January Member Spotlight 2018

We’re starting our year off on the right foot by honoring Keith as our January Member Spotlight. You’d never know that Keith is fairly new to Islip CrossFit as he has already made himself right at home with our early morning crew and we couldn’t be happier to have him! Keith’s presence always inspires a positive class and his uplifting attitude is contagious.  More of us should go into each class with his method of thinking and his interview below really says it all. Congratulations Keith, keep up the great work!!!

“Keith has only been a member for about 6 months, but I feel like it’s been so much longer. Since day 1, he was so eager to learn and constantly asked questions to improve himself. He was the true example of someone just wanting to be better than they were yesterday.

He has no problem scaling when needed, as he has trust in the process and knows all he needs to do is give it his absolute best effort, which he does every class. (with the help of his motivational phrases on his board)

His positive attitude and energy are contagious and I look forward to helping him continue to do things he never imagined he could!” – Coach Nick

“Keith’s energy and enthusiasm is infectious.  He is always positive and down for any challenge! I love how determined and engaged he is in all he does at the gym.  He listens and is always looking to make sure he’s challenging himself enough.  He absolutely inspires me and I know he inspires those around him as well with his positivity, his drive, and even his messages to himself on his whiteboard.  Keith is everything I strive to be as an athlete and it is a joy to coach him and have him a part of a class!” – Coach Christine


Tell us about yourself?

My names is Keith Kelly, I am married to my wife Regina and together we have 4 children: Vivian (17), Brandon (15), Jacob (11) and Alaina (9) and 2 dogs: Patriot and Sierra. I am soon to be 48 years old and am a native of Islip, NY for over 40 years. As a family we enjoy traveling, sports, fishing, surfing and good old fashion fun. 

What do you do out in the real world?

In the real world I am in institutional sales for Charles Schwab’s IBS division on the East Coast. I work primarily with Financial Advisors and RIA firms.


How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I’ve been doing CrossFit since around August of 2017. Not very long at all.

  • What brought you to Islip CF? 

Well, I know the best banker ever at Chase in Islip and one Sunday morning I ran into Jeanann (and Caroline) at the Carelton Ave. Car Wash after they had been working out. We began talking about exercise and I mentioned how dissatisfied I was with the results I had been getting at the gym; well that was all I had to say; they raved about how awesome Islip CrossFit is and that if I liked working out I had to try it. Their excitement was infectious and within a few days I stopped in and met Christine and my journey began.

What was your first CF workout? What did you think after it?

I think my first work out was a WOD with lots of overhead squats. It was the most painful and awkward thing in the world at the time. Christine and Nick had me use a training bar with no weight and I still couldn’t do it. I’ll never forget how stiff and unbalanced I was, I remember getting home and telling my wife how feeble and old I felt. But, instead of letting the feelings get the best of me, I used them to motivate me. Then a few days later Nick got in my face and said something “like tighten up your stomach like I am going to punch you in the gut” and I was like ya, this is where I belong! I don’t like not being able to do something and I love being pushed by people better than me…I was in.

What changes have you made in your diet or workouts that have been the most successful?

My diet could use improvement. I’ve always been a good clean eater, but I know I could do with adding more discipline to my diet to get the most out of my workouts. It’s actually a goal of mine this year (2018). As for my workouts, the #1 thing I do is try not think; my mind is not my friend and it always try to tell me things that don’t really help, like stay home today, go easy, use lower weight etc. So I simply don’t listen to my mind, and I try not to give it time to say those things to me. This may sound strange, but it works for me. the way I cheat my mind is I never look at the WOD before going to the Box and then when I get there I don’t think about what’s on the board and try not to talk about what we are going to do until the coach starts the class; then whatever I am told to do I simply do with the maximum effort possible and when my mind says its tired I tell it to shut the F up. See, its easy.

• Most embarrassing/funniest gym moment? 

How sad, I am not sure I don’t I have one yet…I guess that’s coming at some point.

Favorite movement? Least favorite? Benchmark WOD?

My favorite movement is Pull Ups because I can’t do them yet. I want them though. I don’t have a least favorite, I really like it all. I don’t have a benchmark WOD yet.

• Favorite memory OR most memorable moment at Islip Crossfit? (could be a PR moment or an event etc.)

My favorite memory at Islip Crossfit was a 6am class that Christine coached. The WOD was 100 Pull Ups, 100 Push ups, 100 sit ups and 100 air squats. I was in the back corner of the Box with Lisa and I remember my mind telling me that I was never going to get all those reps in. So, I did what I always do; I told my mind to F off, that I was going to finish every single rep. and then started the WOD. I scaled the pull ups by doing 100 seated pull ups. About 15 minutes into the WOD I was the only still going and I said to Christine something like “I am sorry I am taking so long” and she sort of yelled at me and said “No, you keep going and finish your workout” and I did. I was so proud of myself that day, it was like I broke through a new barrier of confidence that morning.

