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!
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!