November Upper East Side Athlete of the Month
About a year and a half ago, I couldn’t stop talking about this guy I had in On-Ramp; he could row like a beast, had a ridiculous engine, and just seemed like a natural with the barbell. Fast forward to today, and he’s one of our most dedicated and talented athletes, putting in hours of extra work: on Friday nights when most of the city is at happy hour, on Sunday mornings when everyone is still sleeping, and any other time he has a few hours to spare. He’s humble, committed, and an inspiration to his fellow athletes. He is an integral part of our community, and I’m proud to call him my student, training partner, and friend.
— Coach Jenna
How/when did you get involved in CrossFit? What has motivated you to stick with it?
I got involved in CrossFit through Row House, actually. Eric was my instructor and after class he mentioned that he had a place on the East Side that I should check out. I started with 360 classes as I was a little hesitant about CrossFit from all of the typical stereotypes that get thrown around. However, one weekend I decided to drop-in during open gym and put in extra work on the erg. It just so happened that Gabe and Alan Chan were working out as well (sans shirt of course). They were doing bar muscle ups and deficit handstand pushups with ease. At the time I couldn’t even do 4 pull ups and these guys were stringing together BMUs. I wanted that, so I switched to CrossFit. I’ve been doing it for almost a year and a half now.
Prior to EVF, I pretty much hadn’t done anything for the past few years. I joined multiple gyms, ran, swam, took expensive small group classes, but nothing worked. I was unmotivated, soft, weak, and out of shape. When I got to EVF, nobody was like that. I knew it was only a matter of time before I got into amazing shape if I just showed up regularly. What motivates me has evolved throughout my time at EVF, but the underlying theme of constantly trying to better myself remains the driving force.
What do you enjoy most about being a member at EVF?
By far the greatest benefit of EVF is the community. The coaches and members are amazing and I consider a lot of them to be my close friends. This is one of the main reasons I remain committed to CrossFit. I constantly look forward to hanging out and lifting heavy things with my friends on a regular basis. I don’t really think of working out as going to the gym anymore. EVF is a lot more than that. Also, the coaches have a vested interest in your success and development. I wouldn’t be even close to where I am at without Jenna and the amount of time she has invested in me. All of her athletes would say the same.
Do you remember your first workout? Looking back how did it go?
My first workout was Fran. It was awful. My front rack mobility was non-existent so I really couldn’t do thrusters and I couldn’t do more than 4 pullups at a time. I got time capped at 12 minutes and had to switch to ring rows after 9 pull ups. It was humbling and showed me that I had a lot of work to do.
What were your goals when you first started? How have they changed?
My goals when I first started were pretty basic, just to find a program that works and that I enjoy. As I have progressed, my goals have become much more specific. My goals are to compete in local competitions and have a good showing in the 2016 Open.
How have you grown in that time — health, body, mind, etc.?
What I love about CrossFit is the minimal nature of it. Pretty much all you need to get into amazing shape is a barbell, weights, and squat rack. I’ve taken this minimal approach to the various other aspects of my life and have honed in on what makes my life most fulfilling. By eliminating the clutter, I have freed up a lot time to spend with people and on experiences that bring me the greatest amount of joy. My life has become a lot simpler and more meaningful.
Favorite lift and WOD?
My favorite lift rotates based on how recently I have hit a PR, but right now it has to be the snatch. I don’t have a favorite WOD, but I love doing any of the Hero WODs. I am a big fan of how the CrossFit community is very supportive of our military.
Least favorite movement and workout?
The good news is that this list used to be a lot longer. I currently don’t like high rep muscle ups, so I would say Amanda would be my least favorite workout at the moment.
What drives you through the door each day?
I want to optimize my health. I want to eat better, improve my mobility, and get stronger, faster, and more efficient in my movements. I want to turn the music up and attack big weights. I want to find out what I am capable of.
Do you have any advice for new members?
If you squat heavy, mobilize, eat, and constantly focus on improving your technique, you will have a long runway before you plateau.
What do you hope to achieve in the coming year?
Snatch 275# at Battle of the Fittest, place top 100 in the Northeast Region in the Open, and help my teammates reach their goals.
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