I officially graduated CFG foundations in August of 2014 and started attending 5:30am the first class after Labor Day. I used to work at a physically demanding job as an engineer on board merchant ships and have since obtained a sedentary desk job doing shore side support for oil tankers. After gaining 20 pounds at the desk, with no sign of slowing down my fat growth, I decided I needed to find a replacement for the active lifestyle of the engine room. I wanted a program that was challenging enough to hold my attention. I liked the “constantly varied” piece of CrossFit’s definition and figured I’d give it a try.
My first CFG impression was when I walked into the old gym Fall of 2013 looking for information. Seeing the OG athletes throwing themselves around on the rig and then throwing barbells over their heads was somewhat intimidating. With my previous athletic experience being collegiate rowing and later pumping iron in the ship’s weightroom, CrossFit was something very different from what I was used to. I wasn’t sure if it was for me. It took me almost 9 months after that initial experience in the old box to give CrossFit a try in August of 2014. It was that introductory conversation with Josh that stuck in my head and eventually grew into me being interested enough to step out of my comfort zone and try foundations. I thought Josh was welcoming and genuine during that first conversation at the old gym and I eventually realized the challenge of CrossFit was what I was looking for. During foundations, I liked the technicality of the movements. The progressions of learning each movement reminded me a lot of the progressions for learning how to row. I felt comfort in that and the feeling of intimidation subsided. I further liked how all the movements are different yet connected in some way. I especially like how CrossFit has made me a better rower.
I’m most proud of initially stepping out of my comfort zone and starting this journey in CrossFit. It actually took me a while after graduating foundations before I fully broke out of my shell. When I started at 5:30, I was the quiet guy sitting on the couch waiting for class to begin and not really interjecting myself into conversation. The 5:30 crew slowly chipped away at that shell. I don’t see myself being that guy anymore.
The goal that I’m working towards now is to continue to grow my indoor rowing business. To be honest, I don’t see this goal coming into fruition in the first place without the support I have received from the CFG community and having Josh’s story as inspiration. Due to my rowing background, I have given a lot of the athletes at CFG pointers on the rowing machine. After a 5 or 10 minute session on the rower, I was always told I should coach. It was those little seeds planted in my head that eventually grew into this business. I would have never dreamed four years ago that I would be doing what I’m doing now. I’d like to thank you all for those seeds.
What’s your favorite CFG memory?
This is a really tough question. So many times come to mind. I’d say my favorite memory was the first time I felt triple extension. For whatever reason, triple extension doesn’t come easy for me. I still struggle in consistently acheiving it. The first time I felt it, it was during a fairly heavy clean and I wasn’t expecting it. The bar effortlessly levitated from the floor straight to my chin and gave me a nice upper cut. The bruise wasn’t too bad. I’ve had a worse experience with a 30” box jump. My favorite moments are whenever a movement “clicks” for the first time. This one especially stands out because it was so unexpected. It’s a pretty cool feeling when you do a movement the way how it’s supposed to be performed.