// What was your life like prior to your CrossFit training and why did you want to start working with a coach?

I have always enjoyed some form of working out. playing baseball and soccer in Atlanta growing up and now a lot more skiing and rock climbing since moving to Colorado 8 1/2 years ago. But after a shoulder injury from climbing I was out of commission for several months doing Physical Therapy, and well

I gained weight and really got out of shape. I tried going back to a normal gym but I felt like I was in a 200,000 square foot mall with 2000 people and 4000 machines. Getting on an Elliptical by yourself I found really boring. So the motivation to go get bored was not so motivating. By dumb luck someone gave me a card for a free one hour consult/intro work-out with Shawn back in July. I finally made the call in mid August.

// What have been your greatest challenges (physically, mentally, emotionally) since you began your CrossFit Training?

I was intimidated watching the WOD going on while Shawn was going through some basics on my initial visit. I decided to do a month of one on one personal training to get comfortable. Having a shoulder that wasn’t functioning very well and not working out for 9 months I had trouble doing 10 sit-ups unbroken.

My greatest challenge in the beginning was my competitive nature wanted to keep up with everyone from day one. People failed to tell me that we had Iron Man Triathlete Olympic Navy seals in the box! Now I know my greatest challenge is to just do the best that I can do each day that I step in the box. Whether trying to RX a WOD or dropping to a MOD 2 because of my shoulder or lack of a skill, I will finish.

// What have been your greatest successes (physically,mentally or emotionally) since you began?

My greatest success would have to have started with The biggest loser challenge. After just starting CrossFit in mid August, I signed up for The Biggest Loser contest for the month of September.

I had never heard of Paleo but had made a commitment to myself to go the distance with this new “CrossFit” thing. I came into CrossFit Julia in Mid August weighing right at 195. 2 weeks later, Day one of Biggest Loser I was 193. 100% Paleo, doing a morning WOD 7 days a week and hitting the box at least 3 days a week, I finished 29 days later weighing just above 181.5
My goals were happening faster than I could have imagined. I wanted to see 180 on the scale again and have some sense of getting back in shape.
It had only been 6 weeks and my wife and kids were already taking notice.

// How does your body feel now compared to when you started and WHY?

Leaner and stronger than I can remember in the past 10 years. My weight has stabilized now at 171. 24 pounds lighter than when I walked in 4 months ago. I don’t have the lower back pain I used to get doing just any physical activity prior to CFJ. I still get sore on certain WOD’s but I know now that this is a long road and I have only just begun this journey.

// How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?

I decided after the biggest loser to stay fairly strict with Paleo. There are certain things that I know do not go well in my body.

Processed sugars…processed anything for that matter. There are too many foods that taste great so why mess with the bad stuff. It’s really easy to avoid if you just keep your kitchen full of the right things.
I think that is what has really crossed over into my daily life from cross-fit is a conscience daily thought of nutrition. I had never really had a plan before.

Workout and you can eat whatever you want was the adage. That just doesn’t cut it for me.
I feel better at work and feel I can focus more clearly on what I need to get done. The afternoon lull has diminished significantly as well.

// What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?

My big thing in getting back in shape was needing something that I could get motivated about. The incredible team spirit that exists in the box is like nothing else I have ever been a part of.
People actually root for each other to finish a workout?? Wow. That’s awesome.
I had done circuit training years ago, ran and lifted weights. The normal gym and at home exercise routine. I think CrossFit has definitely made me more accountable than any workout style in my life.

// What advice can you give to others?

If you are new to CrossFit, pace yourself. There are quite a few incredible CrossFit athletes in the box on any given day that make it all look easy. Whether you are just looking to get back in shape like I was or are pretty fit when you walk in on day one, CrossFit is different.

Embrace the new style with realistic goals in the beginning while learning the proper techniques of each exercise and you will thrive.
I am still learning 4 months later correct forms and techniques in certain areas. And everyone at CFJ I have found to be very helpful. Not just the coaches either. Don’t be afraid to ask anyone for help! That’s what makes it so unique. It’s like everyone in there wants to see each other succeed.

// Any other details you would like to share about your experience?

Ok so I’m one of the nut that posts the morning WOD’s every morning. It’s not an obsession…or maybe it is.
Hydration, Morning WOD and nutrition
Then get to the box as often as you can.

The morning WOD started with The biggest loser contest and I just decided to make it a habit.
I owe this to Shawn. I asked him when I first started what he did and I figured he was a good person to copy.

It’s just an awesome way to start the day in my opinion. I chug about 12 ozs of water(hydrate 1st thing in the morning), get on my mat and crank out the weekly WOD So by the time I eat breakfast, my body engine is already running and warm.