Athlete of the Month, CrossFit

Athlete of the Month April, 2014- David Moret

AOTM-David Moret April 2014
Fitness Background:

I played many different sports as a kid and ultimately focused in on Football once I got to high school. In connection with football, I spent a good amount of time in the weight room during the off season and summers. Our team had an outstanding strength and conditioning coach who really taught me how to push myself to my limits and made exercise an important part of my routine. I believe that laid the foundation for my attraction to crossfit. I tried my best to stay in shape through college and the years after by doing some lifting, running and playing pick up basketball, but it was all pretty much downhill once high school ended. In my late 20’s and early 30’s I started having kids and for the next several years I was lucky to exercise one or two times a week. I hit my fitness low point around the age of 35 when my wife suggested I start working out with a trainer at the neighborhood gym. I got into a pretty good pattern for the next several years and started working out, running and even doing a couple of 1/2 marathons. I thought I was in pretty good shape at the age of 41 when my buddy Gerson told me I had to check out crossfit. I resisted at first due to fear of injury, but finally decided to give it a try and have been drinking the koolaid every since!

Fitness Goals:

My fitness goals have definitely evolved since I first started crossfit. I did a good job easing into things during the first year, but once I got the hang of it I really wanted to go out and try and kill it every day. I quickly learned that this was a good way to get hurt and not a good formula for longevity. I’m extremely competitive and outside of business, Crossfit has become the only real outlet I have to compete. The beauty of crossfit is that you can satisfy that competitive urge every day. The challenge is that you need to focus the competitive energy in the right places. I’ve tried to make it about competing with myself and doing the best I can do, at the weights that are right for me and not making it about where I end up on the leader board and whether or not I did the workout RX. I’ve made great progress in this regard, but I’ll admit that I’m not all the way there yet. As I answer these questions my body is still sore as hell for pushing it harder than I should on Nutts the other day! 

My current goals are to walk that fine line between pushing myself to my limits and staying injury free. I joined the 45-50 year old masters bracket in this years Open and my goal is to keep doing it as long as possible. 

Experience at Crossfit 305/A1A:

My experience at Crossfit has been an absolutely incredible. I really fell in love with it on the first day and it has become an incredibly important part of my life ever since. There is no question that Crossfit has enabled me to get in the best shape of my life as I approach my 45th birthday. While this is obviously attributed in large part to the actual workouts, the nutritional changes have been equally as significant. For my first year or so, I felt like I could eat whatever I wanted since I was working out so hard. In January 2011, after a holiday season that included more eating and drinking than I would like to remember, I decided to join one of the whole 30 nutritional challenges. While I only truly made it 2 weeks without cheating, I immediately went back to the Whole 30 style of eating and have essentially changed he way I eat to this day. While it felt like a sacrifice at first, it soon became natural, my cravings changed and now it just seems normal. 

While these are the obvious benefits of my crossfit experience, I can’t underestimate the importance of what a great outlet crossfit has become for me. I work in commercial real estate which has not exactly been a stress free field for the past several years. Everytime I walk into the gym, I get an hour of stress free time to play a game, satisfy my competitive urges and let it all go. Every night at 8:00 pm sharp, I check the AIA website to read tomorrows WOD (for those who dont know, A1A now posts at 8, 305 at 9) and start thinking about my approach. My wife and kids think I’m crazy, but I get a kick out of thinking about the workout, how I’m going to scale it or break it up, how long its going to take, how bad will it suck, etc.. Its even worse during the Open season when I watch the announcement video, then watch all the strategy videos people post about the workouts and then spend the next several days texting back and forth with Joey, Mark and Eric about our approach, how we did and whether or not we are going to repeat the workouts. My family asks me why I’m such a freak about it. Am I going to regionals? No. I am going to win anything? No. Am I going to finish in the top of the field? No. I guess the answer is just simply, “because its really fun”. I can’t finish without saying thank you to Pete, Dan, Chad, Dom, Frank, Chris, Raiko, Jeff, Bianca and Jess (I hope I’m not missing anyone) for being such incredible coaches. The coach really does set the tone for the group and all of you are such great teachers and motivators. Its been a great experience and I look forward to doing it for a long time to come!

