Clydesdale Media Podcast

We catch up with our dear Friend Karisa Stapp who is not only a phenomenal athlete but also an up and coming writer.  Can't wait to catch up with her and see how things are going on both sides of her career.

What is Clydesdale Media Podcast?

We cover the sport of CrossFit from all angles. We talk with athletes, coaches and celebrities that compete and surround in the sport of CrossFit at all levels. We also bring you Breaking News, Human Interest Stories and report on the Methodology of CrossFit. We also use the methodology to make ourselves the fittest we can be.

I was born to kill it.

I was meant to win.

I am down and willing,

so I will find a way.

It took a minute,

now it didn't happen right away.

When it get hot in the kitchen,

you decide to stay.

That's how it win us, man.

Stick a fork in the hate around.

What is going on, everybody?

Welcome to the Clydesdale Media Podcast,

where we are featuring the

athletes of the 2024

CrossFit Games Semifinals.

So pumped to have with me Carissa Stapp.

What's going on, Carissa?

Oh, nothing much.

How are you doing?


This is my fourth show of the day.

You athletes think you have it tough.

Oh, man.

No, this sounds hard.

I get nervous to do one interview, so...

Yeah, yeah.

This is number four for me.

But I love doing it.

I wouldn't want to do

anything else in life.

But then to talk to you guys.

Many of you have become my

friends over the years.

And this is your third year

in a row you've been on the show.

Oh, yeah.



I'm always excited to be back.

It's always exciting.


Got a little streak going.

Got to keep it going.

I have to keep it going now.


But I heard...

right before we went on the

air that you said you were

not planning on going

individual this year.

What was the plan?

Well, at first we had a plan.

Like I was just going to

have a plan of just going a

little easier this year.

We're going to do like a

team just for fun at CrossFit Billings.

So we had a team like all

set up and then just things

just kind of kept happening

throughout the year where,

It's like maybe like one of our guys,

his Achilles snapped.

And so that was kind of just

the first thing that we're all just like,

you know,

maybe this isn't the right year for team.

And and I was thinking maybe

I would just take a year

off competing because after last year,

I was like, you know,

maybe I just need like a year off.

And then but I got it.

then I decided, man,

I'll just do quarterfinals for fun.

But then I didn't want to

just do quarterfinals and not try.

But I was like, you know what?

If I, if I end up in the top 40,

I end up in the top 40.

If not, if not, but now, now that I'm in,

I'm really excited to be

going back to semifinals.

So, so when the quarterfinals were over,


you were on the outside

looking in like 42nd place.

I think it was.



So I was, um, and I was, yeah,

I didn't really feel very

great with my semi funnels

were not semi funnels,

quarter funnels workouts overall.

So like I said,

I wasn't really expecting

to go individual and I was like, Oh,

just do these for fun.

And, um, so after being outside the top 40,

I was like, well,

I don't know.

I know that there'll

probably be a couple of

people that didn't end up

going individual,

like either go on team or masters.

So like, well,

there's still probably a

good chance I'll be in, but if not,

then I'll just have to be

okay with that this year.

And then, yeah,

after all the penalties started happening,

I bumped up a little bit.

So I'm like, well, okay, I'm in,

we're doing it.

Ready for semifinals now.

So penalty gate happens.

Are you...

are you nervous about your

workouts or because you

were just doing it for fun?

Were you okay with whatever

the outcome was?

I was, I was okay with what,

whatever it was going to be.


So I was like, if I,

cause I think we talked about last year,

I've been doing a lot of

writing and things like that too.

So like, you know, if I don't make it,

then I'll just put some

focus onto that refocus next year.

Cause I wanted to try to go

individual again next year.

So yeah,

I was kind of just okay with

whatever happened.

And, um, yeah, I do always believe, like,

I believe that God has a plan for us too.

So I'm like, you know what,

whatever's going to happen

happens either way.

Like that's,

that's the path I should be on.

So were you on the,

I love it teams earlier this decade?

I was on 2021.

I went on with, I love it.



And you were there for a couple years,

and then last year you moved back home.

yeah yes so I'm in I'm in

billings now and um yeah

just because my family all

lives out here so it's been

really nice to just kind of

be closer to them and my

sister just had a baby so

it's nice being by the

family and then yeah so we

were gonna make like a

billings team this year and

which we might end up doing

that in like the next

couple years too just

because we have we have a

good little group here so

um I might end up doing

that but yeah it just

didn't end up being the

year for it this year

So, so after being home for a little while,

was that, was that the right choice?

