When did you start Crossfit?
July 2014. We had a Wellness Fair at work, I walked by the CFA table and Ann dropped some super cheesy line, something like, " Hey, do you wanna get ripped and have fun doing it?" I visited with her for a bit, came to 101 the following week, and I was all in after that.
What's your favorite part about CrossFit?
Cliche, cliche, but I like that it feels that we're just one big team, and we're more or less all in the same boat and we're all here to support each other. I like the fact that I can go to my daughters soccer game on a Saturday and say high to 5-6 CFA folks who I wouldn't know otherwise.
Favorite workout and/or movement/exercise/lift?
I'm a fan of squat cleans, and really any workout that involves the barbell. I like pull ups as well, not because I'm particularly good at them or anything, but when I started I don't think I could do 1 strict pull up, and kipping pull ups was that mythical movement that I didn't think I was ever going to get down. Now it's a good reminder to me that if I keep the right attitude and put in the work, there really are no mythical movements.
How has CrossFit helped/affected your life outside the gym?
Oh boy, where to begin. I'm more confident, worry less, stress less. Has made me a better husband, father, co-worker.
On a different level, I've struggled a bit over the past 10+ years dealing with some of my own unfulfilled potential and not taking advantage of some athletic opportunities I had in front of me in my younger day. Anyways, the easy thing to say was that injuries derailed me, and although I had my share of injuries (ACL/MCL, torn labrum, broken collarbone, broken wrist), if I'm honest, I bought into all the hype, had a terrible attitude, and didn't put the work in. Crossfit has given me a new opportunity to fulfill my athletic/physical potential, albeit in a different way at a different time. Some demons exorcised nonetheless.
What is your proudest CF related accomplishment?
Competing in Festivus last April was a great experience and big sense of accomplishment.
I'm proud that I've been able to stick with it since I've started and have been pretty consistent and have kept a pretty good trend of progression going. That and the fact that I've developed a habit of getting my ass out of bed at 4:30a.
What are your future CF related goals?
I just want to be as well rounded and as proficient as possible. I'd like to be able to walk in on any given day and be able to perform well no matter what's on the board. No more people asking me if I'm hurt after they see my snatch weight the next day.
I also just converted some space at work into a little mini-Crossfit box. Got a rig, barbells, bumpers, rowers, all the accessory equipment, etc. We're making it available to our entire company at no charge with hopes of offering some super scaled group classes. We have 500+ employees, and my hope is that they will experience some of the same personal benefits that I have and end up with an overall healthier work force with increased production, decreased absenteeism, and improved inter-department/co-worker relationships.
If you were to say something to someone new joining what advise would you give?
Just show up. All you have to do is show up with the right attitude and everything else is taken care of. And if you show up long enough, you'll surprise yourself.
Freestyle section: anything else you want to add?
Said it before, will say it again. CFA is a special place with special people, and I am eternally grateful to be a part of it.
Posted on Thu, October 1, 2015
by Luke Russell