Athlete of the Month, CrossFit

Athlete of the Month- March 2014- Brannon Hudson

Remember the overweight kid in your middle school gym class who couldn’t do a single pull-up? Yeah, I was that kid. Athletic activity was pure anathema to me during my adolescent years. I cannot remember ever completing a mile run or meeting any of the various fitness metrics throughout my primary or secondary education. My diet growing up was horrendous. I ate fried everything and had no concept of portion control. To make matters worse, type-2 diabetes is prevalent in my family as my mother; maternal grandmother and grandfather are type-2 diabetics. And by the age of 18 I was obese and on my way to adding to the familial count.

It wasn’t until I took a nutrition class in my freshman year of university that I began to give fitness some serious thought. It took about one to three months for me to replace fast food with nutritious alternatives. Once my eating habits were improved (not perfected but improved, ha!) I worked up the courage to start going to the university gym. Exercising at the gym was psychologically challenging as I initially thought I was too out of shape. But, I eventually got over that and by third year of college I had lost approximately 60 pounds. And I managed to maintain an active lifestyle throughout undergraduate and graduate school by lifting weights, stadium conditioning, and attending boot camp sessions.

In fitness I strive for improvement in my overall health. I equally enjoy cardiovascular conditioning and resistance training. On weekends I run the Oleta State River Park bike trials; and I aim to simultaneously improve my trail running and increase my physical strength. I didn’t think I would be able to continue a challenging fitness lifestyle post-graduation. I made the decision to give Cross Fit 305 an earnest try after a few failed attempts at 24 Hour Fitness (can’t stand that place). And, boy, am I happy I made the jump! Cross Fit 305 has far exceeded my expectations; especially in the coaches’ knowledge base. Their detailed instruction on proper form and technique is something I haven’t experienced at any other fitness facility. My Cross Fit 305 experience has been nothing short of fantastic and I look forward to bettering my fitness health with Cross Fit 305.

Congratulations, Brannon!!

Athlete of the Month, CrossFit

Athlete of the Month of February, 2014- Karlee Foster

AOTM-February-2014-Karlee-FosterMy Fitness Background:

When I was little I loved being active, and was incredibly competitive. I grew up with three brothers and many cousins, so riding my bike, roller-blading, and just playing around and being active was normal. I did cheerleading and soccer during middle school, but I kind of lost the passion and competitiveness that I had by the time I got to high school. I’ve had issues with my weight since late elementary school, and my lifestyle just increasingly got less active and very unhealthy food wise
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By the time I entered high school I didn’t have the self confidence to try out a sport, particularly volleyball, since I was basically 100% sedentary and very rarely left my house besides to go to school. I moved to Texas in 2010 during my senior year in high school and lived with my aunt and uncle who were both in the military and incredibly fit. I was around 325lbs and began working out with them and changed my incredibly bad eating habits; over about a year I got down to 270. Then college and uncontrollable freedom entered my life and over the next two years, I gained all the weight plus more back.

I’ve tried working out in gyms and doing at home workouts like Insanity and P90X, but I felt like I was always lacking or too inexperienced to know if I was being effective during my workout. It was also difficult to stay self motivated, especially since I deep down had very little hope that I could actually lose all the weight I had to lose naturally and without medical surgery. I think I’ve always been physically inclined, I just built up a huge animosity towards consistent physical exercise and thought there were better ways to be spending my time especially since most of my family focused on how smart and creative I was and ignored my health issues.

I ended up here in Miami in May 2013 on a Saturday, and the following Monday I was enrolled into Crossfit Unloaded by my Uncles Danny Tenorio and Michael Lofroos at the starting weight of 350 lbs, and about 10 months later, I’m now at 250 lbs.

My Experience at 305:

The first week was honestly a very shameful and painful experience for me. I had never been aware of how unhealthy I was, and was always in denial that I wasn’t THAT BAD. Being overweight for so long kind of blurs the harshness of your reality and the magnitude of the damage done to your body, so it was a huge wake-up call for me.  That whole week was squat after squat after squat and I felt like dying after every workout. But I just kept on, ignoring the dread and butterflies in my stomach every time I walked up the stairs, and after the first few months, I realized I was beginning to enjoy the work, growing in experience and shedding pound by pound, discovering that I had strengths and found ways to improve my weaknesses. The sense of dread I once had is now determination to do my best in each workout and constantly improve my times, my reps, my forms. It is a huge stress reliever, and I feel gross if I end up missing a workout out of the limited few I can fit in my busy schedule between working and being a full-time art student.

