In Athletes, Audio, Kids, Nutrition, Videos

December 26, 2008

Video Article

Heather Keenan, 32, is a trainer at CrossFit New England, the strength and conditioning coach at Nobles School, a mom to two kids (Maya 8 and Jonah 4), and an aspiring 2009 CrossFit Games competitor.

In this three part video series, the Again Faster crew profile Heather, who came in 2nd place in Albany CrossFit’s East Coast Challenge last year, right behind Tanya Wagner. She recently passed her CrossFit Level 2 certification on December 7, 2008.

In Part 3, Heather talks about her kids, diet, body image, and how CrossFit training shifts the emphasis from just being skinny to having goals and developing real performance.

The Road to the 09 Games — Part 2: 6min 56sec

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22 Comments on “The Road to the 09 Games — Part 3”

1

wrote …

At the end of the video Heather makes some comments that seem to suggest that she is torn by societal expectations of a woman's body image, and that her athletic physique is contrary to the ideals of feminine beauty as defined by magazine models and the media at large.

Frankly, I'm surprised to hear Heather's take on the subject and sorry that she doesn't realize how truly phenomenal she looks.

Personally I feel that despite the application of clever lighting, make-up artists, skilled photographers, airbrush artists and starvation diets employed by the media Heather and most of the CrossFit women I know manage to appear far and away more beautiful and sexier than any so-called 'fitness' model, fashion model or movie star.

For Heather and other female CrossFitters out there you need to know that your physical fitness accentuates rather than detracts from your femininity. Keep CrossFitting, stay fit, stay gorgeous!

2

wrote …

I agree with Corey. Discussions can take place for hours on the impact or role of the media in the perception of our physical appearance. I simply think that the intensity, dedication, and general attitude of the crossfitting women I've met or seen, is reflected in their physical appearance and its beautiful. Getting friends to overcome that stigma of 'physically hard work=unattractive' is annoyingly diffilcult, but athletes like Heather Keenan gives us a great example of how wrong that idea can be.

3

wrote …

she's a hot mama! my gf exclaimed "she's had 2 kids?!" after seeing her abs. i think she's quite attractive by regular standards, contrary to what she implies in the video. not really that muscular or bulky at all

4

wrote …

is it true that having a c-section will screw up your abs?

5

wrote …

I can't explain enough how satisfied I am about the new journals that have recently been put out. It's pretty easy to see what attracts most men to doing crossfit, but getting the elderly (I'm sorry I meant mature adults) and young women to understand the physical and mental benefits is extremely difficult. These video articles are great way to show this audience what we believe is not only scientifically correct, but what should also be socially correct.


On another note, I would like to say that I believe that the most important outcome of the whole entire crossfit movement is and will always be crossfit kids. At 20, when I get depressed or face a difficult challenge I ( resort to what's been ingrained in my psyche and therefore my behavior since I was a pre-pubecent child. My parents have done a great job raising me, but unfortunatly I don't always do the things I know are smart and for my benefit. For example I will compensate by going back to eating candy and drinking soda, I always get over this , but it's a huge pain in the ass to re-wire myself. I don't think that will happen to a crossfit kid, when they face a difficult challenge in life they will resort back to what they have been taught from an early age. That's not deprivation, that's salvation.


Our methods are contrarian to most, but we can't and shouldn't live in our own world. We our broad, general, and most importantly INCLUSIVE.

6

Jeremy Stecker wrote …

I have a new favorite that I'm rooting for, for the CrossFit Games '09. My wife was wondering if her headband she wore during the workout was just a headband or something more?

7

wrote …

Hahaha...I couldn't help but crack up after reading your headband question. Not really sure what "more" it could be, but as far as I know it's just a headband. It may have superpowers, though. I'll check it out in a while (heading out for some XFit Endurance training) and let you know if I figure anything out ;)

Thanks for checking out the videos, Jeremy.

8

wrote …

Yo, Jeremy. Bad news: unfortunately, no superpowers. Not even one lousy lightening bolt. Apparently, it IS just a headband after all.

Guess there ARE no short-cuts after all ;)

9

keith norris wrote …

It seems as though what a woman's ideal image should be -- at least as far as the mainstream media and "citizenry" are concerned -- is in the same sorry state of affairs as is what ought to be considered to be a healthy diet by the mainstream (read, high carb, low fat). Gimme a break. I'll take my "weird" Paleo diet any day, (http://theorytopractice.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/this-is-what-44-and-paleo-looks-like/), and I'll take Heather's build over any Victoria's Secret model build, hands-down.

10

Ned Ferguson wrote …

Heather, you are a totally feminine, sexy babe. Not all us men go for the airbrushed, fake boobs look. Keep it real. - Ned

11

wrote …

I enjoyed all three parts of this interview, but the last 30 seconds of this segment actually brought tears to my eyes. Heather states that 40-year old women are "competing and taking on new activities" and "creating new lives for themselves instead of just growing old". I'm living proof of that. Although I've never rowed before, for many years, in the back of my mind, I have had this aspiration to row on my company's corporate rowing team. Before CrossFit, I always thought I was too old to start. Not any more. On Monday, January 5, I will attend my first session of the Winter Rowing Season with the Three Rivers Rowing Association. I plan to row two Winter sessions and in the Spring, compete for a seat on my corporate team - and I am 50.


As a 50-year old, age is chasing me. But as a CrossFitter, it can't catch me.

