Linda Keesman Signs with Reebok Europe for Year Six
In 2016, Linda Keesman returned home to the Netherlands after studying abroad, feeling out of shape. She was inspired to join a local “strength and conditioning” gym in order to regain her fitness. Shortly after, she learned of the sport of CrossFit, and that the training that she was doing was similar.
Like many burgeoning CrossFit athletes, she watched all the documentaries, read and absorbed everything she could get her hands on. Wanting to learn more about the sport, while becoming stronger and fitter, but still not quite sure what that meant at the time, she secured an internship with Reebok Benelux and began training at a local CrossFit box.
- “I could not do a single pull-up, but I became addicted to the process very soon and I knew I wanted to compete in the sport,” Keesman tells Morning Chalk Up.
Remind me: In 2022, Keesman competed at the Lowlands Throwdown, finishing 11th. As only the top five finishers were guaranteed a spot at the Games, she missed out by a decent margin. Coming into the 2023 season, Keesman felt motivated.
- “I just started working with a new coach and I’ve had my best ranking so far during the Open, and Quarterfinals were okay as well. Then I traveled to Training Think Tank to prep for Semifinals. It was the first time for me to train in an environment like that for a longer period of time, being able to solely focus on training,” Keesman says.
- “The level of athletes and coaching there was so good. It definitely helped me to get as ready as possible for Semifinals,” Keesman continues.
At the European Semifinal, the first day competing in Berlin was a huge let-down for her.
- “The way I performed (on) the first day of Semifinals was quite disappointing, as it was so far off from what I did in training. Gladly day two and day three were way better and gave me a chance to fight for that Games spot. Lots of lessons learned and it excited me for what’s to come,” Keesman says.
Keesman finished 13th, two places off qualifying for the Games. Shortly after, she became injured, but because it’s one of her favorite competitions, she competed in the Madrid Championship. She admits that in hindsight, it wasn’t the smartest decision, and with the encouragement and support of her coach, Max El Hag, she realized that it was better to take time off and heal properly.
Because of this, she chose to withdraw from the Dubai Fitness Championship and take an extended off-season in order to better prepare for the 2024 CrossFit season.
The 2024 season: Training out of Vondelgym and CrossFit Hoofddorp, Keesman looks forward to the 2024 season with the goal of qualifying for the CrossFit Games. She felt that she missed quite a bit of travel and off-season competition in 2023 and looks forward to that this year.
Reebok partnership: Since 2018, Keesman has been working with Reebok, and expresses her gratitude for this long-term partnership. Like every other athlete on the Reebok Europe roster, Keesman shares that the support that Reebok has given her throughout the years is unparalleled. As Keesman has recently stepped away from full-time work and paused her career in marketing at FITAID Europe, she acknowledges that she is only able to do so because of this sponsorship.
- “Reebok has supported me in every way possible. They’ve helped me to make a shift from working at an office full time with CrossFit on a side to living a life where I am able to dedicate most of my time to training and recovering now,” Keesman shares.
- “The fact that the Reebok team really cares about their athletes and creates sustainable partnerships with a personal approach makes it even better,” Keesman continues.
The bottom line: Keesman looks to 2024 motivated. She is still undecided which competitions she will pursue, as it depends upon her training and schedule. But with the backing of Reebok, Keesman is happy and excited to step into this upcoming season.
Keesman: “I’ve got my entire life left to work at offices, and the time to find out what my CrossFit potential is, is now.”