For the last six months, my former rowing pair partner, Julie, who currently CrossFits in Milwaukee, had been telling me about a friend of hers she thought I should connect with. “Meet with Kristin, Emily. She’s a really good writer. And she CrossFits. Read her stuff. She’s awesome. She could help you with your own writing,” insisted Julie on multiple occasions. It’s not that I didn’t believe Julie, and it’s not even that I didn’t want to chat with her friend Kristin. It’s just that so many of my friends and family members have boarded the Help a Struggling Emily Find Writing Gigs bandwagon; as much as I appreciate the encouragement, it gets embarrassing sometimes shamelessly throwing myself at strangers in a desperate networking attempt. In this case, I should have listened to Julie. But as fate would have it – or maybe it was the free market - I stumbled across 35-year-old Kristin Darguzas on my own. The omnipresent Facebook led me in the direction of her blog, and I was immediately captivated by who she is as a person and as a writer. In her own words, here’s how Kristin describes herself: “I'm Mom to an almost 5-year-old Superman enthusiast, partner to a (super hot) fitness-obsessed software geek, and remorseful ex-lover of Kozy Shack rice pudding. I started on a quest to end my muffin top a year ago, and have discovered strength I didn't know existed via CrossFit, running, clean eating, and dedicated concentration to a healthier lifestyle. I'm a typical suburban house lady with a career, a man, a kid, and a cat but I can also deadlift over 200 pounds and I can see my abs for the first time in my life. That kind of rocks.” In a nutshell, Kristin is CrossFit. Or at least she is the result of what CrossFit is at its best: the transformation of an average athlete into a fitter, happier and healthier human being than she ever imagined she could be. Growing up, Kristin was never hugely competitive. She dabbled in track and field running events, but that was about it. “I was completely uncoordinated in every sport. They always tried to recruit me because I was tall, so I’d get dragged out to the basketball court or to try high jump…and then the coaches would realize, ‘Ok, you’re right you’re not coordinated,’” explained Kristin of her past. As an adult, she met her current boyfriend, Corey Auger, who was 13th in the individual competition at the Taranis Winter Challenge, and soon became more into fitness. Corey was a massive gym-goer when they met. “He went to the gym everyday. He had a six pack, and I was like, ‘Ok, I can’t be super flabby now,’” said Kristin, who started going to the gym with Corey. Soon, the CrossFit buzzword crept into Kristin’s consciousness. “I heard about CrossFit, but I didn’t really know what it was. So Corey and I kept going to the regular gym. Then one day, we were doing bench press or something super lame, and I was like, ‘This is ridiculous. We’re fighting at the gym, and then I remembered about CrossFit,’” said Kristin. And that was that. Kristin and Corey started training at Dave Kitchen’s Pure Athletics in North Vancouver. They pretty much immediately drank the CrossFit Kool-Aid, and a new addiction was born. A couple months later, they won their gym’s paleo challenge, and their performances have gone through the roof. They both competed at the recent Taranis Winter Challenge in Victoria. “I couldn’t do one single girl push-up a year ago, and now I can do 30-something man push ups. And I can wear a bathing suit without feeling like a tool,” said Kristin. Pictures are worth 1,000 words; here’s a before and after snapshot from Kristin’s most recent blog post: http://blog.aqufit.com. It’s definitely worth reading; I know I’m adding it to my growing list of daily visited CrossFit sites. Thanks Kristin!