July 14, 2023
Kelly Baker Shirley — Switching to Individual Competition

“To be honest, I prefer going out as an individual. Sometimes it hurts a little bit less.”

Listen now on Apple Podcasts and/or Spotify.


Two-time CrossFit Games team athlete Kelly Baker Shirley joins the show to talk about her Semifinal experience, achieving balance as a competitive athlete, and the pressures of social media. 

Shirley — more familiar to fans as Kelly Baker — recently qualified for her first individual CrossFit Games by finishing 10th at the North America West Semifinal. A competitor for many years, Shirley was an elementary school teacher prior to starting her CrossFit career. In addition to being a competitive athlete, she is also a nutrition coach. 


In today’s episode, Shirley reflects on her Semifinal performance, gives her take on her execution of the tests, and describes her decision to pursue individual competition. 

She opens up about punching her ticket to Madison, Wisconsin, and gets candid about the reality of being a competitor in CrossFit, highlighting the physical and mental demands, and sacrifices athletes make to pursue their endeavors. Shirley also gives her opinion on the importance of maintaining balance and shares how she creates space to be present, nurture relationships, and stay grounded. 

Later on the show, Shirley and Conway discuss the challenges and perks of having a social media presence, how to navigate negative comments and detractors, and the influence of social media on younger athletes. 


Tune in to hear from Shirley about her “fulfilling” role as a nutrition coach, why her recent wedding and honeymoon came at the perfect time, and her CrossFit beginnings.


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