LeeLee Kates - Member Spotlight April 2024

Read on to find out more about LeeLee, who inspires her, what her pet peeve is, what she is thankful for & much more!
DeNovo CrossFit
May 1, 2024
LeeLee Kates - Member Spotlight April 2024

How did you discover CrossFit?

I’ve always been a runner, but started to expand my fitness endeavors at a functional fitness gym in 2015 or so that unfortunately didn’t make it through the pandemic.  I gym hopped a little bit until I found and loved CrossFit, and then gym hopped a little bit more until I found the community that best suited me.  Marcia and Jessica are the reasons I made it to Denovo.  

What draws you to DeNovo CrossFit? 

The people.  It’s approachable, customizable to my situation, and fun.  Sometimes just showing up and scaling to what feels good in the moment is such a gift and keeps me coming back and staying consistent.  There’s no pressure to go the heaviest and fastest possible.  

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment in CrossFit and in life?

It’s just me vs me out there, so I feel great about my ability to push myself to the edge of my comfort zone.  Doing this in CrossFit has helped me model what it’s like to push my comfort zone in other aspects of my life.  I often say that growth happens when you’re uncomfortable, but growth doesn’t happen when you’re in crisis or in the panic zone.   CrossFit has helped me to identify the difference between those for my own self, be comfortable being uncomfortable, and that has paid positive dividends in my life in a lot of ways.  This has made me a better leader, professionally, and helps me push those around me to do and be better as well. All in all, I’ve been in some dark places and have been able to make some big life changes to be proud of where I am today.  

What athlete/s at DeNovo inspire you to be the best version of yourself each and every day?

Goodness, every human at Denovo inspires me. We all carry such different loads and stories and I'm honored to do hard things alongside them. I will also say that the coaches are phenomenal. Not only do they offer amazing support and direction, but we get to work out together as well. There's something so bonding about doing hard things together. 

What is your pet peeve?

People at the airport who seem like they’ve literally never been to an airport before.  The airport is a lawless land where the rules of time and space cease to exist. 

What/who inspires you? 

I feel really lucky to be surrounded by a tribe of humans that I deeply admire, are a force to be reckoned with, want to change the world, have their shit together, enjoy a deep conversation and a few drinks and are genuinely pretty impressive, who push me to be the best version of myself. Which sometimes makes me feel like a bit of an imposter, but they always inspire me and fill my cup.  


Favorite workout song?

Anything that disguises the sound of my labored breathing. 

What advice would you have for anyone who is nervous to join DeNovo? 

If you’re waiting for the perfect time to make a commitment to healthier lifestyle choices, that time will never come.  Jump in and start where you are with what you have.  The Denovo community will be there to support you every step of the way.  

What do you enjoy doing outside of CrossFit, both for fun and professionally?

I love to travel, eat good food, drink good wine, and be with my favorite humans.  I also like to read and get out into nature with my doggo.  I’ve been an animal lover since the womb, so when I’m not out and about, I often have a couple of cats and a dog snuggled up on the couch.  

Professionally, I love coaching and mentoring.  Nothing makes me happier than to see those around me grow, learn new things, and take productive risks.  As a leader, I don’t think my role is to be in charge but to take care of those in my charge.  

If we were sitting here one year from now, what would we be celebrating together? 

Progress and consistency.

Favorite CrossFit movement? 

I’m a cardio lover and struggle with some of the more technical moves (boo, snatches), so I have to admit that I love burpees.

What are you currently reading?

I love to read.  I just finished a few really excellent books:

  1. The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford
  2. An Immense World by Ed Yong
  3. My Death by Lisa Tuttle

What are you thankful for?

I’m thankful for a body that can do hard things.  I’m thankful for my tribe.  I’m thankful for a world full of endless wonders (and horrors, but mostly wonders). 

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