January Athlete of the Month

Greg Ernst

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

I am 47 years young, Married to Nicole and have one son Drake.  Enjoy hunting, fishing, offshore boats and family time. Work at Ernst Meat & Seafood in Eastern Market Detroit.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

Going on two years

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?

I was nervous and my second class was “Barbara.” I thought what am I getting myself and thought Bill had issues making us do this.

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?

The feeling of accomplishment after class is over.

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

The friends that I have made from attending classes.

What motivates you to come to the box?

Type one diabetes

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?

Making it a year was my goal and now it is to keep going.

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

Deadlift

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

Overhead Squat

What is your current CrossFit goal?

To push myself at every class, give 100 percent effort.

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

Have fun and don’t pay attention to everyone else.  Focus on yourself and what your trainer tells you.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit?

I do not wake up with back pain in the mornings and feel stronger every month.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?

It has given me endurance and conditioning that help make physical activities easier.


December Athlete of the Month

Cheri Baumann

Tell us about yourself, hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I’m a native of Monroe where I live on a farm with my husband, Brad and our 2 daughters, Kayla and Courtney…and our dog Daisy! We have raised sheep and pigs on our farm thru 4-H. I have worked at Michigan Gas Utilities for the past 31 years. I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?
I started CrossFit in July 2017 with my daughters. (I was only joining for 1 month!)

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?
Wow, that I could barely walk the next day and how sore my muscles were! I also remember walking in and everyone in the class being so friendly and welcoming!

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?
I like to go into the gym and see there is a different workout each day!—(unlike me going someplace and just walking on a treadmill and calling that my “workout of the day!”)

What do you most enjoy about being part of Light the Fire CrossFit family?
Everyone is so friendly and so encouraging to one another. I like to consider myself the “gym mom!!”

What motivates you to come to the box?
I feel like I schedule everything around my workout and if I have to miss a day I just don’t feel right!

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment would have to be completing the Murph….under 1 hour!

What is your favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?
I don’t mind cardio — or sit-ups, lunges….(I really don’t like to lift!!)

What is your least favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?
WALLBALLS!!!!

What is your current CrossFit goal?
I’d really like to get double unders….(and maybe climb that stinking rope!!)

What would you tell a newbie or someone that has never done CrossFit?
I said I’d join for a month…but here I am a year and a half later!! Anybody can do it — everything can be scaled to your fitness level.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit?
Not one specific experience comes to mind. But, my lifestyle has changed because I go the the gym 4 times a week.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?
It keeps me in a routine. I feel like I try to make healthier choices when I go out!

November Athlete of the Month

Mikal Lake

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

I grew up in Pennsylvania with my four sisters, but we’ve lived in Georgia for the last 9 years. My oldest sister is married, and I now have two nieces and a nephew. I’m a Christian and involvement in the church is a big part of my life. I love anything that gets me moving, so I would consider CrossFit to be my favorite hobby. I also run in Spartan races (OCR) whenever possible. I moved to Michigan 5 months ago to work for Stoneco. I went to school for Business Management and I’m currently working my way through a 3-year management training program with Stoneco.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started CrossFit nearly 2.5 years ago. I was in Pennsylvania for a summer internship and an old friend convinced me to give it a chance. I was member of that box for 3 months and I have kept doing CrossFit on my own for the past 2 years.

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?

I remember that it was hard, and I felt driven to work harder than I had ever pushed myself while working out alone. I also remember how welcoming and friendly everyone was. To this day, my two favorite things about CrossFit are the way that it pushes me to continuous improvement and the community associate with the sport.

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?

My favorite element of CrossFit is the community. There’s something about the sport that creates a tight knit group of athletes who are all committed to growth, as well as to encouraging and supporting each other.

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

Of course, I love the people there; everyone is supportive and encouraging. However, I also appreciate the emphasis on proper form and technique and the designation of specific classes to teach these things (Olympic Lifting and Gymnastics).

What motivates you to come to the box?

