I was an active kid and a high school athlete in football, wrestling, basketball, and a brief stint in gymnastics. I enjoyed being strong and agile and being able to perform challenging physical tasks. In college, I continued to pursue fitness by lifting weights 3-4 days a week and playing basketball. After college, my professional career and life events began to whittle away my time at the gym. I made several attempts during those years to re-instate my commitment to the gym, but they were short lived and the results were not apparent. I hated running but did it on occasion, mostly to keep my wife company. My waistline grew a bit but was mostly in denial. I felt increasingly lazy and sluggish. I was slowly succumbing to the “reality” that I could not be young and fit forever, that life will take its toll. I did not feel good about it and blamed myself for lacking the willpower and determination to continue the gym routine. Honestly, looking back, I was utterly bored with the bodybuilding style gym routine, but that was all I knew!
My brother-in-law first told me about CrossFit in 2010. He said they did lots of squats, cleans and jerks, pull-ups, and other movements in a class format. It sounded legit, but my arrogance assured me that it was for amateurs. “I’ve been lifting weights for 20 years” I thought. I already knew how to lift weights and this CrossFit thing sounded “cute” but is likely a fad, certainly not for experienced folks like me. I wrote it off and continued my on again/off again, erratic approach to fitness. During Christmas of 2011, while visiting my wife’s family, my brother-in-law asked if I wanted to join him in a “WOD” at the “box”. I agreed, both out of curiosity and also to show him that this CrossFit thing is no big deal. The WOD was 4 rounds of 4 min AMRAPs of various movements coupled together, with 4 min rests in between rounds. “Sheesh, only 16 minutes of work? I’ll destroy this!” I thought to myself. Before the WOD started, I snickered at the 75 lb barbell in front of me, wondering if I should add some real weight to it. At the sound of “3..2..1.. GO!” my competitiveness took over and I charged ahead, making sure I was in the lead. At 2 minutes into the first round, I hit that dreaded brick wall. As I struggled, I marveled at the other athletes working methodically and passing me with ease. They seemed to have endless energy when I felt completely drained! It took all the courage I had to continue this workout and not be absolutely embarrassed by my performance. At the end, lying in a pool of sweat and agony, I was befuddled. I hadn’t felt that way in years, if ever. How could such a short workout devastate me so thoroughly? I was humbled and emboldened. I was HOOKED.
After returning home, I began to obsessively research everything CrossFit. Its grassroots origins encouraged garage gyms, and CrossFit’s straightforward, scientific approach really appealed to my engineering background. The quick, efficient workouts fit well into my work schedule. I soaked it up like a sponge, working endlessly to perfect my form in all aspects of gymnastics and olympic weightlifting, two of the main pillars of CrossFit. I learned that nutrition is the most fundamental basis of fitness so I adopted a Paleo way of eating. I began to see drastic changes in myself, astonished with how my body felt. The deep soreness in places I had never felt before emboldened me and told me I was doing something right. CrossFit also built my mental fortitude that carried over into all other aspects of life. Every WOD is a battle of will that requires courage to begin, and determination to finish. The rewarding feeling of accomplishment and gave me great confidence in myself, and the pride of completing these workouts made me feel unstoppable.
CrossFit will change your life in more ways than one. Let’s carve out a better version of ourselves together. The path is clear… all you have to do is attack that WOD with passion and intensity! Let’s go after it!
Academic Achievements- Purdue University – BS, Mechanical Engineering | Rensselear Polytechnic Institute – Masters in Business Management
Trainer Certifications- CrossFit Level 2 trainer, United States Weightlifting (USAW)- L1 Sports Performance Coach, CPR/AED Certified