7 Squat Cleans 135#
14 Pull ups
21 Walking Lunges
Kevin catching me breaking the 135# cleans early...
After the workout I was taken aback by a few things:
1. How big the gym was
2. How dirty the gym was
3. How much they pushed me when they did not even know me
I have overheard Brad tell prospective clients that he doesn't lay into them until around 2 months in. I can easily dispute this as I broke the pull ups on round one and had a bearded face about 6" from mine yelling "get the fuck back on that pull up bar." Holy. Shit. I was not used to that. I did my walking lunges across the room and then recovery walked back to my barbell. Wrong move. Brad greeted me with a "Why the fuck are you walking? Let's go!"
I knew I was experiencing something special, especially when both Brad and Kevin pulled me aside after the workout and asked my opinion and what I want out of a dream box. I relayed my answer: get healthy, compete locally, and continually improve. Most of all, I wanted to belong. I wanted the gym to be the best hour of my day and to call those around me family.
The early days...
One year and hundreds of hours and workouts later, here I am. I have grown exponentially as an athlete. I have lost fat and done incredible feats I would have never thought possible just a year ago (385# front squat, 18+ strict ring dips, 500# deadlift, "Eva" and "Jackie" RX'd etc...) and pushed myself mentally and physically further than I ever thought possible.
I did far better in the open than I ever dreamed of. Surround yourself with excellence and you have no choice but to rise up to that level as well. It certainly was a trial by fire scenario when I got thrown in the same heats as Anna, Max, and Bandito!
Seriously though, did anyone ever think they'd be able to do a 1 mile walking lunge? I know I did not. However, I did it and am better for it.
I got the chance to compete once as an individual and once as a team member. It was incredibly rewarding to hit PRs, push myself and finally realize that sometimes you need others to reach your full potential.
The gang at Patriot Games!
On pace to PR my Snatch at the CrossFit Athletics Winter Chiller. Amazing competition and great going against Duke and Rob P in the heats.
I cannot say enough good things about CFMTL. More importantly, I cannot thank Brad, Anna and Kevin enough for taking a huge chance on me. I had taken multiple trainer's courses and had never been given an opportunity to shadow let alone coach a class in years. I was the world's most qualified non-trainer. I wanted to increase my knowledge base and someday help others. They recognized my enthusiasm and after awkwardly following Ryan, Suzy and Anna around for a few weeks I was turned loose to lead the Teens program and a month later take on the 7:30pm adult classes.
Some of the most talented and passionate individuals I have ever worked with.
I feel like a little kid who somehow snuck into the major leagues.
CFMTL has also provided me with many opportunities to grow and learn as a coach and athlete through clinics and certifications. For that, I am a lucky lucky man.
Their faith in me has paid off. (I hope). While I am scared to death every day that I am going to fuck up in an epic fashion and hurt or fail my students, I am learning the best life lessons one could ask for. I wrote here before that all I want is to help someone follow in my steps and reclaim their lives or prevent one teen from ending up like I did when I was 300# and depressed to unimaginable points. Seeing the members in both the adult and teens classes push themselves and start to realize their potential far outstrips their imagination is the most rewarding aspect of my gym life.
The coolest moments in the gym used to be when I was hitting a PR. Now the most rewarding and memorable is working with someone, watching that light bulb go off in their head, and then they get their first pull up / ring dip / rope climb or PR their squat.
I am also forever grateful to the community as a whole. I know I am a bit of a dick and can be hard to get along with especially when I have a bad workout. However, you have all welcomed me with open arms and allowed this incredibly awkward and sweaty guy to find a CrossFit home.
Taking the WODs outside of the gym. I had never really had that communal aspect of "let's meet up and work out then grab food / hang out" until I started at Lebo.
I even got to see Brad work out once :)
Probably one of the coolest things from this past year was when I put out a call to the gym before Christmas for the Toys-for-Tots bin. I stated I would do 1 Burpee Pull-up for every toy donated.
We ended up collecting 100 toys, which was 100+ burpee pull ups for a great cause.
Another amazing experience has been dating Jenny. We met prior to CFMTL but began dating while we have both been there and are happily 9 months into our relationship. It has been a sheer joy to find someone who is as enthusiastic about CrossFit as I am. It doesn't hurt that she's drop dead gorgeous, kind and impossibly fun to be around.
As we begin year 2 of hopefully many at CFMTL I have some cool things on deck.
I am raising $1000+ for the Barbells for Boobs charity. I have seen some of the most remarkable generosity from my CrossFit community. I am up over $400 as of writing but need all the help I can get! If you can spare even a few dollars please donate here: donate
Final news is I broke my finger at the gym yesterday.
I had planned on going to the gym and re-doing my first CFMTL wod to see how I have progressed in a year but that plan got put to bed thanks to the DR.'s this morning.
In short, this has been one of the most rewarding and amazing years of my CrossFit life and I am incredibly blessed to be a part of this family. Thank you all and here's to another amazing year!