April 2018 Athlete of the Month

April Athlete of the Month

Ryan McLeod


Tell us about yourself, hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.

I am the father of three amazing and smart teenage daughters and the husband to a strong and beautiful wife, Stefanie.  I work as a school superintendent and love to do anything in my free time that is outdoors or allows me to learn new things. I love backpacking, kayaking, working with my hands, and spending time with my family.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started CrossFit about a year and a half ago.  

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?

I had so much muscle pain and aches after that first WOD.  The memory of that pain from my first CrossFit experience is what keeps me coming back.  If I keep WODing, I won’t ever have to start again.

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?

It is not normal to kick your own rear end everyday and get a sick thrill from doing it. But, that’s what I enjoy most.  It’s doing things that you never thought you could accomplish with other likeminded, deranged CrossFitters.

What do you most enjoy about being part of Light the Fire CrossFit family?

The diversity of and connection with the family at LTF is what I enjoy the most. I enjoy the energy that my CrossFit friends bring into my life.  Despite our diverse backgrounds, careers, experiences, and personalities we all add something to the dynamic of the family. I really enjoy spending time in and out of the box with you guys!

What motivates you to come to the box?

I don’t need motivation…it has become a way of life!

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?

I wrote about my 2018 CrossFit Open experience on Facebook.  During the Open I did my first Rx WOD, my first pull-up without a band, and my first T2B.  Those are some things I see as big accomplishments for me. I’ve come a long way since my first Open in 2017.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?

Everyone knows…I LOVE BURPEES!  Ok, not really, but I figure if I put it out into the world often enough, I might just live into it.  

I love WODs that are a really sucky grind.  It’s what I love about long Saturday WODs at open gym is when we do a 40 minute WOD that challenges you physically and mentally. It reminds me of hiking in the White Mountains on a 4000 foot climb that takes hours to get to the summit. You have to embrace the suck, put your head down, and just keep moving!  The reward is worth it!

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?

Everyone knows…I LOVE BURPEES!

What is your current CrossFit goal?

I don’t really set specific CrossFit goals. I have lots of things I’d like to eventually get better at but I have learned to trust the process. I enjoy surprising myself when I accomplish something new instead of stressing about goals.  I just try to be present in the moment at CrossFit and bring my best self to every class…a better self than the last class.

What would you tell a newbie or someone that has never done CrossFit?

CrossFit SUCKS!  And everyone can do it! If you can embrace the suck, you’re gonna love it even though it sucks.  If you want something easy, this isn’t the thing for you.

When I first came, I was out of shape and really unhealthy. I came anyway and kept coming. I’m stronger today than I have ever been in my life and am in better shape. I have witnessed the same for many others in the CrossFit family.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit?

CrossFit has given so much to my family and me and it has changed our lives. It is my new way of ridding myself of the stress in my life. My doctor is taking me off of my stomach and blood pressure medications that I used to take for stress. It has not only improved my physical health and the health of my wife but it has also been an investment in our marriage. There is nothing like spending hours on Saturday morning working out together and enjoying the company of each other. In addition, we have become better role models of health for our children.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?

See all of the answers above.  


***The Athlete of the Month will demonstrate qualities such as, attendance, selflessness, proper scaling, time dedicated to mobility and recovery, dedication to improving form, technique, and skill sets, putting the community before yourself, encouragement and support towards others at the end of WODs.

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