Stephen Kasallis

Strong Fitness - Athletes of the Month

Stephen Kasallis

How long have you been at Strong? 

  • 7 Months - I was inspired after the 2018 Crossfit games to give it a try for myself

What is your occupation? 

  • Jewelry Designer / Owner : The True Gem

Where are you from? 

  • Mansfield TX

How did you hear about Strong? 

  • I read reviews on google and started following CF Strong on Instagram.  I loved the sense of community that was portrayed and the loyalty of the members. 

How have you seen yourself change – mentally or physically – since being a part of Strong?

  • I was so focused on growing my business for so many years that I let my health take the back-seat.  Within the first 3 years of my marriage I had gained 30lbs, and had a very unhealthy relationship with food.  I attended a standard gym for many years with no clear focus or goals in mind.  I seemed lost every time I would work out.  I would leave the gym frustrated, tired, and unfulfilled.  The only movements I knew how to do correctly were bench press and more bench press! I had no direction, no motivation, and very little focus.  This unhealthy behavior spilled into my marriage, and into my ability be a good father; having little to no energy at the end of the day to expend toward my family. 
  • I relied heavily on energy drinks for many years to get through the day and abused my adrenals with unhealthy amounts of caffeine and chemicals and sugar. 
  • I had tried fad diet after fad diet hoping they would help me gain back some semblance of self confidence, but to no avail.  I knew that my life needed balance.  I knew that I needed to change my paradigm on health from something you did short term, to something that could become a sustainable lifestyle.  I had been a fan of the Crossfit games for many years.  I would watch the athletes and their incredible fitness abilities in awe thinking one day "I would love to try that."  I got tired of saying "one day" and decided to visit Crossfit Strong in August of 2018.  I was incredibly intimidated..."There's no way these elite fitness athletes won't judge me for how I look."  "There's no way I can do these workouts when I can't even do a single pull-up."  "What if I hurt myself?"  "It's too expensive.  What if it's not worth it?"  This is the same unhealthy narrative in my head that had been so debilitating for years. One day I got the courage to tour the gym and see if I liked it.  I was greeted with smiles, encouragement, excitement, and genuine care. 
  • I was overwhelmed with the amount of people that took interest in my success. 
  • I was blown away by the level of training that took place on a daily basis. 
  • I was inspired by the coaches ability to scale each and every workout toward my individual abilities. They took my journey seriously, which made me take my journey seriously.    Crossfit brought my love for working out back to my life.  It gave me a sense of accomplishment, purpose, and sustainable change.  Crossfit changed my life more than I could ever put into words, and I have the amazing community at CF Strong to thank for that. 
  • I lost weight. 
  • I gained muscle in areas I've never seen before.  I am more energized throughout the day.  I haven't had a single energy drink since the day I joined.  I have more patience, and tolerance for stress.  I have more energy for my family.  I have become a better boss, better husband, better business owner, & a better father.  I can attribute these changes to one small fact... I joined a community of like-minded goal driven people that supported and motivated me every single day.  The only thing that I regret about crossfit is that I didn't join sooner.  I will pursue this new passion for the rest of my life.  

What is your favorite move?

  • Deadlift

What is your least favorite move?

  • Burpies

What has been your favorite WOD so far?

  • DT

What has been your least favorite WOD ?

  • Marathon Row

What are some of your goals that you have for yourself in the next year?

  • Improve my diet.  Push myself harder in each workout.  Strengthen my minds ability to deal with pain.  Become more flexible / improve mobility.

How do you see CrossFit as different from other programs? 

  • I am a very competitive person.  I love the component of competition with your community members and yourself during every WOD. I love that you have the ability to track progress, and grown in areas of functional movements.  It translates seamlessly into everyday life.

Did you think a sport of elite fitness would ever be for you?

  • I never imagined 7 months ago that I'd be able to do what I can do today.  I'm nowhere near my goals, however I have built a solid foundation.  This sport / lifestyle of elite fitness is a life long pursuit.  It is not only for me... but it is for EVERYONE.  

How can other people relate to your story?

  • It's easy to get caught up in the daily monotony of work / school / family / food / TV / sleep.  It's a vicious cycle that can grasp a hold of you without you even realizing.  Everyone at some point in time seeks to add balance to their lives.  There is no other organization that has helped me as much as CrossFit has in finding that important balance.  I would encourage anyone struggling with lethargy, low self esteem, weight gain, marital problems, or any of the numerous life challenges to make one small change.  Just walk into a crossfit gym.  That first step will change your life. 

What is something that no knows about you and you wouldn’t mind sharing?

  • I am estranged from much of my immediate family.  I have been lacking the support & love that typically comes from your immediate support group.  The friendships I have made at CF Strong have sustained me during those hard times.  They are my family.  

What is the dumbest thing you have heard at CFS?

  • "Aaaaaaalllllrighty guys!" - Coach April 

What is the funniest thing you have seen done at CFS?

  • Gia seems to find the worst places to plop down and rest in the middle of a WOD!  Always gives me a good laugh!

What is your most memorable moment here?

  • The in-house CF Strong Competition.  It brought back my love for competing, my love for improvement, and my love for pushing my limits.  It forced me outside of my comfort zone and allowed me to grow in areas I had never trained before.