Getting To Know The Angry Kitten

As you may recall from my last post featuring Coach Turts, I noticed during our Christmas Party games this past year that not everyone knows the Coaching Team as well as I figured they did.  In fact, it still remains true that for some folks who always attend classes at a specific time of day, they have not even ever been taught by  some of the Coaches!  For this reason, I’m determined to help all the Zoners get to know our Coaching Team better, across the board.  Starting with our owners!

Deanna, a.k.a “Coach Angry Kitten” is our second contributor.  Take a look at what makes her special:

1. How did you find CrossFit?

I was working as a trainer at a private training facility in Colwood, training young athletes.   A firefighter that was a patient at the clinic told my boss about CrossFit, so we looked in to it.

We tried a workout with some of the kids one evening and after the workout, we went and stood outside and the steam was rolling off of us.  I can’t remember what the workout was, must have been some type of chipper.  After that, we were addicted!  A couple months later I went with my boss down to San Diego to get Olympic Lifting certified by Coach Burgener, and then a few months later to Santa Cruz for my Level 1 CF cert.

One of my first workouts was Filthy Fifty, and I think it took me 42 minutes!  I remember my friend crying and not wanting to finish because it was so hard.

2. What is your favourite CrossFit Exercise or WOD?

It’s funny, but I find that my fave exercises changes all the time.  When I first started, I loved Wall Balls, Deadlifts and Overhead Squats.   Now I would have to say my fave exercises are Handstand Pushups, Pistols and Cleans, with Wall Balls not being high on the list anymore…  😉

I have always loved the Filthy Fifty, even though we don’t do it very much anymore.   I would have to say my fave WODs would be the ones with any body weight movements and a lift like a Clean or Deadlift.   I love Diane and Elizabeth.   AMRAPs are NOT my fave, even after doing so many in CF Open!!!

3. How long have you been CrossFitting for?

My first WOD was in November of 2005, so that means I have been CrossFitting for 5 ½ years.  But, I wouldn’t call it true CrossFit with all the elements that generally make you hardcore. 😉   In 2006 I moved away for approximately 2 years and only had access to light weights, so my training regime consisted of running, gymnastics and light weight movements.   I really didn’t start lifting heavy until about September 2009 when we had all the tools and I had the time out of my busy schedule of running the Zone.

4. What do you do for a living?

I’m an astronaut…   Just kidding!  😛  I change peoples lives!

5. What are your hobbies?

I have pondered this for quite some time since I began CrossFit, as CrossFit has become my life, my hobby, and my passion.  My hobbies prior to owning my business were playing softball, roller blading and collecting puppies from random cities.  (Joking… just Freddie from Las Vegas.)  Now that I have a little more spare time, I want to try new things and find some new hobbies.   Any suggestions?

Oh yeah, and surfing is my new hobby. (Thanks Allan!)  But, I guess I have to do it more than once to make it a hobby, right?

6. What are your goals?

My goal in life at the moment is finding balance… this might sound corny, but that is what I need. For the last three years, my life has been CrossFit.   I would eat, sleep and breathe it (and of course drink the Kool-Aid). Now, I’m realizing that I need a life away from it, so I am searching for moderation and consistency in my training, work, friends and family life.

When it comes to CrossFit, my goal is to find that passion in training that I used to have; that fire that pushed me through the mental toughness.   I have set my training regime for the next year, and focused my goals and benchmarks along the way to get me ready for the Games next year.  My goal is to make it to the Canada West Regionals as an individual, and be very excited and proud to compete in it.   I have so many individual goals that I don’t have room to write them all here!  But, if you would like to know them, I’ll share them with you individually.

7. Why do you CrossFit?

I CrossFit because I want to look good naked!  Joking….  I have always been into sports and love to be competitive.  CrossFit has now become my sport.  I also love the family and community that develops from CrossFitting.   CrossFit is amazing because it confronts you on a daily basis and changes the way you take on challenges in your daily life.  CrossFit has made me want to try new things, and conquer what I fear.

8. Any Advice for future CrossFitters?


Just do it!  CrossFit really isn’t that scary to try, we just make it seem that way in our own little melons.  Remember that everything is scalable down to the basic movements. And… You don’t have to be fit before coming to CrossFit!  (That’s the biggest misconception.)   CrossFit will change your life for the better, I promise you!   I have seen it countless times in my years at the Zone.

9. What do you like the most about Coaching at The Zone?

My favourite part about coaching at the Zone is the peeps!  I love the fact that people are here to train because they WANT to train, not because they have to.   I love seeing people do things that they have never done before.  It’s the best feeling seeing someone get their first pullup, first muscle up, or any skill that they have been working on for a long time.

The one thing that I loved about CrossFit when I started was that my energy was not being focused on trying to get a six pack and smaller thighs, etc.  Instead,  it was focused on trying to Deadlift my body weight, be able to do a Pullup, and knock-out a  Handstand Pushup.  I think that’s what gets others to come to CrossFit and stay committed; you can see improvements on a daily basis.  I love seeing people do things that they never thought were possible!

10. What do you find the most challenging about being a Coach/Owner?

I find it hard to be able to give everything to every athlete in the gym in order to help them reach their full potential, and still having the energy to give the same gift to myself as well.  Another challenge is that there’s not enough hours in the day to coach and run the business and be improving in all areas!

11. Where do you see The Zone 5 years from now?

I see us in a huge gym with lots of space and equipment, with showers and classes running all day!  I’d like to see the Zone producing high calibre athletes of all ages and qualifying athletes to the CF Games.  Even with the size of the gym increasing, I see our community still growing strong and staying very close and connected as it is now.

12. What stands out as one of your proudest or most favourite memories during your Coaching time at The Zone?

I can’t pick one key memory because I’m proud every day with all our Zone athletes as they reach goals and get PR’s.  I would say the proudest moments come when members thank me for their success and say they couldn’t do it without my help, asserting that it was a team effort.  That is very motivating!  I also love when I hear members say that I have changed their lives.

13. How did you get your CrossFit Nickname?

It came from Shannon’s ex BF from CrossFit Vancouver one time when he visited for a workout in January 2009.  We were doing a max Deadlift workout, and as he was watching me all of a sudden he said I was like an “Angry Kitten”.  His reasoning was that I’m sweet and meek like a kitten, but during a workout y’all better watch out because I get “Angry” and I push hard with fierce determination!  It seemed to stick pretty well 😉

Today’s Workout

Buy-in:  Power Clean – 6 x 2

  • work up in weight over your sets, aim to get 3+ sets at 80% of your 1RM (i.e. this is NOT a 2 rep max)
  • if new to this movement, work with your coach on technique with a light load
  • Coaches allow 15 minutes for this

WOD:  Road Runner

We’ve done this wod a few times, it just keeps getting more fun!

For time:

  • 800m run
  • 30 sumo deadlift high pulls (65/95)
  • 400m run
  • 20 sdhp
  • 200m run
  • 10 sdhp

Zone 3 – scale sdhp to 55/75

Zone 2 – scale sdhp to 45/65, scale run as needed

Zone 1 – scale as needed

Cash-Out:  Foam rollios – upper legs, upper back


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