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?
My greatest success has by far been on the mental side of things. I remember in my very first liberty class I was trying my best not to run outside and vomit (to which I was successful at NOT doing). Since that time, I’ve noticed increments…don’t get me wrong, I still get a little nervous before a big hero WOD, and anything that involves running, but I now know that I can get through pretty much any workout. Regarding how my body feels, I don’t think I’ve ever felt better. Sure, there are a few things that come being in your 40s (I’ll be 41 this month), but no question I’m stronger and that my endurance has improved.
Q2. How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?
In more ways than just the fitness aspect of it. I’ve met some really great people, some of who have become really great friends. The young people in the gym may not resonate with this, but there was a TV show called “Cheers” in the 80s about a bunch people in a bar in Boston. A line in the theme song said “You wanna go where everybody knows your name.” I kind of feel that way about DNR. That said, there is also the aspect of constructive criticism. The coaches have been great at this over the years, and I’ve learned that when they stop to work with you they aren’t criticizing you, they’re only helping you. It’s about trying to do the movement right and get better. That’s translated into other areas where such discussions happen in life, be it with my job or other relationships.
Q3. What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?
There’s been several advantages from my perspective, with the top one being accountability. It’s not like attendance is being taken, though people notice when you aren’t at the gym. Example is when I got stuck in a rut about a year and a half ago and Marc Breen texted me to get my tail back in the gym. I needed that. In comparison with my previous workout styles, I was going to a 24-hour gym just doing my own thing. It was becoming a total snoozefest and I wasn’t seeing much for gains. So I gave DNR a try and the first thing I learned was that I truly knew nothing. Having coaches who know what they’re doing, who care about whether you hurt yourself or not, while also caring about bringing you “into the fold” is a tremendous advantage over any normal gym.
Q4. What advice can you give to others?
Two pieces of advice. One, when in doubt, stick with it. After the first week of liberty classes I was wondering if CrossFit was for me. Turns out it’s actually for everybody. Two, check your ego at the door. Follow along with what the coaches say; remember, they’re there to help. In the same regard, there are some tremendous athletes at DNR. Some are more fit than others, and that’s totally okay. The point is that you’re there taking care of yourself and your body, along with challenging yourself, not to necessarily compete with everybody else.
Athlete Specific Q.
1) What is the best concert you have ever been to and why?
2) What is the worst concert you have ever been to and why?
1) The best concert I’ve ever been to….there has been A LOT. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (Minneapolis, May 1995), Pearl Jam (Phoenix, Nov 2013) , Metallica (Denver, June 2017), and Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg/Eminem/Ice Cube (Minneapolis, July 2000) all come to mind, but I’m going to go with sitting in the 4th row to see Van Halen back in May of 2012. They were the first band I ever received a cassette tape of when I was about 10 years and they’ve been my first music love since.
2) The worst concert I’ve ever been to….when I was about 16 I had to escort my brother and his friend to see the group known as Color Me Badd at the Minnesota State Fair. I went into the concert with them while my parents walked around the fairgrounds. I think tickets were only like $5 and all I remember is a guy who looked