What got you started in CrossFit? How did you hear about it?
My wife was working hard on her health and fitness and I was going in the opposite direction. I couldn’t find consistency or something to keep me motivated through the ups and downs. Sometime during March 2016 I started noticing friends posting their workouts but none of the programs seemed right for me. At that point I started browsing the web looking for ideas, and to be honest I had never heard of crossFit before until All Level popped up. I browsed the pictures and videos and decided to pop in one day while I was at Remark. John Mack gave me the 10 cent tour of the place and later that week Jon Rae worked me hard in my first foundations class.
What is your favourite part about coming to the gym?
Knowing that whatever time of day or day of the week I decide to go for a workout I am going to walk into a place with zero egos and be with a group of great people who are there working hard but also encouraging and supporting everyone else around them.
What is your favourite CrossFit movement? Least favourite?
The snatch is my favourite by far. When you hit it just right the bar seems to defy gravity. The antithesis to a snatch and my personal nemesis are wall balls. I swear the ball comes back at you twice as fast and double the weight from when it left your hands.
What are some of your goals in CrossFit?
I want to continue improving with the programming. I’ve lost 17lbs and 3inches off my waist. I wouldn’t mind maybe seeing a 2 pack out of 6 down the road. Joking aside my next focus will be improving my bar work. Mastering kipping and maybe someday hit a muscle up. I look back at April 2016 when I joined and I couldn’t do 2 pushups or 5 single skips in a row and now I’m crushing double unders and I can pound out hand stand pushups. I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish going forward.
How do you explain your newfound obsession with coming to the gym to your friends?
I think the biggest myth buster I have had to explain to people about CrossFit is the misconception that it causes severe injury and burnout. Yes, it is intense but our bodies by nature will always find the laziest way to complete something. CrossFit doesn’t allow your body to be complacent. Moreover, if you listen to your body and talk to the coaches with their knowledge and experience you can avoid severe injury or burnout. Once, I dispelled the myths I explain that I have fun while I am there, I’m learning so much about the dynamics of exercise, and when I leave I feel like I have worked hard, accomplished something for my health, and I can’t wait to get back to see what I can achieve next.
What is your advice for someone thinking about getting into CrossFit?
Don’t hesitate to try it. But make sure you are mentally ready if you are serious about changing your fitness. With any type of exercise you need to be focused if you are going to get through the initial adjustments your body has to make especially if, like I was, you haven’t been doing any exercise. I know that the biggest boost for me was the support of all the All Level athletes and staff during the beginning. I believe this type support is the cornerstone to long term health and fitness changes.
What does CrossFit mean to you?
There is a proverb that says “It takes a village to raise a child.” I also believe a village is needed when it comes to your fitness. I have failed with my fitness many times. Whether it is injury or losing focus, the reasons are endless, but with All Level I have progressed faster than I ever imagined. Just as village provides the child with the necessary tools your fitness too needs good coaching, people to encourage you, and a great place to learn and train if you want to be successful. I thought I had the tools to do this on my own but now my entire perspective on fitness has changed because of CrossFit.
How has CrossFit helped improve your life both inside and outside of the gym?
I think the biggest and most important improvement has been with my children. I have always tried to instill in them to complete what they have started but I wasn’t leading by example. I was a little scared during my first Open 17.1 with them watching because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to complete it. The smiles and hugs I received after completing 17.1 was the best reward I could have received for my year of hard work but more importantly my actions now backed my words. As well, I now know my hard work has sparked fitness within them and they now are interested in CrossFit kids and other activities. I hope it has sparked a life long journey of maintaining their health and fitness. Personally I can say without a doubt the changes to my health have been amazing. Of course I did have a few bumps in the road with my shoulder but that is expected when you don’t use your body for a decade, but the arthritis pain in my knees is completely gone, my heart palpitations rarely happen and my energy during the day is much better. I can, without a doubt, say that if I didn’t walk through the door at All Level last April I would not be in the best shape I have been in for many decades. Thanks to all the great people I have met and for helping me fight through the tough days! I look forward to improving my fitness with all the great athletes at All Level in 2017 and beyond!