..your fellow CF818er and coach of the CF818 Tigers Softball Club Geoff Yazzetta!
Geoff has been working hard over the past 2 years to not only develop as a CrossFitter, but also as a coach. He's put in hundreds of hours over the past 10 or so months building the skills necessary to not only be able to coach movements, but also in communicating and handling the group classes. As his coach and one of the people who helped his development in these different aspects of his life, I can't tell you how proud I am of the improvements he's made in every facet of his game.
You've probably already seen him coach a class or taken his class as he's been running classes as one of our assistants for a few months now, but he's now officially on the list (he's got his own email: firstname.lastname@example.org!), and officially involved in making CrossFit 818 the best gym possible! I'm 100% confident in his ability to provide the same great coaching you've come to expect from CF818 while also being engaging and personally involved in giving you the best experience possible. Here's Geoff's updated Athlete Profile Questionnaire in order to help you get to know him a little better. Tell him how proud you are in the comments!
When did you first start CrossFitting?:
Monday, May 2nd, 2011
When did you first start training at CF 818?:
Monday, May 2nd, 2011
Tell us about your sports and fitness background:
My fitness background from the day I could wield a bat and glove through the end of high school consisted of baseball practice and weight/cardio training. My athletic build has always tended toward the lean side due to a quick metabolism. This has afforded me the ability to be quick and agile but has made it challenging increase my strength through putting on weight.
After hanging up my spikes I continued to work out – generally, I would follow the strength programs used by my friends who were playing collegiate baseball. I did the workouts on my own while completely ramped up on NO-Xplode. In retrospect I realize that I had no clue how to do a proper squat and I spent way too much time with the curl bar.
My fitness took a turn for the worse while working on a 6-month political campaign four years ago. The work was fun, challenging and fulfilling, but was a drag on my health – we ate the same rotation of pizza, fast food, etc. every day. The campaign was successful and resulted in my current day job. This was the first time I was employed full time and, around the same time, I also began an accelerated online bachelor’s degree program. This combination did not offer much free time and I found myself sitting at work or sitting at home studying more than I would like to admit. The sedentary lifestyle that I adopted did not lend itself to staying fit and I became quite lazy.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD...what was it, and how did it feel?
Initially, I heard about CrossFit through Zareh about four years ago. When I learned that he planned on opening a box in Glendale I decided to give it a shot because I was not satisfied with my current level of fitness.
On May 2nd, 2011 I sent Z a text asking him if I could swing by and check things out and he told me to come in at 6:30 PM. The workout that day was Cindy and I was not adequately prepared, mentally or physically, for the 20 minute metcon that lay ahead. I completed 8 rounds and change – I used 2 red bands for the pull-ups, push-ups were done from my knees and squats were performed at a snail’s pace amidst strained breathing.
It took me something like thirty minutes to get my breathing and heart rate under control after the workout. There is a certain feeling that I (and I imagine everyone else) get after a challenging, strenuous workout – it is somewhat painful, slightly euphoric and wholly satisfying, a feeling as though you have fought and conquered something. I would liken that workout to being hit by a bus. It was an eye opener. I was happy with the way I felt and I wanted more.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)?:
When I began CrossFitting I was not out of shape per se, rather I was not fully engaged in staying fit in order to look good while maintaining a high level of health. After nearly two years of working out at CrossFit 818 I can say that I am happy with what my “masterpiece” has become. In addition to this I have noticed large gains in work capacity. Long workouts were never my strong suit, but now I am able to spend more time working and less time resting. That being said, I do realize there is quite a bit of room for improvement in how I look and how I perform in the gym.
What sort of change in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected?
I have come to learn, through CrossFit, that I can achieve any goal and conquer any obstacle. There are some days that I will look at the whiteboard and think to myself, “Now how am I going to get through this?” The workload may seem insurmountable on its face, but through strategy and a sustained, measured effort you can complete the task. This mentality knows no boundaries and I have been able to apply it to any number of situations over the last two years.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CF 818 moments:
I had a lot of fun competing in the NLI Warrior Soul series. This competition was spread across three individual contests that took place in August, October and December of last year. This experience was valuable because it gave me the opportunity to test my ability in a larger environment against people I did not know. Was it the CrossFit Games? No, but it felt like it was! A lot of 818ers came down to support (thanks!) – and my mom, who came to two events, enjoyed the atmosphere despite being concerned for my wellbeing after some of the workouts.
Another very clear memory was one of my first workouts. It was 21-15-9 Deadlifts (225#), 400m run – I’m pretty sure this workout was programmed in June of 2011, so I was still pretty new to CrossFit at that point. I chose to go Rx knowing that the deadlifts were probably too heavy. I trudged through the workout finishing dead last. There were two takeaways from that workout, the first being that I accomplished something I did not think I could do, the second was the fact that the 9 other CrossFitters (who didn’t really know me) and Z were there to offer support and encouragement during that final set of 9 deadlifts and the 400m run. It was at that moment that I realized this place was much more than a gym – it was, and is, a community of people who are committed to helping each other get through the tough spots to achieve goals.
Any advice for people just getting started?
I would expand on the cliché “stick with it” phrase by advising them to acknowledge that the goals they set will only be realized through time and dedication. CrossFit, though challenging, is no magic bullet and results are correlated with effort. In two years I have seen some pretty incredible changes in my body and mentality but they are merely waypoints on a much larger journey. Everyone has their own set of goals but only they can achieve them through their own efforts. Also, the coaches and athletes at CrossFit 818 are down to earth and very helpful. I, along with Zareh and Armen, are happy to help out in any way possible on the road to improvement.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I have been a baseball fan ever since I was a kid and though I do not play competitively anymore I get my fix on a weekly basis in a local slow-pitch softball league (go CF818 Tigers!). I enjoy reading just about anything ranging from the classics to autobiographies of current world and business leaders. I am captivated by foreign culture and the cuisines that they offer, so I spend some of my free time exploring the nooks and crannies of LA looking for different kinds of food. By extension, I travel when I can and would like to do a lot more of it in the future. I try to go hiking as often as possible (which isn’t nearly enough). I find the mountains to be a peaceful respite from the frenetic pace of our world and I like wandering around the (now torched) Angeles National Forest – I would go everyday if I could. I am fascinated by airports, airplanes and flying. I have a thirst for knowledge and like understanding why things work – Anthony Bourdain said it best: “If I have one virtue it’s curiosity.”
10 KB Swings (70/53)
100m run with Medicine Ball (20/14)
Posted by Armen.