I think so.


I think I just needed, um,

I definitely can get,

I feel like this probably

happens to a lot of athletes,

but like the all or nothing

mentality where you just

kind of put other things on

your life on hold and then

just get ultra focused on, um,

competing and all that sort of stuff.

And I think just being

closer to home and just

allowing myself like a little step back.

I just,

I think I'm enjoying competing and


a lot more now than I was.

So, yeah,

I think if you're not enjoying it,

what's the point in doing it?


Yeah, exactly.

And I think like,

I started feeling that a

couple of years ago, I was like,

I'm not doing it this month that much.

And then last year I am like

having a couple injuries

going into some of my funnels.

So I like took some pressure

off myself competing.

And I actually had like the

most fun ever competing last year.

And so like, well, you know,

maybe I need to just like

not take as seriously,

like still be in it and focus,

but like not be like that

all or nothing mentality kind of with it.

So, and that's,

I think that's made it a

lot more enjoyable this year.


and I think I interviewed you last

year at the West.

It was an interesting setup there,

and that large field was

something different.

But you had a good time?

yeah I did actually have a

good time I am yeah just

because I feel like I

didn't have as much

pressure like on myself

like that I just mentally

put on myself I just kind

of went out for each I

obviously I'm nervous

before each event and

everything but I kind of

just went out with each

event like you know what I

can only do what I can do

just gonna have fun with it

and yeah I had I had a fun

time I didn't have a fun

time on the the ruck vest

ring muscle ups because I

failed every single rep so

that one wasn't fun but all

the other ones were fun

So tell me how this works.

So you're at I Love It.

Gabby's at I Love It.

You have Mitchell and Carrie there.

And then you all go – now

you're all individual in the West.

Is it like a reunion?

It is.

It is.

I know that this year – I

don't think Mitch is going this year.

I think he's just I think

he's taken this year.

So I don't get to see Mitch and Carrie,

but I get to see Gabby.

So it is going to be like

we've been messaging.

We are going to stay together.

And it's been that's how it

was kind of last year to a

fun little reunion.

And then.


So it's going to be a fun

time getting back together with Gabby.

And yeah.

And and she qualified really high.

Yeah, she was like seventh place.

So that's exciting.


Cause I, she was one of the,

she might like the second

interview I've done for the

second or third.

And, uh, yeah,

like I getting to know you

guys over the years, like,

I don't think people understand how,

how much like it makes me

root for you guys and look

for you on the leaderboard and like,

where are they this year?

And do I get to talk to them again?


Well, I was excited talking to you.

I feel like this is such a

fun thing to do.

And yeah, so yeah, I'm excited that Gabby,

like she was so high up there.

And yeah, it's just been,

I think it's going to be a fun time.

So we'll see.

When you get there and you want to,

it sounds like that's what

you want to happen is to

have a good time.



That's like my,

I feel like I'm trying to

just be just really

appreciative of everything

and just go in and enjoy everything.

I like the events a lot this year,

especially the running one, of course,

like that's going to be great.

And that starts your week off right.

oh yeah that's what I think

of like first workout is it

gonna be a good one so

that's I mean I feel like

day one's gonna be really

good and it might just it

might go down a little bit

after that but I feel like

that I'm like the same

thing you know I can't

really do it like where I'm

at is where I'm at this

year so I can only do what

I can do um so I'm trying

just to kind of go in with

each one like that and I

tested all the workouts

last week and I actually

did better on like the leg

of stroke climbs and ring

muscle ups and I thought so

I think it'll be fun


and they didn't weight you down on

the ring muscle-up.

Yeah, that's what I'm like.

You know what?

If there's no rec vest,

I won't be failing

muscle-ups for the whole workout.

So that's going to be better.

Right, right.

Makes you enjoy it better.

What would happen if

hypothetically Gabby

qualifies and you're there?

Would you be just as excited for her?

I'll definitely be excited for Gabby.


I think like, like I said,

I think just because like

this year I wasn't really

even expecting to go individual.

I think it'd just be really cool to see.

