First, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are your interests outside of CrossFit?
When I’m not at the gym, my amazing wife of 20 years and I are managing the three ring circus that is our family. We have 4 wonderful children; one boy and three girls, ranging from 18 down to 9. I’m currently splitting my time between college applications, campus tours, high school, middle school, and elementary school events, soccer, dance, cross-country, track, and the last of my 9 straight years in Y-Guides. And somewhere in between all of that, I squeeze in a little work to try and pay for it all.
How and why did you get involved in CrossFit?
Like most out there, I live close by, and would always pass the CrossFit flag on 64. A few years back, in late 2014, I hit a low point of sorts. I was at a Y-Guides camp (Rockmont) with my oldest daughter, and the dads were trying to decide who was going to be the “blobber”. Google it. The “blobber” is always the heaviest, so the “blobbee” gets bounced the highest. Well, out of 10 guys that I thought were about my size, it turned out I was the big one. I was the heaviest I had ever been, and it wasn’t muscle. I got my sh@# in check with eating, cut out sweets, lost 30 pounds, and that March, started thinking about how to keep it going. I was a casual runner and globo-gym member, but as is often the case, found it very hard to push myself without guidance or friendly competition. I’d heard great things about CrossFit, so one day, I made the jump, and haven’t looked back. I’ve never been one to stick to something fitness-related this long, so it’s a testament to the program that I’m even more motivated today, than I was on day one.
What was the first workout that you completed? What do you remember most about the workout?
I’m not sure about the first workout, but the first one I remember was a partner workout with push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and air squats. A certain gym member, who shall remain nameless, came running over to me, and declared me as her partner, because she wanted to crush her two friends on the another team. Needless to say, I was NOT up to the task. I used no less than 12 bands for pull-ups, took long breaks during sit-ups and air-squats, and was doing push-ups on my knees after the first 10. It was humbling, to say the least. But I consider that moment the one that sparked me to focus on my weaknesses, and push to make them better. That’s what I’ve come to love about CrossFit; you may be good at some things, but there’s always more out there that you could greatly improve upon.
What are your current and future training goals?
Last year, it was ring muscle-ups and double-unders. Although not great at either, I’ve gotten far enough along where I don’t think they’re a weakness, so now my focus has turned to the snatch. Overhead squats and snatches have been the bane of my existence since I started in 2015. My first intra-box competition, I was doing a chipper that had 15 OHS at 95lbs. Everyone was watching as I STRUGGLED to get 5 of them. That was another pivotal moment, where I realized my goals should be centered on strength training, over some of the bodyweight and conditioning elements that came easier to me. OHS have gotten better, but the snatch is a total mental block. So right now, that’s my focus. Side note while I’m working on that; join the 400lb deadlift club. Just because.
What is your favorite activity or lift, e.g., pull-ups, dead-lifts, running, front squats, snatches, burpees, etc.?
Right now, it’s snatches! To quote our favorite Christmas film, Elf: “Make work your favorite. Work is your new favorite.” I hate sucking at something. I’m sure that’s a real shock to everyone. So, for now, snatches are my new favorite until I can throw my bodyweight above my head and not fall over.
What is your least favorite activity or lift?
And again, right now, it’s snatches! Because I suck at them. I can have my favorite also be my least favorite for different reasons, right?
What PR are you most proud of achieving and why?
It was the last PR I achieved, actually. Last week, I got a 165lb OHS, which happens to be my bodyweight. For all my OHS/snatch focus, I was really excited about that one!
What do you enjoy more, strength or conditioning and why?
“Make strength your favorite. Strength is your new favorite!” Conditioning comes more easily to me, as it’s what I focused on before CrossFit, so I’m working like hell to overcome the strength component, and become a more well rounded athlete.
Oh man, where do I begin? So many choices, so little time. I have a crush on food. I love cooking it. I love eating something else while I’m cooking it. If I had to choose, probably steak tacos, with some chips and queso on the side. My secret food mistress, though, is sugar. She’s evil, but I do love her so. I’ve kicked her out of my life more than a handful of times, and she always finds a way back. Having a house full of kids does not help.
What are 3 fun facts about yourself?
– I grew up in Greensboro, and started dating my wife when I was 14 and she was 17 (I know, right?!). She went to college in Wilmington 9 months after we started dating. We never lived in the same place for the next 7 years before getting married.
– In high school, a thousand years ago, I was the best tuba player in North Carolina. I went to college and never touched a tuba again.
– I’m a Mechanical Engineer, but actually work in the Visual Effects industry. Super weird where life takes you, sometimes.