Who is Kassandra Case?
“Kassie” is a J.Crew loving, coffee shop going, crossfiting, 21 year old woman. Kassie also has Cystic Fibrosis.
Here she is below, training with crossfit.
Diagnosed at birth, sports have always played a significant role in Kassie’s life- particularly gymnastics; she has traveled near and far for competitions. Like most of us, at some point during adulthood, exercise falls to the wayside and we “get out of shape”. For people with Cystic Fibrosis, this can be devastating. Post high school graduation (where I hear it occur most often), Kassie’s lung function dropped to 19%. She knew she needed to get her life back, she also knew where to start.
Kassie says, “I remembered how healthy I was when I was in gymnastics. I knew I could not go back to gymnastics, so I had to find the adult version of it. My friend took me to a gym to get started, little by little. I did not want to take my oxygen with me, but I did anyways. I would literally go for 20-30 minutes at a time at first. I would be so worn out… But, eventually, I started building my body to where I was able to do more. There was a crossfit gym next door to my gym. I had always wanted to do crossfit! One of my friends saw how interested I was and took me in. I fell I love with it from day one! It was super hard for me and still is, not going to lie, but I gained most of my lung function back by doing crossfit.” Kassie’s lung function went from a staggering 19% to 36%.
Kassie’s Disciplined Diet
Now, I must also add- I read Kassie’s dieting regime and I still think “how can someone be SO self disciplined?!?”… Please, if you could give me only a smidgen of this that you possess- it is a virtue… Her diet looks like this: no dairy, no bread, no soy, no processed meats, no processed foods, yes fresh fruit, vegetables, and oats. For drink? Only water and some juice. Kassie also manages CF related diabetes and a seizure condition (hence the no soy). All of her protein comes from nuts, quinoa, and oatmeal. How much water does she drink regularly? Her body weight in ounces. Her doctor advised her that using this diet will aid in rebuilding lung cells; Kassie says she feels the difference.
Here is Kassie, being beautiful per usual (and very fashionable!)
Kassie mentions, she could not have achieved all that she has on her own, though. She is surrounded by a very strong support group: family, friends, a Cyster (best girl friend that has Cystic Fibrosis), her care team, fitness coaches, and other CFers (fellow CF patients). “I have a wonderful social worker at my CF doctor’s office, she is a huge supporter of me. The whole doctor’s office is a huge support to me. My family is supper supportive and are there for me through everything. I haven’t been through anything alone due to them being by my side. …On Instagram I interact with other CFers and we all just show each other support and love through there as well!” -Kassie
According to Kassie, CF patients should not let their “abnormality” keep them from achieving whatever it is they desire to do: “Don’t be ashamed to wear oxygen, use our equipment out in public, or to wear masks where people find it unnecessary.” “…you may get sick and you will have difficulties, but if you have the will and drive you can always get better. I want to show them (patients of CF) that things might be hard at first, but with time it will get better.” “In the end, our lives will be affected by the things we do and don’t do!” -Kassie on helping patients experiences with CF relate to one another.
Kassie’s take on CF right now? “Soon it will be cured. The people who have it now will remember it and stay strong individuals because of it. Our future generations will not know what CF is. To CFers, do not give up, our time is coming!”
Here are a few more photos of Ms. Kassie Case.
Would you like to try Kassie’s favorite work out routine?
Do this exercise 3-5 times in a row, per her suggestion:
-5 calories on an air bike (opens and works the lungs)
-10 kettle bell swings (strengthens muscles and lats around your lungs)
-15 to 20 abmat crunches (strong core= strong and happy body)
Thank you Kassie! ❤
“I don’t feel like exercising!”
There is a fine line between listening to your body and not pushing yourself to your full potential..
This week’s reoccurring conversation… hypothetically:
Me: I really could use your help right now, can’t we skip the next episode of The Office for some cardio?
Body: Nope- sorry. Too tired.. You should probably just let me use this energy to throw a few more punches in to MRSA and Pseudomonas; they’re are all colonized and what not in here.. Cipro and Bactrim are not holding up to their end of the bargain today.. phew…
Me: Okay- one more episode and I’ll check back in on your progress… Try to be productive please!
*lays through another episode of the office (thoroughly enjoying it..)*
Brain: Hey- look.. The show is over. Just go. See what happens. We have stored a little energy up; sure, you could lay here and store up even more… get all cozy.. but- time management. Dinner has to take place in 2.5 hours, you can’t eat before exercising, you also can’t eat just before bed time.
GI Tract: Please, go! I feel good right now. You will help us down here with motility- some of your lunch is still in here and you know how it doesn’t sit well when too close to dinner- those two get together and slow everyone down, causing commotion..
*pulls tooth to go to gym- tooth slowly complies*
At the gym- there were two things I felt like doing more than anything else: running and planking (core work out).
Here is what I did: a total of three miles of running with planking at every half mile marker. See…
1/2 mile than 2 minutes of planking
1/2 mile than 1 minute of planking
1/2 mile and then 1:10 of planking…. and so on.
Yes for one of my planks I did do two minutes; double my normal one minute time! I was very happy about this!!!
When I was done all of this, I was done. I broke a sweat, I made myself go to the gym, and I actually enjoyed myself- I didn’t want to turn it into a bad experience, so I did not push it too much. THIS is my balancing act- listening to my body while still reaching my full potential.
The next day’s work out? A little more rigorous. The circuit included arm curls, leg pressing, and more sprints..
And tomorrows work out- we will see, hopefully even more productive!
Feel free to comment, ask questions, and or share 🙂