I mean,

I obviously of course still want to go to,

but like even Gabby going would be,

would be super cool.

I mean,

like Mitchell's been so close every year.

like like I think I would be

excited if mitchell because

I've been following him for

years and he's like just

been on the door um but so

let's let's get back to you

so event one if people

don't know about carissa

the girl can run like

there's no doubt you can run

my favorite thing you look

at event one do you look at

that and say like man I

want I want a top five

Yes, that's definitely,

I feel like the last,

cause the last couple of years, um,

the long events,

cause I got third place in

like that long running

event two years ago,

fourth place in the long one last year.

So I definitely want like

top five in that running workout.

And, um,

I like that it's mostly running

cause I feel like the other

parts have those long

workouts were kind of the

spots I kind of fell behind a little bit.

So, um, I like this workout a lot.

So do you look,

did you look at Europe at all today?

No, I'm actually going to later.

I haven't looked at yet,

but that's what I need to

do tonight is catch up on

everything that's been going on.

So I haven't seen what's happening yet.

Is there...

Well, I mean, I watched it.

So you can't see the run too

much because they leave the

facility and run.

And, you know, CrossFit,

it's not streaming event one.

So it's like just a still

camera in the arena.

They have the bar set up in a square.

So you come in and you go to

your bar on the square and

then you do your stuff and

then you have to go around

the rest of the square and out.

So everybody has to run the same distance,

which makes it interesting

because you start on your

specific spot in the square.

And so naturally some people

get out the door quicker

because they're closer to the door.

But that means when they come back in,

they have to go all the way

around the square to get to their spot,


And so I think the thing I

learned the most is if

you're a great runner,

it's how do you manage the

clean and jerks so they

don't take too much out of you.



that's definitely how I felt last

weekend when I tested it out.

Cause it's definitely like

the 10 clean and jerks

going into like that, you know,

first 400 of the next 800,

you're definitely kind of

feeling it a little bit.

So for me,

I'm like definitely doing like

knock and do any touch and go reps,

just definitely all singles.

And then just like do a rep, take a step,

come back, do another rep,

take a step back.

That way you can kind of

keep the heart rate down a

little bit on that as much as you can,

and then just try to hit

the runs as hard as you can.

Yeah, no two athletes are the same,

but if anybody's close to what you are,

I would say Amy Kringle

would be that person.

She's won a couple of the

long events in semifinals past.

She was winning the event

the entire time until the

last four clean and jerks.

Oh, man.

I need to watch it.


And she took a very

different approach to the

clean and jerk than other athletes did.

She actually went touch and

go for many of them.

Oh, man.

And so I wondered in my head

if she would have went

singles sooner or maybe all

the way through,

could she have finished in first place?

Oh yeah.

I do feel like that singles is the way,

like just for me, that's what I think.

Maybe there's,

it does work good for some people,

but when I tested it,

I feel like that singles

right from the start,

because I feel like it kind

of keeps your heart rate

kind of the same as it is

on the run and not too much

of a big jump.

Because when I do touch and goes like that,

it really spikes my heart rate.

So the person she finished with,

went singles the whole way

and then went touch and go

on the last round when that

was the end of the workout, right?

You don't have to go back out.



At that point I'm like, okay, if I feel,

if I feel good,

the last one I'll do touch

and goes there.

I, when I practiced it,

I still did singles.

Cause I'm like, Oh, I'm a little tired.




that's what made up the difference.

She couldn't,

she couldn't hold the bar for

more than two reps in that last round.

And the other person went like five, three,

two, something like that.

man yeah there's gonna be a

lot to think about with

this one there was only

three seconds difference

between oh man that's a

that's a tight race that's

that's a fun but like

stressful race right right

so yeah so so is it really

just top five are you you

trying to win it I mean of

course in my heart I'm like

I want to win it

We'll see.

I know that like,

like Emily Rolfe is going to be there.

So I'm like, you know,

she's really good at that.

We'll have to see.

But yeah,

I think it's just going to be like, how,

how much do I want to push

the runs and be uncomfortable in that?

And then, yeah,

cause I do think that for me, since I do,

I, I am a better runner than

I mean, I feel like that that way,

the 125 pound bar is not super heavy,

but still like,

I feel like I'm better at

running than the lifting.

So I feel like for me,

just singles on that,

that way I can like really

maximize on the run if I can.

