In a recent article in the CrossFit Journal, Amy Kievit ’12 reflects on how the fitness regimen has helped her manage anxiety.
As Kievit describes in the article, “A Membership for Mental Health,” she was diagnosed with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression at age 11.
“The anti-anxiety medications I took kept my symptoms in check for years, but the side effects eventually forced me to take a break from medication all together,” she writes.
It was then, she explains, that she began incorporating exercise as part of her mental wellness regimen. While waiting for “medication to build up and take effect,” she writes that her “only real salvation during that time was knowing I would feel good the next time I went to a CrossFit class.”
The strength and conditioning program, built upon dynamic movements that are executed at high intensity, is centered on a workout of the day. The supportive group environment helps creates community, Kievit writes, and “doing CrossFit is how I know I can stay well. “
Since penning the article in the Crossfit Journal, Kievit was inspired to start a blog, Membership for Mental Health, to continue raising awareness.
“The article had a really positive impact, and it’s exciting to be involved in ending the stigma attached to mental health,” she says.
At HWS, Kievit was a psychology major and child advocacy minor, graduating cum laude. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and as a member of the Herons swimming and diving team, was named to the Liberty League and UNYSCSA All-Academic teams in 2011 and 2012.
Since graduation, she has worked as a family and youth counselor and program coordinator in Hartford, Conn. She volunteers at a therapeutic horseback riding center and works out at Yankee Crossfit in Farmington, Conn.
Hobart and William Smith is home to CrossFit HWS, a student-run club open to the Colleges, currently led by Joshua Barnes ’20. More information is available through the CrossFit HWS group on Facebook.