Athlete Spotlight: Kanisha Bembridge

Name: Kanisha Bembridgekanisha_bembridge
Age: Do I have to? Ok…36
Occupation: Airport Operations Supervisor and Emergency Responder
Which class time do you usually attend? 9:30 am
Favorite WOD: If it doesn’t have burpees, it’s my favorite!
Favorite Lift: Clean and Jerk
Deadlift Max: 215lbs
Back squat Max: 165lbs
Favorite Food: Jamaican beef patties with cocoa bread and cheese (yum!)
Favorite Movie: Top Gun
Favorite Athlete: Usain Bolt
Dream Job: Naval Aviator (the next MaverickJ)
Dream Vacation Destination: Mars!

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Since August, 2014.”

What keeps you coming back/motivated?
“During my first month at NECF, I remember being in the Foundations class feeling absolutely clueless about everything, then looking out into the regular class wondering what on earth did I get myself into. I then realized I was not alone in this. I came to know some awesome NECF Supermoms who were so supportive and coaches who encouraged and pushed me to find MY strong. I watched myself get stronger and now I am constantly driven to see what else my body can do.”

How did you find CrossFit?
“My husband Bryan is also a NECF member and has been Crossfitting for 5 years. I always complained that I needed to get in better shape and that nothing I did seemed to work. He encouraged me to try Crossfit because “it works”, he would say. Two years later, I finally got frustrated and told him I would try it for a month. I have been hooked ever since!”

What is your athletic background (If applicable)?
“Over 16 years of contemporary dance with some ballet.”

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?
“Crossfit has helped me redefine healthy. After the birth of my son, I began chasing this magic number on the bathroom scale which led to unhealthy eating habits, loss of energy, and low self-esteem. Now, I chase non-scale victories. I make healthier food choices and have lots more energy. I am literally stronger (no need to ask for help to lift stuff). I also love the new shape of my body and how my clothes fit (I had to say good-bye to skinny jeans but that’s ok). Most importantly, I am rebuilding self-confidence every day.”

What is the one thing you have done here that you never thought you could do? (muscle up, double unders, heavy deadlift, run a mile, etc.)
“With the exception of running and perhaps push-ups, everything in Crossfit was new to me. I was surprised I could do any of it!”

Who or what motivates/inspires you?
“I am inspired by the community that is NECF. To watch an entire class rally behind one person (on the brink of giving up on a WOD) with cheers of support is priceless. I am motivated by the tangible gains. After hitting a personal record, it is the greatest feeling to walk away knowing that I did that!!”

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?
“I was FINALLY able to do a ‘kipping’ pull-up last week!!! Like…really!”

Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve through CrossFit?
“Now if I could just get that ‘strict’ pull-up.”

Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit?
“I love to dance! I enjoy learning new dance styles from different cultures (currently working on my salsa, merengue, and samba). I also have a passion for fast and noisy jets (lucky for me I work at the busiest airport in the world!). I read novels (fantasy, thriller, conspiracy fiction), to often escape reality.”

Any advice for new members?
“Find YOUR strength and level of fitness. Comparing yourself with others around you is not a true measure of personal progress and will only overwhelm you. Crossfit works!! Stick with it and you will amaze yourself!”

Any additional thoughts/comments:
“NECF has the best coaches!! I was initially concerned about Crossfitting with my pre-existing injuries, but they worked with me to modify my workouts without compromising progress. I am so thankful for their support.”

Coach Laura’s Take:
“When Kanisha started in Foundations she was very unsure of this whole “CrossFit thing,” but she committed to coming and sticking with it. Over a year later and she is hardly the same athlete! As a coach, it is a thrill for me to see women transitioning from being timid and nervous about working out or using a barbell to feeling strong, renewed and capable of anything. Kanisha embodies that transformation. I watched her in her workout the other day and had to do a double-take. She is really killing it! No doubt she will keep on the path she is on now for months and years to come.”