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Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:

While living/working at Hormel in Fremont, NE, after graduating from UW-Oshkosh 2012, I got interested in CrossFit. Unfortunately, the closest box was down in Omaha 50 minutes away.  I moved back to Oshkosh August 2013, checked out CrossFit Appleton, and then learned about CrossFit Oshkosh.  Lacrosse was my sport growing up out in PA, so it’s been great to find something that makes me stronger and allows me to be competitive against myself.

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?

As I mentioned above, I was trying to find a CrossFit box closer than Appleton when I moved back and came across CFO!  Really happy I did, because it’s a heck of a lot closer and Ben and Austin are great coaches with a great community!  CrossFit also served as an outlet for me to pursue fitness and lifestyle with a purpose and sense of community.  I’ve continued to grow stronger in my Christian faith as I’ve graduated college.  The community and intensity of CrossFit help me to continue keeping my faith, focus, and strength.

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?

Kickass!  Some solid down to earth people coming together to try and make the most of their lives.  While also working individually and together to improve themselves.  I like that because I’m all about being around people that will cooperatively work together to help make each other better.  Iron sharpens iron.  In regards to the box physically, I thought it was a great facility with new equipment.

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?

Physically, the first six months of CrossFit were a beast and I was inconsistent in my discipline and lifestyle to support the growth.  It took me about three months to get past the point of conditioning not kicking my ass and being able to work through being super tight.  I continue to overcome upper body and core strength for pull-ups, HSPU’s and need to continue being persistent with double unders. Though with patience, discipline, persistence, and cutting some weight I’m confident I can achieve them.

Mentally, the intensity of CrossFit has allowed me to expel internal aggression and rage.  Being able to get in for workouts and have the music bumping loud has enabled me to get into a zone while in the middle of a WOD and mentally release frustrations on my mind.  To travel through that was a hurdle to overcome, because sometimes internal rage or frustrations would get to me.  I’d lose my focus on the workout and have to force myself to regain mental discipline and reset.  So between the physical challenges that CrossFit presents me with and the mental hurdles I have to overcome; it’s been an amazing journey!

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?

My favorite aspects of CrossFit is the release it gives me, like I talked about in the previous questions, and the opportunity it provides me to dig deeper in testing myself to realize the best person I can become. Not only that, but I’ve always been an advocate of exercise being an essential part of a person’s healthy being.  The sluggish, semi-depressed feeling I get when I am not able to workout for a few days becomes really noticeable to me.  CrossFit has been a great way to get wide varieties of exercise in and not just lifting to bulk up, but to become more mobile and flexible too, which is really important to me.

Whereas some people go to the bar after work for happy hour, I go to CrossFit after work to lift bars and get my happy hour.  And the people!  Like I mentioned earlier, the members, coaches, and community of CFO make the box!

Oh also, before I forget to note.  The confidence it has instilled in me to push myself physically has been great too!  In June 2014 I did the Tour De Bago bike ride around Lake Winnebago.  80 miles and 5 hours 45 minutes in the saddle, not too bad!  In March 2015 I did the intermediate Festivus games in Madison. That was an awesome day!  Then on May 17th, 2015 I did the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon with my girlfriend Michelle!  The training we did for it was a journey in itself and I was able to run 13.1 miles in 2 hours 13 minutes!

What are your current goals in CrossFit?

My main goal in CrossFit is to take it one day at a time and work to become the best healthy self I can be.  Specifically though, I always have goals to work on.  These are my main goals;

  1. Achieve 1000m Row in 3:15 or under consistently
    1. Improve conditioning, endurance, and mobility.
  2. Lose 12 pounds at 4lbs per month to achieve:
    1. 3 strict PU’s
    2. 3 HSPU’s. Need to gain confidence/just do it to hand plant to wall, instead of wall walk. Improve active shoulders
  3. Compete in 1 comp, or 5-10K run.

What is something we don’t know about you?

While I’m in a grind of a WOD, I’ll get into a zone and recite The Lord’s Prayer followed by the words strength, focus, and patience.  One day when we were doing a WOD with running or rowing I looked to the skies and found myself doing that.  So if you see me in intense focus or working with my eyes closed, that’s probably what I’m doing.  It helps me target that focus, zone into the work I need to do, and dig deeper to the next level.

You hear a lot of people comment how there’s a spiritual aspect of CrossFit and I agree with that.  That point when you’re in the middle of the WOD and you hit a wall but know you’re almost through!  Those are the points that grip me and help me dig deeper into myself, knowing I’m wiped, but also knowing I’m at the cusp of breaking into the next level.

In that sense, the fitness and improved lifestyle I’ve created, which has been motivated by the desire to dig deeper and get better, has helped me improve my quality of life both physically and mentally. As I’ve evolved as a person through life and CrossFit, my awareness to mobility, sleep, body mechanics, and sustenance has improved greatly. To the point where I not only pursue CrossFit to become more fit, but to also counteract the detrimental effects a desk bound job has on the body. Kelly Starrett has a new book coming out in Spring 2016 called Deskbound, which I’m eager to pick up and dig into.

 

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