The “real story” about how I found CrossFit in the first place is quite long but I was 29 years old and had just found out my wife was pregnant. I had always been pretty fit and played a ton of sports. After college I had gotten exceedingly unhealthier year after year. When I went on my honeymoon I was pretty bothered by how I looked but would never consistently go to 24 hour fitness. Or I would start a running program and fail. But I just kept drinking … a lot. My wife always wanted to work out at night after 7:30 which I hated. So I would just never go with her. I have always been a morning person and was struggling to find something that would keep me motivated and balance my schedule.
I ended up having to go to Mexico for work in January 2010 and I had just turned 30. I saw a picture of myself when we got back and I was horrified. Around that same time the original like 400 sq foot CrossFit box opened up near my house. It was close and looked cool so I signed up. Unfortunately, they were accepting members on a rolling basis because of size. I tried to get in knowing NOTHING about CF but thinking it looked cool. They wait-listed me and I would check in every month to see if I was gonna get in. It began to feel like they were selectively picking and choosing who was getting in each month for On-Ramp and so I bailed.
I started poking around and realized there was another CF gym one minute from my office. By this point I was over 250lbs. and my wife was 7 mos pregnant. I started freaking out that I would have a heart attack before my daughter was even born. I ended up reaching out and had a “trial workout” at the Broomfield gym and remember thinking I wanted to die. I looked over half dead and a long-time member named Luke reached out to me and said, “don’t worry man it gets better. do it for 3 months and if you still hate it, find something else.” That has never left me. I still tell new people that same mantra because its 100% true.
Honestly, my first impression of CF was this is stupid but I liked the fact that I didn’t have to “think” ever. I just showed up and they told me what to do. My job is a constant stream of clients asking me to do things for them or attend to meetings, or pick up the phone, etc. It was nice to be able to walk in and just do. No thinking. And I loved that we had a “class.” You could rant about how horrible something was and that person “got it.”
I do genuinely understand why people think CF is “stupid” because I was the same way. I didn’t really get the camaraderie and hilariousness that comes from doing something you would never push yourself to do on your own. The ability to know that you’re letting others down besides yourself has really developed this team mentality. Moreover, the biggest change was the effectiveness of having good coaching and good teaching. For years I would do the same things. Shoulder shrugs. Bicep Curls. Once a month squats, etc. But it did nothing. I was still fat and I was still out of shape. CF really helped me to understand the whole body functionality and model that fitness isn’t being some elite athlete with six pack abs. It really is being able to carry a 2 year old in one hand, walk a dog in the other and pick up the baby bottle without hurting your back. I can “see” the functionality of CF in almost daily activity.
This is hard. I’ve been doing it for so long that I don’t know if there was a specific aha “moment” for me. If I had to guess there’s actually tons of small victories that meant more to me than anything and I’d probably tell more stories than Old Man Simpson if you let me. A few that stick out though … the first was the week after my first daughter was born. I had taken the week off and stayed home with my wife. I ended up driving the 30 minutes to the gym in the middle of that week to do the lunch WOD. It was a hero workout with multiple movements that I couldn’t do. I remember being in the middle of the workout and multiple people telling me “try this” or don’t worry about it man just keep going. I remember thinking I want to die and why am I here but for some reason I was there. I would have NEVER done that before. Even in 15 years of wrestling and rugby I was the king of the lowest denominator. I spent years figuring out how to do the least amount of reps without getting yelled at. This was the first time I was actively showing up just for the heck of it and participating.
The first real barbell moment was sometime in the first year. We were doing a Strict Press Ladder. The gym owner lined us up according to our ability as known to him. I don’t even recall if I had done more than 1-2 strict press WOD’s prior to this day. Anyways, he put me last assuming I would be unable to do the ladder and “drop out” sooner. I ended up finishing the entire ladder and coming in “first” that day. They had to add more weight to the last barbell so I could keep going. That was a definite, whoah, maybe I can be good at something here.
Lastly, I would say the entire first 60 days of 2017. As you’ll read below I’ve had the same goal for a long time. And but for a major catastrophe of events starting around March 1st, I was on track to get it done. But during that first 60 days I finally committed to my now 6 year goal 100%. And I “hit” 10 PR’s in 2 months just by eating right including a 200lb Snatch which had been more elusive than every chick at every bar I ever went to in college.
What am I working on now? Same thing I’ve been working on for 6+ years … losing the last 18 lbs. For perspective I lost around 50lbs in the first 18 months of CF. I “gained” back about 8-10 depending on the month but I attribute most of that to muscle more than anything. However, it’s been my goal to get down to 190 for a long time and I have honestly not been good with staying dedicated. The first 50 was easy. This … is not. In 2017 I had it dialed until circumstances outside of my control fell apart. So we’re trying again.
When my diet is in check and WHEN I can keep it in check for more than 90 days, I feel amazing. I know my ticks and I know myself well enough that it can be done. I just have to make it happen. And my goal is to finally get it done by April 1, 2018. I changed the way I look at it after all this time and I’ve been losing about 1lb. every two weeks since September 1. This summer and most of 2017 was a bit of a shit-show and I got way offtrack but we’re back to baseline finally and the real work begins.
What I have learned is that extremes don’t work for me (i.e. W30, Sober60, etc.); I have to accept balance and the slow burn. I actually like Kale Smoothies and what not but I LOVE BOURBON so you have to find the balance of a few drinks on the weekend and healthy low carb low sugar 85% of the time. If you’re willing to sack up you can make it happen. And I’ve finally committed to the slow burn after repeated short term results that don’t stick. Being 190 is only cool if you can stay around there perpetually.
My favorite memory from CutThroat is easy to name but probably wildly inappropriate. The CutThroat White Elephant is easily my favorite thing each year and I feel like finally the gym has really started to up its game. But 2 years ago my “gift” was a strap-on purple dong that might have been a little bit risque. Anyways, to my delight Chrissy was the one who picked it and it made my evening as she was not happy about it.
BUT! I will say CutThroat is more the best everyday because I’ve been lifting and/or getting coached by a lot of these guys and girls for years. My entire 30’s has been developing these friendships, drinking buddy’s, kid on kid engagements, etc. Its really more about that than anything to me. I feel like my Colorado life actually centers around CF at this point.