It’s my way of unwinding from stress. I always feel so much better after each WOD and I really want to see just how strong, fast, coordinated, and flexible I can become. Also, as I said before, I’ve really come to enjoy being with everyone.

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?

It was a huge victory for me when I was able to snatch 160 lbs. I’ve always been uncomfortable with snatch and I only weigh 160 lbs. myself. So, being able to snatch my bodyweight was a big moralbooster.

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

I’ve always been a fan of Linda (a.k.a. 3 Bars of Death). My favorite movements would have to be the gymnastic ones, such as muscle-ups, pistols, and handstand push-ups. I love exercises that require only your body and teach muscle coordination and whole bodyawareness.

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

I hate the assault bike. I don’t know why, other than that it’s just hard for me. Also, I’m not a big fan of wall balls or thrusters. They manage to exhaust every muscle, while also pushing my cardio to its max. However, the fact that I hate these exercises most likely implies that I need to work harder at each of them.

What is your current CrossFit goal?

I want to learn how to do butterfly pull-ups.

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

Don’t get down on yourself and be careful when comparing yourself to others. Competition often can help people push themselves to go further, but what’s important is improvement, not beating someone else. Right now, you may not be able to run as fast or lift as much weight. All that matters is that you give 100% of what you have at this moment. It’s the only way to get better.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit?

Yes, I started CrossFit. Also, it’s only because of CrossFit that I started running in Spartan races. It’s not exactly a “life changing experience” but I really enjoy them, and I would have never given them a chance otherwise.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?

CrossFit is my stress reliever. If I go more than 3 days without a trip to the box, I feel the difference. I feel more energetic, calm, and positive when I’m able to make it to a WOD.

October 2018 Athlete of the Month

October Athlete of the Month

Joe Toeppe

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

Well about me, I’m 38, father of 4. Been working out as long as I can remember, which is probably my favorite hobby. I love coaching my kids multiple activities, baseball, soccer, football, whatever they get into. I work at Ford’s in Flat Rock.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

My brother Luke got me into CrossFit in January of this year, been hooked ever since. Pretty sure I’ve made it at least 4 if not 5 days every week since I started. Absolutely love it.

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?

I remember being exhausted, but I think what hooked me was the way everyone in the gym worked together.

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?

I enjoy the different lifts and the amount of different workouts there are.

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

I like the people. I like the competitive atmosphere. What i enjoy the most is how everyone helps everyone pretty much without question. It really is like a second family.

What motivates you to come to the box?

I love the challenge, and I guess if I miss days, I feel like I fall behind, can’t have that, lol.

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?

Doing my first ring muscle-up.

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

Deadlift.

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

Running…

What is your current CrossFit goal?

Well it was to back squat over 450, but now that we started gymnastics, I think I’d like to get back into handstand walks and more work on the rings.

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

Not to be scared, or intimidated. It’s a program that can be done by anyone.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit?

Nothing life changing.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?

It has humbled me quite a bit.

 

***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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September 2018 Athlete of the Month

September Athlete of the Month

Mark Johnson

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

I am 43, and a father of four (3 boys and girl), and have been married for just over 9 years, after meeting my wife on eHarmony.  I am a high school state champion 100 breastroker, Multiple Mid-American Champion, and was captain of Eastern Michigan University’s Men’s Swim Team in 1997.  I have a law degree from Syracuse University and an MBA from Eastern Michigan University.

My hobbies are longer distance endurance events – Olympic distance triathlons, 5K open water swims, and long distance cycling.

I am very involved with the community.  I am currently the Cub Scout Master for Pack 519 out of St. Mary’s in Monroe, and Vice-President of the Monroe Cycling Club.  I just ended my term as President for the Monroe Family YMCA Board of Directors, and have served on Big Brother’s Big Sisters, Historic District Commission and various other community and non-profit boards.  I believe in raising future leaders, not just my children, but pouring into all kids (and adults) the skills and attributes to make a difference in our community and the world.

