My Hands Hurt

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Three years ago Brittany started working at the Ice Chamber at 20 years young. She was a senior at Cal Berkeley, an engineering student seeking an internship in the fitness industry. Brittany quickly intimidated everyone once she also revealed her background in track and field.

When it came to kettlebells however, Brittany had alot to learn. She had never touched a competitive kettlebell.  We assumed her interest in learning technique would add to her repretoire of exercises to teach bootcampers.  Brittany took us by surprise when she started attending our kettlebell classes voluntarily.  While she was a naturally bright, curious, and open-minded student, she was not a natural kettlebell lifter.

Brittany gradually devoted more of her personal time to kettlebells, often after her shift ended at Ice Chamber when most of us headed home for a nap.  Her burgeoning technical knowledge eventually caught up with her hard-earned stamina and she began to excel.  Traveling with the ICKB Team throughout 2012-13 helped her gain valuable experience as a competitor along the way too.  Most notably Brittany earned a silver medal in the 16kg snatch event at the IUKL World Championship in Russia last year.

While this would be a great segue to Brittany’s road to kettlebell mastery, her story doesn’t end here.

“Three months ago, she had a kettlebell meltdown,” according to her coach, Steve.  “I remember hearing things like ‘my hands hurt’ and ‘nothing feels right’ or ‘my technique is horrible’,” he said, “Commonly known as ‘the dip,’ athletes often reach a plateau or even experience a regression during this phase of their training because they have to advance technically in order to progress to the next level.  The only way out of the dip is to detach from the outcome of the rank.”

Independent of Brittany’s highs and lows as a lifter, she remained committed to teaching other students how to lift kettlebells at the IC.  She also dug into her work teaching bootcamp classes, hosting and participating in spirited monthly fitness challenges, and earning her CSCS certification from the NSCA.  She also transitioned into personal training and teaching SPIN.

“Five weeks ago, something happened,” according to Steve,  “The kettlebell breakthroughs came back fast when her training became enjoyable again.”  Brittany recently rekindled other personal interests such as swimming and surfing in Southern California, igniting a fire of personal growth and freedom.

Upon her return, Brittany reached two PRs in August in both Snatch and Long Cycle.  Her performance peaked in time for the IUKL Nationals in NYC on August 23, 2014 where she earned Master of Sport in 24kg Long Cycle and CMS in the 20kg Snatch.