May 2013 Athlete Spotlight
When did you start Crossfit? I started with the basic classes at Bayou City in August of 2010. Immediately after my first class, I was assigned to a case requiring out of town travel 3-4 days every week for the next 4-5 months. So what was supposed to take four weeks (2 classes/week) took me 10. Once my travel schedule slowed down, I started at Pin Up in January of 2011.
Why did you start Crossfit? I have never been able to stick with any workout program. But if someone was keeping score, I would play all day. When I realized that I was playing flag football and soccer with people that are literally half my age, I figured I either needed to quit playing so many sports or find something that would keep me somewhat competitive. Even with that motivation, I would inevitably get bored at the gym and quit working out after a few weeks. So for the 2 years before I started CrossFit, I was Larry North’s favorite customer…I paid every month but never showed up. I read a bunch of the CrossFit websites, testimonials, etc, and I thought the variety of workouts of CrossFit, and the timed/competitive nature of the WODs, would keep me engaged.
What is your favorite movement? WOD? Box jumps. The 12 Days of Christmas is my favorite WOD….I like WODs that involve many different movements.
What is your least favorite movement? WOD? Rope climbs because I just can’t do them without rope burns….as soon as I can figure out how to avoid rope burns, my least favorite movement will become wall balls. Least favorite WOD is Karen.
Describe Crossfit in 5 words. ”Just pick up the bar” Those are the words I hear in my head most often. For me, the mental side of each WOD is as challenging as the physical. My mind’s idea of what I can do always lags behind my body’s ability.
What’s your favorite food? Tough question because I am an equal opportunity eater…I will eat (and like) just about everything. Today’s favorite is pears. Tomorrow, who knows.
What is one of your recent accomplishments at the gym that you’re proud of? 44″ max box jump! I can’t dunk a basketball (or even get close), but maybe there is still hope!
What are your hobbies/interests outside of Crossfit? My primary non-work/non-Crossfit interest involves family-time, including time with my son (7) and step-daughter (17). I also play a lot of recreational sports, including flag football, soccer, softball and golf.
How has CrossFit affected your daily life? It has made me pay attention to what I eat and how it affects my moods and performance. And it also forces me to keep an extra (dry) t-shirt in my car for the drive home. Most notably, as my core strength has improved I’ve found that my lower back doesn’t hurt anymore. The claim that Crossfit is functional fitness really rings true with me, as I’m also able to easily do a lot of things around the house because of the strength gains that I’ve seen from Crossfit.
What is one of your goals you are currently working towards? (1) 10+ unbroken ring dips (2) 8-minute mile.
ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT – KATY DUNBAR
Meet Crossfit athlete Katy…
1. When did you start CrossFit? Why? After taking some time off from working out, I realized how incredibly easy it is to fall back out of shape. I really wanted to get involved with a workout that motivated me to push myself more while also strengthening my cardiovascular system. After speaking with a friend who was already doing CrossFit, I researched ones near my work and joined PinUp in June 2012.
2. What is your favorite WOD? Least favorite? I’ll never forget the day I came to CrossFit and written on the white board was a 1 mile run, 2K row, 1 mile run again. I was truly debating leaving and having to deal with the ‘after seeing the WOD and leaving’ punishment of 150 burpees. But, after the motivation of coaches, friends, and pushing myself I completed the WOD. My favorite WOD didn’t have a name, but consisted of 25 pull ups, 75 squats, 35 sit ups (3X) for time. Pull ups and sit ups really hit home for me because those are movements that work towards strengthening two main parts of my body I need to focus on.
3. What is your favorite movement? Least favorite? My favorite movement is pull ups while my least favorite movement is running
4. What has been your greatest accomplishment in the gym since beginning at Pin Up CrossFit? At the start of CrossFit I dreaded running, I would complain and drag my feet every time a coach at PinUp started a WOD with a 400 meter warm up. After time, my mentality of running has evolved into one of my greatest accomplishments at PinUp. I now strive to improve my running during and after each WOD.
5. What do you feel has been the greatest benefit of becoming a CrossFitter? The push and drive CrossFit and the coaches at PinUp have made me see in myself has been one of the greatest benefits of becoming a CrossFitter. I’m starting to see growth in my physical capabilities inside and outside ‘the box’ I never thought could be possible for me.