And you,

you took third at that one at

Granite Games.

It was a lot of running, but it had like,

sled pushes right yeah sled

pushes and like the burpees

over the line and assault

uh echo bike all that stuff

mixing so it had some power

output stuff with it too oh

yeah sled pushes in the

echo yeah it's gonna be

interesting I it'll be fun

to watch I that's

definitely the one I'm most

excited for I'm just like

I'm ready ready for that

one is there any of the

other five that you kind of

look forward to

I actually really like event two as well.

I practiced that and I was

kind of nervous about that one,

but I actually really enjoyed it,

testing it.

And I do think it's just that like more,

like longer,

type of workout well that's

not like super super long

but you can it's more like

steady pace you know

instead of just like I

don't like the super fast

sprints very much but um I

feel like that one is a

little more steady where

you just manage it the

right way and stay a little

more composed during it

which I i like those kind

of workouts so day one I

really like both events on

day one but well you're

only doing one event on day

one only one event oh yeah yes yes

In my head,

I keep practicing the first two

on day one, and so I'm like, oh, yeah.

Don't have to worry about that.

Yeah, it's one, two, three this year.

Oh, man.

Yeah, so it'll be good.

It'll be good.

Is that good for you, though, that, like,

the last day, you're an endurance athlete,

so on day three,

you have to do three

workouts at the end of a weekend.

There are going to be some

people that just the wear

and tear of the weekend is

going to get to them on that day.


Yeah, I do.

I do like the I do like having more stuff.

I do feel like that's good to me.

Good for me for some things

like ring muscle ups at the very end.

I mean,

that's something even though

they're not weighted,

that's still movement that

I'm not super excited about.

So I do think that's gonna

be the biggest thing for me

is knowing half the ring

muscle ups at the last workout,

and just not getting

wrapped up and trying to do

too big of a set to start.

And just being like, okay,

I'm going to be sore.

That's going to be the

movement I have to manage a

little bit if I want to

still finish that workout.

Yeah, yeah.

Oh yeah.

But I think overall it's going to be good.

I, I'm excited for,

I don't know about the

handstand walking is if

there's obstacles in that or not.


So that's what I'm like.

I'm excited to find that out.

And then I'll know,

cause I really like

handstand walking and I like rowing.

So if it's no obstacles,

I'm really excited for that one.

There is obstacles.

I'm like not as excited.


So last year when we talked to you,

we talked about that.

You are also a writer.



So, and you had,

that was one of the reasons

you had moved back to

Montana was to have some time to do that.


I know I've seen,

I've actually read some of them,

but you have been posting

online some of your writing.

Um, how's that going so far?

It's going, it's going really good.

I, um, I started a


cause I'm coaching a lot more and

stuff now this year.

So I don't have as much time as last year,

but I've definitely made it

like still a big chunk of

the stuff I've been doing.

And, um, I,

so last year I had wrote like

my finished up my first novel and, um,

like looking back now just

with another year of learning stuff,

I'm like, okay,

that wasn't as great as I thought.

So, um, I actually wrote over the summer,

I wrote another,

another first draft of a

novel that I've been like, um,

going through draft two the

past few months.

And I just finished like the

first third of it.

I've been publishing on this

website called sub stack.

I've been publishing my chapters on there.

And so I've been not,

I feel like really good with this book.

And so, but the same thing,

I'm like trying to like not

rush through it,

just be really intentional, just,

you know, like fitness stuff,

like learning as I go,

making a good base with it.

So that's the biggest thing

I've been working on this

year is trying to get that, uh,

that book finished well the

second draft finished

because I have it all

written out um and that's

the one I do feel like I

could have potentially

published so that's kind of

my that's why I'm like

that's why I think I was

okay if I didn't make some

my finals and like I can

put a lot more emotional

focus onto the book when

I'm competing I'm like

And I want to be in competing mode.


When you put it on Substack,

is it there to get input

from people to see like,

do you need to make changes

or is it just so you're like,

you feel like you've delivered something?


kind of both because the nice thing

about that sub stack is it

is there's just like a ton

of writers on it too.

So I have been getting, you know,

I can share some people

like there's some people at

the gym that like to read this stuff.

So I put it on there so they can see it.

