Paula’s Spotlight – “I can do things I never thought I could do!”

November 7th 2015 – “I can do things I never thought I could do” Breakthrough Spotlight – Paula Krispow


  1. Build Muscle, Burn Fat, Change the World! Don’t forget! We will be having a FREE Ballistic Burn class on Friday November 20th from 6pm-7pm, that is open to both members and non-members! All that we ask is that you bring a non-perishable food item (such as canned goods, mashed potato mix, gravy mix, etc…) that will be donated to the West Valley Food Pantry for Thanksgiving!

  2. Looking Ahead: We will be closed on Thanksgiving (11/26), as well as the day after, Friday (11/27). We hope you enjoy your holiday and spend lots of time with family and friends!

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Breakthrough Spotlight:  Paula Krispow


Paula Krispow is our Breakthrough Spotlight of November! We chose Paula this month because of her go-getter attitude, and the tremendous strides she made during the Tactical Strength Challenge this year! Paula is an inspiration to the entire Breakthrough family! We conducted a phone interview with her this week to gain some insight on her training and mindset going into the TSC…

Breakthrough: Thanks for taking a few minutes to share your story with us, Paula. First of all, we want to say congratulations for an awesome performance at the TSC!

Paula: Well thank you!

Breakthrough: It was really, really exciting because I remember when you signed up this change kind of came over you. I remember you telling me “well I signed up so I’m going to do at least one kettlebell snatch with the 12k,” and I was like “you’re going to do more!” and sure enough…

Paula: Well my goal was not to get zero on any of the events.

Breakthrough: And you definitely more than accomplished that goal. Getting 40 kettlebell snatches with the 12kg was fantastic!

Paula: Yeah, I was shocked.

Breakthrough: I think prior to starting, like eight weeks ago, what was the heaviest snatch you had done?

Paula: I don’t think I had done snatches really. I think maybe I tried them a while back with a tiny 10 pound but I didn’t really have the technique at all before we started training.

Breakthrough: Yeah, and then in such a short period of time to just come along and get so many with such a heavy bell, 40 with 26 pounds over your head, that’s crazy! Especially considering that you had had some shoulder stuff going on, so we weren’t really doing a lot of overhead stuff for a while.

Paula: Well I did do most of the 40 on my right hand, I will admit that. The bad shoulder’s the left.

Breakthrough: But that’s ok! And then in your deadlift we graduated to the big wheels, so we have two big wheels on the bar now, doing 135 pounds which is awesome!

Paula: I never thought I would be able to pick up that much.

Breakthrough: Yeah, it’s incredible!

Paula: I felt like if we had gone one more round I could’ve gone up!

Breakthrough: I think so too! I remember I said we should do 135 and you were like “oh I don’t know,” and you lifted it and I thought “oh you could have done more,” but next time!

Paula: Next time for sure!

Breakthrough: And so then going back to the shoulders, I think you were telling me that even in ballet you’re noticing that holding your arms up overhead doesn’t bother you anymore?

Paula: Yeah, many years ago I was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and when I’d put my arms over my head my hands would go numb, my pulse would disappear, and I just realized that I haven’t noticed those symptoms at all in the past couple of years since I’ve been working with you guys.

Breakthrough: We want you to be strong in the gym, but it’s even more awesome if it carries over to other activities in your life. So you know if you’re noticing that “hey I can take my arms up overhead without numbness,” thats just incredible!

Paula: Yeah and the strength that I’m gaining in my legs from our classes here is definitely helping me in ballet class.

Breakthrough: That’s fantastic! And then you also are looking a little slimmer to me, I think you had made the commitment during the TSC that you were going to cut out sugar, but not go crazy with the diet.

Paula: Well I did on my birthday have some ice cream…

Breakthrough: Well it was your birthday!

Paula: And at the office Halloween party I did have a little bit of sweets, but for the most part I don’t even miss it. I’m muffin-topping a little less in jeans, I haven’t gone down a size but I’m not as tight so I’m happy with that!

Breakthrough: Right, it’s definitely a difference that I’m noticing and I’m sure you’re noticing it as well, so that’s fantastic. Anything else you want to share?

