Katie Paul


Katie Paul

Katie-with-Amy-2012Member Since April 2012

How would you describe your previous athletic background before Strength & Conditioning?
I was a gym rat, and loved running with my dog, friends, and solo. But I wasn’t usually happy with how I looked or confident in my strength. I definitely had lots of “joint issues,” and was constantly afraid of injury. I had started working on mobility, but really needed a push to work on flexibility and joint stability.

What were you doing for exercise before Courage Fitness Durham? 
I was mainly a runner, and really not much else for about 10 years. I had run some longer races, and liked 5-15 mile distances in particular. I still really enjoy a long run.

Do you have a favorite workout?
As counterintuitive as it is, I love variations on Fran: thrusters and pull-ups. I recall an AMRAP burpee WOD: 1 min on, rest 1 min, repeat over and over. I thought that was pretty fantastic. And I learned that when rest is programmed in, it’s a real workout!

What made you want to give Strength & Conditioning a try?
In grad school I had packed on about 30 pounds, and running didn’t seem to help take it off no matter how hard I felt I was working. I was worried that job stress meant I was just incapable of trimming down. I had tried P90X, and liked it a lot, but it wasn’t quite motivating to jump around my living room, and repeat the same workouts over and over. I wanted something intense and liked the idea of a group class, but had been scared by what I saw as a rigid time commitment. One day I just decided I needed a completely different challenge to turn things around, and realized that I needed to invest the time in myself.

What impact has Strength & Conditioning had on your life?
I lost my 30 pound “thesis baby,” and feel a lot more confident and less anxious in all parts of my life. It’s been extremely transformative in how I am able to take on completely new things, in addition to the physical change. I have also tremendously valued the interesting, fun, and supportive people I’ve met, during some of the most difficult personal and professional experiences of my life. Beyond an anchoring routine, I look forward to it!


How would you describe Strength & Conditioning to someone that had never heard of it before?
Strength & Conditioning is both an intellectual and physical challenge that promotes a real-world fitness, simultaneously engaging strength and cardiovascular intensity, in what I think is the most engaging and positive environment possible.

What is your Strength & Conditioning nememsis?
BOX JUMPS. But something great about Strength & Conditioning is that no one laughs at me for jumping on stacks of weights or trying to get a handle on a good substitute for any movement. I think 2013 holds a real box jump for me, though.

What is your favorite movement?
I started out loving most of the bodyweight movements: crab walk, push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, toes-to-bar. As I’ve developed familiarity with the barbell movements, I have started enjoying all of them so much more, too, especially deadlifts, push press, bench press, and cleans.

What piece of advice would you offer to others thinking about starting Strength & Conditioning?
Something useful for me to keep in mind was that I don’t need to master everything at the same time. It’s okay for me to be a klutz and throw myself into things the best I can, asking for the substitutions I might need. Effort actually matters in this case. As I’ve spent more time with Strength & Conditioning, I’ve tried to focus on learning one or two skills at a time (jump-roping, then double-unders, unassisted pull-up,or toes-to-bar) during free times. Listening to and watching the coaches and my peers has been really helpful; sometimes I need a few more months working at a movement before I’m really ready to “hear” instructions and truly tackle it, but I try to bank the ideas and ask for help again later.