Titan of the Month December 2023 – Karen Apollony

Karen Apollony - Titan of the Month - Dec 2023

I’m Karen! I’m a Baltimore native, live here with my cat, Kuzy, and work as a freelancer. I love the outdoors, cooking, Caps hockey, ballet (watching, not participating in lol), coffee, animals, traveling, and of course, CrossFit. My favorite movement is the thruster and my least favorite is anything involving the plyo box!

What led you to try CrossFit?

I used to be very involved in standup paddleboard racing and was looking to mix up my strength training during the off-season. I tried CrossFit in 2017 and was hooked. I withdrew from a big SUP race in New York I was training for in addition to a series of race clinics I was scheduled to coach over the summer. I pretty much dropped everything in a sport I’d been involved in for the past seven years to focus on CrossFit in my free time, that’s how much I loved it!

Why do you continue to CrossFit?

CrossFit constantly challenges me. Whether it’s learning a new movement, trying to hit PRs, or pushing myself out of my comfort zone, there is always something to work on and it never gets boring to me. I also struggle with anxiety, which CrossFit helps a lot with. My mind can quiet down a bit when I’m in the middle of a metcon or focusing on a lift. CrossFit is like a daily mini-break for my brain.

Describe how your attitude towards health and fitness has evolved since you began your journey

I grew up with the mindset that fitness existed for the main purpose of helping people, particularly women, lose weight. It wasn’t until I got into strength training after college that my view on what fitness is started to shift. CrossFit in particular has been monumental in helping me focus on maintaining a healthier lifestyle beyond the gym. Since starting CrossFit, my relationship with food has improved, I’m more mindful of how I manage stress, I prioritize a solid night’s sleep, and I have embraced being strong.

Share a memorable CrossFit moment that makes you laugh or puts a smile on your face

A few months ago we did “Holleyman,” which is 30 rounds of 5 wall balls, 3 handstand push-ups, and 1 clean. I struggle with HSPUs but since it’s only 3 at a time I went for it. It was a train wreck of a workout for me… Rose ran over to lend me her wristbands so I stopped slipping in my own sweat during the HSPUs and Megan was throwing every HSPU coaching tip possible at me. I finished dead last and over the time cap, but the 9 am class was so supportive and stayed to cheer me on while I struggled to finish. That workout epitomizes everything I love about the CrossFit community!

What are you proud of and why?

I’m just stoked to be stronger and more fit in my 30s than I was at any point in my 20s.

What’s your advice for other CrossFitters or people looking to start?

It doesn’t matter what your fitness background is or how old you are, just sign up. You’ll be nervous, overwhelmed by all of the new info and terminology, and the workouts will be tough. But everyone remembers what it was like to be the newbie and will be there to support you. Just keep showing up, don’t be afraid to ask questions, scale when needed, and try not to compare yourself to anyone else in the room. Be patient and stay consistent and you WILL see progress!

Why the coaches chose Karen as Titan of the month

Karen is a staple in our community. She’s here even when she’s not. She drops into other CrossFit gyms while traveling and logs her workouts. It’s common to see Karen at the gym an hour before or an hour after working on fitness. On her own, Karen works on cardio, skill work, accessories or metcons she wasn’t able to do with a class. She understands her limits and is great at choosing workout options that suit her. She takes coaching cues well and isn’t afraid to ask for clarification. Even as a veteran CrossFitter she seeks out advice during and outside of class.

Karen’s a friendly face ready to talk about life or the gym. Her humble nature makes her a great asset on days where new people drop in. Her attitude towards health and fitness is something we should all strive for. If you are lucky enough to have class with Karen, your day will be better than it otherwise would have.