Kallista Pappas was 14 years old when she delivered a performance at the 2008 CrossFit Games that inspired an entire community. At an age when many kids are merely hanging out at the mall, Kallista, a home-schooled gymnast who lives in Seattle, Washington, was training gymnastics five hours per day and throwing in CrossFit workouts three times a week too.
“Looking back now, this workout (Sunday’s 30 Clean and Jerks at 100lbs) was climactic because it was the event that made the Games something that I will never forget. It changed me as a person. On repetition 22, I was getting ready to jerk it, when I lost focus. I didn’t take my inhaling breath to lock my core and, as I got it up to a point near lockout, I lost it and fell down. The weight bounced off my knees and I lay there, stunned. At this point, someone yelled something that still sticks in my mind: ‘Don’t give it up, you’ve come this far, you can’t give up!’”