My career is with Thrivent Financial.  I am a comprehensive financial planner.  What that means is that I help people figure out their financial lives, and make sense of it.  I help with basic budgeting, investment management and 401(k) rollovers, life insurances, and how to determine what needs to be in place when we are preparing for retirement.  I do this for clients in their 20’s all the way through their 90’s.  I love my job because I get to help people every day, and help people create lasting legacies for their family and causes they care about.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started CrossFit in mid-May of this year.

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?

My first memory of CrossFit is how welcoming everyone was when I walked in.  Almost everyone said hello and introduced themselves to me.

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?

The community, and the accountability to each other.

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

I enjoy that it is a family.  Everyone cares for each other and helps each other.  We compete against each other, but there is a mutual respect that while you may want to do better than someone else, you don’t want that other person to do bad.  You also want to see them achieve their best.

What motivates you to come to the box?

Health.  I just want to be healthy for my family and be a good example for my kids.  I do look forward to seeing my 5 a.m. friends too.

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?

I consider every morning that I make it to the box and finish a WOD is my biggest accomplishment.

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

I love wall-balls.  I think everyone gives them a bad rap.  I like to name the ball I throw, and the name changes depending on my mood.

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

Couch stretch.  I’m not a flexible dude.  Couch stretch should be laying on the couch and yawning as I stretch.

What is your current CrossFit goal?

To give my best and be my best every workout.  That is success, knowing that you couldn’t do any better, or give any more.

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

I would tell a person who has never done CrossFit that it is awful, and painful, and will challenge you to your core.  It will make you want to quit and make you question your ability.

And in the same breath I would say that it is more rewarding than anything they have ever experienced, that they will learn more about themselves and they will achieve things they never though they could achieve, all while having a family around them to encourage and strengthen them.  That they will be able to uplift others, be challenged and become stronger.

The reward is in the struggle.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit?

No.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?

It has made me feel better about my body and given me more confidence.  I have always worked out in the morning through swimming and otherwise, but CrossFit helps kick my day off.  Although I am drained, it gives me more energy for the day (and allows me to sleep better at night!)

 

***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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August 2018 Athlete of the Month

August Athlete of the Month

Jessica Buddle

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

I live in a subdivision with my boyfriend in Dundee, MI where I’m likely the only tattoo covered lady. I run the dairy department for a local grocery store chain in Ann Arbor where I get to work closely with local farmers to help them sell their goods. My passion is Fermentation. I’m on the board of a Michigan non-profit, Fermenta, focused on educating and empowering women in the craft beverage business – we’re expanding into foods and going national next year. I brew beer, make kombucha and kefir, and ferment and can all kinds of foods. When I have spare time, I work for a small organic hops farm in Chelsea. I like to bowl, and I play a mean game of putt-putt.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I’ve been doing CrossFit for a year this month. I’ve been with Light the Fire since late October.

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?

There were so many lunges and squats in foundations that I couldn’t use stairs or comfortably sit down and stand up for days.

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?

Those days where we finish a WOD and I’m like “oh crap, did I seriously just do that?” are really great. It’s exciting to watch that amazement on other people’s faces, too.

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

It’s an environment where I don’t ever feel like I have to prove something to anyone other than myself. The people have been great and encouraging, and I’m comfortable and confident in the coaches.

What motivates you to come to the box?

In the beginning it was because, if I didn’t, the next time would be like starting over. Now I genuinely enjoy going; it’s a great escape from day to day life, and I have a lot of fun.

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?

I’m off the box version of handstand push-ups. Which is a big deal for me because I couldn’t even get myself to lean off the box when I first tried them. Also, Murph was a turning point for me. I did a lot of extra work at home and ate better in the few weeks leading up to it than I ever have in my life; after I finished I just kinda breathed and thought “well, I guess I’m really doing thisfitness thing.”

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

I like Cindy, and anything that is heavy on the weights. Back squats are always fun.

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

Anything that involves a rope climb.

What is your current CrossFit goal?

I want to nail snatches and be comfortable with them, start working on double-unders, climb the rope, and eventually do one of the competitions.

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

Everything can be scaled, don’t compare yourself to other people, make sure you’re comfortable with the coaches, and stick with it. Most importantly, your butt is going to look awesome so it’s all worth it.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit? / How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?

