Lead, Inspire, and Motivate…
These are 3 words that I consider to be my mantra as to how I live my life. A year and a half ago, these words did not mean nearly as much to me as they do now. This is my story how CrossFit Federal Way changed my life not only physically, but also made me mentally stronger, grow in my professional career, and overall improved my quality of life.
I remember it quite vividly. It was the Saturday before Christmas 2012 when I made the decision to see what this CrossFit mumbo jumbo was all about. Prior to CrossFit, I felt like I had a decent foundation of physical fitness. I had a membership at the local gym, I went 5 days a week, and I felt like I pushed myself more than most others. In a nutshell, I could bench press a lot (I think), I did preacher curls a lot, and that leg press machine…well I could stack on twelve 45-pound plates and thought I was a badass. I heard about this CrossFit phenomenon and for about a year I tried to convince myself why it was just a fad filled with a bunch of juiced up muscle-heads.
Check out the stud below pre-CrossFit. Now how attractive is this guy? That’s me trying to consume a 2 ½ pound multi-cheeseburger with ½ a pound of bacon, grilled cheese sandwiches as buns, and 2 pounds of Jo Jo’s. Again, this is myself being completely honest with myself before attempting CrossFit. Complete honesty sucks sometimes.
I remember driving to the box at the old location. The garage was open; I approached to see what was going on, and I remember thinking “Holy Crap! What the hell is this madness going on here?” Derek, owner/trainer of the gym, was pushing up a ridiculous amount of weight, raging like a madman (he’s very loud), and pushing his body to limits I was not familiar or comfortable with. Keely, another coach, had weights above her head in some squat position doing some sort of Jedi-Knight moves. Keep in mind, most of the women here are almost half my size and I was intimidated. I felt like I just walked into a personal training room for the 300 Spartans.
I was literally about to walk back to my car when Eric approached me and said “Hey! How’s it going? You wanna work out?” My response, “Uhhhh, yeah sure?” Obviously, he could see the look of fear on my face and assured me that he wants to make sure that I have fun. After a brief introduction of various body movements he put me through a simple workout plan known as Cindy. Cindy is 5 pull-ups, 10 pushups, and 15 air-squats. Repeat this sequence for as many rounds as possible for 10 minutes. Simple enough…10 minutes later, I am lying on my ass gasping for air and completely humbled after a ten-minute workout. I soon find out that this workout normally goes for 20 minutes with different variations added to the mix. I was humbled, I was addicted, I signed up.
Over the next 18 months at CrossFit Federal Way, I have achieved the most significant gains that I felt were nearly impossible to attain. Before, I weighed in at 215 pounds, I was asthmatic (smoking and bad diet highly attributed to this), I was severely uncoordinated, and my only sense of comfort was through beer, pizza, and appetizers (see above). I was always motivated, but I seemed to make excuses regarding my overall physical appearance and level of fitness. The reality was I did not have proper direction, and I was not inspired to improve my physical self. CrossFit Federal Way changed that. So where am I at now?
To begin with, I weigh in at 178 pounds, which is close to a 40-pound weight loss. My dead lift has more than doubled boasting a 365 pound 1 Rep Max, and I clean and jerk more than my body weight. 50 pull-ups in a workout are no longer intimidating, and for the first time in my life I have man hands. Yes! I finally have man hands!
I would say my most significant gains that I am most proud of are within my metabolic conditioning and endurance. I most recently ran a mile in 6:39. Keep in mind that was followed by other lifts, handstand push-ups, and whatever crazy ninja moves these coaches have helped me achieve. I can do muscle-ups! It took me 9 months to get my first muscle-up on the rings, and let me tell you there is no greater feeling than to accomplish this feat in front of a class where everyone is watching you and cheering you on. Thanks to Corey for getting this on video for me.
So how was I able to completely change my attitude on fitness and lead a more positive life? It’s everything a true CrossFit gym prides itself to be. Awesome trainers. An amazing community and support system. And everyone at the Federal Way Box consistently has helped lead, inspire, and motivate me to better myself on a daily basis. Whether it’s the on-going competition in improving my score on the whiteboard or posting a new PR, the people at Crossfit FW helped me achieve what I did not believe my body was capable of.
Not only does this apply to my own fitness goals, but it easily translates to my professional goals as well. The mentality I have achieved through CrossFit Federal Way has helped me motivate employees to achieve goals they may not have believed to be possible to attain. I have achieved leadership positions within my company and train and motivate others to better themselves as individuals.
Hands down, the coaches at Crossfit FW are awesome! Thanks to Amy for always harping me in my early days on pull-ups and dinging me for ROM. I can do LOTS of pull-ups now even with a 25 pound weighted vest. Margi has helped me improve my snatch technique by helping me NOT think about it too much. James is a freak of nature and can jump out of a pool. Shannon 1 and 2 and Keely are so efficient in their WODS it’s disgusting. Derek has cool hair and is probably the strongest dude I know. And Eric who has forever instilled proper technique in keeping your weight in your heels, maintaining a neutral back, and loading your hamstrings when performing a proper dead lift. On a side note, I can only hope to one day have as many perfectly coordinated outfits as him. Thanks to all the other trainers whom I may not have mentioned, but everyone at this box has improved my life for the better.
This is where I am at now: