Hey Hey hey! It's Samantha! We're continuing on with the new blog series called, "Meet the Shaka Team". In this series, we'll be focusing introducing one of our staff, athletes, or ambassadors. Our hope is that you get to know us as a company better.
In this episode, we interview our two-time Regional athlete Hilary Steele, who has also been to the 2014 Garage Games, 2015 Wodapalooza, and 2016 Kill Cliff Granite Games! Her resume is completed with her team experience at the 2017 Wodapalooza with Crossfit K Block. Hilary is a gymnast-turned Crossfitter who was brought to beautiful Hawaii when she married her husband, Matt, in 2015. She is passionate about using her gymnastic background to teach others techniques so they can get stronger and succeed in their own Crossfit journey.
Tell us a little a bit about yourself. Where you’re from? And you’re athletic background.
I am originally from Massachusetts. I was a gymnast my whole life and when I was 14 I moved to Ohio to train with Olympic Coach Mary Lee Tracy. There I became a member of the USA National Team and competed around the world representing Team USA. After my elite career, I received a full scholarship to the University of Georgia where I competed all 4 years. During that time, I was a part of two NCAA National Champion teams and one SEC Champion team, as well as part of one SEC Champion vault rite and an all-American gymnast.
Why did you transfer into Crossfit?
Once my gymnastics career was over, I was lost. I didn't know who I was without the sport that defined me for so long. When we were dating, my now-husband took me to Crossfit when I visited, and after a few months I fell in love and started taking lots of classes on my own.
I decided to do the 2014 Crossfit Open for fun and happened to qualify for Regionals within 8 months of starting. That's when I realized this could be the competitive drive I missed from doing gymnastics. Training hard to accomplish bigger goals was what I wanted to do.
What are your main training goals right now?
This is is my first year doing the Open as part of a team. I have qualified for Regionals as an individual twice in 2014 and 2016, but this year my goal is to compete with Crossfit K Block and help us qualify for the Northern California Regional. Finding Crossfit K Block has been so amazing. Its great when you find people with similar aspirations and commitment to a sport. We all push each other in different areas.
If you had to pick 3 top training tips, mindsets, or tools, what would they be?
Everything comes with core work. Work extra on your core and it will transfer to everything else. I learned this through gymnastics. Secondly, before you go into the gym, have a plan and commit to it. Lastly, always remember why you do what you do and that you are inspiring others whether you know it or not.
How do you handle bad training days?
It's so hard to get through them sometimes but it is important to focus on the positive. Sometimes I will jump in on a class to remind myself why I love the sport so much and just have fun with it.
What is your morning routine?
It depends on the day. First thing every morning is coffee and I also always make breakfast to get the day started right. I substitute teach right now, so if I am working, I just get up, have coffee and breakfast, then go to work. If I am off, I will eat, but on these days, the time I workout may vary.
What is your favorite food?
I can never decide on this! I eat a lot of chicken but I am not sure that it's my favorite. I love peanut butter and I love vegetable. I also love frozen yogurt and ice cream when I can fit those in my diet. There are a lot of foods I love, but I can't choose a favorite.
What do you love most about Shakas and Snatches and the Team?
They are so welcoming and supportive of me in everything I do. I love sharing the Aloha love and the Shakas and Snatches brand with others who may not know what it is. Sharing the Aloha spirit outside of Hawaii is also amazing. I can't thank the Shakas team enough for welcoming me and always being the best support system.
How can the Shaka Ohana Connect with you?
Any other point of contact you’d like to share?
I just started some really cool programming. Full of gymnastics, nutrition and personal training. I would love people to check out my website and see how I can help.
About the author
Samantha has been Crossfitting for 5.5 years, and enjoying desserts for even longer. A mom of two who are stuck to her like glue, she loves to meet other parents who WOD as much as she does. When she is not writing for Shakas and Snatches, she looks for places to do a pistol and throw a shaka. Connect with her on IG @pistolsandshakas