Since I’ve started I left a toxic job that had me extremely overworked, under appreciated, under paid, and depressed. I moved in with my boyfriend in a new city – it may only be 24 miles away but sometimes it feels like different worlds. I’m the healthiest physically and mentally that I ever have been in my adult life, and I only see it going up from here.

 

***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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July 2018 Athlete of the Month

July Athlete of the Month

Greg Adair II

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

My name is Gregory Adair II and I’m a 33 year old father of three amazing children, Colton, Caden, and Cailey.  I was born in and currently live in Monroe with my girlfriend Amanda. I work for Floral City Beverage Budweiser and I am also a cannabis caregiver. I enjoy going up north and any outdoor activities. I love to travel and I love being on the water.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I’ve been doing CF since March of 2017.

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?

It was one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences that I’ve ever had.

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?

I enjoy the people, atmosphere, and community factor that CF offers. I also enjoy the tailored coaching and constant positive reinforcement our box offers. I feel like LTF has created a family environment that I love being a part of!

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

I enjoy the energy level, intensity, camraderie, and the funny conversations we have to make the experience that much better. I also enjoy the diversity of our box. It’s always fun hearing everyone’s stories or having members from other boxes drop in.

What motivates you to come to the box?

The feeling that I get when I complete a WOD. About an hour after class I get this huge energy rush and felling that I can’t explain. It’s like a rush of endorphins and I’ve completely become addicted!

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?

My most recent PR was Back Squatting 300 lbs. and my biggest accomplishment was doing my first muscle up.

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

My favorite benchmark WOD would have to be Karen, there is something special to 150 wallballs!!!!! My favorite lift would be the snatch and I’m slowly learning to love doing double unders.

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

My least fav. WOD would be Angie. Doing the same movement 100 times can be very taxing! Running is never really fun is it???

What is your current CrossFit goal?

To be completely pain free, and to maintain strength, flexibility, and mobility.

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

You most definitely can do it and it will change your life forever! You will never have a workout experience like CF has to offer.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit?

I honestly believe that I have!!! They call it functional fitness for a reason. I have noticed that playing with kids has become much easier and much more enjoyable. Also, my work life has become much less physically demanding, because of my mobility and overall fitness level increases. Basically everything  I do in life now, I do with a new sense of confidence and newfound strength.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?

CF has allowed me to live a much happier and more fulfilled life. I feel a sense of accomplishment everyday that I go to the box. I’m completely grateful for the coaches and people that I have met through LTF and I’m looking forward to sharing more experiences with everyone!!!

 

 

***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.

Tagged with: ,

June 2018 Athlete of the Month

June Athlete of the Month

Chelsea Hubbard

Tell us about yourself, hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
Well, I’m Chelsea Hubbard for those of you that don’t know me. I work as a Member Relationship Specialist at Monroe Community Credit Union and I also work contingently as a hair stylist at Ultra Performance, which my aunt owns in Monroe, MI. I am recently engaged to my fiance Mitch Hawkins, who used to come to LTF as well but has not been in a while due to a recovering injury and some crazy work hours he has been working. I have 3 pets, which includes 2 cats and 1 dog. My cats’ names are Shadow and Mr. Pants, and my dog’s name is Kiwanis. My hobbies include CrossFit, traveling, shopping, and relaxing at home whenever I can.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?
I have been doing CrossFit for a year and 8 months.

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?
My first CrossFit experience was very nerve racking for me, but also one of the best experiences I have encountered. I knew what I was getting myself into was going to be challenging, but also what I had been looking for.

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?
I enjoy that every day is a different workout, and every day I know I can push my limits.

What do you most enjoy about being part of Light the Fire CrossFit family?
I enjoy that everyone makes you feel welcomed, and everyone encourages you to keep trying and pushing yourself…even when you’re the last one to finish a WOD. There has been so many times I have been one of the last people to finish a WOD and with people cheering me on, that makes me feel good and makes me want to push myself to get through that WOD.