6. How do you “sell” CrossFit to people who don’t know what it is? Do you feel CrossFit is for everyone? CrossFit is for everyone! Every time I’ve been asked about my CrossFit experience I tell them how I was never an athlete growing up. I also tell them how nervous I was to join a CrossFit gym. These were the two things that originally held me back from joining. But then, after letting them know how people in my classes are from all different types of athletic or non-athletic backgrounds and are so welcoming to helping you succeed physically through each WOD I couldn’t be more excited about going to CrossFit!
7. Do you feel it is important to be positive at all times regarding the CrossFit workouts? Why? Being positive is essential at all times regarding CrossFit workouts. I’m one to always doubt myself in how much weight I’m capable of lifting or how far I can actually run. The coaches at PinUp made me understand that being negative can really mess with your physical and mental capability to complete any WOD. I think it is so essential, that I have forced one of the PinUp coaches to insist I complete 5 burpees whenever I doubt myself in a WOD.. and trust me, it works.
8. If you could be any superhero, who would you be? I would be Marvel Girl. Not only is she telepathic, but she has a big imagination. Now if only she could fly!
Meet Crossfit athlete Kevin…
1. When did you start CrossFit? I started in March 2012 Why? I returned to the US in January 2012 after spending 6 years living overseas in Scotland, Kazakhstan, Equatorial Guinea and India. While overseas I took up distance running and ran full marathons in Scotland, Rome and Athens, Greece (the 2500th anniversary of the original Marathon). I was a bit bored with running and when I moved back to Houston I started to see all these weird signs for Crossfit on places that looked like storage buildings. I was curious enough to look up the box closest to my house and did an intro course with Charlie on a Saturday morning at the old Pin Up location. I immediately signed up for the basic class and have been steadily increasing my workout volume ever since.
2. What is your favorite part of CrossFit? The competition combined with a sense of accomplishment and common effort. I believe that everyone is in the box for a reason and they are legitimately hoping to see the whole class succeed.
3. What is your favorite movement? Handstand pushups and anything with rounds of Cindy. Least favorite? Squat Cleans –I still can’t get under the bar like I want – Charlie’s Bon Jovi Pandora channel isn’t really a movement but it is a least favorite.
4. When did you drink the CrossFit ‘kool-aid’? What made it happen? I would say right about the time I did Murph on Memorial Day. The reverence and remembrance to the fallen soldiers was touching and the workout hurt like hell. Shortly after that Andrew took away my band on pullups and I realized I really had improved my strength significantly in a short period of time. Running always seemed like a solitary introverted sport and Crossfit is pretty much the total opposite of that.
5. What is your biggest accomplishment CrossFit has helped you achieve? I see small things every day that I attribute to Crossfit – from the carrying groceries, to working in my yard to taking out the trash. Things are simply easier than they used to be. I also think the confidence that I have gained with Crossfit helped me decide in November to leave my job of 15 years in a major oilfield service company to join a small Norwegian oilfield company as the only US employee.
6. How would you “sell” CrossFit to someone wanting to check it out? I tell them to hurry up and get in the box. If someone really wants to gain fitness there is no better way and that this is evident from the first WOD. Also I tell them not to think they have to be in good shape when they start – I explain how all the WODs can be scaled to individual ability and that nobody is left behind.
7. If you could be any superhero, who would you be? Thor – Norse god of Thunder. Thor is also capable of entering into a state known as the “Warrior’s Madness” (“berserkergang” in Norwegian), which will temporarily increase his strength and stamina tenfold, although in this state he attacks friend and foe alike. Sometimes you need this kind of mentality during a WOD.
ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT – SHAWNTAY CHANEY
Meet Crossfit athlete Shawntay…
1. When did you start CrossFit? Why? I started crossfit in September 2012, so not that long ago. One day I was totally wasting time flipping through t.v. channels (I’m a recovering tv addict) and I ran across the Crossfit games. I was enthralled to say the least. Not only did all of those girls have bodies that I wished I had but they were incredibly strong. I just had to find out what I needed to do to be like them. So my slightly obsessive nature led me to waste countless hours researching crossfit and all things paleo and pester my husband about joining. My obsession began in the summer but it wasn’t until September when I convinced my husband to let me try it for a month as an anniversary gift. Little did he know that he’d have to keep paying for it, but he’s just as addicted to my results as I am now so its a win win.
