“An athlete? Caitlin?” Ha! Ummmm, no. 

Yes, dear brother, it turns out I like to climbing stuff, jumping over fire, and getting really muddy while doing it!

Punch rewind on the VCR.  There’s very little about my past that foreshadowed my newfound passion, a hobby entirely built around physical strength, endurance, and pushing my limits. For years, I was gangly, awkward and an utter disaster at anything that required the use of hand-eye coordination.  So at 10 years old, post-two broken arms and a serious head gash later, my parents put me into piano lessons. It seemed only logical. I became the artsy child. I sang.  I played piano.  I sketched and painted.  

Fast forward to age 18; I still couldn’t shoot a free throw to save my life.  I couldn’t run a mile without hurling, or perform a pull up even if some demented soul had strung cake up on the pull up bar.  Looking back, I feel like there was a whole world I’d missed out on.  I hadn’t learned how to scale a tree, jump off of a moving swing, or run with that elusive childhood abandon.  So my first semester in college, I began to run on the campus treadmill.  I worked up to running for 45 minutes straight.  Then, I began to get curious about this weight-lifting thing. It had been my brother’s thing, you see.  He was the dude.  He lifted the weights, while I played the piano and did ‘girly’ stuff. The mental boundaries of what I thought I was cut out for were preset for me long time ago.  So the real process for me now, is redefining who I am and what I will allow myself to be capable of.  

My journey into the OCR world started as a small goal to run for 45 minutes without stopping.  And now, as I powerlift with my fiancé, I hit new goals of running for 14.5 miles and lifting, and bench-pressing 125 pounds.  I focus on agility, jumping, and running, fast. Whenever I run, I have one phrase that scrolls through my head, “free yourself of the chains that bind you, Caitlin.”  I used put safety boundaries on what I thought was possible for me to achieve.  OCR challenges these by demanding more than I think I can give. Every single time.  But somehow, I always rise to challenge.  All the muddy miles, cuts, and bruises have cultivated an identity ground for me in capability and potential.  The exciting part is, my journey is just beginning. 


Come race with Caitlyn at CTG Wichita, Kansas City, or Oklahoma City. She’ll be running lots of races this year, pushing herself to new heights! 

Follow Caitlin on Facebook at Caitlin Klinger or on Instagram @maverick4883.

Benjamin DeBell