Member Spotlight: Kati Lupia

Although I have always been active, I’ve never considered myself an athlete. Throughout my childhood, I played in rec leagues for volleyball, basketball, and softball. I was always decent, but never really great at any sport. Always the MIP, never the MVP. Still, I loved the community and competition of athletics and those three sports didn’t include a ton of running- something that has always been a weak area for me.

As a proud contributing member to the party school reputation at Ohio University, I thankfully still kept up with my fitness routine in college. OU’s rec center is an amazing facility that offered a lot of equipment and group fitness classes. I found myself gravitating towards Zumba classes as it was something completely different than I had ever done and I liked the challenge of learning the dance routines. It may look easy but I assure you, it’s harder than you think. You are moving the entire hour with no rest!

In the Fall of my Sophomore year, something with my body did not feel right. I was tired, losing weight quickly, and I was dizzy and disoriented frequently. I visited my childhood pediatrician over Winter break and I knew something was seriously wrong when he came into the room with a pale and saddened look on his face. He said “Kati, you have Type 1 diabetes. You are very sick and you need to be admitted to the hospital right now.” I knew nothing about diabetes at that time and the only question I could think of to ask was “Will I have this forever?” and he said “Yes”. After a 3 day outpatient hospital stay, I received so much information about how my life was turning upside down. I walked away feeling like I was starting over in so many aspects of my life and for the first time ever, I felt fragile. However, I was determined to keep everything I could control as normal as possible, including my fitness routine. 

 After grad school, I moved back to Columbus and met my husband who is an Army veteran. He was always active throughout his life as well and we started going to hot yoga 4-5 times a week. I loved the challenge of the power flow and it was a place where I could clear my mind of clutter for an hour. Once I became pregnant, my doctor said I could no longer practice hot yoga and I sadly kind of lost my drive for fitness once I became more and more pregnant and tired. After I had my daughter, I felt that I needed to get back into a fitness routine but trying to workout on my own at home just wasn’t cutting it. I wasn’t happy and I felt emotionally and physically depleted. I decided I needed to do something drastic and the intensity and mystique of CrossFit seemed to be the answer I was looking for. 


When I first joined CFC, I was super intimidated. Flinging around barbells was something that I had never done before and even just the thought of running WODs made me start to sweat. After using 35 pound cleans for my first WOD and thinking that felt heavy, I felt pretty defeated thinking that I was SO far away from anyone else at the gym and that athleticism was a category I just would never fit into. However, in my profession as a counselor, I talk with kids all the time about taking risks and persevering and I needed to practice what I preach. I started to understand that I was not in competition with anyone else but myself and that was super motivating for me. I decided that instead of avoiding the WODs that included moves that I disliked (I am talking to you, running and thrusters!), I would make sure to show up to those so I could get better. Even after seven months I am typically still at the very bottom of the whiteboard but I really couldn’t care less because I know I am making progress. I still hate running with a passion but I’ve run more than I ever have in my life and that’s pretty awesome.

Since joining CFC seven months ago, I have truly changed as a person. I have never watched the numbers on the scale but I know my body is stronger and leaner. Each week, you will find me at the 4:30 classes, working on my form at Clintonville Barbell, and cracking some jokes only I find funny on the SugarWOD app. The coaches are amazingly supportive and I’ve made some great connections with other members who push me to finish workouts when I feel like giving up. Recently, I have been hitting more and more PRs and I even RXed a WOD weight for the first time a few weeks ago. Even with a wild toddler to chase around these days, I have so much more energy too. I am just a happier and more fulfilled person- some of those feelings I had lost when I lost my fitness routine last year.

From time to time, my body still reminds me that I have a chronic illness with low or high blood sugar that totally wipes me out for the day, but I still come back to CrossFit feeling like a badass the next day. To be honest, I am just grateful that I am able to show up and complete a workout. I do not take that privilege lightly and I am pretty proud of what my body can do. Thanks, CFC, for reminding me that we are only in competition with ourselves to become a better person and that anyone can be an athlete!

Brian Peterson