2. What is your favorite thing about CrossFit? I have a lot of favorites but I’ll try and keep it short. I played several sports in high school so crossfit fills the competitive athletic void I’ve had since then. I tried to compete on collegiate intramural teams and became a gym rat for a while but it wasn’t the same. One of the things I like most about crossfit is it pushes me way more than anything I’ve done since high school and way more than I would on my own. Plus, the people are REALLY cool and inspirational. I love that some of the best athletes are normal people with normal lives and responsibilities. Crossfit makes becoming an great athlete an attainable goal for anyone with a little determination and focus. Least favorite? Crossfit totally takes advantage of my slightly obsessive nature. I mean seriously, I can read anything crossfit related for hours on end. This is just not good for me right now. PERIOD.
I know I mentioned the competitive nature as one of my favorite aspects but its also kind of my least favorite because I’m never the best in the group. I kind of have a Ricky Bobby from Talledega Nights mentality sometimes (if you haven’t seen that movie you’re missing out on a whole lot of hilarity), you know when he says “If you ain’t first, you’re last”. I’m sure I’ll grow out of that though. I’m learning to compete against myself and not others and this becomes a little bit easier every time I’m laying on the ground gasping for air. The whole experience is quite humbling.
3. What is your favorite movement? I honestly enjoy anything that involves the movement of a lot of weight, especially the Olympic lifts. When I tap my inner hulk, the world is a happy place. Least favorite? I hate all activities that involve running. I mean seriously, whenever there is running involved in the WOD I momentarily consider running towards the freeway and ending it all. But then I realize that I have way too much to give in this life. Oh yeah, and I loathe wall balls. Those things are the devil!
4. When did you drink the CrossFit ‘kool-aid’? What made it happen? Did I mention that I’m slightly obsessive? Yeah I drank the koolaide the first time I spent a whole day reading the Crossfit community blog and watching videos on youtube and the main Crossfit website. I realized the koolaide was paleo when I spent a whole day listening to the Rob Wolfe podcasts. I refilled my koolaide cup when I had my first official workout. It was called “Snatching Fran”. With a name like that how can you not take a sip? That’s when I realized that the koolaide tasted like sweat… warm salty forehead sweat. Sweat tastes so good.
5. What is your biggest accomplishment CrossFit has helped you achieve? I guess my biggest accomplishment so far is that I got on the leader board with my 245# deadlift (tooting my own horn). That was my first attempt at a 1 rep max deadlift so I was pretty stoked. Honorable mention goes the fact that I went from not being able to comfortably squat below parallel with a barbell on my back to almost squatting my body weight in 3 months, and let me tell you, I’m no light weight. I can now do handstand pushups on the wall and just yesterday I completed my first toes to bar. Yeah, I totally slipped off the bar afterwards, but that was huge deal for me. I know you asked for 1 accomplishment but that’s just not a reasonable request considering all that I’ve accomplished with crossfit in the past few months. Oh yeah, and crossfit has given me a booty… I never had one of those before.
6. How would you “sell” CrossFit to someone wanting to check it out? Ideally, I would put on a bunch of short lululemon spandex and let my body do the talking, but since I’m not quite on that level yet, I stick to constantly updating my facebook with crossfit related status’ and pictures. People love to see results and so far that has been what people notice about me the most. I’ve lost a lot of inches and gained a lot of strength.
For me, the best selling point about crossfit is that it becomes more than a workout or a means to an end. Everyday it makes me truly question whether my efforts in life are just acceptable or extraordinary. Many people are content with mediocrity and that’s okay for them, but I’ve never been that type. I’d tell people that when they’re ready to be above average mentally and physically, meet me at the box.
