Karl and McKenzie Koon were a part of the original “Fit ‘n Fun” community before it was CFA! McKenzie has been attending classes regularly for over four years and today marks Karl’s 4 year CF anniversary! Check out Amber’s interview with the Koons below!
Crossfitting since:Karl June 2008, McKenzie January 2008
Ages: Karl is 56 and McKenzie is 52
Attend class: 4 times a week- generally together
How did you two get into Crossfit?
McKenzie had been working out at a local gym and hurt her back on one of the machines. She was feeling very depressed and defeated when she heard some of the moms at her daughter” gymnastics class talking about a new exercise program called “Fit n Fun”. This program was coached by Randy who incorporated many crossfit exercises that often included main page Crossfit WODS. She decided to give it a try- the rest is history.
Karl had always been active and was a weekend warrior, casual Nordictracker, and intermittent hiker and backpacker, however he never had a regular exercise program. Six months after hearing McKenzie talk about the “army fellow” who did rope climbs and exercises for time, Karl” intrigue brought him into the gym. Having never touched a barbell, he was instantly hooked by the competitive nature of the program, community feel, and great workout.
What were your goals when you started?
Mckenzie was unhappily 15 pounds heaving when she started Crossfit, was feeling a bit depressed and defeated, and wanted to find a fun, effective, and sustainable fitness program.
Karl” goals were generally related to competition and the ability to feel better and stronger in life.
What type of results have you seen?
When Karl was in the army, he could not hang from the pull up bar without both of his shoulders dislocating. Karl can now do multiple reps of pull ups without any problem and is a fierce competitor.
McKenzie has struggled with an eating disorder and depression since she was 15. After finding Crossfit, she no longer takes an antidepressant (which she also contributes to her Paleo diet), has lost those 15 pounds, and feels balanced and well.
Karl hasnâ€™t necessarily lost a lot of “weight”, but has lost 6 notches on his belt. He also is continuously impressed with his increased work capacity and stamina when doing work at his home on the weekends. They both agree they are in the best shape of their lives, their strength gains have made life easier, and they only wish they had found Crossfit Asheville sooner.
What are your fitness goals for the next year?
Mckenzie is very happy with her progress and level of fitness, she wants to “keep on keeping on” and be more consistent with eating paleo.
Karl” goals are very simple, “to go to the games, but not as a spectator”.
Does having someone with you help keep you more accountable?
They both agree that yes, it is much easier to be consistent with a partner.
Do you two ever feel competitive with one another during workouts?
Karl is the competitor of the two.
Does Crossfit come up a lot outside of the gym?
Crossfit has truly changed both of their lives, and permeates every aspect therein. When traveling, they always find the nearest crossfit box to visit. Karl also remembers being quite shy when first starting Crossfit… one of Randy” “rules” was a 15 burpee penalty for not introducing yourself to a new person. This helped Karl break through some shy barriers, as well as the confidence he built at Crossfit Asheville. The first thing Karl does in the morning is turn on CFA website. The Koon family favorite movie is “Every Second Counts”. Need I say more?
Do you encourage other couples to Crossfit?
Yes, they have encouraged friends to come but many have been intimidated in the past. Their families call it “bootcamp” and think it” nuts!
Has it helped your relationship by having the commonality of Crossfit?
Tremendously- Crossfit has brought them closer together as a couple, and as a family unit. They encourage each other.
How has CrossFit changed your diet?
Mckenzie eats a mostly paleo diet and contributes this to much of the balance in her life. Karl eats lots of meats and veggies, but isnâ€™t strict paleo. They both agree that finding balance is key.
What does a typical day of food look like?
Breakfast usually consists of eggs with greens, sausage or bacon, and fruit with nut butter. Lunch is usually a salad with meat and nuts and seeds for McKenzie and usually a sandwich for Karl. Dinner is veggies from the garden and fresh caught fish. They vary their diet tremendously, and rarely eat the same recipe.
What changes have you noticed since changing your diet?
Both agree they have more energy, sleep better, are nicer, and are more available to their children.
Are your dietary changes permanent?
Yes, however it is an ongoing continuum with highs and lows. Finding balance is key for the Koons.
How has CFA affected your family (i.e., are your children more active, eat better, etc.)
CrossFit is a Koon family affair, the children love CrossFit and would love to do it. Kelly, their oldest, does participate during school holidays. The kids are inspired by their parents and love going to competitions to cheer them on.
Do you compete in Crossfit competitions? What were your experiences like?
McKenzie loves to watch Karl compete but isnâ€™t interested personally. Karl loves testing his training and comparing himself against the best. (Karl finished 50th in the WORLD in the 55-59 year old Master’s Division for the CF Games this year!)
Thank you McKenzie & Karl for sharing some of your CrossFit back story!