First, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are your interests outside of CrossFit?

There is an “outside of Crossfit”? I am married to a lovely woman and we have a son in his second year of college at NC State. My wife and I love to travel and explore new cities, countries, and cuisines. Beyond that, I’m the typical nerd. I like to read, go to movies, play video games, etc.

How and why did you get involved in CrossFit?

After neck surgery I was in and out of exercise for several years. After a while, what used to work for me, free weights and cardio, just wasn’t providing any results and motivation was hard to find. I realized I needed a change. I had never heard of CrossFit, but went looking for an activity that had more of a community feel, similar to the martial arts programs I used to be involved in. I stopped by CrossFit Surmount, just in its sixth or seventh week of operation, over a holiday weekend. Paul and Melinda were the only people there so I sat down and watched them complete a WOD that was nothing but double unders and snatches. CrossFit looked like the perfect challenge for me, and I know a good coach when I see one.

What was the first workout that you completed? What do you remember most about the workout?

My first workout was a Saturday Community WOD. It was a partner WOD and I teamed up with Dr. Dan. Not a unique story after that, i.e., it kicked my butt. I realized I had a long way to go to get fit again so I signed up for Foundations.

What are your current and future training goals?

While I like throwing the barbell around, right now that is taking a backseat to working on my endurance. I’m on my second go around of the CFS Endurance class and it is doing wonders. My running times have all improved significantly. I want to get a consistent 5k under my belt. After I improve my stamina, I’d like to nail a few core skills, such as unassisted pull-ups, pistols, and consistent double unders.

What is your favorite workout, e.g., pull-ups, dead-lifts, running, burpees, etc.?

Strangely enough, I’m fond of box jumps.  Every time I hit one, I know it is something I would have had trouble with a few years and several pounds ago.

What is your least favorite workout, e.g., pushups, front squats, rope climbs, etc.?

I hate holding plank!

What is your favorite lift?

The Clean and Jerk. There is something amazing about getting heavy weight from the floor to overhead.

What is your least favorite lift?

Recently, the snatch-grip deadlift. I need to work on my grip strength and hook grip.

What PR are you most proud of achieving?

The 315 back squat with 3, 45 lb. plates on each side was a great ego boost.

What do you enjoy more, strength or conditioning?

Strength, so I’m doing more conditioning.

Do you eat Paleo/Zone?

Not typically, but I started Paleo for a 30-day experiment at the beginning of September. I was reading a fellow CrossFitter’s blog about a 30 day challenge he had finished. I don’t believe in diets, since they don’t work in the long run, but doing a 30 day cleanse and then experimenting with what you could add back into your diet made perfect sense. Two thirds into the 30 days, and I’ve dropped almost 10 pounds, I’m sleeping better, my stamina has improved and my borderline pre-diabetic glucose levels have dropped through the floor. So once the cleanse is over, I plan on being one of those “mostly” Paleo folks. It has done wonders already.

What are 3 fun facts about yourself?

I don’t like beer or coffee and I’m REALLY missing milk in my morning chai tea.

Watermelon is my favorite food.

I’m originally a Midwesterner from Illinois, but NC has been my home for the last 21 years and I love it here.