7. Word has it that you keep a pretty busy schedule…what keeps you so busy and how do you find time to CrossFit? Yeah things are pretty crazy right now. I am currently writing my dissertation to complete my PhD at the University of Houston. On most days I go to the lab around lunch to write, then I go to the 5pm crossfit class after which I return to the lab to write throughout the night until around 6 or 7am. I go home sleep a few hours and then start writing again. I basically stop writing to sleep, eat, shower and crossfit. I told myself that in order to keep my sanity while writing, crossfit (and showering) would be one of the few things that I would not give up. You have to do something for yourself no matter how busy you get.
I keep coming back to crossfit despite the schedule because I’ve benefited in a couple of ways that I never thought I would. First, by doing crossfit in the evening, it gives me a rush of endorphins and a high that helps keep me up and focused through most of the night. That way, I don’t have to intravenously inject myself with coffee. Second, all the mental doubts, hang-ups and fears I have about being able to finish and defend my dissertation are put to rest every time I complete a WOD. That hour of constantly fighting my inner defeatist makes me realize that the little voice in my head saying that I can’t do it is NOT telling the truth. I will push through the pain. When I finish my PhD it will be in part because crossfit prevented me from going absolutely batty
8. If you could be any superhero, who would you be? I would be Storm from X-men. That way I could call down torrential rains, snow, hail, fire and sulphur from the sky etc. whenever there’s a WOD with running. Plus I could just electrocute anyone I didn’t like, but since I like most people and especially crossfitters, all of you would be safe.
ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT - MATT ADAMS
Meet Crossfit athlete Matt…
1. When did you start Crossfit? Why? I started crossfit in march of 2010 after seeing some pictures of me tagged on Facebook and having one of those “I really look like that???” Moments. I was pushing close to 200lbs and knew I needed to make a change. A former coworker of mine had been crossfitting for about a year and kept pushing it on me while I rolled off excuse after excuse. Finally I gave in because he was ripped, so whatever he was doing was working and I here I am today (still not ripped). Now a days I still have those “I really look like that???” moments BECAUSE I LOOK AMAZING (slightly kidding).
2. What is your favorite thing about Crossfit? My favorite part of crossfit is the people and the coaches. If we’re honest with ourselves, I think 95% don’t actually love doing burpees or doing pullups until our arms fall off. However, I honestly believe the community we have at pin up makes crossfit what it is. Having people to challenge and encourage you, complain about the impending misery, or to at least laugh at my bad jokes are what keep me coming back. Our coaches are very top notch, having had the opportunity to visit a few gyms I’ve seen examples of very poor coaching. I know we sometimes grumble about warmups, but try going to a gym where the “coach” says: “alright here’s the wod, ready, set, go!” with no warmup. You’ll be thankful for the 10 minutes or so we spend warming up (except for inchworms, you don’t have to be thankful for inchworms). Least favorite? My least favorite part is IT NEVER GETS EASIER. Sure if you stick with it, you will certainly improve and won’t be as sore, BUT as soon as it does get easy you increase weight or go faster. Then you start focusing on one move for a few months in hopes of improving and start neglecting others. Finally when you’ve finally found your rythym, Uncle Andrew goes and buys some new toys (sandbags, rowers, probably building some new death tower) to torture us with. On top of that, they won’t install mirrors so I can check out my guns. It’s a never ending battle.
3. What is your favorite movement? In terms of my favorite crossfit move, I would say pull-ups. When I started I was jumping off of a box to do pull-ups, it’s been fun to see my progression with the hope of nailing butterfly pull-ups this year. I would also put rope climbs into my favorites category, as there is no other exercise we do during WOD’s where I commonly think to myself, “I could actually die from this” (Charlie is nodding his head furiously while reading this as he witnessed my last rope WOD). In all seriousness, they’re not fun, but it’s something that I can really tell I’m getting better at (as an added bonus, if you forget to bring your crossfit approved compression socks, your legs will be covered in rope burns for the next few weeks!). Least favorite? Oh man where do I start? My least favorite move is sumo dead high pulls because honestly does anyone like them?? Heavy backsquats always make me nervous, mainly because I spend the whole rep thinking about “escaping” rather than actually squatting the weight. Any moves that require an ounce of flexibility, warmups that include “inchworm”, and anytime “200 thrusters” is written on the board. Also, farmers carry, specifically with 45lb plates. Charlie can confirm I nearly quit crossfit because of that.
4. When did you drink the Crossfit ‘kool-aid’? First let’s define what “drinking the kool aid” means. Some people seem (not going to mention names) to think there’s an actual cooler of kool-aid, which would be incredible. However, there actually isn’t a literal cooler of Kool aid, its more about buying into the crossfit culture (which interestingly the word culture has the word CULT in it). Here is the 7 stage progression of crossfit culture kool-aid drinking:
i. start crossfit
ii. purchase new trendy crossfit shoes (either inov-8 or reebok nano)
iii. begin wearing only crossfit certified clothing from lululemon, rogue fitness, or life as prescribed (looks are just as important to a good workout as actually doing the workout)
iv. begin wearing knee braces, compression socks, wrist guards, head bands
v. bring your own chalk because the chalk provided at the gym was caged and not paleo enough
vi. show up covered in pink tape from your weekly visit to Arrosti
vii. tribal tattoos
based on this backed-by-science chart, i’m a level 2 venturing into level 3 crossfitter, though in my advanced age (27) I feel level 4 and a trip to arrosti are right around the corner. So don’t be surprised if I come sporting all kinds of tape in the future, feel free to compliment me on being elite.
5. How has Crossfit helped you? Crossfit helped me lose 30lbs and to keep the weight off, and really changed my life into a more health conscious one. I went from roughly 200lbs (and let me assure you, it was not muscle) starting out in march of 2010 to now hovering around 170 It’s helped me gain strength and move weights I would’ve never thought possible, and push myself to new limits. A few of my favorite accomplishments thus far: my first prescribed Fran in 5:24 the day after the christmas party, 9:50 Helen Rx, and anytime I set a new PR (especially in overhead squats).
6. What do you tell people about Crossfit? To sell crossfit I usually just tell people my story and show them a few before and after pictures. I also like to sell them that its much more than just joining a gym, it’s more like joining a family. You get to meet interesting people, go through grueling, absolutely miserable workouts together in an environment of mutual respect and encouragement, then at the end of the day you might make some new best friends.
7. What are the biggest mistakes you think people make in regards to Crossfit?
ii. Trying to RX a wod without proper form. It’s just a number, poor form is a quick way to serious injury. I promise nobody at the gym is judging you because you’re doing less weight.
iii. Not challenging themselves – I’ve noticed some people are afraid to push themselves because they’re “not ready to move up”. I’ll share a conversation I had with Charlie when I was using a band for pull-ups: “Charlie, how many pull-ups do I need to be able to do before getting off the band?” “How many can you do?” “One, maybe two.” “Time to get off the band.”
iv. Not coming to the holiday party.
8. If you could be any superhero, who would you be? Not sure why anyone wouldn’t pick Batman.
9. If you got to make up a HERO WOD named “Matt”, what would it be? EASY.
2 rounds of:
200 Good mornings (45 lb bar)
say goodbye to your hamstrings (also i just wanted to make a wod with scorpions in it).
10. What’s been the hardest thing for you to improve even after 1.5 years of crossfitting? Great question! My usual answer is “crossfit” but i’ll be more specific.
i. pushups – it is downright laughable how few pushups I can string together before i’m looking like a beached whale lying in pile of my own sweat
ii. double unders – i’ve gotten better from the 0 i was able to string together, but they come and go as quickly as a cold front in Texas. One day I can crank out 50 in a row no problem, next day I can’t string 2 together.
iii. my mental attitude – one of my biggest issues is that i mentally defeat myself before a big WOD thinking “oh its so many reps” or “the weight is SO heavy” instead of just toughing through it. When you defeat yourself mentally before the wod, there’s almost no chance of recovery.
11. What are your 2013 Crossfit goals? The only thing I care about this year is getting a muscle up. Butterfly pull ups is second, but a very distant second like “Dallas is 2nd to Houston” type distance.
ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT - BRYAN ARCIERO
Meet Crossfit athlete Bryan…
1. When did you start Crossfit? Why? May 2011. I had done a lot of Crossfit movements before (training with an Oly-coach, doing a lot of met-conesque training, etc) but I joined up at Bayou City last year, then when I moved to midtown switched to Pinup. I always saw the value in this kind of training, and from a sports background of rugby and ice hockey, the high intensity training element was more fun than running laps around Memorial park.
