Stasia first joined the gym in the summer of 2016 and has a quite that story about what let her to CrossFit… and now to what lead her to becoming a coach. While in high school she spent every summer coaching kids in basketball and tennis. She told me that was her first experience coaching and her favorite part was watching the excitement of a child when a fundamental skill finally clicked for them. (I think everyone one of our coaches has said that to me!). Stasia went to K-State and obtained her bachelor’s degree in accounting. After graduating from K-State, she immediately starting working for a public accounting firm and then a couple years later moved to an accounting position at Frontier Farm Credit. While at Farm Credit, she also coached middle school girls’ basketball for a few years. Stasia loved the coaching experience with the girls, especially the one-on-one instructional time. A little over a year ago, Stasia began working for Varney & Associates CPAs as a senior accountant. Although it’s a wonderful firm with great people, Stasia cannot get past the desire to do something more and also pursue a career as a CrossFit coach.
So how did she end up with CrossFit? Stasia admits the path was long but that she has always been active and has a strong love for sports. Growing up, participating in sports gave her a place to belong. After college, Stasia started running more and more because most of her friends weren’t interested in participating in organized city league sports. Although she loved running, she missed the team-feel that came from playing a sport. CrossFit had been appealing to her for years, but it took her a long time to get the courage to walk in to Get Mean (now Rising Strong) that first day. I also watched Stasia run past the gym for quite some time before she joined! Stasia told me that it takes her awhile to let loose with others and be herself, but she knew quickly that this was a place she would ultimately have that feeling of belonging.
CrossFit means many things to her, but to put it simply she believes it’s a community working towards ultimate fitness together. It gives her that feeling of working as a team to meet all our individual goals. CrossFit feeds her love of athletics while also pushing her out of her comfort zone. Stasia’s admits that she has made many decisions in her life from a place of fear, and CrossFit has helped give her a confidence and courage she’s been longing. Stasia loves watching others gain that same confidence, either in how they do a workout or just how they carry themselves.
As Stasia contemplates coaching CrossFit she stated that it “feels scary-exciting to me.” She’s come to learn that things that scare her and excite her at the same time are things she should run towards and not run from. She has found joy in encouraging people and pushing them to do the brave things in their lives.
“It’s exciting to see someone else run after their goals and do the hard things to meet those goals. That’s why I want to be a coach. I want to help others do the hard stuff so they can hit those goals they long to hit.”
Her life experiences, the many ups and downs, give her a unique perspective for coaching others. Her experiences with infertility, endometriosis, and gallbladder issues have shown her how to treat her body when it can’t do what she expects and wants it to do. It’s also taught her that she’s not in control of everything, and sometimes you have to just do what you can and trust God with the rest. Those health issues have also taught her how essential nutrition is in life. “It’s a blessing and a curse that I can’t eat whatever I want anymore.”
Stasia has also walked alongside one of her sisters (and continues to) as she pursues a new lifestyle of exercise and sound nutrition. It’s rewarding when her sister reaches out to her to cheer her along, even if it’s just to tell her, “Say no to the donuts today!” Other days it has looked like, “Don’t be so hard on yourself for not working out yesterday, today is a new day.” We all need someone in our lives that cheers us towards self-care, and sometimes that means telling someone to take it easy too. There are days to push hard, and there are days to give your body a break.
Besides her physical health experiences, she’s dealt with depression and anxiety. She knows the major benefit of exercise and nutrition when dealing with mental illness, and she longs to help individuals pursue mental health as well as physical health. Stasia can relate to all of us when she acknowledges that just completing the workout was the one accomplishment (bright spot) she could note for the day. That’s just what most of us have needed to get us through that day. We rely on each other as a community–we hold each other accountable.
“Having these experiences bring value to me as a coach.” I believe she has a lot to offer.
There are many aspects, seasons, and decisions in her life that have led her to pursue being a CrossFit coach. All of the above does not fully encompass the whole story, but we all know the same thing can be said of any individual that walks into the gym. The short story a new member tell us as their “why” for trying CrossFit or pursuing a life of health and fitness has many layers. “As a coach, I want to be able to peel back those layers and develop a place of vulnerability. Vulnerability leads to community and healing, and both things will keep people coming back.”