And yeah,

you can get feedback from people.

and then it's also just kind

of a way for me to kind of

be building like a writing

portfolio because I've been

trying to put other

articles on there too just

about like fitness related

stuff as well kind of

making like a fit like I

call the page fitness and

fantasy because I'm trying

to kind of blend both parts

of my life in that so I do

write some other articles

on there and it's mostly

just a way to like kind of

share my writing journey

because I feel like especially I've

for me, when I look at other writers,

I'm like, wow, they're so good.

I'm not that good.

So I probably shouldn't be a writer.

Like, no, that's not,

that's not what you do.

Like this like fitness stuff.

You can't like start CrossFit and be like,


I'm not a semi-finalist athlete when I


So I should not just try.

So I think that's just like a way to like,

cause I like to see people's journeys,

like seeing them progress through stuff.

So that's kind of what I've

been doing on that is just

trying to show like my

journey with it and share

my novel that I've been working on.


I am really excited about this book,

so it'll be good.


and I'm sure it's just like a lot of

things in life, right?

You talked about fitness being that way,

that you don't start as a semifinalist.

You have to kind of work your way to it.

If I go back and watch one

of my old podcasts, like, it's cringy,


Like, what was I thinking?

And now you have a great show.


well I'm definitely more

comfortable with it today

than I oh yeah I was back

then and um like like I

told you before I didn't

take any notes down because

I've talked to you enough

and I been following your

career and like I could

never have done that three

years ago oh yeah yeah it's

yeah just like I feel like

even that with coaching too

like I usually get so

nervous coaching classes

and coaching people and now

I'm like yeah just so

comfortable being at

front of people and coaching

and like seeing cues I need

to fix some people same

with fitness and writing

and yeah like I said like I

look back at my book and

I'm the same way I'm like

oh that's cringy so when

you so when you're editing

your book do you have a

hard time saying stop stop

editing this is um

It's weird because I

definitely like the first

draft writing a lot more

because I can just like be

in my own world and just

kind of write what I want to write.

And if there's like a line a

character needs to say that

I know needs to sound good

and I can't think of

anything that sounds good,

I just like leave a blank line.

And I'm like, all right, just keep going.

So I actually do like that

first draft writing part.

I've had to, I think, train myself for it.

So when I first started writing,

I would write like a

paragraph and go back and

edit it like while I was writing.

And then I wouldn't get anywhere.

And I think I've the past, I guess,

just like a year and a half

or two years that I've

really been focusing on writing.

I've gotten better at just

writing good first.

Well, not a good first draft,

but just like getting my ideas out.

So I know I enjoy that a lot more.

than the editing.

So the editing,

I actually have been

getting really frustrated

editing it because I'm like, okay,

I know like what I need to

be setting up in this scene.

But if I'm like too tired

that day or like it's not

connecting with me,

it's just like frustrating

because like it's not

working the way I want it to.

But then the next day I

could come back with like a

fresh head and be like, oh,

I know everything I need to fix in it.

And then those days I can't stop editing.

But it's like the good days I'm like,

oh yeah,

I can fix this whole thing right now.

The bad days I'm like,

This is the worst book.

I'm the worst writer ever.

Throw my book in the trash.


I tried to do some documentary work

last year and I really enjoyed it.

I enjoyed like instead of

like an hour with each

athlete or a half an hour

with each athlete,

like spending a weekend

with them and then putting

together like the whole documentary.


but I found myself like

tweaking and like graphics

like kept tweaking graphics

and at some point I had to

say to myself like stop it

like it's just you just

need to get it out like

yeah and so like I learned

like I had to put hard

deadlines on myself because

if I didn't like I would tweak forever

Oh yeah.



I think that the deadlines,

cause that's what I did.

That's how I think training

myself to just like be able to write.

It's like, okay,

this week I have to write

10,000 words or what,

however many words I could

fit in that week.

Like it doesn't matter right

now how it sounds.

I'm editing it later.

Like 10,000 words just need

to come out or else I would

go back and be like, Oh,

well this paragraph,

I can fix that thing.

I'm like, no, that's for later.




Are you going to do some

more documentary stuff this year?


so I'm actually not going to semis this


I'll probably do.

I don't know.

I, I really enjoy it.

So I'll probably,

I think I'm going to pivot

to something more like that

for a little bit anyway.

Oh yeah.

I think.

