Small business owner. Professional body builder. Ironman athlete.
Only a few minutes into my pre-show phone call with Krista I knew she was perfect for the show. She owns a gym in Washington State (Go the Distance) and has fought and scratched to keep it alive during the pandemic- like most things in her life she kept it open with grit and hard work.
After high school she pursued a career in criminal justice but quickly realized that was not the right path for her. She worked at the courthouse shuffling papers and working behind a desk and hated it from the beginning. She had a great desire to help people so went back to school to study exercise science.
It was shortly after that she was struck with Guillain-Barre syndrome. A rare disorder where the immune system attacks the nerves. It left her almost totally paralyzed in a stroke-like fashion at the young age of 25. This was a devastating blow to Krista- she was told she would never run again.
She did not accept this as her future or her story. Everyday she would have her mother take her to the track so she could practice running- it was painful and incredibly frustrating, but it worked. Her body very slowly learned how to be alive again- she even had to teach herself how to blink again.
She spent the next few years as a personal trainer which brought her great joy- she loved working with people and helping them overcome their struggles and get healthy. After years of this she realized the only way she could really train people the way she wanted to would be to open her own gym. So with only a few clients and a small space she began her foray into small business ownership. It was hard and frustrating- she barely made enough to get by.
Eventually she moved into a bigger space and even expanded- today she has a 5,000 square foot gym where the members are referred to as ‘family’
These achievements alone are exemplary. However, during all this she began competing in the body building circuit eventually rising to professional status and competing at the highest level. After a decade she retired from body building and began training to compete in triathlons. In 2019 she finished her first Ironman competition- a stunning achievement for someone who was not supposed to ever walk again.
Hers is a story of courage and a relentless ability to overcome adversity. She even looks back at her disease and talks about how everything happens for a reason and how she learned she could accomplish anything she put her mind to.