2. What is your favorite movement? Any olympic lift, or anything involving a prowler. Least favorite? Running; everytime it’s programmed I ask myself “Why am I paying for this!?”
3. What is your favorite WOD? Favorite is Nutts b/c it’s one of the few hero-WODs in honor of a Canadian. It’s also really hard! Least favorite? Any AMRAP. Just give me the rounds and let me get it over with!
4. You recently suffered a pretty substantial injury – when was it and what was the injury? After 10 years of collision sports, I really thought my time in hospital was over. One smashed hand, 2 wrecked shoulders, half-an-ear ripped off, and a hockey stick to the forehead were the highlights of my frequent-flyer miles to the ER. After what I thought was an innocuous mild tingling down my left leg back in June (I was refereeing a rugby game back in Canada), a quick trip to the doctor’s office and an MRI later showed a pretty severely herniated disc. There was a cyst in there, and part of my disc was herniated and pushing into my nerves. Within a week I was in the OR on June 18th for a discectomy.
5. What was your recovery time for this injury? I was given 3 weeks off work, but was back at the office the next week. I was back to light running around 6 weeks later, and back to what I would call “full training” by Labor Day. I’m now back to hitting my 1-RM numbers I was putting up pre-surgery (I even PR’d my front squat a couple weeks ago).
6. Do you feel your level of fitness had anything to do with your recovery time? Without a doubt. There is nothing more depressing than the waiting room at a spinal surgeon’s office. Some of these folks are truly beyond hope, with the surgeon giving them a solution to the symptoms but not the problem; these folks will continue to put themselves at risk of re-injury b/c they’re just not healthy enough in general, or so severely overweight and immobile that they will put themselves through the same trauma post-surgery. I came out of surgery and lost 15 lbs during my recovery; none of it a “good weight to lose” (I’ve since gained it back!), but were it not for the training I was doing I would have been in far worse shape and my recovery would have put me out for a much longer period.
7. What advice can you give others who may suffer an injruy – serious or otherwise? The road to recovery is paved with patience and vicodin. I’m half-kidding about the latter, but what got to me the most wasn’t the recovery itself, but the rate at which is occurs. We are used to getting results very quickly, so there’s a tendency to get back to it too soon. I really tried taking things week-by-week instead of day-by-day; sometimes I felt great, and other times I mentally put myself in a position where I thought nothing had gotten better. You’ve got to just focus on what is getting better and take positives out of it, as small as they are, on a long-term basis instead of focusing on the “now”. Finally, get yourself a support-network to help you along. We’re all trying to pose as tough athletes, but it’s when things go FUBAR that we need help from those around us to get us through the rough patches.
8. If you could be any superhero, who would you be? Wolverine (he’s Canadian and, ironically, b/c he heals himself at a rate far greater than humans; it helped me during the recovery process, I swear!).
ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT – ALISSA POTEETE
Meet Crossfit athlete Alissa…
1. When did you start Crossfit? Why? March 2012. After seeing a friend talk obsessively about crossfit on facebook I became very interested, especially after she quit her job and opened her own box. I watched videos and read blogs about crossfit for probably a year and felt like this is exactly what I needed in my life. However, I didn’t quite have the courage and thought I needed to get into shape before starting (wrong). Then, two months before defending my master’s thesis and stressed beyond belief, I decided it was finally time to stop doing the “what if’s” and join. I knew that I would love it, as I had always played sports growing up, did track & field and have never been afraid to lift weights. I desperately missed that aspect of my life as an adult and just going to the gym or zumba classes was never enough to fill the void.
2. What is your favorite part of CrossFit? Least favorite? My favorite part is coming in and forgetting about everything in the world except the challenge that awaits me and also the feeling after finishing the WOD is amazing. I am so happy, full of energy and feel alive the rest of the day. It is totally addicting! I have also made some awesome new friends! My least favorite part is being so sore and sweaty immediately after a WOD that it’s hard to get clothes off/on.