Paula: The reason I got into kettlebells is because my boss at work had some in his office and I was kind of intrigued. He showed me videos of Russian women doing kettlebell snatches with 32k and I thought “I would never be able to do that, that looks intriguing,” and he lent me Pavel’s Enter the Kettlebell video and I thought “maybe I could do this, but I need some training,” and that’s how I found you guys. And in just a few short years I am doing what those Russian women in the videos were doing, not quite as heavy but still, I’m doing it!

Breakthrough: Yeah! That’s fantastic!

Paula: It’s amazing that now I feel like there’s more things that I can do that I never thought I could do, and if there’s something that I want to try, I’ll just try it.

Breakthrough: Yeah, it’s a pretty cool thing that physical strength can carry over into other things in your life. You can feel more confident and you can feel like, “well if I accomplish these things in the gym, maybe there are a bunch of other things in life that I can accomplish.” That is really our mission here at the gym to celebrate strength in all it’s forms – strength of mind, body, character and spirit!

Paula: Yeah, that’s why I went back to ballet after an 8 year absence. I thought “why not give it a try, I haven’t done it in eight years but I’m definitely stronger from working with kettlebells so maybe it’ll be an easier transition,” and it was. Easier than I thought it would be.

Breakthrough: Ah! That’s awesome, that’s really good news. That’s how it should be.

Paula: One day I’m going to get that pull up!

Breakthrough: I love it – new goals right away! Yeah definitely, it’s going to come. We’re on the right track. You’ve started with working the straight arm hang and now were getting up to you being able to hold yourself up in the flexed arm hang, which is awesome.

Paula: I have got to keep working it, and you guys are training me the proper way so that I can train it without injury.

Breakthrough: Yeah, that’s the main thing, we have to keep pain free first, we don’t want to get injured on our way along the path to these things.

Paula: That’s what I really love about the way you guys train, it’s all about form and doing things properly, not injuring yourself and not being show-offy, just doing it right so you don’t get hurt.

Breakthrough: Right well good! Thanks, I’m glad you appreciate it because its forefront in our minds to keep you guys safe and that way you can keep training and keep reaching these goals!

Paula: I do have friends that do other types of heavy duty physical fitness and come into work injured because they weren’t using proper form or they’re not making the gains that they want to because they’re just going all out but not really doing it right. I think you know what type of activities I’m talking about.

Breakthrough: I do, I do, unfortunately there are places out there that don’t seem to spend as much time on safety and technique as they should.

Paula: Yeah, in my dance training it all goes back to working together with what you guys do, it’s all about the technique and the form and getting the basics before you try to do the showy stuff.

Breakthrough: Oh for sure, if you have a solid foundation in the basics that gives you the platform that you can then spring off of in accomplishing stuff. Well you certainly get it, you get the philosophy, and then you get the results!

Paula: Exactly! I’m excited to get back to class on Saturday and to get started all over again.

Breakthrough: Yeah, me too! Time to set a new goal.

Paula: And there will be a new goal!

Breakthrough: Well thank you for taking your time to just share some of your thoughts and some of your successes with us today. We’re excited and that’s why we want to share these things with other people, so that they can realize what they can accomplish too, so we really appreciate your time Paula.

Paula: Yeah, and I’ve loved reading the other stories of your other Breakthrough Spotlights, it’s all very inspiring.

Breakthrough: Yeah it is, and you guys make us inspired too, that’s why we do what we do, so that we can see what you guys can accomplish and that inspires us as well. It’s like a big circle of inspiration!

Paula: And it’s wonderful!

Breakthrough: Yeah, and it makes a big difference. One of the things actually, I noticed when we posted on Facebook all of the photos from the TSC, there was a photo of you deadlifting and then you commented in that photo, “I love this! Look at the faces of all of the ladies behind me watching me deadlift,” and they were! They were all just glowing, to see you lift.

Paula: Right! Because it’s inspiring!

Breakthrough: Yeah, and supportive. That’s the kind of people we want around, who want to watch and support each other doing these awesome things and feel like they’re excited to see you accomplish something. It’s pretty cool!

Paula: And it was exciting to see all of their accomplishments too! It was fun watching everybody.

Breakthrough: It is, it’s always fun to see what other people can do, it’s inspiring. Like I said, you guys inspire us and it’s just great to have all you guys around and have that culture here at the gym.

Paula: Yeah and I’m glad to be part of the Breakthrough family!

Breakthrough: Woohoo, we’re glad too! Thank you so much!

Paula: I will see you on Saturday for class!

Breakthrough: Thanks so much Paula!


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