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Member Spotlight — Kristen Bratten

What made you start in the first place?

I get nervous in groups, I’m not competitive, and I hate sweating.

Oh, and I hadn’t worked out in years. CrossFit sounded perfect for me!

Truthfully, I was in a really bad place in my life. I needed to make some drastic changes to be happy and that included taking better care of myself in lots of ways. And, I was skinny fat. When I tried CFJI, I was determined not to make excuses to never show up again. I went to 3 or 4 classes that week and haven’t looked back.

What keeps you coming back each day?

Besides the protein bars?

Definitely the people, coaching, and I like the accountability. I know that if I’m not in class more than a day or two, the missing persons alert goes out and I start getting texts. There’s also a sense of accomplishment in getting through a tough workout, getting stronger mentally and physically, and seeing progress over time. Being a part of CJFI has helped me regain confidence in myself which translates over to many more places than just the gym. The supportive community created by the coaches and members allows me the opportunity to bring my sidekick (Tiernan) without being made to feel like it is an inconvenience. I can be the example of a strong and healthy mama for my son.

Also, I work from home. If I didn’t go there most days, who the hell would I talk to?

How has your lifestyle changed since starting at CFJI?

I’m much more conscientious about making all aspects of my health a priority. I’m also willing to try things that I think I would have been intimidated by previously.

If you had to do 100 reps of one movement (not running), what would it be?

Burpees. I’m not making any friends with this answer.

What do you like most about your workout crew?

What can I say about the 9am Ninjas…we can be hard to handle and sometimes get a bad rap but there’s not enough space to write about the love, friendship, support, and shenanigans, that has been shared in this group of kick-ass people that without CFJI would not be a part of my life.

What are 1-2 of your goals for 2019? Have you accomplished any of these yet?

#1. Stop leaving my stuff at the gym after every class.

No, last week I found 2 coffee cups, some Legos, a pair of sunglasses, and a water bottle in a cubby. I’m working on it.

#2. Double-unders.

That’s a hard no.

Favorite Lift?


Least favorite movement?

Wall balls. Not for short people.

Least Favorite Gymnastic Movement?




Favorite Charleston Restaurant?

Impossible to answer because I love food too much. Best meal I’ve had recently was at Stella’s.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

Behavior analyst for the FBI. Or, the person who naps for NASA testing.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Always trust your instincts. And, mom is right.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?

The Buddha.

One thing about me people would be surprised to know?

I really did study to become a behavior analyst (aka criminal profiler) and worked with detectives on cold-case homicide and sex crimes investigations.

If the CFJI coaches came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare?

Reservations and an Uber to take us to dinner.

What is your favorite movie?

Silence of the Lambs. Duh. See Right.

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?

Durian fruit from Asia smells like sewage (or rotting meat) and is banned in some places from being eaten in public.

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