3. When did you ‘drink the CrossFit KoolAid’? What made it happen? I was really nervous before the WOD for the first few months and very out of shape, so each WOD was pretty tough on me, mentally and physically. I had a lot of negative mental thoughts about what I could do during the WOD’s. However, I noticed over the summer how strong I was becoming and became more and more excited about each WOD and what I could do. I noticed a shift in my mental thoughts which have become much more positive and confident during the workouts and it has also carried over into other aspects of my life. Andrew, as a coach, has helped push me beyond what I thought I could do. Achieving little goals each week, like resting less between reps, doing more pull ups in a row and looking at how much more weight I can throw around now compared to those first few weeks is really motivating and definitely made me “drink the koolaid”. I’m going to do crossfit for the rest of my life, no question.
4. What is your biggest accomplishment that CrossFit has helped you achieve? I just completed the Mighty Mud Dash in Houston this month which included a 5k run and 20 obstacles in the mud. I was able to not only have the courage to sign up because of crossfit but I also completed all 20 obstacles! This would have NEVER been possible without crossfit training.
5. What is your favorite movement? Call me crazy, but thrusters are my favorite. Least favorite? Running sprints, even if it is a short distance. I always feel like crying and running the other direction.
6. How would you ‘sell’ CrossFit to someone wanting to check it out? Crossfit gives you the ability to become exceptionally strong, both physically and mentally. Crossfit is truly training you for life. It makes you feel alive and able to conquer any challenge. Crossfit is filled with a wonderful and positive community of people who are there to encourage you, support you and push you to your limits and beyond. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner.
7. If you could be a superhero, who would it be? Rogue! For her super strength, leadership, and rebellious side.
Keep up the great work, Alissa!
ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT - KYLE SHADDIX
Meet Crossfit athlete Kyle…
1. When did you start Crossfit? Why? I started CrossFit about a year ago. I initially heard about it from a friend who was already in great shape. But then he switched his training to CrossFit and got ridiculously shredded. That sparked my interest, and when I moved to Houston I decided to check it out. I recognized the underlying philosophy of “faster, higher, stronger.” But these weren’t really my goals. Instead, I wanted to look better, feel better, and live longer. I saw some results early but ended up with a non-CrossFit related elbow injury. After 3 months off, being sedentary, and feeling crappy, my wife told me she was pregnant. That’s when I really started CrossFit. All of a sudden, my ‘live longer’ goal was a lot more meaningful. I realized I didn’t want to be at my kid’s basketball game as the round guy sitting in the stands winded from cheering and choking on a Twinkie. I wanted to be my boy’s coach and dunk on him and his buddies. I wanted to make him proud of his old man and be an example for him so he wouldn’t become a chunky X-box addict..
2. What is your favorite part of CrossFit? Least favorite? My favorite thing about CrossFit is the constant variability. I have no idea how I’m going to get rocked before I walk in. I just know I’m going to get rocked. I am never bored like I have been in the past with other workouts. Also, I love the sense of community and support from fellow CrossFitters and coaches. As far as a least favorite, I can’t really say that I have one. That seems like a weak answer, but I doubt anybody reading this really has a lot of bad things to say about CrossFit.
3. When did you ‘drink the CrossFit KoolAid’? What made it happen? As soon as I got my diet in check and started to see results, I was hooked. But it was still just a workout and I didn’t fully realize the translation to my everyday life. But in June I had to move. When I deadlifted the washer by myself and got it on the moving truck, that’s when I was sold.
4. What is your biggest accomplishment that CrossFit has helped you achieve? Weight loss. I was just flat-out getting fat. I’ve been able to drop almost 50 pounds in the last 7 months. My 38-inch waist pants fall off now, and I had to go buy 33’s the other day. They fit comfortably.
5. What is your favorite movement? Least favorite? I like thrusters. They are a full-body workout. I feel gassed once I’ve done a few. I can put a fair amount of weight on the bar, and I like tossing that above my head. As far as least favorite, people watching me in a WOD probably think its OHS’s. Tight shoulders keep me from doing much more than the bar. It’s challenging and frustrating, but it gives me something to work on. It’s a new goal, very specific, and one I will make happen. Maybe in a year, OHS will be my favorite movement. I guess my least favorite is the Turkish getup. I only learned about these a few weeks ago. They are just so slow. There is nothing explosive about them. I can definitely live without these.
