I’ve declared that every May the MOM feature goes to Kristen because…

This year Kristen is celebrating 6 YEARS with Iron Clad!! What an incredible milestone!

What can I say about Kristen that hasn’t already been said? Well for those of you who may not have been here last year, or the year before, or the year before…

As we were talking about this in class recently, I/we realized that I can recap all of Kristen’s accomplishments over the last 6 years and it started such a nice walk down memory lane. Did you know that I haven’t even been in our current space for a full 6 years yet? When Kristen first joined Iron Clad, we were still in the small room of the personal training gym in Glendale and she was one of my earliest group class clients. Kristen was so shy with me and the other members in those early days. Now almost everyone knows and loves Kristen and she injects her fun personality and humor in every class.

Kristen started out with no prior strength training or exercise experience, let alone kettlebell experience, and now she’s the strongest woman in class. Kristen has performed feats of strength like a 24kg press and snatch (videos on our FB page), a double 20kg press (pictured) and a double 48kg deadlift; that’s 212 lbs, by the way! What I find more impressive than these amazing feats, though, is that Kristen allows herself to flow with the natural peaks and valleys that come with strength training. She accepts where she is today and knows that if she stays focused, she will continue to make progress.

When Kristen first started, she could do a 10-second plank and swing the 12kg kettlebell. Now she planks for, well, we haven’t exactly tested it lately but I know it’s a lot longer, and she has swung the beast! (that 48kg bell we mentioned earlier) A few years ago, Kristen passed the HKC certification course, where she had to do a 60-second plank among many other things, just for the personal challenge and growth opportunity.

Kristen has come to so many of the events we’ve hosted over the years; Swingin’ Saturday, Pushups for Charity, Theme Night and so many more. Kristen is also responsible for some great Kristen-isms like “I don’t understand why more people don’t do kettlebells” and “How old are you? I’m 6 years old.” We have an inside joke with a few members about Kristen not touching the 8kg bell any longer, unless it’s a 1 finger press.

We’ve shared so many of life’s ups and downs; milestones, break-ups and everything in between. Along the way, we have shed some tears together, but we have also shared lots and lots of laughter.

“I’ve been coming for 6 years because Shari is the best.  I couldn’t imagine my life without ICF and everything I have gained over the years.  I’ve been shy, but never intimidated by classes, classmates or a new exercise.  Shari is always encouraging me to progress and focus on my strengths. She has a knack for finding what works for her clients and I’ve just always felt that this is where I belong.  I continue to show up because of the varied classes, because of the fellow kettelbellers I get to meet and know but most of all because Shari has created an environment where I can exceed my expectations for a healthy STRONG lifestyle.”

Wishing you the biggest of CONGRATULATIONS, Kristen!