Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:
Before CrossFit, I was what I would call functionally unfit. I’ve been blessed with a fast metabolism, so I never had to worry about what or how much food I should eat. An active family means we’re always on the go. I didn’t look out of shape. As a result, exercise, formal exercise, wasn’t a priority for me.
I did try periodically to exercise, but nothing ever stuck. The problem? Nobody to push me. I could always win an argument against myself. P90X and P90X3? Started it probably five times; even took the before pictures. The Y? Same story.
In my 30’s and into my 40’s, my weight roamed around 195-199 lbs. Entering my upper 40’s, that 200 number appeared on the scale more and more often. I looked fit enough but was sensing the signs of getting older. It was time for a change.
What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
Ever since it opened, I would drive past CrossFit Oshkosh each day on my way to and from work. It took me a few years to register it was there. Once I knew what it was, an internal debate ensued with my lazy side until I finally called and booked the no sweat intro.
Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?
The power, if that makes sense. Walking in that first time there was a flurry of activity. There were athletes lifting these big black round things in the back of the gym. There was a class, and everybody was jumping up and down. It’s called a what, a burpee? Tony Horton never called it that. It was powerful.
What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
November is my two-year anniversary at CrossFit Oshkosh. Hurdles in CrossFit are relative. They continuously change. Some of mine.
- Almost quitting during the first couple months: There were several times those first couple months when I thought to myself, “WTF did I get myself into?!” Those initial workouts were so hard and the effort so intense. My mind kept screaming STOP. My advice for those reading this; don’t stop. Get past those first couple months and magical things happen.
- Olympic lifts: CrossFit has very technical elements and as a beginner, the Olympic lifts can be frustrating. The barbell classes that CrossFit Oshkosh conducts are awesome. The coaches breakdown the lifts and teach proper form. The Olympic lifts are now my favorite part of CrossFit.
- Injuries: As my body adapted to working out 4-5 times per week, I experienced several minor injuries. Whether my knee, shoulder or back, I felt like I was always battling something. The coaches do a great job of scaling or changing the workout to accommodate the injury. As I got stronger though, the injuries went away.
What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?
No way to pick just one.
- No thinking involved: Open Zenplanner, schedule appointment, arrive at gym, and do what I’m told. Underrated aspect for those with busy lives.
- How I look and feel: People say vanity shouldn’t be the primary motivator for exercising. Don’t listen to them. I’m 50 and I look better now than I did in my 20s; well, except for my hair. I started CrossFit at 198 lbs. Dropped down to 191 as I lost fat. Added muscle and now at 202 lbs; heavier than ever before, but much, much healthier. Magical things.
- The coaches: I’ve been to several CrossFit gyms around the country and we have some of the best in the industry. The gym wouldn’t be the same without coaches like Ali, Mary, Reagan, Heather, and Tony.
- The 5am crew: The culture and people at CrossFit Oshkosh are awesome. I’ve been attending the 5 am class with the same group of people for well over a year. You gain an affinity for a group of people you see almost daily.
- I can eat more. I can eat more. I can eat more. I can eat more. Did I mention? I can eat more.
What are your current goals in CrossFit?
Get to the box more regularly than I have the last couple months, set an occasional PR and prepare for the 2019 open.
What is something we don’t know about you?
I am a family man. I married up when I married my beautiful wife Carla. We have a 16-year-old son Jaden. When he was 14 yo, (and I was 6 months into my CrossFit journey) I challenged him to Murph, without the vest. My plan was to let him get ahead in the first mile, then crush him during the pull ups, push ups, and squats, then gloat as he tried to catch me in the last mile. That plan lasted until the first pull-up. He beat me by 9 minutes.
Our 14-year-old daughter Gabby wants to be Sara Sigmundsdóttir. If she wasn’t spending 15 hours per week at gymnastics, she’d be a CrossFitter.
Then there is Will. At 8 years old, a day is unsuccessful unless he’s covered in dirt, doesn’t have a new bruise, or hasn’t ripped a piece of clothing.