Q1. What have been your greatest successes (physically, mentally or emotionally) since you began? How does your body feel now compared to when you started and WHY?
Wow, where do I begin? I feel like CrossFit was the breakthrough I needed to prove to myself that I’m physically capable of doing more than I thought I ever could. I started at DNR shortly after my 30th birthday, and I can honestly say that I’m more well-rounded in my athletic ability and much healthier than I was in my 20s. I was your typical gym rat before starting CrossFit, and I lifted primarily for the sake of vanity. When I didn’t see the results I wanted, I would get very discouraged and over-train. Not to mention, my diet was pretty terrible since I was eating lots of junk like I did when I was busy with graduate school. My first few months at DNR was a rude awakening, but in a good way! I thought I was strong coming in, but my endurance was poor, and every workout I did had to be scaled. When I started to see that I was getting faster, stronger, and more resilient, I wanted to keep coming back for more. When I think about some of my greatest successes at DNR, I will always remember moments like connecting my first set of double-unders, completing my first CrossFit Open, getting on the podium at last year’s Project Uplift, and finally getting my first muscle-up.
Q2. How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?
CrossFit helped re-establish my confidence and my motivation for working out. I look forward to the workouts every day, and I’m no longer worried about thinking “I can’t” or “I’ll never be good enough” when it comes to physical ability. In my personal life, CrossFit came at a time when my anxiety and stress hit an all-time high. It’s been the escape I desperately needed in my daily routine so I could re-focus and enjoy other parts of my life. I’ve developed so many great friendships along the way, and the community of people we have at DNR is unparalleled. It is truly an incredible feeling to have people surrounding you that are genuinely excited when you achieve your physical goals.
Q3. What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?
Before joining DNR, I was very skeptical and, I’ll admit, I made lots of unfair judgments about CrossFit. What I love about CrossFit-style training is that it improves overall functionality, and I don’t have to think about what I’m going to do each day. Kyle and Kody have everything programmed to prepare us for the next major event of the year; I just walk in and get straight to work with what they have written on the whiteboard. The workouts are always different, and they’re usually not body-part specific. In the past, I hated training legs, but since CrossFit mixes other things like gymnastics and cardio in addition to weightlifting, I’m able to focus on my entire body, as opposed to one muscle group. Who would have thought I’d actually grow to like squats!? I also love that CrossFit puts a heavy emphasis on mobility each day; that is something I never focused on in my previous workouts, but it has helped tremendously with the Olympic lifts.
Q4. What advice can you give to others?
If you have been thinking about trying CrossFit, but have been putting it off, don’t wait any longer and don’t be intimidated. I promise you will surprise yourself! Don’t let the heavy barbell weights or complicated movements scare you away. Every workout can be scaled, and the coaches are there guide you every step of the way. Listen to what your body is telling you. If something doesn’t feel right, allow Kyle, Kody, or one of the other coaches evaluate what you might be doing wrong. Don’t be afraid to take time for your body to recover. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that overworking yourself with an injury (even a mild one) can set you back. Sometimes you must remind yourself to check your ego at the door, don’t be stubborn, and take care of your body.
Athlete Specific Q.
1) You are a shoe guy no question, but how many pairs of shoes do you have and is it necessary to make sure they match your outfit?
One thing Kody and I have in common is our love of shoes. If we’re talking specifically about CrossFit shoes, I now own four pairs. I’m sure the number of other shoes in my closet is getting a little ridiculous. I didn’t realize this till recently, but all of my Reebok shoes contain some combo of red, black, white, and grey. I’m sure it won’t be long before I give in and buy myself a pair of red and black Nano 8 Flexweaves. Is it always necessary to make sure they match my outfit? DUH!
2) What is your favorite exercise movement and why?
My favorite exercise movement right now would have to be the muscle-up. I struggled to get my first one for such a long time and finally something clicked last summer. I have a feeling they’ll show up again in the Opens this year, and when they do, I’ll be ready!