JUNE ATHLETE OF THE MONTH – KRIS ZEIGLER

1. IN GENERAL, WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND? AGE, OCCUPATION?

Currently, I’m 44 years old and a Cybersecurity Consultant Engineer.

I grew up playing street basketball in my hood and took American Kenpo Karate lessons from age 8 until I was 15. I participated in karate tournaments back then as well and have had a fondness for martial arts ever since. I studied everything I could find about Bruce Lee’s techniques, mindset, and his approach to life.  I was also interested in lifting weights and had a small bench press set when I was a kid.

After some troublesome years that I only dig out in the delirious depths of competition, I decided that I wanted to get into computers and networking. I took several certification courses while working as a bartender and ended up on a helpdesk fixing all sorts of problems. I eventually made my way into government contracting, doing what I had dreamed of doing since I was 20 years old. While working I completed an Associate degree in Information Systems.

Fast forward to today and I am consulting with many different public sector clients on cybersecurity engineering engagements and have the privilege to serve our Country in ways that few will ever know. In the next year, I will also complete a Bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity & Networking from UMGC.

2. HOW DID YOU GET TO KNOW ABOUT CATOCTIN CROSSFIT AND WHY DID YOU START?

About 12 years ago, I started a membership a local gym in Maryland. After lifting in there for a little while, I met a guy named Zach, who I overheard talking about a “bootcamp” style class he was running outside of the gym. Having previously attended a bootcamp style class with another trainer in Baltimore County for a few years, I was in desperate need for this type of motivation and comradery again. Working out with Zach eventually led to CrossFit style workouts and Olympic lifting!

The day Zach told me that he was opening a CrossFit gym in Purcellville, I think I was in shock (or, as close to ‘in shock’ as I can look). I followed him over and have tried to involve myself with making the new gym as successful as possible as I felt my own success was somehow intertwined.

3. WHAT HAS CATOCTIN CROSSFIT CHANGED ABOUT YOUR LIFE OTHER THAN A NEW WORKOUT ROUTINE?

Catoctin CrossFit is what allows me to do the other things that I enjoy in life. It allows me to pick up my kids, go hiking, learn how to surf, and make the most out of the other things that life has to offer.

4. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AND KEEP YOU COMING BACK TO CATOCTIN EVERY DAY?

The other members at the gym keep me coming back. Cheering others on and hearing them cheer me on is my motivation. It is also my place to act like a goofball in one moment and be completely focused on making a lift in the next.

5. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE THINKING ABOUT TRYING A CLASS AT CATOCTIN CROSSFIT?

I have seen a lot of new people walk in the door over the years. Many have a similar look of, “what did I just get myself into?”. It feels intimidating, right? There are other people in there with higher skillsets lifting weights that seem unachievable. You don’t feel like you’re adequate or you belong. The truth is this stuff is hard and it is still hard even after years of practice. The question is, what do you want your future to look like? Do you want to be physically and mentally resilient? Do you want to go hiking and kayaking when you retire, or do you want to sit in a chair in front of the television?

6. WHAT GOALS HAVE YOU SET FOR YOURSELF IN 2021?

For the last 3-4 years, my goal has been to achieve a body weight snatch. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs with snatching and some injuries that set me back, but it’s still my ultimate goal.

Otherwise, my next goal is to compete at and possibly place at the next ‘The Tactical Games’ in West Virginia in August. This will be my third time at this competition, and I feel like it validates multiple skill sets for me.

7. FAVORITE CROSSFIT MOMENT SO FAR?

I’ve had a lot of good moments through the years, but the best one would have to be standing on top of the podium at a team competition with Kathleen, Friedl, and Crystal.

8. FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE TYPE OR WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT?

I love heavy Olympic lifts with other people. I love getting under a heavy bar or hitting the sweet spot receiving the snatch.

I’m not into burpees of any type… over the bar, a box, or with kite.

9. IF YOU HAD TO TEACH A CLASS ON ONE THING, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY? (NOT CF RELATED)

I previously taught a basic pistol class for some ladies at the gym. I am a certified basic pistol instructor and believe very much in teaching ladies (or anyone) the basic use and safe handling of defensive firearms. As someone who considers himself a martial artist, I believe this is another tool that should be learned for self-protection.

10. IF YOU COULD BE ON A REALITY TV SHOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

I would want to go on an adventure with Bear Grylls. Getting dropped off by helicopter in a remote area and having to problem solve my way out seems like something right up my alley. Though, I would not want to eat any worms or bugs.        

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