Say Hello to Katie, the sole female Coach and Co-Owner of CrossFit Tay Ho. Katie has been part of the CrossFit World for the last 10 years (!!), and a member of the Tay Ho Army for the last six.
When Katie discovered CrossFit in 2013, her life was forever changed. It started out as a means to stay fit and ready for other athletic endeavors like soccer, skiing and running. But it soon turned into her passion.
In August 2017, she moved to Hanoi, making sure to live near the only CrossFit Box in the city, CrossFit Tay Ho. She was sure that this box was where she would spend the majority of her time.
She wasn’t wrong.
Through CrossFit Tay Ho, she grew even more passionate about health and fitness. Traveling around Asia for competitions and getting to know the Asian CrossFit community fueled her to pursue CrossFit as more than just a passion project. In April 2019, she received her Level 1 Coaching Certificate and began coaching part time at CrossFit Tay Ho.
Katie loves seeing how CrossFit changes lives - physically, mentally, and emotionally. When she isn’t at the box, she is either at school, on her couch, or traveling somewhere in world (and dropping into other CrossFit boxes!).
Read on to find out more about Katie, including how she was “tricked” into starting CrossFit, the time she beat Mat Fraser in a workout, and what she does for fun on vacation.
West Windsor, New Jersey, USA
How did you get into CrossFit and how long have you been doing it?
I was tricked into doing CrossFit way back in 2013! I was a long time member of a Boot Camp club - you know, your typical group class, usually outside, doing a variety of games and exercise in circuits. The most weight I had ever lifted were small dumbbells and kettlebells, and never really thought about heavy lifting. Then slowly, the coach of the Boot Camp Class started changing up the workouts.
I specifically remember the first time we did a variation of ‘Cindy’. The coach said we were changing up the workout for the day and we would be doing only three movements for 20 minutes and we had to count all of our rounds. I remember thinking it was absurd…5 burpees + 10 pushups + 15 squats…for 20 minutes straight?!
From there the classes started becoming more and more CrossFit-esque. The boot camp moved from outdoors to inside a brand new facility. Suddenly we were doing pull ups and lifting barbells. Once it was official, he told us that we were no longer Shark Bite Boot Camp Members, but 802 CrossFit Members!
I was hesitant at first - CrossFit was not what I wanted to do! I wanted to keep doing Boot Camp! But I quickly realized how much fun CrossFit was. The workouts changed daily, I was learning new things, and I was improving quickly.
Do you remember your first ever CrossFit workout? What were your thoughts after?
My first ever ‘Official” CrossFit Workout was during the grand Opening of 802 CrossFit. I knew that I had been “doing CrossFit” for a few weeks at that point, but the very first workout was:
Buy In: 1 Mile Run
Burpees + Overhead Lunges + (something else)
Two things I remember about that workout:
When and why did you decide to become a coach?
After that grand opening of 802 CrossFit in 2013, I was immediately hooked. I started seeing results so fast - not just in how I looked, but how I performed, and how I viewed myself. Almost immediately I knew that I wanted to be a CrossFit Coach, in particular I wanted to become a CrossFit Kids Coach! It wasn’t until I moved to Hanoi in 2017, and I really started getting serious about CrossFit that I got my level 1 and joined the coaching team at CFTH.
What do you like about coaching?
My number one favorite thing about coaching is seeing movements click for people. Perhaps it stems from my teaching background - I love watching the progression from not knowing how to do something - to doing it! Honestly, when I coach, it gives me an energy and an excitement that I don’t get from anything else. Even after a long day of teaching, coaching will almost always reinvigorate me.
What advice do you have for people just getting started with CrossFit?
Don’t let the ‘CrossFit’ Reputation intimidate you! CrossFit is NOT all clang and bang and men with giant muscles. CrossFit is quite literally for everyone. There is ALWAYS a way to scale a workout to make it accessible for you. I have been doing CrossFit for 10 years and have done it through every season of my life - from fit to unfit, healthy and even continued CrossFit while recovering from surgery. I would tell people to have an open mind, take things slow, listen to your coaches, and enjoy the ride!
What is your favorite CrossFit Tay Ho moment?
Oh this is hard, I have been around for a long time. I would say our Grand Opening Day 2.0 back in February 2020. The whole day was just a massive high. From our base of about 50 current members (at the time) coming in and cutting ribbons and celebrating with us. To the whole Hanoi Community (over 100 people) coming through for free classes. To the end of evening festivities - best party in Hanoi right in our box. A day I will never forget, for sure!
What is a fun fact that would surprise us about you?
Well, I already shared my fun fact about cycling across the USA. I would say another fun fact is that I love CrossFit Travel - meaning anywhere I go in the world I make sure I drop into a CrossFit box. As of April 2023 I have dropped into 39 boxes in 20 different countries!
Katie's Official Bio
Katie is a food enthusiast, active traveler, and lover of all things fitness. She is an International School Teacher by day, CrossFit Coach and Social Media Connoisseur by night, and travels at every chance she gets. She hails from the East Coast of The USA, but has been living abroad for the last nine years. Katie brings a passion for fitness to the CrossFit Tay Ho community through her coaching and excitement for the sport. When she isn’t at school or at the gym, you can find her eating her way through Hanoi, researching where she is going to travel next, or making random lists on any paper she finds.