So the last year,

like we followed Emily Rolfe, Kelly Baker,

Alex Kazan, and a master's athlete,

Rudy Berger through the games, um,

And I put that together and that's,

that was awesome.

Oh yeah.



That stuff is, I like,

I love that sort of things too.

Cause like I said,

I love seeing people's journeys.

Cause we always just see

like the end product of so

many people and you're like, oh man,

I'm not that good.

I can't do that.

But then when you see like

journeys that people take

to get where they are,

I think that's cool.

So yeah.

And so like my co-host Jamie, I did,

I did some like,

like she was my first full

length documentary, like I 90, 90,

a hundred minutes long.

And it was just her

quarterfinals weekend in

the master's division.

And it was, it was really cool.

I really enjoyed it, but enough about me.

We're not here about me.

Back to you.

So with semifinals coming up,

what is a realistic goal for you?

Is it just to have fun and

maybe learn some stuff again this year?

Um, yeah, I think like,

that's what I'm trying to, of course,

you know,

there's always the part in your

head that's like,

maybe this year I'm making games.

So I'm like,

that's going to be there no

matter what I think.

But, um, I do,

I am really trying to make

it like my goal is to just go in and like,

kind of compete,

compete with it while enjoying it.

It's like go out.

When I first started CrossFit,

I really just liked being able to, like,

even if it was in class or whatever,

just going out there and

competing and doing what I

felt like I kind of knew how to do from,

competing in college and things like that.


so that's kind of my goal is just to go

in and just not get wrapped

up in everything else.

Just focus on what I can do

and have fun with it.

I would like to have, like,

it would be nice to have, like I said,

it'd be great to win an event.

Like if I could win event one, or, um,

I think if I could just, yeah,

place like similarly last year,

I know that there was more

people in the field last year.

So kind of however that, um,

evens out this year.

So kind of place similarly to last year.



I think that there's like three

events I'm nervous for,

like the legless rope climb

ring muscle-up, the snatch ladder,

I'm not super excited for either.


and then there's the other three

workouts I feel pretty good with.

So I'm like, you know,

I'm just going to have to see,

see how it plays out this year.

And yeah, I've learned a few things too.

And yeah, just have fun.

And it's just super fun just

seeing the more,

like the more years I go to semifinals,

the more athletes I get to know.

And so I kind of just get

excited about seeing all

the athletes again and like

You know,

just talking to people that I

talked with last year.

You don't see them for a full year.

Everyone's training,

doing the same thing all year long.

And that's kind of cool to reconnect.

So, yeah,

the big goal is just to have fun.

But, of course,

there's a part of my head like, you know,

this could be the year.

These are great workouts.

So we'll see.

But, yeah.

So my last question is,

you have this iconic event,

the snatch ladder.

It's not in your wheelhouse,

but it's been done 2016 regionals,

2021 West Coast Classic,

and now it's coming back

for this semifinal.

Even though it's not your wheelhouse,

is there a part of you

that's excited just to say

you've done it and to see

how far you can get?

Oh, yeah, yeah, definitely.

I do think I do like that,

like that kind of lifting

workout better than just a

one rep max anyway.

So there's definitely part

of me that's excited to see

how far because my max snatch is 180.

So like I could snatch at 175 if I can,

if I feel really great that weekend,

and I manage the snatches

before it good without

time capping so um yeah I

definitely want I

definitely am excited to

see how far I can get I

just don't think it's going

to be like my best placing

event but I am still

excited for it because I do

think that's going to be

like I will enjoy that

event more than um like a

one rep max snatch because

I don't like the one reps

yeah you're definitely on

the the smaller side for

the athletes um and your

endurance is your is the

name of your game

Yes, definitely like that stuff more.

Well, Chris, as always,

it's been a treat having

you on this year.

I want to wish you very,

very much luck this week away now.

Yeah, yeah.

One week.

I'm ready now.

And we'll be rooting for you.

Oh, thank you.

And thanks for doing all

these interviews too.

It's always fun.

I always get excited.

My favorite time of the year.

Oh, yes.


With that, thank you, everybody,

for joining us.

Thank you to Carissa for being here.

And we'll see everybody next

time on the Clydesdale Media Podcast,

where we're featuring the

athletes of the 2024

CrossFit Games Semifinals.

Bye, guys.