Q & A with Coca CrossFit Owner Kate Rawlings


We sat down with Coca CrossFit owner and Great Lakes Health & Wellness Ambassador Kate Rawlings and asked her some questions about life, fitness, and owning a gym.


Here is what she had to say:


1. Tell us about yourself and your CrossFit journey...


I am a 37 year old CrossFit affiliate owner (Coca CrossFit), non-profit founder (I Am Stronger), wife and mother of a one year old rainbow baby.


My CrossFit journey started in 2007 when I went to buy a new suit for work and didn’t fit into a size 12 forcing me to go to a ‘big girls’ store.  I had been an athlete my entire life, so being so out of shape (pushing 200lbs at 5’2”) was news to me.  I had taken the classic path of getting a job out of college and gaining a ton of weight.


I stalked CrossFit Cleveland, whom at the time was running free workouts in a park once a week because not actual brick and mortar gyms existed, before trying a class.  Fast forward a year, I had lost a good 40lbs and became a coach.


After two more years of hard work and working with specialty coaches all over the Midwest I qualified for the 2010 CrossFit Games as an individual athlete.  Little did I know I would walk away from that event with a contract from Reebok allowing me the financial freedom to open Coca CrossFit.  9 years later I am still running Coca CrossFit, and that’s its own story of learning.


2. Why did you stick with CrossFit long term over other types of workouts?


I have fallen in love less with CrossFit, and more having a vehicle to effect positive change in peoples lives and how they view themselves.  Sure, I got caught up in being a professional CrossFit athlete, and ‘being’ someone.  It wasn’t until I had some major injuries that I took on a new perspective of what CrossFit really was for me, and that was my change agent.


Changing the way people view working out, changing the way they view what is possible, changing the stigma of being judged by others, and on and on and on….


Plus the longer you’re in CrossFit (12 years myself) the more you learn to really embrace the wide variety of options: Olympic lifting, Powerlifting, Kettlebell sport, Boot camp, Strongman, Gymnastics, Endurance to name a few, you realize how much fun you can have programming workouts for your affiliate.


3. Pros/Cons of owning a gym?


Pros: it’s mine – and the vision I have for what I believe CrossFit is and what I want for my community within that are mine to guide mold and build.  I have been able to amazing staff to help me pull if off on a daily basis.


Con: it’s mine – at the end of the day, the success of failure of any given program or the business as a whole is my responsibility. I don’t have anyone to blame but myself.


4. How to balance (or try to balance) life as a mom, coach and business owner?


Honestly…… I don’t! 


Why?  Because I can only serve one king. On any given day I can only focus the majority of my effort on one role, that I’ll nail, leaving the others to suffer. 


As an example:  On days my son is sick, I’m an subpar coach and an awful business owner, because he's the most important.


On days he goes to my parents (aka grandma camp days) I focus on running the business leaving my mom duties behind while still coaching classes.


5. Favorite CrossFit movement?


BENCH PRESS, any variety.  Why?  Because when I ruptured my Achilles or after my knee surgery I wasn’t able to do much lower body work so I really learned to love the wide variety of approaches and nailing my technique during those years. It all paid off because pre-pregnancy I had a 190lbs raw bench press.


And yes….. at Coca CrossFit we bench press!


6. Least favorite CrossFit movement/ or other exercise?


Anything endurance related.  I spent the majority of my life playing soccer, running a million miles every practice and game.  Once I stopped playing college began lifting more and prefer to move heavy things a few times than run or do a million reps of something.


7. What are some of your favorite 'self love' things that you do?

  • Workout:  I reward my body by using it everyday.

  • Nap: My days kick off at 4:20am and often run until 9:30pm so if I can sneak in a power nap mid day it’s a big win.

  • Visit Great Lakes:  because I appreciate the benefits of spinal and muscular health for myself and my son.

  • Watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette (when it’s on): because its 100% mindless and a total train wreck.


8. Do you take any supplements?


I currently take a pre-natal because my husband and I are not actively trying but we’re also not avoiding, and fish oil for my creaky joints.


9. Do you stick to any particular diet plan? Why does ______ work for you?


I am a big believer in Macros, aka flexible dieting.  Over my 12 year CrossFit journey I have tried it all, paleo, zone, intermittent fasting, vegan and the one that I have the most success with is Macros.  It gives me a sense of control within my crazy world of chaos, provides me with enough energy to survive being a mompreneur and maintain the weight/body composition I am happy with.


10. Goals or aspirations for 2019?


This year I am excited to become a BirthFit coach and truly bring prenatal/pregnancy/postpartum fitness into the Cleveland area.  I have personally worked through 3 pregnancies (one successful) as well as coached more than a dozen women through their pregnancies and return to fitness.


You can catch up with Kate on Instagram HERE and be sure to check out her gym - Cocoa CrossFit. 




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