Kirsten immediately felt defeated upon the release of 14.1. She thought double-unders would force her to submit a score of zero on the very first Open WOD.
It’s not that Kirsten Able isn’t proficient in double-unders – because she is! However, less than 3 weeks before she had surgery on her foot to due to Haglunds Deformity; a bony enlargement near the back of the heel which causes inflammation and pain around the Achilles tendon. After various stretching and ice therapies with no improvement, it was clear surgery was the only option to remove the bumps.
In spite of the large, heavy boot on her foot she decided to participate in the Open for the second time.
“I knew there would still be movements I can do. I also wanted to be a part of the energy that surrounds the Open.”
Kirsten not only surrounds herself with that energy; she is the energy. Her positive attitude is contagious. She will work the hardest out of anyone in the box, yet still finds the time to encourage all the athletes around her.
Being the undying optimist that she is, Kirsten was determined to find a way to complete 14.1. Before physically trying single legged double-unders, she pictured in her head what she needed to do to make it happen and keep her balance. She then grabbed a rope and gave it a try in her garage. Completing a couple on one leg, but admittedly much more difficult and not quite as pretty as what she pictured in her head.
When she walked into the box there was no question she was doing 14.1 Rx. All the coaches and athletes had no doubt she would succeed. That same energy that Kirsten puts into instilling confidence in others is also directed towards herself.
Kirsten really embodies what CrossFit and the Open are all about. There are guys to right of her putting up reps into the 300s, but she stayed focused and unwavering on her task at hand – and did with a smile! She no-repped more than she succeeded, but she never gave up, never put her head down, or said “I can’t do this.”
Kirsten left the box that day with one sore leg, lashings all over her body and 78 more reps than she imagined she would get.
Pictures and videos of Kirsten immediately circulated the CrossFit Embark community. The bar had been set and clearly no excuses would be tolerated.
Kirsten was stuck in her boot for the remainder of the Open; so her focus was on giving it her all while staying safe and recovering. It is truly amazing to watch this girl in a boot do box jumps, deadlifts, toes-to-bar and whatever else was thrown her way without one negative thing to say. The boot was never a problem or a crutch for Kirsten – just something she had to work around.
She is best described by CrossFit Embark Owner and Head Coach, Jim Barone:
“Kirsten is a natural born leader, cheerleader and shoulder to cry on. On the other hand she is also the person sitting next to you in a jail cell saying: ‘man that was fun!’ My experience as a box owner would be incomplete without Kirsten.”
Meghan Prunty is a CrossFit Coach at CrossFit Embark and a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach and owner of The Real Rx. She helps athletes kick butt at life and provides a “prescription for life” to increase performance both inside and outside the box.
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