I am so grateful and happy to have met such encouraging, motivating, and positive people here. My insecurities were short lived and I have been able to build self-confidence and motivation from everyone I work out with and all the trainers that have taught me. Frank and Bianca basically built my then non-existent fitness foundation during my first few months and have been so so so supportive, patient, and encouraging with me that I can honestly say that without them I would have been that huge crybaby in the middle of the gym having a breakdown about not being able to do the workout and I love them so much and am so thankful for everything they’ve done for me.  Every single person there is a role model to me, and I’m just amazed by everything everyone is able to accomplish by their pure will and determination and commitment. It challenges me to keep trying my best, to enjoy my journey, and to never stop improving. I’m a bit awkward in expressing myself, but I really look up to all the athletes I see and want to be able to express my gratitude to everyone through my progress with my weight loss and overall progress towards a healthy lifestyle.

My Goals:

At first, a numerical value was my goal. I kind of started my weight loss journey pretty superficially, despite the healthy and thoughtful intentions of my uncles. My uncles have been the biggest motivators and supporters for me and my health and without them I’d be in a very different place right now, probably in a dark room with limited mobility but strangely an endless supply of Oreos and Chinese food.

I followed the food regimen, kept up with my workouts, but it took me a very long time to build a healthy mindset, and I’m still only at the beginning stages of one. After living so long with such low self-esteem and value in myself, I realize after losing 100 lbs. that I need to learn to love myself and not hate who I’ve been. I’ve placed so much value in how other see me that I never developed a personal intention for my weight loss, no internal end result to the hard work; I was just aiming for acceptance. During the last few pounds of the 100 everything pieced itself together. I need to be fully accepting of myself, to come to terms with my past and not let it dictate my future. It’s strange, but I always have had an inkling that despite all the work I’ve put in that I can still end up a failure and disappointment.

My goal is to have a happy mind, a happy body, and a happy way of living. A word I live by is eupathy, and it means “the happy condition of the soul.” So physically, I want my weight to not be a sad and stressful topic like it has been since I was 10, and I don’t want to feel weak or be perceived as weak. I want to be comfortable and pleased with how I am, and I want to be proud of myself. I want to wake up and look at myself in the mirror and have to resist the urge to kiss it. Or something along those lines.

Before-AOTM-February-2014-Karlee-Foster

Athlete of the Month, CrossFit

Athlete of the Month of January, 2014- Mark Pratt

AOTM-January 2014-Mark-PrattWhat is your fitness background?

Like many British kids, I grew up wanting to be a football (soccer) player; this never reached fruition, but I ended up being pretty good at rugby and cricket, playing competitively at school and university (college). By my early-20s, I’d long dismissed the rugby bro scene and was far more interested in being a hipster, so focused on more artistic, creative and academic pursuits. Competitive sports became a distant memory, and at some point I developed a certain disdain of fitness as an ideal.

While living in Vancouver six years ago I started running again for practical reasons – I couldn’t drive and it seemed like the best way of exploring the natural beauty of British Columbia – and developed an ongoing appetite for distance running and marathons. Despite playing lots of sport and running, I’d never been interested in going to a normal gym and zero experience of strength training.

When I started CrossFit 18 months ago, I was running distance regularly and playing basketball sporadically but not much else. I’d also just done a trial month at Brickell LA Fitness – a soulless fucking place in many ways – and, in retrospect, I was unconsciously searching for something new. I heard about 305 via some people at Miami Rugby Club and the next thing I knew I was being taken through 8 minutes of a scaled version of Cindy, with a dude called Chad, in a beautiful atmospheric warehouse by the train-tracks on a humid Tuesday morning.

Talk about your experience at 305.

The first few months were humbling in the best possible way; the effortless glide of everyday life was suddenly punctuated by the difficulty of confronting something different and highly challenging. Lots of things were completely new – Olympic lifts, kettle-bells, rope-climbs and even pull-ups; I’d never tried gymnastics movements before; my mobility and flexibility is poor and I didn’t really know heavy barbell squatting was even a thing. Despite this strangeness there was something in the intensity and variety that I found compelling; WODs could almost be emotional and the body-mechanics of Olympic lifts just looked and felt really cool. I didn’t necessarily look forward to it, but I knew I had to keep on turning up – it felt like an avenue to something new and I liked the hybrid feeling of learning, discipline and humility.

