind, and readily embraces cues. When I tell Andrew “this is the number of rounds I want you to shoot for.” “This is how many reps I want you to do unbroken.” He always smiles, gives a little laugh, and says “OK”.

His infectious smile and good attitude inspire those athletes around him. He’s here to grow as an individual and as a community member.
These are the attributes that we look for in our athletes.

Andrew’s Interview:
What is your favorite color? Blue? or a solid shade of black!

Pick a silly question or answer them all: What would your spirit animal be? If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Spirit Animal: Probably a really active sloth. Superpower: To be able to eat anything and have it count towards sick gains.

Row, Bike or Run? & Why? Run! Strange but true.

What is your favorite CrossFit Movement? Power Cleans. They need work, but are awesome when you stick them!

Favorite Restaurant in KC? Or favorite Cheat Meal? Rye the restaurant. Rye(whiskey) the cheat meal.

When did you start working out at The Hill? October 2018.

“Communities are so hard to find, especially ones that aren’t cheesy. It had been about a year since being apart of a good group of people and committing to a community is a big deal so it felt like forever since I had been apart of a group where I could just be me, have fun and work hard.

I love my job and the people I work with, but trying to find friends outside of your place of business is something I’ve always struggled with how to do. I generally just don’t attempt it because bar hopping for friends sounds pretty lame.

Since joining The Hill, I not only have the motivation to work hard on my health, but the excitement of knowing that I’ll go to class and and see genuine friends that care about working hard and having fun as much as I do.

How is The Hill different than other gyms you’ve been to?
The year I took off from CrossFit I was trying out a bunch of different ones but was just not able to find the right fit. I would Appreciate some of the people but find the workouts lacking or vice versa. The Hill combines an incredibly welcoming community with expert coaches focused on your goals and betterment and killer workouts…. for real, I think the biking might actually cause my death.

What keeps you coming back? And where do you find your motivation when the workout looks difficult? I love working out because I want to become stronger and work through my weaknesses. I come back to The Hill because I know I’ll be welcomed by people who know me and honestly want to be around me. I go on days that look hard because I know Bri will call me out later if i don’t…. It’s a happy shame.

How do you make working out fit into your busy schedule? I just do? I’ve found that working out, like having a baby or buying a house, is rarely convenient. The feeling of making it though a workout at 6am after getting 2 hours of sleep or working a full day and still powering through sprint intervals is the best.

What would you say to someone thinking about starting CrossFit? Keep going. No one started being great at anything! Know that you can and will get better the more you work, and rely on the help and encouragement from the people going through it with you.

What are some of your goals in or out of the gym? Personal Records or achievements that your proud of? I landed my first Bar Muscle-Up this month!!! Still working on the RMU.

What would your dream workout be? (list your favorite movements) A plate of donuts sprinkled with brownies and marshmallows? A FitAid first of course. But for real probably some combo of 400m run, power cleans, push jerks and pull ups.

Anything else you would like to share with our #fitfam? I can’t say enough how grateful I am to everyone at The Hill for being so welcoming, hard working and motivating. I’m excited to go because of the people!

Getting to Know Coach Leyton

Caring | Honest | Driven

Leyton is a great addition to the coaching staff at The Hill. He has new games to play and a southern charm that you just can’t teach. Leyton loves CrossFit and it shows. With a low-key and approachable attitude, Leyton’s ability to provide individualized coaching is outstanding. He takes the time to explain the small things and help each athlete improve.

Let’s get to know Coach Leyton:

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Lawn and Landscape worker like my Dad. I often would say that I wanted to be a lawnmower. But often my teachers would say I couldn’t actually be that. Haha!

Where did you grow up? Greenwood, AR

Favorite class or activity in high school? Football.

Voted in high school most known for ? Known for being goofy and easy going.

Most interesting part time job? Demolition for a contractor during undergrad.

Share a movie or show you can quote and/or list songs you can rap/know all the words to etc.. The Lord of the Rings, Dumb and Dumber, Christmas Vacation, The Office and I know all the words to most Blink-182 songs.

Got any hidden talents? I can get 1 tee remaining on the triangle peg board game every time. (commonly played at Cracker Barrel.) I can walk on my hands thanks to CrossFit. I also have a pretty good Gollum/ Smeagol voice. 

What do you like about KC? You don’t have to travel that far to do anything. It’s a way larger city than I am used to, but it isn’t too big.

Your Job Title at The Hill: Coach

How & when did you get connected to The Hill? I dropped in to The Hill the summer before my senior year of undergrad when I came to look at graduate schools.

