I help women fall in love with their bodies.
Karen is a Certified CrossFit Trainer/CrossFit Level 3, and a USA Weightlifting Club Coach. She is also certified in Precision Nutrition and the Functional Movement Screen. She is a POSE Method Certified Running Technique Specialist. She began CrossFit training in May 2007 and attended her Level 1 CrossFit seminar in December 2007. She also has completed CrossFit certificate courses in:
- Olympic Weightlifting
- Basic Barbell
- Movement and Mobility
- She has also completed the CrossFit Coaches Prep Course
She has competed in the Destin 50 Beach Ultra Marathon, the USAF Marathon, as well as numerous half-marathons, 10k and 5k races.
While living in Montgomery AL, Karen spent her weekend mornings in Auburn training with USAW Senior Coach Les Simonton of the East Alabama Weightlifting Club. She is forever grateful to Les for teaching her how to perform these technical lifts, but more importantly, how to effectively coach athletes of all ages and abilities in efficient movement, how to program for long term progress and how to get the most out of each athlete.
Karen is a Black Belt in Integrated Combative System from the Brown Institute of Martial Arts where she was also a Muay Thai instructor. She is a member of the Thai Boxing Association of the USA and has conducted Muay Thai and Submission Grappling classes at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and as well as developing and delivering in-depth self defense classes for base employees and the general public.
While at WPAFB, she received lessons in Western Boxing, generosity and humility from the late Al Carson.
She worked for the US Air Force for 14 years, most recently as an instructor at Air War College and Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base.
Karen has completed the Garage Gym Blueprint seminar at CrossFit Central in Austin TX, one of the most successful CrossFit gyms in the world. Under the mentorship of Jeremy Thiel, Carie Kepler, Web Smith and the rest of the Blueprint staff, Karen learned the importance of an effective business and class structure and how to make sure that each 30A CrossFit athlete receives the best possible experience at each and every class.
She continues to hone her skills as a coach, business owner and mentor.
Karen’s passion is helping people find inner strength by developing their outer strength.
"In the midwest where I grew up, no one ever talked about fitness. We climbed trees, chased each other, jumped over logs. You know…we played.
Out of college and facing the sedentary lifestyle of the modern American worker, I knew I needed to find a way to stave off that midwestern spread. Being one to seek the simple over the complicated, I invested in running shoes and hit the pavement. It was easy and mindless and I liked it. There was always something meditative about hitting the road for a nice, looooong run. But something was missing.
I come from a long line of strong women. Ladies who grew up with little and worked hard for what they got. Lifting heavy things was in my DNA so I hit the gym. I had limited knowledge so I relied on the advice of the staff and the actions of the role models all around me, hitting three sets of ten on the Cybex machines. I might pick up a dumbbell once in a while to do a curl or two but the barbells stayed in the racks. Strength came easily. That’s my body type. I seemingly made huge gains very quickly but..I…was…bored…out….of…….my…………mind.
So I was putting in the miles, competing in 5Ks, 10Ks, half and full marathons; I was doing my reps at the gym, leg presses, pec flys, decline presses; but I needed more. So I started martials arts. I loved it.
I was learning new skills. I could step in the ring and take a punch, give a punch and push limits I had set for myself. I made tons of friends at the dojo. I discovered and developed my love of teaching.
But something was wrong. I wasn’t making the fitness gains I wanted. I was fighting the fact that the only way I was going to get faster was to dedicate myself to running. I didn’t want to give up martial arts. And strength training was good for you. Everyone knows that. I knew being strong would help me in life but I couldn’t figure out how being strong like this could help me. I could leg press a ton of weight but when I tried a hip throw I felt weak. Hmmmmm…..
Then one of the guys in my grappling class told me about CrossFit. I checked out the website, thought it looked cool, but filed it away. I had too much going on to take on another fitness program. It wasn’t until I got dragged to the local CrossFit gym by Spider Chick (yep, that Spider Chick) that I discovered what I had been missing all along. It was like a whole new world: we climbed over stuff, we ran, we jumped…you know, we played. And I got fast. And I got strong. And I got powerful."