The thing you take away from talking to Gretchen Kittelberger is she is having a lot of fun right now. “I’m really excited about the Regionals workouts!” she says with her characteristic enthusiasm. After six weeks of the Open, she stood at 8th in the Region. This was during her final semester of law school at UVA. She graduated last Sunday.
While many athletes toil away for years to try to make it to the next level in CrossFit competitions, Gretchen first started CrossFitting at an affiliate in September, 2009, and won the Virginia/DC/Maryland Sectional in March 2010. She took fifth at the Central East Regional in April, missing one of the three spots for Los Angeles by 4 points.
Asked how she came so far so fast, while balancing coaching at CrossFit Charlottesville with going to law school, she says “You hear a lot of horror stories about managing your time at law school, but I was pretty used to it from four years of college gymnastics at University of Maryland. We’d practice 3-4 hours every day, so when I got to law school and didn’t have practice, I didn’t know what to do with all this time!”
When the 25-year old Kittelberger is asked about how long she can continue to perform at this level, she says “I’d like to try to do this for another five years. If I have to put off my career for a little while, it’ll still be there when I’m ready to go for it.”
Gretchen isn’t slacking off just because she’s done law school though. She’s enlisted the help of Jeremy Gordon of CrossFit Hampton Roads to get a set of fresh eyes on her training. Gretchen reached out to a few of the top performing athletes after the Open this year asking for another look at her strengths and weaknesses. Gretchen says, “It’s a testament to the community that somebody that doesn’t know me will do this for no charge. He just wants to help me out.”