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Posted on June 10, 2014
Athlete Recognition - SJ
When did you join NorCal CrossFit and what made you decide to start?
I joined in April of 2011. I first learned about it from a friend who in turn took my daughter to a few classes. I can still replay from memory in HD the first time I walked into the Santa Clara Box on First street dropping my daughter off for a class. I was simultaneously fascinated, wide eyed and a little intimidated. Let me set the scene - Jason was coaching the classes - his energy, abilities and passion defied constraints; the music was edgy and loud; the place was full of sweaty, seriously friggin fit (or serious about it) people that were throwing heavy weights and their bodies around and on all sorts of equipment. At the end of class most were on the floor completely spent, gasping for air and blood flow to their muscles. The place was dirty (chalk dust everywhere), gritty and there wasn't a mirror or stack of clean towels in sight. I had always belonged to typical gyms and worked out including some running. I thought I was in decent condition until I learned otherwise in Onramp. My casual unstructured and somewhat repetitious approach, in hindsight, was woefully inadequate. I found myself drawn to Crossfit, almost hypnotically. I didn't entirely know what it was about, but I was going to find out. So back to the question of what made me start, from a functional perspective I wanted to be in better total body and balanced condition - core, strength, endurance, cardio, flexibility - given what I had to work with. At the time I was 55 years old, 6'2" 180 pounds (yeah, kinda thin) and have a genotype that 23andMe said was missing the best fast twitch muscle enzyme (Alpha Actinase 3). I'm an average sprinter but my endurance has potential. I was at the right place, I was home.
What is your favorite thing about being a member and a CrossFitter?
The workouts and community - both weighted equally. The varied yet purposefully structured WODs work on all aspects of our bodies. Taz' programming at Norcal is terrific. Frankly, I really love it because I don't have to think about it and checking the website everyday to see what we are doing is a nice surprise. I'm never bored. I don't dodge any of the classes, especially the stuff I suck at, unless I have an injury I need to avoid. I've found through the years that Crossfit folks are terrific people - open, approachable, fully invested, willing to help and just generally fun to be around and who like to live life fully.
What are the biggest accomplishments you've had?
While I'd like to say something in the Olympic lifting category, that's not going to be the case. I know where some of my limits are and respect those. In general, I avoid 1 rep max lifts and will do 2-3 rep max lifts instead. I accept I'm older and train to see another day and toward my strengths which are mostly in support of my outdoor activities. Before Crossfit I would have never dreamed that I could do any of the outdoor events that I do now. In the last 1.5 years I have completed (3) Spartan Beast Races - 13.5 miles off road and 25 obstacles (yep, they have rope climbs). I have also completed (3) Goruck Challenges - 14 hour events that are a slice of military Special Operations (SO) training that are run by ex-SO military men. We carry 45 pound packs, cover 15 - 20 miles, in and out of the ocean, carry heavy stuff and others and lots of other familiar exercises - burpees, bear crawl, squats, etc. It's not just hiking. The pinnacle for me was just this past weekend (June 6th) on the anniversary of D-Day. I completed the Goruck Heavy in SF - a 24+ hour non-stop event that included 45 pound packs, covering37 miles, into the ocean at 2:00 a.m. for 40 minutes and wet for hours (had one team member drop due to hypothermia) team work outs with logs including lunges for a mile up a mountain, carried the logs across the GG bridge, back into the ocean, etc. A Navy Seal and two others ran this one with the former being relentless - he demanded maximum effort 100% of the time. Anything less and the team was punished. I never could have completed any of these and especially the GR Heavy if not for Crossfit. At 58 I had 10 years on the next closest team member. I not only completed the event but I outperformed a majority of the 35 other team members. Crossfit had me prepared physically and mentally - I was all in and will remain so.
What is your main goal when it comes to CrossFit?
Total fitness - core, strength, endurance, cardio, flexibility in support of continuing to live my life with no limits; have fun and hanging out with other awesome Crossfit friends.
Favorite "cheat" meal?
Tied: Pizza & beer or In-n-out Double Double Animal Style with Fries (no soda)
WORKOUT FOR WEDNESDAY
farmers walk 200m KB (24/16)
20 ring dips
20 box jumps
farmers walk 200m
20 box jumps
20 ring dips
farmers walk 200m