Deanna Kieffer- SISU Featured Athlete

Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

My beverage of choice is not Ginger Ale.  I do not live in a gingerbread house, And no, I do not steal souls…I work in marketing 5 days a week, and a few weekends a month at Room & Board Outlet.  I’m an auntie, sister, daughter, step-daughter, niece, etc.  Born and raised Minnesotan.

When and why did you start doing CrossFit?

March/April 2013, I was looking for something different to try, a new outlet after a long winter.  Lack of sunlight for extended periods of time will make you do crazy things.

What made you decide to come to CrossFit SISU?

I had a friend who had been to SISU and recommended it.

What were you doing before and what apprehensions did you have before starting CrossFit?

Before CrossFit, I went to LA Fitness where I took spin classes, hit the treadmill, and lifted.  I grew up playing soccer but in college I gained more weight than is socially acceptable, so I started running when I worked for Team in Training.  Then a trainer at my gym started to kick me around the big, bad weight room and I learned that I liked lifting.  I was taking pieces from each area and doing my best to be active.

Before starting CrossFit, I didn’t have any apprehensions.  Honestly, I was only worried about trying to get to the 3 intro sessions in 1 week.  I didn’t know enough to be worried about the workouts.  My apprehensions came after I had been going for a few months and I realized I really liked it.  It was challenging a side of me I didn’t know existed, and I wanted to get better, but didn’t think I would ever be good enough.  I was comparing myself to others, and lesson learned, you just can’t do that.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit SISU Intro class?

Oh, shit, that’s going to leave a mark, and WTF language did they speak again?

What’s the greatest benefits you see so far since starting at CrossFit SISU?

I just find myself being a better version of myself.  CrossFit and SISU honestly saved my life, plain and simple.  The friends I have gained, the confidence I have found and finding my own health to be so important to me, it has changed me.

How has being at CrossFit SISU enriched your life outside of the box?

Seeing my friends and family make lifestyle changes of their own after talking with me about my experiences.  My niece wants to do handstands and cartwheels all the time.  My nephew asking who is strongest between me, his dad and Uncle Matt, the firefighter, as well as just asking me to keep playing basketball or football with him.  My parents ask me what they can cook for themselves that I’ve tried.  People come to me when they want to get ideas for workouts, food to eat, or to talk about new ways they are getting active. I’m excited when a co-worker wants to talk about the 5k he’s training for, or a friend wants to try cutting crap from her diet.  I am just as pumped about new challenges others are taking on as what I’m doing for myself.

Please shareany special memories or achievements during your time at CrossFit SISU?

Ahhh, when I took 1:18 off my Grace time.  Also, the day I PR’ed my OHS by 35lbs after taking several months to work with light weight on my form.  I have a long history of HATE with OHS and honestly would leave every class that involved OHS vowing to quit and never return.  But taking the time to focus on mobility and my form paid off big time and it is now one of my favorite lifts.

What advice would you give to a person thinking about joining our SISU Community?

Do not compare yourself to anyone, rather use others to push you to do better.  Listen to your coach, listen to your body, and do the best you can do.  Smile, laugh and cheer for each other because it’s fun!  Even when it’s not fun, we’re all in it together.

Favorite WOD?


Secret Ninja exercise is?

Cleans and pistols, from time to time, I can power through them.  Or my ability to just keep going.  I’m not fast by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ll keep going.

 My not so secret sucky is?

Deadlifts and HSPU’s.  For the love of God, why do they exist?

 My favorite cheat meal is?

Cheesy hashbrowns.  If you left me alone with a pan of them, they would not make it to morning.