June Featured Athlete - Karine Gendron


Where are you from?

Northern Quebec, above the tree line

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What brought you to Ithaca?

Cornell's solid reputation in my field of work - sounded fun for a temporary assignment

What brought you to CFP?

My lucky star. I had just moved to Ithaca, had never heard of CrossFit and needed to lift weights (more in #6).

What do you do for a living?

I teach veterinary radiology

Do you have a favorite animal?

I love them all, but cats impress me most

Do you have any pets?

A miracle of felid miniaturization named Cesare

What's your greatest accomplishment at CFP?

Consistency. Slow progress has kept CF fun for me, and for not having any natural abilities at this I am grateful. I will tell any captive audience how hip pain plagued my adult life. The mantra I would hear at run club was "Athletes have tight hips", and believed I just needed to stretch more. Only in my early 40's was I diagnosed with a hip malformation (femoral head impingement syndrome) that had led to premature degenerative changes. In 2015, cortisone joint injections stopped doing anything for me, and I would be in pain day and night. The orthopedist surgeon's only answer was hip replacement surgery. I consulted with a physiotherapist who suggested I strengthen my glutes, that increased tone might keep the femoral heads in more tightly. I started lifting weights on my own, but that was isolating, and really, most days I need upbeat comrades and a coach's gentle scream. Come CrossFit - the ultimate game changer for me. Not only are my hips not painful anymore (unless hyperflexed), but the flat feet I'd had my entire life have corrected themselves (I had no idea that was reversible), and my back feels soooo strong. While I am now realistically contemplating a future without hip surgery, I cannot help but wonder why the whole planet is not crossfitting.

That's incredible progress and we all wonder that too!

What's your favorite workout or movement at CrossFit?

Deadlifts! I remember how excited I once had been at lifting my body weight. Ha, how green I was then.

What's your least favorite CF workout or movement?

Anything that involves squatting deep while holding heavy weights above head.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in Ithaca? What do you get from there?

Once in a while, the call of Mahogany Grill's Mahogany Burger makes itself too loud to ignore.

What do you do outside of work and CF?

I love to cook, and these days, I need a dose of late-night comedy to keep me sane.

Do you have a favorite comedian?

Stephen Colbert

What's your athletic background?

Long distance anything - you name it, but mostly swimming, running, road cycling. In hindsight, these all resulted in me coming back home completely wiped out, and needing a nap before resuming intellectual work of any sort. CrossFit on the other hand energizes, and allows me to attack a textbook at 9pm after my usual evening session.

Beer, wine, liquor or neither?

Red, dry with strong tannins, or ice cold and bitter as heck.

If you eat burgers, what do you put on it?

Cheese and caramelized onions.

What's your favorite season?

Fall - soup season!

Do you have a favorite soup?

True to my Quebecer roots, I would have to answer pea soup.

Do you have a favorite author or book?

A book I have read twice and will read again: Great Heart: The History of a Labrador Adventure by James W. Davidson. It is the account of the ill-fated canoe expedition of an American journalist in the early 1900', and of his no-BS wife' determination to succeed where he failed. Being very familiar with the environment helps appreciate these fascinating journeys, but the book is so very nicely written it matters not whether one has ever set foot in the taiga. It explores themes such as the limits of endurance and loyalty. On National Geographic's list of 100 Best Adventure Books of All Time for a good reason.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world, were would you go?


If you were on a deserted island, what one piece of CF equipment would you bring? What food would you bring?

A 24kg kettlebell. For swings, protection and crushing coconuts. I would make sure to bring peanut butter.

What would you tell someone that's on the fence about trying CF?

Want your life back?

Tim Paulson