March Athletes of the Month – Keith and Angelique Gaines

1. Where are you from originally?

A: I grew up in Long Island, New York.
K: Northeast Philadelphia born and raised, and on the ice rink where I spent most of days…

2. What is your favorite WOD/movement?

A: Back squats and squat cleans!!
K: Since beginning CrossFit my favorite movement has been the Bear Complex movement

3. What is your least favorite WOD/Movement?

A: Thrusters and burpees
K: Pull-ups and anything gymnastics

4. What were you doing before CrossFit? How did you hear about CrossFit and/CrossFit Northlake?

A: I attended a conventional gym before joining my first CrossFit box in New York. My husband first introduced me to CrossFit as he often watched the CrossFit Games on ESPN and encouraged me to watch. After doing my research and completing my first class I knew CrossFit was the right fit for me. After college, I missed being a part of team, being pushed physically and mentally and being in a competitive environment but CrossFit checked all these boxes.
K: Prior to CrossFit, I had a few memberships at commercial gyms, where I would try to get as strong as possible while doing as little cardio as possible. After a while, I began participating in Spinning classes to incorporate some cardio. I first heard about CrossFit by randomly catching the CrossFit Games on ESPN. The competitive spirit of the Games outside of traditional sports was quite intriguing. With some CrossFit experience prior to moving to Charlotte we looked at the boxes in the area very closely. CrossFit Northlake had a program that we had not seen before with daily Strength WODs, Yoga, and Olympic Lifting classes. We knew that programming would build us from the ground up.

5. What other sports or activities do you participate in as a family besides CrossFit?

A: Keith and I are active people, both coming from sports backgrounds. We like to walk, hike, ice skate, and run in our free time.
K: Same.

6. How many times per week do you CrossFit?

A: I work out four to five times a week.
K: Five to six times per week.

7. What is your athletic background?

A: I ran track and field in high school and in college. I ran the 400m dash and the 800m run.
K: I grew up playing hockey for 17 years, essentially from first grade all the way through college.

8. Give us some insight as to your thoughts after your first workout at CrossFit Northlake.

A: After my first workout at CrossFit Northlake, I thought to myself wow these are elite athletes! The workout was intense and everyone was killing it! I asked Keith, are you sure you want to do this? But I knew what his answer was going to be and in my heart I knew this was the place for us.
K: After my first workout (a Saturday workout), my mind loved it, but my body hated it. I remember being paired up with Naeem and repeatedly apologizing to him for my lackluster performance and having him essentially anchor our team doing almost 75% of the workout. It was one of the toughest workouts I had ever done.

9. Do you have any special or favorite CrossFit Northlake memories/moments?

A: My favorite moment at CrossFit Northlake was at the beginning of my time here. I attended a Saturday workout and Jason teamed me up with Duana. I was mentally preparing myself for the tough workout ahead and I apologized to Duana before the workout began because I knew I would slow her down. She assured me that I would be great. She was so patient with me and encouraging and at the end of the workout I felt that I could conquer anything if I had people like Duana in my corner. Although the workouts are great, what keeps me coming back to Northlake each day is the sense of community!
K: I remember a workout during the summer, it was like my second week with Northlake, and it felt like it was 150 degrees outside and we had a series of movements that included burpees. Struggling throughout the whole workout, I remember knowing that I would not come close to finishing under the cap so I moseyed to my spot to do a couple burpees, then I remember seeing Ryan Atkinson and Jim Healey encouraging me to get through the burpees until the time ran out and they did the burpees with me. The ironic thing of all of this was the very next workout that included burpees Jennifer Iskat did the same thing as Ryan and Jim for me. All I could think to myself is that these people are crazy and I need to stop coming to workouts with burpees.

10. What advice would you give to a newbie or someone just joining CrossFit Northlake?

A: I would tell them just work hard and have fun! Give it your all every workout and it will get easier. I struggled during those first weeks but today I can honestly say that I enjoy the workouts.
K: The advice I would give someone new to Crossfit Northlake is to be ready to become the prodigal son. They will welcome you with open arms and encourage you to become a healthier, better person from day one.

11. What is your eating style?

A: I just finished the six-week Paleo Challenge. During these six weeks I strictly ate fruits, vegetables and lean meats. I will continue with this eating style, incorporating one to two cheat meals a week, because it has made me stronger, faster, and leaner!
K: Fairly clean, we consume a lot of whole foods throughout the day. Prior to and during the Paleo Challenge we made it our goal to eat as much whole foods as possible, but every once in a while a cheesesteak will call my name and I will answer.

12. What kind of results have you seen since starting at CrossFit Northlake?

A: Since joining CrossFit Northlake eight months ago, I have lost 26lbs, I have PR’d all my lifts, and I am a healthier person.
K: Since joining CrossFit Northlake on that dreaded day of June 25th, 2016 I have lost 55lbs. I haven’t been in this kind of shape since the start of my college career and even then I weighed in 10lbs heavier. In terms of my lifts, I have PR’d everything. Weights that were my PR before, I can now do repetitively in Strength WODs or workouts.

13. What do you do for a living?

A: I am a researcher at UNC Charlotte. My research focuses on education, housing, homelessness, and community development.
K: I am a Release of Information Specialist at Novant Health where I process medical records within the stringent HIPAA and legal guidelines. I am also a full-time student at Northeastern University-Charlotte where I am studying Health Informatics.

14. What drives you to be an active family?

A: Living a long, healthy, fulfilling life is what drives us to be active.
K: From past experiences and having a healthcare background we know and understand the investments of living an active lifestyle. We wish to continue that throughout our lives.

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