How did you find out about Ballston CrossFit and what about it convinced you to join?
I wish I could say I had the self-awareness to realize I needed to make a change in my life but like most dumb men in their 30’s I needed my wife to tell me to get my act together before I did anything.
Before BCF, I went to one CrossFit class in Tennessee with my sister-in-law where I was murdered by their programming. Never CrossFitted before. Didn’t scale. Went Rx. Sent it. Died. I was so dead the coach walked over and gave me HIS recovery drink. Needless to say, I wasn’t LOOKING to try CF again.
Despite my not-so-great intro to CF, my wife had started at BCF and loved it. She told me this gym was different and she was getting a lot out of it. I was in a pretty big slump mentally and physically, but after some strongly worded suggestions I finally put my excuses aside and tried it. This is where I was introduced to one of my favorite things in the world: scaling.
I saw that BCF was actually a lot different, and they really work with you to work as hard as you can as safely as you can. That was it for me, I was in.
When did you start at BCF and what were your goals going into it?
I took foundations at BCF in Nov 2020.
My goals going in were to just get a little healthier but to be honestly I didn’t know what that meant to me when at the time. It was the thing I said every time I joined a new gym. I had done the ‘globo gyms’ before, the classic bro programs but never really saw serious results so I was curious to see how the class approach would work.
What has helped you achieve success at BCF?
I was a football player in high school and to me gymnastics was just something I watched every 4 years at the Olympics. If it weren’t for the coaches, I would have probably quit a long time ago.
I think every coach has given me some piece of advice that led to an instant “ahhh that’s how that’s supposed to work” moment while doing some kind of movement. You know, that lightbulb moment where all the pieces fall together and suddenly you can do something new.
In addition to that, they have created a great environment where you feel comfortable failing, which is HUGE for anyone learning new skills. As you can imagine, I was a little intimidated when Brock told me that I had to get my 6’ 7 250lb body up to the bar for 12 pull ups in one of my first metcons AND THAT WAS JUST PART OF THE WORKOUT. Brock correctly had me scale because I am a big guy but I felt comfortable enough to think I could try and fail. That’s huge. You can only succeed if you are willing to fail. With that mentality, this big tree has fallen HARD but managed to handstand walk and get bar muscle ups- two things I would never have imagined possible.
What advice can you give to others that are new to CrossFit?
LISTEN and stay humble. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve done this, how much you can lift or fast you can run, there is always something else to learn. The pride of learning (and in some cases, relearning) a skill is addicting and the only way to get to that next goal is if you are open to help.
Example: I have learned and lost toes-to-bar so many times I can’t even attempt to count them. I currently don’t have them. But that doesn’t mean I don’t stop and listen when a coach or just someone else in the class gives me a tip on improving my form.
Besides working out, what other lifestyle changes did you make outside of the gym to achieve your goals?
Did you know sleep is … like … important? Neither did I. Also, if you just make your food and don’t order it its like waaaaaaaaay better for you. Did you know water isn’t just something fish swim in? Man, color me surprised when I learned that drinking water regularly made you feel BETTER. Oh, I also learned this cool word ‘Mobility’ from Cam and let me tell you, that is super important for anyone. In short, I changed everything ha
But in all seriousness, as I started seeing progress in the gym and in my body, I started getting addicted to feeling good. By that I mean feeling healthy. So, I chase that. I still cut loose but my weeks see more discipline, and I am working towards something important- a long term healthy me.