If you could program it, what is your perfect workout?

I have no idea, I don’t even know what most movements are called yet. I’ll say this, I love WOD’s with lots or different exercises; the ones with 200M runs or 20Cal Rows in-between are the best. 

• Favorite workout music?

Anything Nick or Jon play…I don’t usually hear the music when we are into the WOD, but at the beginning it sometimes helps me get pumped and focused.

Advice for a new member or someone thinking of trying CrossFit?

Just show up and do whatever the coaches say. Check your ego at the door and smile your way through the workouts. In no time you’ll feel better and be able to do things you cannot imagine. Also, Nick said to me one day that “we train for life.” I think about that a lot because I need reasons to do things…what better reason is there to workout than to have a better life? 

• How do you find/make time to get your workouts in?

I plan my day around my workouts so I am sure to get them in, they are a priority. I am a better man and can contribute more to those around me after I take care of myself with a meditation and workout in the morning. I make no excuses for it and try hard to not let anything get in the way.

• What is your favorite part of Islip CrossFit?

This one is easy—the people. Everyone from the amazing coaches to every singe athlete are very special people. I could go through a list of the athletes and share how each one has inspired me differently. I believe you become who you choose to associate with and I am associating with wonderful people and athletes.

• What motivates you to keep coming back each day?

The challenge. I know I am not as strong, fast and fit as most and I want to be. I am also fighting age, I feel the changes that naturally occur. I’d like be a very fit 50 and beyond so I can keep surfing and having fun with my kids and then even grandkids one day. Yes, I think that far our—I am a planner.

What is your greatest achievement in your fitness so far?

Showing up at least 4x a week regardless of how badly my mind tries to tell me not to. Also, I can move in ways that only a few short months ago I couldn’t. Doctors were telling me to slow down and I am speeding up. It’s awesome.

What has been the most challenging part?

Checking my ego at the door and being able to accept my “temporary” limitations. When my ego is involved I don’t have as much fun or get as much out of the workout. Jon and Phil really helped me focus on just doing what I could while still pushing and challenging myself.

Short term goal? Long term goal?

Short term goal is to get my diet right. If there are any suggestions, please let me know. Long term goal is to have 10 pull ups (strict).

What/Who motivates or inspires you?

Everyone inspires me but in a differ way. I get inspired by the school teachers who are at the Box at 6am before classes start; by the Mom’s who bring their children; by the police officers who come right from working all night; from the guys who are lifting sick weight etc. Most of all though I get inspired by the coaches; each has a different style and approach and that makes it so much fun. Each coach cares so much about each athlete, it’s such an amazing thing to be there knowing that regardless of how lost you are (as I usually am), someone is there watching making sure you do things right and get results.


• Favorite Cheat Meal?


What changes have you made in your diet or workouts that have been the most successful?

My diet is simply being aware of what I am eating. My body reacts quickly if I am eating good, or bad. Meditation has helped my workouts, I try to meditate before going to the Box in the morning and as result I am looser and more focused when I get there.

• What is the worst “diet” you’ve ever been on? 

Please don’t holdout against me, but Nutrisystem. Regina and I did it together and I got so sick…never ever again.

• What’s your go to breakfast?

Protein shake.

• Do you eat before you workout? (If so, what?)



Something no one at the gym knows about you?

I play Xbox video games with my boys…I wanted to spend more more time with them and got tired of competing with the Xbox, now I just join them and it’s been fun.

Favorite Quote?

“If you treat a man as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be he will become what he ought to be.” Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

What Superhero are you?

Captain America

Biggest Fear?

That my last thought before I die is one of regret! WhenI leave, I want my last thought to be “that was awesome!”

Best Vacation?

My wife and I once packed backpacks and traveled to spontaneous places for 2 weeks; we went from Germany to riding camels in the Egypt desert to Paris and then Amsterdam. It was an action packed trip. We plan to do it again one day.

• If you aren’t at the box, where would we find you?

Working or with my family.

• If you won lotto, what would you do?

Put enough away for my kids to have a fast start in life and then have fun using the rest in a way that made a positive impact on others.

• If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

Antarctica; while cold and dangerous I bet its also peaceful and beautiful. Also because not many people go there, who wants to go where everyone else goes?

• Who is your celebrity crush?

I can’t think of one, they’ve all a bit strange these days…

• Last pic on your phone?

A selfie of my son Jacob and I leaving Diagon Alley at Universal Studios over Christmas break.

• What’s the wallpaper on your phone right now?

The logo of a company I am starting. I am a bit of an entrepreneur; I like to try new things. 

• What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab? (get a screenshot)

A smiley face.

• What’s the last thing you searched for on Google?

A surf camp in Costa Rica for my kids and I to go to this winter.

• Summarize your lifestyle in 5 words or less

determined, courageous, grateful, loving, blessed

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