First, tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I’ve been a CrossFit Surmount member for about 18 months.  Although my wife Janet and I used to be pretty active in fitness programs at a several corporate gyms, we both became complacent in our health and fitness regimen. It just didn’t work for us. To be honest, we didn’t work for it. We needed something more and found it at CFS. Of course, my inspiration, and biggest fan, has always been Janet!

What are your interests outside of CrossFit?

We are the proud parents of three wonderful children (a “hers,” “mine,” and “ours” package) and four grandchildren. Yes, “Hot Grandma” is really a Grandma! We try to spend as much time with all of them when we can.

Janet and I each own a Harley and ride fairly often, although not as often as we’d like. Outdoor activities, such as hiking and whitewater rafting, are a few of our favorites. We also enjoy live music of almost any type.

How and why did you get involved in CrossFit?

Many Surmounties already know the story. About two years ago, Janet was invited by our dear friend Kelli (with an “i”) to share a Living Social CrossFit opportunity. This literally was a life-changing event, particularly for Janet and me. While both achieved amazing results, and I was looking to get back into a fitness routine, it wasn’t the right time. This was their opportunity and I didn’t want to interfere. Although I wasn’t exactly sure what they were doing, they were tremendously excited and I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would join them.

I continue to be amazed at the difference CFS has made in our lives! Many studies have shown 25-30% of all Americans are considered obese. We were in that group. We were frequently eating our way towards individual PRs! Since joining CFS, together we’ve lost almost 100 pounds while increasing our strength and endurance. This stuff works!

What was the first workout that you completed? 

There are two distinct “first workouts” that come to mind.

First, I remember going to a morning Boot Camp with Janet. It was dark outside and a regular CrossFit class going on at the same time. While working out with the “Campers” by the garage door, I was somewhat intimidated by the barbells dropping behind us. (What the heck are they doing?) After the WOD ended, I was asked for my time and couldn’t even fathom a guess. I was happy to just finish, much less remember how long it took!

What do you remember most about the workout? 

My next CFS visit was a Saturday Community WOD.  It was my second attempt, having been unable to locate CFS the previous Saturday.  Janet had warned me not to show up late, so I didn’t show up at all!  I remember doing sit ups and catching Jeff (although he denies it) smiling/sneering as I struggled to touch my ankles!  But I finished the WOD and was hooked!

What are your current and future training goals?  

I’ve participated in every program offered, with the exception of CrossFit Kids. I like them all, deriving a different sense of achievement from each. However, I know the key to becoming a better CrossFit athlete requires me to improve my endurance. Thus, I attended Paul’s Running Clinic last spring, finding it to be a truly amazing class! No longer ‘hating’ running, I’ve participated in every Endurance session since. (I’ve been known to occasionally attend both an Endurance and CrossFit WOD on the same day.) My goal is to run a 25-minute 5K by my birthday in March. Another goal: becoming a certified coach.

What is your favorite activity or lift, e.g., pull-ups, dead-lifts, running, front squats, snatches, burpees, etc.?

I naturally tend to favor any lifting activity over a cardio-intensive WOD. You’ll often find people tend to focus on what they do best, trying to build upon their strengths. I, on the other hand, believe in the adage “To become better at (fill in the blank), you need to focus on your weaknesses.” Thus, my focus on cardio, which I know will result in significant improvements in all activities. So far, it seems to be working!

What is your least favorite activity or lift?

Without a doubt, forward rolls! They make me incredibly nauseous and I won’t even attempt them! Double unders, handstand pushups, burpees, and box jumps are still challenging. However, I don’t fear them like I used to. I’m working through them! My next goal:  muscle-ups!

What PR are you most proud of achieving and why?

Before CrossFit, I honestly never ran farther than 2 miles in my life! Even then, I couldn’t do so without walking a little. I seriously dreaded any WODs with running, and Paul knew it. With the help of my support group (the Endurance Club) I’m working through that. With several Surmounties, and our daughter, Ashlyn, I ran my second official 5K in the Spring Raleigh 13.1. Later this month, I’ll be one of 12 “Chickens of the Sea,” running in this year’s 200 Mile Tuna Run from Garner to Atlantic Beach! I’m very happy Ashlyn will be running with us!

What do you enjoy more, strength or conditioning and why? 

With my goal in becoming a better overall athlete, I can’t say I enjoy one more than the other. They are both important to my abilities, each contributing to the other. I do truly enjoy seeing the progress made and encouragement provided by my fellow athletes!

Do you eat Paleo/Zone?

Not strictly. Living with the Paleo Queen, I’ve adjusted to several dietary changes.  If we don’t buy it, we’ll likely not eat it. So, bread, cheese, chips, pizza, pasta, and all the other great things in life are distant memories. Do I miss them? Yes, at times. But not so much that I ever want to get back into that routine.  For that, I am very thankful for the support and encouragement Janet provides. And it helps that she’s a fantastic cook!

What are 3 fun facts about yourself?

  1. I was in the Air Force for 23 years. For the first five years, I worked 10 stories underground in a nuclear missile silo in Arkansas.
  2. I was a volunteer fireman and founding member of the Red Knights Motorcycle Club in Maryland.  Nothing like Sons of Anarchy, we did a lot of good things! ☺
  3. Since 1998, I’ve worked from home for the same company and I’ve worked with them for over 17 years! Although I do a bit of traveling out of state, it has provided the flexibility to do many things that I couldn’t have done while working in an office.