Photo: Aaron Vyvial
To celebrate the international womens’s day we are proud to present our first female GS portrait!
What is your name and age?
Chelsey Marr, 26
What are you working with/as?
I work at Hewlett Packard Enterprise in IT Program Management
Do you have a motto or any catchwords?
I have the mouth of a sailor (sorry, mom). So my favorite daily reminder is “everybody has their shit.” I guess kind of a less-classy version of everybody has their own problems.
When did you start kettlebell training? Why and how did you start?
I started training for kettlebell sport in December of 2014, but did hardstyle for a few years prior to that. I got started in sport when I moved to Austin and was desperately looking for a new kettlebell gym. That’s when I found Texas Kettlebell Academy. The first time I picked up a bell was purely for fitness, now I love it so much I’d lose my sanity without it.
Maybe more interesting, why did you continue doing it?
I love the chance to do things I never thought possible. The first ten minute TALC set I did with the 28kg bells back in December where I lasted the whole ten minutes, blew my mind. I never thought I’d be able to do that. It’s a feeling that you don’t get unless you work toward new goals, and the sport pushes me there.
Do you have a coach? What are his/her strengths?
My coach is Aaron Vyvial. He’s very good at knowing my strengths- he knows when I have more reps to give and he pushes me to get them.
What do you think are important to be like as a coach in order to get the best results from athletes?
I think every athlete requires different things from their coach. Some need more hands-on coaching, and some just need a program to follow. A good coach should be able to work with a variety of athletes, and I think mine definitely does.
What do you think are the most important personal qualities in an athlete?
I think there has to be a certain amount of motivation. What we do, especially in kettlebell sport, isn’t easy. It takes a lot of focus to stick with something that’s hard and at times, frustrating. I also think you have to be able to laugh at yourself. You take the good with the bad and accept that everything takes time, no matter how impatient you are.
What are your own strengths as a lifter?
I’m stubborn. I think some people will see this as more of a weakness, but to me it’s what helps me get things done. I hate the feeling of not being able to do something, so I try untilI I get it done.
What do you feel about single/double bells for women? What do you prefer?
I prefer double bell lifts, but I certainly see the benefit of single bell lifts as well. At Texas Kettlebell Academy, we train both, but two arm long cycle will always be my favorite.
How do you think the future will look like for the sport (GS)? How do you think it will be for you?
My hope for the future of the sport is that it continues to grow with the same traction we’ve seen over this last year. I think the great thing is there is so much opportunity across the sport. I think this next year will give me an opportunity to branch out a little bit across the lifts.
Have you entered any competitions? Do you want to share your results?
I started competing last year. My first competition was the 2015 California Open. I don’t have all my rep counts handy, but the major comps are below.
2015 Cali Open – 24kg Snatch, 16+16kg Long Cycle
2015 Texas Classic – 20kg Snatch, 131 Reps
2015 Texas Open – 24kg Snatch, 24+24kg Long Cycle – 21 Reps
2015 IKFF Worlds – 20+20kg Long Cycle – 51 Reps
2015 NTXKB Open – 24+24kg Long Cycle – 42 Reps
2016 Cali Open – 28+28kg Long Cycle – 26 Reps
What/which are or were your personal goals in training?
Better. Better is always my goal. But for this year, I’d like to improve my TALC numbers, maybe give OALC a go, then jump over to snatch. There’s a lot of stuff planned, and I’m pumped to jump in.
Which discipline do you like the most and why is that?
Double bell long cycle is my first love. I think because it’s the most challenging for me, and it’s one that I always want to improve.
What do you think is the most challenging in training?
Prioritizing nutrition and trainings. I play a lot of volleyball, and it sometimes means back to back evening sessions. We all work and we’re all busy so it’s no excuse, but I’m definitely still learning how to prioritize things to get the most effective training session.
Do you have any training tips to share?
Stay in it. It’s hard, things seem impossible, then they get done.
Who (or what) inspires you?
I get inspired by the people who love this sport. The people that put in the time and the work. Those that support other athletes regardless of team or lift. And especially, those that fail and keep moving forward.
Have you got any exercises that you hate doing? Which one and why is that?
Admittedly, I don’t really enjoy one-arm lifts. Hate is probably too strong a word, but there is definitely a joke in the gym about my level of excitement when they make it into my programming (spoiler, it’s low).
Is there ever anything that makes you not prioritize training day?
I try to stay pretty diligent. My work colleagues know that 5-7pm is my time. I’ll work from 8-5, or even in the evenings after, but I need those two hours. I’m usually able to make it in during then. Occasionally, though, I’ll get stuck at work and miss a training. If that’s the case, I try to get into the gym solo for a late-night session. Work travel is probably the only thing that really gets in the way of my training.
How do you eat? Do you have a special diet or a food-philosophy?
I really try to just not eat terrible-for-you foods. More fresh, less processed. It doesn’t always work.
What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not ”kettlebelling”?
Volleyball. If I’m not kettlebelling, I’m on a court. I also love a good Netflix binge, but who doesn’t
Chelsey is a great inspiration to all of us kettlebellathlets and we thank her for letting us get to know her a bit better. Lifting with 28´s is so impressive and we wish her all the luck in her future goals. She has given me the confidence that we can be as strong as we want and work for. Now I cant wait for next kettlebelltraining!
Photo: Kimberly C Fox