What inspired you to start doing CrossFit?
I struggled with weight throughout my entire adult life and finally found some success by fixing my diet. Eventually it became clear that my sedentary lifestyle wasn’t going to help my progress in any way. I had tried a million times to workout on my own, but could never stick with it. I started walking in an effort to stay active, and walked past the CrossFit gym just a block from my house one day when they had the garage door open. My first class was the following week.
What are some of your goals in the gym?
Where to begin?! The biggest one is probably improving my gymnastic skills. I’m a still a bigger guy, so throwing my body around used to be a daunting task. Now I’m also itching to get into some handstands. I’m also working on the Olympic lifts. I think they are one of the best ways to get not only strong but FAST. Lastly, there is running: The bane of my existence.
What do you love most about coaching athletes?
I love seeing what is called the “aha moment”. It’s that moment when something that previously perplexed someone suddenly makes sense. A lot of times in the gym this is followed by some personal progress. I still remember the aha moment I had when Coach Hannah gave some kipping pullup tips to me. After weeks of failing, I nailed one. I like being part of that.
What advice would you give to a beginner CrossFit athlete?
Don’t be intimidated. Physically or mentally. There are a lot of preconceived notions of CrossFit that can worry people, but you must keep in mind CrossFit is for everyone. Workouts may be tough, but every movement can be scaled to your own ability. No one here is going to ask you to do anything you can’t or shouldn’t do. We want everyone to become a fitter, stronger version of themselves – NOT a demoralized, injured version of themselves.
Which types of community work inspire you the most?
I hate to use a cheesy phrase like “children are our future” but I think community work with youth is very important. Helping young people in their formative years is the best way to ensure the next generation is even more awesome than our own.
What do you like to do outside of the gym?
I go to movies constantly, try to hone my cooking skills, see live comedy, and attempt to find the best cold press coffee in Minneapolis.