How long have you been coaching? About 4 years.

Why Coach? – what motivates you personally? I love to teach people new things. I love seeing people realize how much they are really capable of.

What do you love about your job? I love getting to interact with people and build relationships. I also love to see someone do something they have never done for the first time. (ex. 1st pull-up or muscle up).

What certifications do you hold and which are you most proud of? CF-L3 and Gymnastics; definitely most proud of the CF-L3.

What continuing ed are you planning or currently doing? I am currently in Physical Therapy school at Rockhurst University. I plan to attend the CrossFit Competitors, CrossFit Masters, CrossFit Aerobic Capacity, and CrossFit Gymnastics Level 2 at some point.

How would you describe your coaching style? I would describe my coaching style as very individualistic. I enjoy to getting to catch up with each person in my class each day and learn what motivates them. I am also very relentless. I continue to ask for more from my athletes.

What’s something you wish everyone knew about health and fitness? That it is the most important long-term investment that you can make. Paying for a CrossFit gym membership and healthy foods will save you lots of pain, time, and money in the future. Also, that it’s a process. Start by “getting off the carbs and off the couch” then go forward from there.

What is something you are working on improving as an athlete personally? I am currently trying to rehab my knees to where I can squat pain free again.

What are you looking forward to in 2019? I am looking forward to the launch of The Hill KC 2.0!!! I am also looking forward to my first clinical rotation in PT school.

Anything else you would like to share with The Hill family? The Hill has truly been a blessing to Hannah and I both. We have truly found an awesome group of like-minded people to share life with. We feel like we have been working out here forever! The Hill family rocks!

Laura Snyder : Featured Athlete of February 2019

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.

Not every CrossFit Coach is lucky enough to have such an athletic and dedicated partner as Coach Josh does in Laura.

She is ALWAYS positive, ALWAYS works hard, and is ALWAYS coachable. We can’t believe it’s taken this long to make her featured athlete. Humble to the core, she tried to wiggle out of it at first but she is such an amazing part of our community we insisted. She leads with kindness and encouragement to her fellow athletes. And is an amazing example to learn from too.

As a physical therapist, she will always help a friend find a new way to mobilize a sore wrist or back. Laura you uplift the environment every time  your walk through our doors. And we are so glad to have you at The Hill.

Laura’s Interview:

What is your favorite color? Navy.

What would your spirit animal be? My dog, Lily. She’s an awesome cuddler, loves to sleep and be around people!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Flying. Because I have very little patience when stuck in traffic, and I love seeing a bird’s eye view of the world.

Row, Bike or Run? & Why? Run- I feel like I’m putting myself through torture instead of a dumb machine.

What is your favorite CrossFit Movement? I am copy catting Dan’s response and saying cleans or burpees. Kicks your ass but such a good workout!

Favorite Cheat Meal? Pizza! Breakfast, lunch or dinner.

When did you start working out at The Hill? Springtime 2015.

What were some of the emotional or physical challenges you were having before you started at CrossFit Memorial Hill? I came from the typical big box gym, bodybuilder-training mentality and my boyfriend at the time was coaching at The Hill. We are both pretty stubborn and thought we knew more than the other, so it was hard for me to give into the framework of CrossFit style workouts. I super sucked at all the gymnastics movements (still do), and I let my ego get the best of me at times. But I love the challenge and now I could never go back to the Globo gym life.

How have you seen challenges improve since joining The Hill? I’ve taken the time to realize what I am good at and what I definitely still need to work on. It’s a long process, but it’s a fun journey!

What keeps you coming back? And where do you find your motivation when the workout looks difficult? The people and the workouts. Plus my hubs and puppy are usually there 🙂 When the workouts look super intense I try to remind myself to keep a good pace and just get through it.

How do you make working out fit into your busy schedule? I just make it a priority. I bring my clothes/lunch/snacks to work with me and head straight to the gym afterwords.

What would you say to someone thinking about starting CrossFit? Every single movement can be modified to your ability. So just do it because it is so much damn fun!

What are some of your goals in or out of the gym? Personal Records or achievements that your proud of? My same goal for the last 3 years- getting double unders down! And handstand push-ups. This is the year I am finally going to stop talking about it and Do It!

Anything else you’d like to share with our fitfam? I feel so proud and lucky to be a part of this amazing community. Personally, I know how much work the staff and coaches put in to making this place truly one of a kind.  They go above and beyond every day to help the needs of their athletes and that is something you don’t often see in a typical gym. Also, I cannot wait to see what the new space brings in 2019!!!