With everyone else chiming in about their stories, I figured it was only fair that I should go through my own interview to share mine.
Q: What brought you to CrossFit as an athlete?
In October 2012, I hit an all time high on my weight – 262 pounds – and I knew I had to do something. I just wasn’t sure what.
And quite frankly, I was scared to give CrossFit a shot. She would come home from some of those early WODs hardly able to walk up the stairs – and she was an athlete who played soccer (indoor and outdoor) with folks half her age. If SHE was having issues after workouts, how the hell was I going to be able to do anything?
So I started to diet a bit in January 2013 and was convinced by a long-time CrossFit athlete and friend of ours, Charlotte, that I should give it a shot. Everything scaled and I would be fine she said. And she was right.
When I hit 248 pounds on my own, I figured my knees (which were cranky) might handle some additional abuse, so I started at Continuum. Through the help of some amazing coaches – Marilee, Andrea, Eric, Rich, and Jimmy – and encouragement from a ton of other athletes and my family – I started making some progress.
Slow, steady progress.
And I got hooked. When I started I could barely hold a PVC pipe over my head. When I managed to hold a handstand on the wall, I was over the moon. Both my parents were gymnasts and when I sent pictures they were amazed. It only took me 40 years to figure out they were fun. 🙂
Now, two years later, I’m push pressing nearly 200 lbs. and deadlifting 335.
Weight-wise I am now down under 230 (I hit 200 at one point, but that was Whole30 at its finest and felt far too low for me). Diet’s still an issue, but I like food. Eventually I’ll figure out a method to that madness as well.
But I am stronger and fitter than I have ever been in my life. All thanks to CrossFit and a lot of help from friends new and old.
(If you’re curious – I’m writing about my own CrossFitz journey at another blog – The CrossFitz Blog where I write occasionally.)
Q: What has the experience been like so far?
Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Father of two amazing daughters. Husband to an amazing woman. And all three keep me hopping. We live in Colorado Springs, CO.
Strangely enough, I’m a Colorado Native. There don’t seem to be many of us any more. Lived here all but 5 years of my life when I moved to Phoenix, AZ, with my wife and family right after I got married. But I was happy when moved back to Colorado Springs with real mountains, occasional snow, and actual seasons in 2006!
Past that, I’m a computer geek, gamer, and writer who works as a software engineer for Red Hat, Inc. I have been working from home for more than 15 years working as a code monkey. And when I’m not writing code, I’m probably writing something!
I started this site – WODTales.com – just recently, but have been blogging and writing stuff for tabletop roleplaying games and reviewing books, movies, and music for years. Yes, I am a grown man who loves playing games like Dungeons & Dragons – so sue me. 🙂
If that’s not enough, I love going to see movies and live music whenever I can afford to and still dink around on my acoustic guitar and pretend to sing every now and then.
And of course I go to CrossFit workouts 3-5 times every week.
Q: What’s surprised you about it so far?
The community. I know other folks have mentioned this already. But without it, I don’t think I’d still be doing CrossFit. I’d tried regular gyms several times over the previous 20 years but nothing ever stuck. The routine got old and there was no camaraderie to help push you to do anything different.
Let me tell you a story. Less than a year after starting at Crossfit Continuum, the box moved. It wasn’t far, but they needed help moving equipment and getting things set up at the new location.
Yeah, you read that correctly. I volunteered. To help move a gym. It was a crazy thing for me to do. I’m an introvert, so doing things with strangers (I didn’t know half the people there) was tough. But apparently I knew enough folks and when they asked – I said yes.
So over the course of a couple days I helped move weight plates, barbells, and several tons of other stuff. I helped demolish a wall that was up in the place that used to hold a dance studio. I’ve never done that before. We helped paint the walls. We helped put down floor mats. My whole family got involved.
If you had told me that I would love CrossFit enough to not only last more than a month but help move the gym where we trained… I would have told you were smoking something.
That was a big surprise. And a happy one that keeps on giving.
Q: Where do you train?
Crossfit Continuum in Colorado Springs, CO
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite CrossFit movements so far and why?
Honestly any workout with running in it is still a goat and I will actively avoid them to avoid pissing off my hip and knees as much as possible. That said, I recently have been able to run 800m without stopping more frequently (we do it as a warm-up quite a bit), so I’m happy with my minor progress there.
But I think push press is my favorite. It’s all up. No squat. 🙂
And when I see a WOD includes movement I hate – like overhead squats and squat cleans – I force myself to get in for a class. If I don’t work on it, it won’t get better and I won’t – possibly – hate it less.
Yes, I’m aware my mind works in strange ways.
Q: What’s your favorite piece of equipment at the box?
Like many other people, I think the barbell is my favorite. It’s so versatile!
Q: If you had one word to sum up the experience of an athlete at your box, what would it be?
Community. Or better yet – Family.
Q: What’s your favorite story from your time with CrossFit so far?
I get the chance to work out with so many amazing people every week, it’s impossible to pick just one. CrossFit has become a family affair. My wife did it and convinced me to start. The girls have been working out and enjoying it. And every WOD I get to work with incredible trainers and hard-working folks.
You’ve read a couple of my favorite stories already. And I LOVE hearing everybody else’s!!
Q: What do you think is the secret to CrossFit’s crazy success and growth?
The fact that it’s constantly changing and that the community is so strong an element. We have some fantastic people to inspire us daily, but ultimately it falls to us to do the work. 🙂
That’s it! My story continues every time I step through the doors at my box. And I look forward to hearing more of yours, wherever you train. Thanks for reading!
Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page (or in the right-hand column) and I’ll get in touch!