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About Krista


My name is Krista, and I’m tough (or I like to act like I am).

In high school, I used to punch the boys because I didn’t want to be that wimpy girl (no one got seriously injured, though I did put a few holes in my parents’ walls—sorry Mom and Dad).

I played basketball and soccer until I left high school at the age of 17 to go to photography school. I was in good shape, but I never really had a passion for fitness—I always complained before games or practice was about to start.

So when I went to my artsy fartsy photography school in Santa Barbara, I started a job at Starbucks and ate a few too many pastries. I drove everywhere, didn’t exercise, and as a result—gained like 15 pounds.

It was awful. Not only did I have this little jelly-like roll around my middle (maybe it wasn’t that bad… but still), I felt crappy about myself. I didn’t like the way I looked, had low energy levels, and wasn’t really motivated to do anything at all.

Things had to change.

My first transformation

Somewhere along the line, I started running again. I picked up a few weights. I took swimming lessons, since I had somehow reverted back to dog paddling despite being a pretty good swimmer as a kid.

I started feeling good again.

Soon, I fell completely in love with fitness. The thought that I could actually transform my body and overall health… that I didn’t have to sit around and watch my waistline expand… that was empowering. That was awesome.

So, being the extreme person that I am, when my husband and I decided to move to Amsterdam, I also decided to get my personal training certification.

But that wasn’t so peachy either.

In my days as a personal trainer, I would spend two to three hours a day working out—on top of training my clients. I would do biceps curls, preacher curls, triceps extensions, leg curls… exercising all these teeny tiny muscles, exhausting myself along the way. I had no time to live life outside of the gym, and I was constantly overtrained and dealing with annoying little injuries. Yet I obsessed about exercise so much that if I missed a workout, or even spent less time on a workout, I would nearly have an anxiety attack.

Finding a balance

Then, I started developing workouts on my own using the principles of high intensity interval training (HIIT). Throwing in a bit of plyometrics, CrossFit, gymnastics, sprinting, jump roping, kettlebells, and other exercises easy to do at home, I developed workouts that not only got me stronger, fitter, and in better shape overall, they gave me so much more time to live life as I pleased.

All of a sudden, rather than spending an hour or two or three at the gym, I was free to do other things… to bike ride, to take my dog on a walk, to hike in the glorious outdoors, to read, to learn a new sport, and to spend time with the people I loved.

My workouts were always challenging and left me sweaty and breathless, but they only took about 12 to 20 minutes of my day. Yet because I did them at least six times a week, I was in the best shape of my life and had more energy than ever. I ate healthy most of the time—I’ve been a vegetarian since age six—but I stopped having to obsessively count calories and constantly worry about my weight.

These workouts have transformed my life, and I hope they can transform yours too.

Join the 12 Minute Athlete community:

What 12 Minute Athlete is all about

Yes, I’m a certified fitness geek. I love exercise and everything about it. I also have the following qualifications:

  • I’m a certified (NSCA) personal trainer
  • I’m a certified (Kettlebell Concepts) Kettlebell instructor
  • I’ve completed a sprint triathlon
  • I’ve taught boxing lessons
  • I have my yellow belt in Krav Maga
  • I’ve run various 5Ks
  • I’ve taught group fitness classes (though I sucked at it)
  • I’ve also played soccer, basketball, have taken fencing lessons, surfed, wakeboarded, snowboarded, skiied, biked, and done various other forms of activities requiring athletic ability

But I didn’t make this site from the view of a personal trainer. See, most personal trainers love gyms. They spend their lives there, and would never encourage their clients to work out on their own from home (this would cost them a paycheck).

I decided to make it from the point of view of an average, busy, not necessarily athletically-inclined, perhaps even lazy, person.

It doesn’t matter if you’re young… old… fat… skinny… strong… weak… classically athletic… or the most awkward, un-athletic person in the entire world…

The approach we take to health, life, and working out can change your life… just as it’s changed mine.

Because here at the 12 minute athlete, we believe everybody is an athlete.

And we also believe that you should spend your time enjoying life…

Not wasting your life in the gym.

So stick around. I think you’ll like it here.

Still reading?

krista-stryker-12-minute-athleteHere are some random facts about me:

Worst sport: Tennis. I’m pitiful. Somehow, I never learned as a kid, and since I play all of once a year, I haven’t seemed to get any better.

Most embarrassing nickname: Spaghetti arms. From my big brother, of course. He used to call me this whenever I attempted a sport because my arms were so long and weak, and well, noodley. Luckily, he stopped calling me it so much a few years ago when I got stronger.

Biggest weakness: I’m one of the most awkward people you’ll ever meet. As in, physically awkward. I may be able to do a lot of crazy exercises, but I tend to look goofy doing them (I blame this on my long limbs—they get in the way). I tend to bump into walls a lot, and have bruises all over to show for it. You can probably see some of my awkwardness in the exercise videos I put on this site—it’s just how I am, so get used to it.

Desired super power: Invisibility. Ever since Harry Potter first came out (I think I was in 5th grade), I couldn’t help but wish invisibility cloaks were real. I think I just wanted to be able to observe people and situations without being seen or heard. Now that I think of it, I could have just been a spy.

Biggest regret: Not being an Olympic athlete. Not that I could have been one. But dude, how cool would that be?

Favorite guilty pleasure food: Chocolate chip cookies. And frozen yogurt. And… (g00d) pizza. Yep, I have a sweet tooth (and I even come from a family of dentists!).

Favorite book: This is a tough one. I gobble up books like no other. Currently, I’m obsessed with most of Haruki Murakami’s books. I also love The Catcher in the Rye, The Brothers K, and really, anything that makes me think. I’m also really into neuroscience lately. Who knew that learning about the brain could explain so much about us as human beings?

Colleges I’ve gone to: Brooks Institute of Photography, Emerson College, Occidental College, University of Sussex, Lewis & Clark College.

Places I’ve lived (in order when applicable): Camas, WA; Santa Barbara, CA; Boston, MA; Los Angeles, CA; Brighton, UK; Portland, OR; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Brooklyn, New York; San Francisco, CA (current location).

Countries I’ve been to (not in order): Spain, France, Morocco, England, Ireland, Czech Republic, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Portugal, USA.

Hometown: Camas, WA. Yes, I come from a mill town 25 minutes from Portland, Oregon. It stinks sometimes. Nobody knows where it is. And it’s bound to stay that way.