June 2019--Louis Shwartz

1.Tell us about yourself, your family, your occupation, hobbies/interests.  
     I have been married to my wife Hanna for nearly a decade and we have five children, the oldest aged seven years, the youngest just six months. I hold a PhD from the University of Toronto in Medieval History, and I teach high-school and college courses at St. Mary’s Academy and College. I love to read, I cook some and do a lot of dishes, and enjoy meditative walking during nice weather. I grew up in New Orleans, and have travelled many times throughout Europe – and I miss both places dearly!

2. When did you start CrossFitting? Why did you start? Why do you continue now?
      I started when I realized that kids take a lot of physical fitness to raise, and that CrossFit would be an excellent program all around due to its programming, accountability, challenge, variety, and coaching. I have lifted for years in the past and have played many sports, but I lost sight of the importance of regular intense exercise while writing my dissertation.

3. Do you remember your first WOD? What were your thoughts after your first WOD?   I don’t remember my first WoD, but I do recall after my first few WoDs thinking that “this will work!” and that “man, I am out of shape!”

4. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?
       The professionalism and rigor of the programming, and the strong community vibe.

5. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
   I have an ongoing proudest moment: it continues every time when I walk into the Box and am greeted by name and with smiles by so many good men.

6. What is your favorite movement or lift? What is your least favorite?
   The snatch and clean-and-jerk are both excellent – dynamic, difficult to master, and total-body. Standing around doing nothing during class time is my least favorite “movement.”

7. Have you had one or two challenging CrossFit goals that you've achieved recently? What are your current goals and how close are you to reaching them?  
      I’d like to get hand-stand-pushups down some day (not exactly a functional movement, but they look cool). I would also like to string together toes-to-bar, gibbon-style. Most importantly, I want to keep showing up and working hard.

8. What makes CrossFit different from other fitness programs that you might have tried in the past?  
    It combines intensity, variety, competition, community, coaching, and accountability – all just minutes from my front door! These factors together all add up to one great motivating force – and consistent motivation is what I have lacked most of all in previous fitness experiences.

9. What impact has CrossFit Benedictus had on your life, in and out of the gym?
     After two years of consistent training (three WoDs per week) I no longer suffer from chronic lower-back pain, and am significantly stronger.

10. Tell us about your nutrition and how it has changed, if at all, since starting CrossFit?
    Nutrition is very difficult for me – there is little coaching or accountability once I walk out of the Box. CrossFit, however, has certainly inspired me to be more aware of what I eat, and now I consume much less sugar and fewer refined carbs than I did before.

11. If you could write a WOD for the classes to do, what would it look like?
Triplets are fun – why not something like:

AMRAP, 15 minutes

20 Double-unders
10 Wall-balls
5 Power snatches

12. What advice do you have for others about the importance of the dedication of taking care of yourself, of investing in yourself?
     For those of us who in our convenient modern world tend towards selfishness and comfort, CrossFit pushes us out of our comfort zones and humbles our pride.

13. What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or who is thinking about giving it a try?
       Be patient and trust the program. Recognize and accept your limitations, be prudent, and work gradually but energetically toward improved fitness. The results come more quickly than might be reasonably expected (yet still more slowly than we often desire). In time, physical limitations decrease, and overall health and self-confidence improves.

14. Open Forum: A sincere “thank you” to everyone in the CrossFit Community here in St Marys – I am proud and grateful to be a part of it all. We truly have some great coaches in the Box, but above all a wonderful sense of Catholic fellowship pervades the entire establishment.
628 W. Bertand
St Mary's, KS 66536 (view larger map)