I remember a hero WOD (“White”) was programmed for September 11th 2012, which was also the day I turned 31, and it felt like a breakthrough. I could complete all the movements and loved the feeling of having given everything. I started to really appreciate the supportive community and more than anything being around people who are serious, motivated and committed. Turning up regularly at 7.30pm has become a cherished part of my routine and I’ve become better a person – emotionally, mentally and physically. More than anything though, CrossFit is just so much fun…doing a WOD feels closer to the childlike glee of playing soccer in the streets when a kid, rather than any kind of self-prescribed obligation.

Like anyone else who has been at 305 for a while, I’m grateful for the coaches who do an incredible job. Each one of them has helped me individually in ways ranging from precise technical instruction and mobility advice to just being friendly, patient and supportive. The continual exposure to a breadth of coaches, all with positive things to offer and each involved in their own fitness journey, is pretty amazing really.

What are your goals? 

I want to be able to perform all movements, do every WOD at RX and maintain a steady trajectory of positive improvement; more specifically, the following would be nice before the end of 2014:

* Good kipping pull-ups, hand-stand push-ups, double unders et al

* Sub 5-minute 30 mile, sub 40-minute 10k

* Double body-weight squat and be able to do Olympic lifts with strong technique and form

* Continuously improving mobility and flexibility

Specific aims are just tangential though and not my central motivation. I’ve started to consider fitness and health similar to knowledge; it’s not about reaching an end-goal but the continual pursuit and everything that is learnt along the way. I’m hoping to do an ultra-marathon this year and want to start playing competitive sports again, and the experience at CrossFit 305 is intrinsic to all this. This feels like the start of a life-long thing and I’m excited for the future.

Big up the 7.30pm crew past, present and future – particularly Willie, Coinncy, Bink and Karloz; all the coaches; Eva and Fabiana; and everyone else for making CrossFit 305 a place I love coming to every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Athlete of the Month, CrossFit

Athlete of the month of December, 2013- Allan Ajoy

allanajoy

What is your Fitness Background?
I never liked sports and coming from a family that plays soccer I was expected to be one of the stars. But I wasn’t. I was a full time nerd in high school and an outcast in college. During all these years I was bullied for being different, but somehow I discovered that I could run faster that most of my “friends” so that helped me a little bit to be part of the running team and my love for running started. I think running was my getaway from the real world.
I used to go to the gym but like everyone else just because you go to the gym doesn’t mean you are healthy or strong. I went to visit my parents in Ecuador and one of my good friends introduced me to crossfit. I went to a class and I couldn’t finish the WOD. I was devastated because during all these year I developed a crazy competitive personality so I came back to Miami, fist thing I did was to check “Crossfit” online and there it was “Crossfit 305” that was November 1, 2010.
What are your goals?
My main goal is coming to the box everyday I can, live a healthy life (paleo style) and continue running my obstacle course races, half marathons, etc.
I do want to run a 5k in 18 minutes (best time is19:01) and a half in 1:28 (best time is 1:30:01). I am not looking to lift heavy because that s not my thing due to my running but definitely to improve my cardio and my strength!
Describe your experience at 305/A1A?
The moment I came to the box was a match in Heaven. I started doing unloaded, mixing cardio and crossfit and timing was just a religious experience for me (LOL)
Dan, Peter and Dom were the first 3 coaches I met and they have been always supportive and nice people!
The one thing that really felt this was it for me, its when these guys noticed the was a few gay members at the box and wanted to have a meeting with us and just talk about us being comfortable in the gym, what could they do to make us feel welcomed, coming from a very difficult childhood and not being opened in that time for me was something that really cool. It was like finally coming to school but with no pressure just being me.
I made a bad decision and left the box for 6 months last year and those were the worst 6 months of my life, I lost my drive, my strength everything, but I never lost these friends. I continued talking to these “locos” and just one day I spoke to Dan and I said I don’t know what to do to get back to crazy ….he was like “just get back to 305” and I did, My crazy ride started again July 2013 and I couldn’t do 10 burpees in a row I was dying and lack of energy, but thanks to Dan and Frank I am getting back to where I was. They were very patient and just giving me words of encouragement, was the key. Alex Arguelles he doesn’t know how much he helped me the first months just telling me tips and being there.
 Overall just being there and seeing friends like Joey, Bianca Jessica, Kris, Alyssa, Smarge, Litza, Sergio, The Csete Family, getting better and better was such an inspiration to get back in track.
I am thankful to you guys because of the environment, because of the craziness, because of the camaraderie and most important because of every person I get to know everyday. I can be a witness of what we are capable of, and what we can do, each one of you inspire me in many different ways. There is no other place like the 305 Family.