228 NW 60th St
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
8037 NW Expressway
Oklahoma City, OK 73162
1210 McGee St.
Norman, OK 73069
Dara Nordstog has big hair, a big smile, and a shining personality. She is out of breath as she starts talking about her last four years at Koda Crossfit because she just finished a burner of a workout, but she looks happy. Dara celebrated her four year Kodaversary in May and remembers driving up to one of the gym’s earlier locations, and feeling hesitant.
“I remember the first day, I showed up, I waited in my car until Katie (Walker) got here. I wasn’t going to come in and say, ‘Hi, I am Dara.’ I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.”
Dara credits her mother with first introducing her to Crossfit, and after some thought she asked college friend Katie Walker about what Crossfit gym she liked. “Luckily she came to the greatest place,” said Dara.
After spending 12 years as a gymnast, Dara developed an impressive amount of mid-line control and body awareness that she has kept into adulthood. Before walking into Koda, Dara had never touched a barbell, but her years of athleticism developed her into an easily coachable athlete, and she is now frequently used as an example in the 6:00pm class because of her solid lifting technique on Olympic lifts.
Crossfit can be a challenge to even the most coachable athletes, though. Dara remembers finishing one of her earliest workouts, and becoming so sore a friend had to help her up a stair case. She also shared an embarrassing moment during the first Fittest in OK where she dropped an 85 lb. snatch on herself in front of all the spectators. However, these minor setbacks have never made Dara afraid to try new movements, and become a fitter version of herself. She also enjoyed helping others become a fitter version of themselves during her time as a Kodafit coach.
“I have found my groove. Just coming in here, having good sweat, and having a lot of fun. It keeps you in good shape even if you are only here to have fun.”
Dara doesn’t fancy herself a social butterfly, but long-standing friendships with people like Katie Walker brought her to Koda, and the friendships she has built during her time at the gym have been life changing. Dara is now engaged to fellow Koda Crossfitter Shane Laisle. She met him at the gym through mutual friends Justin and Alyssa Terrell.
“It really is the best gym. The coaches are serious about the workout, but they are also so good about having fun.”
Dara enjoys her job as an accountant, but says that Koda is a daily escape that helps her feel healthier. She plans to continue having fun with gymnastics movements, like muscle-ups, and make slow and steady gains in her strength, like reaching a body weight snatch in the near future.