12

wrote …

Hey, its already bin said but I'm just throwing it out there. I'm flat out shocked that Heather is even remotely concerned about her appearance. The whole time I watched these video's I thought this woman's body is amazing. Not masculine, not chunky, just lean, strong and beautiful. It had struck me as particularly impressive even for a crossfit girl. So I was all the more surprised to hear it caused her any worries.

13

wrote …

If I saw Heather on a magazine cover, I would buy out the stack, put her pic up on my refrigerator for inspiration, and be willing to do pretty much whatever the magazine told be to do to achieve a body like hers. Heather has one of the most lean, well-proportioned physiques I have ever seen, even by the very high standard of other female crossfit athletes. She's not in any way blocky or boyish (on the contrary, her fantastic shoulders make her six-pack-sportin' waist look teeny tiny), so the fact that even she can fall prey to the occasional body-image issue just goes to show how out of whack our society's "ideal" female form really is. Heather, I loved these journal articles. Getting a peak into your training, personal life and insights was fantastic. Best of luck at the games. You'll rock.

14

Steven Caddy wrote …

The great thing about the performance guided mindset is the way it changes perceptions. I'm forever seeing sick-looking ('beautiful') women on TV and magazines these days and wondering aloud to whoever happens to be nearby how being - and looking - fragile and useless (by which I mean, without physical utility) became desirable.


Heather, I absolutely empathize with what you said about kids and paleo now that I have a 11 month old daughter. It's already started with the questions about why I would want to push my 'weird food habits' on her instead of having her eat 'normal foods like everyone else'.


I know the reality is that she'll be exposed to both and will one day decide for herself how and what she eats, what is beautiful and what is not but man ... it's like fighting some kind of unseen cancer, and it's increasingly difficult to do without insulting someone (everyone) or coming of as some kind of crazy food cultist.

They're right when they say food is like religion to people.

15

wrote …

I am one of those 40 something women who has embarked on crossfit and it is changing my life. I hope to one day look just like Heather and maybe kick her ass at the games - ha ha!!!

My first Fran was 6:48 so I obviously have a long ways to go.

I wish that every young woman in America (and Canada) as that is where I am from could see your videos and see what a real woman should look like - one that is vibrant, sexy, and healthy!!

Good luck at the games, and I hope to see you there in 2010!!

16

wrote …

I think it's great to see Heather doing so well. I wish more woman would lift.

17

wrote …

Hi Heather,
Great video and inspiring. I am a fairly new female to CrossFit, loving every minute of it. I also have 2 kids and would love to know more about what you feed your kids for breakfast day in and day out. Any ideas on school lunches too. Also, what the heck were your kids making in the kitchen, looked good.

18

wrote …

I don't know where to post so hopefully I can get some feedback here. First, I am inspired by Heather's video as well. As a mother of four children ages 10-2 I know how difficult it is to "fight" people over the food my children should be allowed to eat. Unfortunately, I stopped fighting when the kids went to school and I resorted to buying school lunches and packing them overly processed snacks so that they ate their food instead of some other kids lunch. I now homeschool and have more control. However, switching over is not going so smoothly. Does anyone have any suggestions? Do you just serve plain vieggies and fruit? Do you make recipes? Also, do you get your kids completely off the sugar or do you allow fruit popsicles? As with all kids I have picky eaters and the Zone meals are not going to fly with them. Thanks, Theresa K. (Dan's wife)

19

wrote …

hey, guys! so, i WILL admit that my kids' breakfast are typically these bars i make ("Heatherbars") that actually DO have some grains in them (whole grains, but grains nonetheless). other than that, we live by the "find the healthy foods we like, and don't go a DAY without having them readily available for snacks and meals".

in other words, my 5 year old's staples are strawberries, grilled chicken, clementines, baby carrots, scrambled eggs, and those Heatherbars. it's not a perfect diet, but it's a helluva lot better than what i used to resort to: chicken nuggets, toaster waffles, bagels/muffins, cereal, etc. some days, i'll admit, he will refuse to eat anything in our house except strawberries for lunch. not a great 'meal', but way better for him than EasyMac.

i also like to make sure that my kids can eat when they're hungry, and not be forced to eat when they aren't. i know this doesn't work for every family, but we feel pretty strongly that it establishes healthy eating habits (food is fuel, not comfort or a means for us to 'bond' over).

so, my 5 year old's still a work in progress, but my 9 year old is a nutritional rockstar. she has her moments (particularly with those little bags of chips that my mother loves to spoil her with), but i think she's developed some great views on nutrition: she knows it's healthy to eat a meal balanced with the 3 macronutrients (and can distinguish one from the other), gets the importance of trying to eat as much grass-fed meats as possible, understands that fat doesn't make us 'fat', loves how good she feels when she eats healthy foods, and even takes her fish oil just like us. we talk about a lot of this stuff in crossfit kids, too, so that makes it all seem that much 'cooler' to her. she gives me hope for my little guy; he'll get there...he's just takin' his sweet time, like he should :)

20

wrote …

You are an inspiration to all of us mothers! Thanks for being so real.

I did not get the impression Heather was unhappy with her body but was more concerned about what the media presents a fit body to look like. I can only imagine how that concern is magnified having little girls. Agreed, the women are skinny, but certainly not strong!

I love the fact that I can pick up my 50+ lb 5 year old AND my 40 lb 3 year old at the same time. I can throw my kids up in the air at the pool. I get to run and play tag with my kids. My kids won't remember how skinny I was. They WILL remember how I played with them, carried them when they were sad/hurt, and all the laughter that resulted from our physical endeavors!

21

wrote …

Crossfit women have the best figures. More women need more muscle on them. I hate skinny fat chicks with soft asses.

22

wrote …

Heather is hot!

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