VanderVeen-headshotFor the past three weeks, we have had an interesting guest at CrossFit Talon.  Kristen Vanderveen is a renowned horse show jumper and horse dealer, and not a bad CrossFitter either.  You might have noticed her name as our WOD BOB a few times while she was visiting.

Kristen began show jumping when she was eight years old, after helping out with her neighbor’s horses as a young child.  She went pro at eighteen years old, and also started importing horses for her own company, Bull Run Jumpers.  She travels across America competing in shows and then selling the horses she jumps.  When asked about how she does as a show jumper, Kristen explained, “There are two invitationals that invite the top twenty five jumpers to compete, and every year, I get invited.”  The Brownland Horse Show, a $25,000 Grand Prix, is what brought Kristen to Middle Tennessee.  She placed seventh.

Kristen did a CrossFit on-ramp program three years ago, but really got serious about CrossFit three or four months ago.  She now finds a box to attend wherever she is competing so she can CrossFit consistently.  When asked why the deeper commitment, Kristen said, “I have a really bad back.  I find that if I don’t CrossFit, my back feels worse when I ride.  It also helps a lot with balance while jumping.”

After trying out another box in the area, Kristen thought Talon had a friendlier atmosphere, “It’s my favorite gym so far,” she said, “It’s big, but still has that close community feeling.”  She also said that the fact that we have specialty classes offered made a big difference.  “It’s hard to find good coaches for Olympic lifting.  Thanks to your coaches, I PR’d all my lifts while I was here!”

We have enjoyed having Kristen visit us, and wish her the best of luck with her career, and CrossFit.