What motivates you to come to the box?
Honestly, just hearing some music that I would normally hear in the box motivates me to come back to the box. Also when I am having a good week and get a new PR on something, that motivates me to come back and keep trying to challenge myself even more.

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My most recent PR would be on my deadlift. I had a goal of wanting to get to 200lbs or more on my deadlift before the end of the year, and I exceeded that goal of 200lbs and made it up to 240lbs. I also just participated in Murph at LTF, and was able to do all my pull ups without a band. That was a goal I had set for myself when participating in Murph last year.

What is your favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?
My favorite WOD is Cindy. Deadlifts are my favorite lift, and pull ups are my favorite movement.

What is your least favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?
My least favorite WOD would be Nancy, and my least favorite movement are the dreaded wallballs.

What is your current CrossFit goal?
I have a ton of goals set for myself that I would love to accomplish, but one goal that I am trying to focus on right now is getting more educated on healthy eating and actually sticking with it.

What would you tell a newbie or someone that has never done CrossFit?
Stick with it and don’t get discouraged! It’s easy to look at others who make CrossFit look so easy and think you will never be there one day, but I can promise you one day you will be.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit?
I can honestly say I have. Before CrossFit I used to think I knew what I was doing in a gym, until I started CrossFit. I can happily say that I have become a happier, healthier and more confident person from my CrossFit journey so far.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?
My life outside the box has changed, but it has changed for the better. Instead of going to a bar for Taco Tuesday or half off margs to unwind, I come to the box and release my stress out there. Like I mentioned in the previous question, I have also gained a more positive outlook on life and I have learned to be more confident in myself.

 

***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.

Tagged with: ,

May 2018 Athlete of the Month

May Athlete of the Month

Melissa England

Tell us about yourself, hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I am first and foremost a mother to Louis and a wife to Glenn. I am a hairstylist and love, love, love what I do. In my freetime I love to spend as much family time as I can doing anything outdoors, movies and everything that just lets us have quality time.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?
Three years.

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?
I remember walking in the doors so scared, But knowing that my health had to change. So it wasn’t a choice. But when I walked into the doors there was nothing but support from everyone that I ran into contact with. I also will never ever forget not being able to move
for a couple days with the sore muscles from the WODs.

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?
It pushes me out of every comfort zone I have, Pushes me the hardest I have ever physically been pushed. And for some reason that is an amazing feeling.

What do you most enjoy about being part of Light the Fire CrossFit family?
I have gained some of the best friends I could possibly have. There is undying support from all of the family I have made. Everyone at the gym build you up as a person no matter where we all come from.

What motivates you to come to the box?
Coming from a long line of people that have not had a long life due to preventable diseases, I want to make sure I will give it my all to be around for my son. I feel strong when I leave the gym, And that is something that can not be replaced by anything else.

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment lately was committing to doing a 100 day challenge of working out daily. It showed me my strengths and weaknesses and has me in the best shape of my life. Enough to compete in the Rookie Rumble and blow last years scores out of the water.

What is your favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?
Karen would be my favorite WOD. I know, I know wallballs. But I do not mind them.

What is your least favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?
BURPEES. They can just go away, Lol.

What is your current CrossFit goal?
I want to beat my last MURPH score, This year.

What would you tell a newbie or someone that has never done CrossFit?
Do it! You will not regret it. There is no other way of life in my head now. You will do so much more than just getting gains. You will find a new way to live, the best friends in the world and so much more.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit?
Yes, Many. I remember right after having my son, sitting on the couch and being a visual parent but not getting on the floor and interacting with him. CrossFit has given me being able to pick him up and throw him in the air, run with him, play with him and just down
right being a better parent.
My husband also started CrossFit shortly after me and this has brought us together in so many ways. Between the joking texts of what our WOD times were and complaining about which sore muscle we had that day. It has given us so much more in common.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?
As a hairdresser I have quite many back to back 12 hour days on my feet. Three years ago I could barely pull off a 8 hour shift.

 

***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.

Tagged with: ,

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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