6. How would you ‘sell’ CrossFit to someone wanting to check it out? I’d simply tell them it works. And I can say that confidently without even knowing their goals. It really is all encompassing. In the end, we all want to look better at the beach. CrossFit will help with that. And any other fitness goals that a person has will be met by doing CrossFit. Flexibility, cardiopulmonary stamina, strength – you get all of it. You can’t get this intensity anywhere else. And combining it with the CrossFit camaraderie makes it that much better. I would also emphasize that you have basically the equivalent of a personal trainer in dedicated coaches with a strong knowledge base and true investment in the progress of their athletes.
7. If you could be a superhero, who would it be? Toss up between Chuck Norris and the Dos Equis guy. I guess I’ll go with the Dos Equis guy because he once ran a marathon just because it was on his way.
Keep up the great work, Kyle!
ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT - ANDRES ARIZA
Meet CrossFit athlete Andres…
1. When did you start CrossFit? February 2012.
2. Why did you start CrossFit? I used to go to the gym and do the basic work outs and never really saw an improvement and after awhile it was the same old stuff, so I wanted to try crossfit to see what it was all about. but after a month or so it became more of a way to better my self and see how far I could push my self mentally and physically.
3. What is your favorite movement? WOD? The more I work on it – the snatch.
4. What is your least favorite movement? WOD? DU’s …. Just cant seem to get my feet and hands to work together.
5. Describe CrossFit in 5 words. When is the next WOD. Why am I so sore!
6. What’s your favorite food? Bacon!!! (and its paleo… in my book)
7. What is one of your recent accomplishments at the gym that you’re proud of? Being able to compete in the crawfish megafest at Bayou City!
8. What are your hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? Watching movies, eating good food! and drinking beer (that’s a hobby right?)
9. Why did you decide to compete? To see how I match up against others, it’s a great feeling when you beat someone you thought was better than you.
10. What’s your favorite part of competition? Least favorite? The atmosphere!! The people cheering you on and cheering for the heat before and after yours gets you going. And the least would be how it exposes your weaknesses, but from there all you can do is take those mistakes and work on them in your training until they become a strength instead of a weakness.
Keep up the great work, Andres!
ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT – DAVID HANSS
David is a member of the noon class at Pin Up. Since beginning Crossfit, he has overcome HUGE flexibility issues and continues to exemplify why we do Crossfit: Health and Functionality. Meet Crossfit athlete David…
1. When did you start CrossFit? August 2010. I had been running a lot, but I wanted to do something more well-balanced. My secretary at work actually suggested it, and several of my colleagues at the office work out at Bayou and Pin-Up. It was love at first squat.
2. What was your most challenging/hated movement when starting CrossFit? Overhead squats. I couldn’t do them at all. I would get the bar overhead, and my body would wobble like there was an earthquake going on or something.
3. What was your favorite movement when you started? Man, I’m trying to remember…I liked kettlebell swings a lot. I had never done them and thought they were cool. Also, Turkish get-ups. Those are awesome. Vic claims they cure cancer, and I believe him.
4. What is your most challenging/hated movement now? Thrusters. I hate thrusters. It’s like God set out to create the perfect movement to suck all the oxygen out of David, and he named it Thruster.
5. What is your favorite movement now? I really like overhead squats now. Part of that is probably just being able to do them. I’ve also enjoyed working on my snatch form now that I can actually do them.
6. What do you feel your greatest personal accomplishment has been while CrossFitting? I have increased my core strength substantially, which means a lot to me, both because I work an office job, and because my dad has had a lot of back problems. Both he and I are happy that I have improved my core strength, so hopefully I can avoid similar injuries to the ones he’s had. Now, my posture’s better, and people keep asking me if I’ve gotten taller. It’s awesome.
7. If you could give a new CrossFitter a piece of advice, what would you tell them? That the RX weight on the board is just a number. Be honest with yourself, challenge yourself, but don’t injure yourself. That way you can improve steadily over time. Only if you can perform the entire workout with good form should you be doing the RX weight.
8. If you could be any superhero, who would you be? Why? Warren Buffett. Oh no, wait, Clark Kent. That is my nickname at the box.
Keep up the great work, David!