Kristen Ballistrea
Kristen Ballistrea

I used to have a sub 3 minute Fran, a 315 lb deadlift and a 225 lb split jerk but my biggest feat is working out through 2 pregnancies (worked out the day I gave birth with my 2nd) and recovering from 2 C-sections.


CrossFit Level 1 Certification


Kristen Ballistrea

About Coach

I am a coach that believes that CrossFit is for everyone at any stage of their life. I have seen how CrossFit has increased my fitness levels, connected me to a great group of friends, and boosted my confidence and happiness. Throughout my life, there have been a lot of changes but the one thing that has remained constant is my love for sports and fitness. Prior to CrossFit, I was a competitive gymnast, a pole vaulter, and a runner. Throughout my childhood and high school years, I was driven to compete at the highest level I could. I was inducted into my high school's Hall of Fame for being the only girl in school history to qualify to the OHSAA gymnastics state meet 4 years in a row. As I made the transition from high school to college and my career, I needed to find something that kept me fit while still driving me to be the best that I could be. That's when I found CrossFit. I started at a gym in Milwaukee, WI, and never looked back. CrossFit played to my competitiveness and challenged me to learn new skills and continuously grow. At that point in my life, I was moving every 6 months for my job and I used CrossFit as a way to meet friends in each of the places I moved. CrossFit became a center point for my life and I began to compete in both local and national competitions. Highlights from my competitive CrossFit years include - Qualifying and competing at Battle of London against the best CrossFit girls in Europe at the time - Qualifying and placing 10th at the Granite Games - Top 100 finish in the CrossFit Open - Central East region Shortly after I married my husband, we moved down to Columbus, OH and had our first child. That's when I transitioned into using CrossFit as more of a lifestyle to stay fit and healthy rather than compete. It was a mindset change but it allowed me to really relax and enjoy the sport and how it can improve a person's everyday life. As a coach, I realize that like me, everyone goes through different seasons in their life and each person has a different reason for showing up to the gym every day. You might want to be a part of a community, you might be wanting to get fit, you might be doing it to compete or lift as much as you possibly can, or you might just be doing it for fun. I can honestly say that through my past experiences, I have been in every one of those positions and I am excited to share my knowledge and understanding with all the athletes at Raw War.

Turning Point

The turning point in my life was getting pregnant and delivering my first child. Up to that point in my life, I worked out and trained to win. While expecting my first child, I realized that I was now training for something bigger than myself. I watched my body change and with it, so did my expectations for my performance at the gym. Even though I continued to work out, I still found myself with major complications. I ended up with a large blood clot, found myself in the hospital early, and ended up having to have an emergency C-section. I had further complications recovering from the C-section and ended up with a couple of months of home nurse visits and a long recovery. Recovering from pregnancy, surgery, and pregnancy complications was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I went from being able to Rx workouts to not even being able to do a sit-up. I felt like a failure but it was then that I realized just moving every day and taking baby steps in the right direction can really make a huge impact on your life. Little by little, I made improvements by simply showing up, moving, and celebrating the little wins every day. It turns out a lot of little wins add up to big wins and changes in your life. I know that not everyone will go through pregnancy but everyone finds themselves in a place where they need to make changes and/or set goals to get where they want to in their life. I like to think that with my experience from recovering from pregnancy, I can help you celebrate the little wins and keep encouraging you to take the small steps forward to achieve whatever your goals are.

Motivation & Passion

I am a coach, a mom of 2 young boys, and a full-time sales engineer. CrossFit has allowed me to stay physically fit, stay connected to a tight-knit community and keep my mental health all while balancing a busy schedule. I have personally seen how CrossFit style workouts can impact you positively no matter what stage of life you are in. Whether you are training to compete, training to stay fit, recovering from an injury, or working out just for fun, I've been right where you are. CrossFit has made a positive impact in my life no matter what stage of life I was in and I want to share that experience with others.