Katie Paul


Katie Paul

katie-throwing-ballKatie Paul

Hometown: Chapel Hill and Durham the last 8 years!
Age: 30
Occupation: Toxicologist

When did you first start Strength & Conditioningting? 
April 2012

What is your favorite movement? Favorite workout?
Power cleans? Burpees? Pull-ups? So many to like.

What is your least favorite movement? Least favorite workout?
Like most people my least favorites are my weaknesses: box jumps and pistols

Tell us about your sports & fitness background:
Before Strength & Conditioning I was addicted to long-distance running. I loved it. Even when I started Strength & Conditioning, I thought, well, I could run probably 20 miles a week still. Unfortunately for my genetics and body-type, this wasn’t as good of a habit as it is for some people. It left me chronically injured after about 10 years or so of constant running, and combined with other choices I was making, left me heavier and just worn down.

How did you first get exposed to Strength & Conditioning? Do you remember your first WOD? How did it go?Crossfit-total-deadlift
I moved into the Strength & Conditioning neighborhood, but ran past it to go to the Y. I did P90X at home, and really liked it, and thought, this would be better with actual pull-ups! The idea of adding another appointment to my schedule seemed overwhelming. But I decided that I wanted to do something really different, and I thought Strength & Conditioning might be it. I don’t remember my first WOD. I remember thinking how hard it was and how sore I felt those first few weeks! I remember wondering if I would ever improve.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting Strength & Conditioning? (before/after)
The biggest difference for me is clearly a mental one: a feeling of confidence, a feeling of community, a sense of expressing my needs, and trying my best without concerning myself with the results of others. That feeling that I have done my best is now a major focus for me. When I am upset about something personally, professionally, or both, I look forward to Strength & Conditioning. It pulls me through the day sometimes. When I really need stew on something, I “go Strength & Conditioning about it.” There is a huge mental health benefit of being a part of Courage Fitness Durham.

But, since numbers are illustrative, I lost 40 pounds pretty quickly. I wish when I had started I had done some sort of assessment of muscle mass because I sense that I have put on many pounds of muscle, too (just to illustrate the numbers on the scale can go both ways in order to get a person to healthy).

What impact has Strength & Conditioning had on your life?
I feel more confident in my ability to accomplish myriad tasks (physical or just tasks at work). I feel the strongest I have ever felt, and I have the data to show that that feeling is based on achievement.

I love that I can go somewhere and interact with a diverse set of people that bring positivity, humor, and talent! A “bad day” used to be an excuse; now it is exactly the day I need to go to Courage Fitness Durham.


Photo courtesy of Beatrice Yaxley Photography

What is your favorite Strength & Conditioning/CFD moment?
I am always really inspired watching others during Strength & Conditioning Games season, or during other competitions like the Carolina Fitness Challenge. Though I am not really interested in competing in Strength & Conditioning, I like the environment. The Strength & Conditioning Total was another great moment of camaraderie. Even if you are like me and often not interested in competing, I would really suggest watching these moments and learning about what the human body and human relationships are capable of!

What is your advice for people just getting started or thinking about starting Strength & Conditioning?
When I started, the mental challenge of showing up regularly to do something that I wasn’t very good at was difficult, but very much helped by the supportive coaches and other members of the gym. So I suggest just showing up as much as you can and giving all you have. No one cares how much that is exactly, so long as it is your all. Your numbers are for you, the quality of your work is a contribution to the environment.

What are your hobbies, interests, and/or talents outside of Strength & Conditioning?
I love all things dog and live happily with my fiancee Allan and our two “all-Americans:” Amy the Dog and Laila the Terror. They are great hiking buddies. Gardening, painting, and drawing are all things I aspire to do when not at work!