One of the things we talk about when introducing new people to CrossFit 818 is the importance of our community. Our community is comprised of people who are committed to and serious about fitness in their everyday lives. But within that framework is a tremendous amount of diversity in terms of each individual's story, journey towards fitness, and their ultimate goals. We want to celebrate that diversity by presenting to you select CrossFit 818 athlete profiles, which we'll do regularly in the coming weeks.
Our first athlete profile also happens to be our very first member at CrossFit 818: Chris A.
I've known Chris for years, and suffice it to say that his transformation is nothing short of amazing. I'm incredibly proud of him for what he's accomplished in such a relatively short time and have every confidence that he will achieve anything he puts his mind to if he continues working as hard as he has worked to get to where he is today.
When did you first start CrossFitting?:
I first started CrossFitting, in November 2010 through a group-on deal I found online.
When did you first start training at CF 818?:
I started training at 818 from day one, first member at the gym signed up March 7th 2011.
Tell us about your sports and fitness background:
Growing up my parents tried to keep me active, so I played basketball briefly, which did not go well, and I played tennis since I was three. I continued with tennis all throughout highschool and coached as soon as I graduated. Even with some of the activities I had in my life my fitness was way below average, I was heavy and out of shape, and at one point weighed 320 pounds. Coming from a family of heart disease and obesity, I was following the path down a short life.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD...what was it, and how did it feel?
I was first exposed to CrossFit through coach Armen. When he started he would not shut up about it, and when I started to exercise and lose weight, he became more adamant about Crossfit.
My first WOD was "The Chief". At first I looked at the WOD and thought how hard could this be, simple movements, low reps, hell there were even rests in between rounds. I can totally handle this. After one round using 65 lbs for the cleans, I was light headed and couldn't breath, and sat down for the rest of the time. I scored a very solid 3 rounds on "The Chief"!
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)?:
I have seen huge changes from CrossFit. I'm down to 218lbs. and a 36 inch waist. I weigh less then I did when I was 15 and feel amazing. Full of energy, far more active, and just overall in a far better place than I ever was before.
What sort of change in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected?
I have found I'm more willing to try new things and far more active. I've picked up a few hobbies, including rock climbing which I never thought I would be interested in. Now I just want to get out there and learn any sport I can. This season my goal is to learn how to snowboard and come summer I'll be on a surf board.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CF 818 moments:
Some of the best moments are those milestones you hit, first pull up, first time running a mile without stopping, hitting a big lift, those are all great times, but my absolute favorite is when the 6:30pm crew got started.
The workout was 21-15-9 deadlifts @ 225# between each set run 400 m. One of the first WODs I was doing at RX and that class Aram and Geoff were there. 3-2-1 go! and we all went at it. It was brutal! 225 got very heavy very quickly, and it's hard to run on legs that feel like jello, but we finished, all three of us trying to breathe laying on the floor laughing at how hard that was. From then, we stayed in touch and started the 6:30 crew.
Any advice for people just getting started?
CrossFit is hard, if you come in and it takes you 12 minutes to do Fran, don't worry we are in the same boat! We are training like some of the best in the world, and it's ok if we are not great at it. Just keep showing up, keep working hard, don't let the frustration stop you, let it be the motivation to get better to be stronger and to improve. Oh and the first week is going to suck and you are going to feel like hell, drink lots of water.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I have found myself enjoying the outdoors more than I could have imagined. Climbing, hiking, playing tennis. I have great interest in Philosophy and plan on getting my masters to teach one day. Also I can wiggle my ears =D.
10 rounds for time:
10 Kettlebell Swings (70/53)
5 Burpee Broad Jumps*
*Instead of a jump up at the end of the burpee, perform a broad jump for distance. Men must jump at least 6 feet and women must jump at least 4 feet.
Posted by Zareh.