Get to Know a Member: Ninjy aka Kendra

Get to Know a Member: Ninjy aka Kendra

In the second installment of “get to know a member” we feature Kendra aka Ninjy. Kendra is an amazing example of true female strength. Not just the strength measured in pounds lifted, but strength of personality, of kindness, character, and determination.
She wasn’t born that way though, an athlete through high school and college, she struggled to find her place when sports was over. Clearly she needed to get skinny, after all that’s what all the magazines and TV tell our young women today.
The first day Kendra walked into PSKC she struggled with the 18lb kettlebells. She was so programmed to dancing while “working out” it was almost as if she needed to be on beat to do swings and presses. That quickly ended and she realized there’s no “rhythm” to 330lb deadlifts and 250lb front squats.
She’s had an amazing journey from fancy outfits and choreographed routines to 1st place finishes and 250lb front squats.

A longtime friend of mine recently approached me and told me “man, Kendra is amazing..she’s the reason and inspiration I started CrossFit”. So I figured there would be more people out there who would benefit from hearing a little more about “Ninjy”.

Beauty does not lie in the weight on the scale, beauty lies in the weight you’re capable of lifting and moving. Being is strong and capable is beautiful. This is the lesson our daughters need to start hearing. If I ever have a daughter, I’d be proud of two things:
1) I’d want her to be taught by “Ms. Massie”
2) I’d want to lift and CrossFit like “Ninjy”.

Here’s a little more about Kendra in her own words, I hope it’s something our girls can learn from.

“Coming from an athletic background of being a three sport athlete in high school and a college athlete, I was always pretty active. Yet, I was never the smallest and never have been the one with the most confidence. In high school and college, I was made fun of every once and while for the way I looked. I either was overweight or even “manly.” Yes, I said it, “manly.” This was always a confidence issue as well as worrying about it constantly. After one year of college, I caught myself drowning away sorrows quite frequently due to many personal issues I was going through and dieting (what was that?). This went on for a few years until I woke up one day hating myself. I hated the way I looked and the person I had become. Here I was, graduating college with a degree in education and I was a complete DISASTER. My life was a mess and I needed to fix it. I decided to pick up running and take part in different fitness classes. I ended up losing close to thirty pounds and still looked like a disaster. Exercising was a part of my life for a couple years, but it was beginning to become a chore because the constant thought and torture of having to be skinny and I gained some of the weight back.

Two friends (Brandon Coleman and Shaye Berry) mentioned a place named, “PSKC.” They were positive that I would love it. After being hounded for weeks, I decided to set up an intro. Not to mention, that Sara tried to get me to come a year prior and I wasn’t interested. I walked in the first day intimidated and had my intro with Ann in the storage room. I constantly was thinking, “what in the world am I doing?”while swinging around this kettlebell thing and seeing the members of this place pounding out mountain climbers and weighted sit-ups. I remember thinking, “YES! I am going to be skinny!” Come to find out the values I would learn from these people were life changing.

A few weeks went by and I became an addict. I saw coach Mo “burpeeing” herself to death, Ash doing an extreme amount of pull-ups, and Dale’s will to conquer anything that was thrown his way. This was awesome and I wanted to be exactly like them! One of the most memorable things that Dale has said that I apply to everyday life is his speech about the dogs: The fear dog and courage dog. After this speech, I knew that this was the right place to be. It was after this speech that I began to conquer my issues that were weighing me down for years. Partying way too much, worrying about things that didn’t matter, past experiences I needed to forget and move on are just some examples. I needed to get my life together. PSKC has really helped me find myself and I have accomplished things that I NEVER THOUGHT would be possible (like be happy). I also know that anything that comes up in my life can be conquered as long as I turn my brain off and go!

Everyone starts out the same. It is all about making yourself better and supporting the gym family. Everyone begins with 18Ib kettle bells and works their way up. Everyone uses bands when they first start pull ups and ring dips. We have all been there. Stick with it and you will surprise yourself. My love is heavy weight and when I first started I was scared to lift heavy. I didn’t want to. I just wanted to be skinny! I remember Mo making me use heavier kettle bells and I thought, “no way, you are crazy.” A few months went by and I started to change. I actually care about what I eat and watch what I eat (which is still a work in progress because I love wings and pizza). I started focusing on what I was able to do and what I could do to get better. You improve when you do not even know you do. Most importantly, I learned how awesome it was to be strong.

It was freaking awesome seeing moms like D ,Ann, and Ash going through brutal workouts, Sara being one strong PREGNANT momma, Mo pounding out close to 100 burpees in 7 minutes, and Boo Boo deadlifting over 300 pounds. These are the ladies that convinced me it was awesome to get stronger. It was ok to be strong and defininetly a better feeling then worrying about how skinny I was. Being able to have fun with my kiddies in first grade and being able to carry everything to my classroom in one trip is a good feeling too!
Over the past two years, I have not lost any weight, but I haven’t gained any either. I have lost a little over 10 percent body fat, gotten stronger, and gained my fun life back. I have many friends through the gym and I love each and every one of you. It’s not about who is the best, who can lift the most, or who can be the fastest. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It is simply the fact of watching people do their first pull up, pushing themselves toward personal records, or even just finishing a workout. At a time when I was at my lowest, PSKC lifted me up and still is lifting me up. I love that place. Ladies, “strong is the new skinny” no matter what people say and surely not manly. If anyone says that, it is their own stupidity and they are jealous you can lift more than them. Thank you Dale, Mo, Zak, Ash, Ann, and Sara for all the time and effort you put in to make me better and believing in me.”

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