Journey to Fitness: Kathryn Wieland

We’re all just out here trying to be better versions of ourselves. Fitness journeys can take a lot of twists and turns, and usually do, and we think Kathryn’s story is a perfect example of that. She’s been the heavy kid, the high school athlete, the girl with an eating disorder, a self-professed cardio bunny, and now, a personal trainer and competitive athlete. It just goes to show you that no matter where you start or what you’re working to overcome, you’re not alone and it’s not impossible!

GG: Share a little about yourself, Kathryn.

KW: I’m 26, I train and work out at Lifetime Fitness in Eagan, Minnesota, currently. I only started with the whole CrossFit scene about two years ago. Actually, another coach taught me cleans, I literally had no idea what they were. Then I just started rolling with that and found out it was my happy place. A couple of years ago, if somebody told me that I’d be doing anything like these events, I would’ve been like, ‘You’re insane.’ And now here I am, I’m absolutely loving it and it’s changed me as a person, so I’m happy with it.

GG: Changed you as a person? How so?

KW: Mentally. When I was in high school, I had an eating disorder. It’s something that never goes away, not fully. But coming out of that, finding my place and realizing I wanted to be healthy and be in the fitness world — it was just kind of finding my niche in there. I realized who I was meant to be and where I was meant to go, how I was meant to feel. Once I found Alpha and CrossFit, it was like two doors just wide open and I was so much happier. I was learning different strengths that I didn’t know I had. Ultimately, with CrossFit, it wasn’t about, ‘How can I look?’ It became, ‘How can I feel, how can I move, how can I better myself?’

GG: As a trainer, what drives you?

KW: My clients who come to classes every day. Once they start moving with it [lifting] and they start finding their own strength, that gets me so excited. It just makes me want to do more of what I potentially can do because I know that it’s pushing them and then it’s just this big round circle and it keeps rolling along.

GG: So, why the Granite Games?

KW: This is my first year here. I did the Qualifier and my teammate messaged me like, Do you potentially know of somebody else who’d want to go? Let’s make a team.’ I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s a thing. We can actually do that.’ I had just finished Game Day Mankato at the point she asked me, so I thought, sure let’s go do it. We were back and forth on whether we wanted to do Intermediate or Scaled. It ended up being Scaled, but we’re 100% happy with that path. Being here is surreal. Like if someone had told me a couple years ago that I would have been in front of tons of people running and sweating and being gross… I would have rolled my eyes and been, ‘You’re insane and I don’t ever want to do that.’ But now, when somebody’s like, ‘Let’s go do that,’ I’m like, ‘Okay.’

I’m just excited to be here and I wanted to put my heart out on the floor. The biggest thing was telling myself with every workout, I don’t want to cross that finish line thinking I could’ve given more. I want to leave it all on the floor, whether that’s grunting like a maniac while I’m pressing a barbell or, you know, sweating like a pig. It’s not going to matter when I’m out on the floor, it’s just going to matter that I get it done.

GG: What would you say to motivate those who are considering competing in CrossFit or want to try taking a run at the Granite Games?

KW: You’re gonna find people who are going to support you and drive you. Even if you’re hesitant and you want to start with a small competition, it’s going to be something where you can find yourself. This is my second competition (Game Day was my first), and I’ve just been finding myself and who I’m meant to be. It’s definitely life-changing. Even if it’s one time and you decide you don’t like it, then you know you’ll never have that question in the back of your head. If you’re remotely hesitant, just do it. You’ll discover something about yourself.

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