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Our June Blade Athlete of the Month is KraigNeese. Kraig has made it a goal to commit to Crossfit and change his life for the better so he can take care of his family. Kraig was an immediate fit with the Blade community by being supportive of all of his fellow athletes. He is always quick to volunteer to help out around the gym and brings a positive attitude every day. Kraig even recruited his mother to join! He has made great strides in his metcons and strength as well as committed to doing mobility regularly. Kraig works humbly and is a very coachable athlete.

Why do you crossfit?

KN: I got tired of being tired and wanted to make a change in myself. My brother has been doing it for years and he tried numerous times to get me to do it with him. Finally I said enough is enough and showed up at Blade. I gave it a try and loved it. From the community to the accomplishments, I do it because of the sense of belonging to something that we all share, suffer, and rejoice in. It has been a long time since I have been able to participate in something like that and it feels really good. One can be very proud to call themselves a Crossfitter.

What is your favorite benchmark WOD? (Girl or Blade)
KN: I am not sure I have one, but I do have one that resonates in me. That is the Filthy Fifty. It was my second workout ever in Crossfit back in January. I did a scaled Dirty 30 that day and it took me over 48 minutes to complete and I thought I was going to die. I went home and took over an hour nap just to remember who I was. This last week I was able to do mostly all of the Filthy 50 at RX, knees to chest, and had to scale some of the movements down to 30 reps to meet the 40 minute time cap. I was able to complete it in 38 minutes. That is still a long time by comparison to others in our box, but for me it was huge. It showed me that I am doing something right. Not only did I shave 10 minutes off, but I did most of the workout at 50 reps. Maybe not a favorite, but this workout above all will probably be my true test of self as it is what showed me who I was and where I was on day 2.

What is your least favorite exercise?
KN: Overhead squats – I feel like a crumpling can when doing them.

What are your hobbies?
KN: Geocaching, camping, and when time permits working on my 66 pickup

What is something that many people may not know about you?KN: I am an extremely big hearted person. I come across very crass to most people and have been told I am a bit abrasive from time to time. I get told by friends and coworkers that I am the oldest 33 year old in the world. The truth is however, I love to help people out. I used to volunteer to help handicap children play baseball, assembling and handing out homeless carepacks, or just plain driving through the night to help a friend or family member out. Sometimes a hand up can change the course or a person’s life and sometimes yours too.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
KN: I have to say my family. I know that sounds cliché. I have two beautiful girls and an awesome wife. We are not perfect but every day we grow. I could say I have done amazing things in my career, or got this certification or that one, or lost a bunch of fat in our last challenge but my family is my accomplishment of notability. It takes work, love, more work, patience, and even more love to keep the bond of a family strong. That is what makes me proud.

What are your goals for 2014?
KN: I would love to get 400 on my back squat. I want to start RX’ing workouts with pullups in them. Take my metcon to a new level.