1.Tell us about yourself, your family, your occupation, hobbies/interests.
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Denver Colorado, along with my ten siblings. Dad was a great craftsman and taught us boys all we were willing to learn. Mom made a great home for us kids. I met the lovely Melissa in April of 2010 and we were married 8 months later! We moved to Kansas 5 years ago because we wanted to be near an FSSP parish and to raise our children in a better place. We had no idea what we were getting into, but now we would not want to live any place else. I truly believe we were guided by the Holy Ghost in our decision to move here. I have been a welder for 22 years, and now work for the weld shop here in St. Marys. I enjoy spending time with my family and working on cars, which works out well because we always seem to have a broken vehicle and, as soon as I get near it with a wrench, I have six helpers within arms reach.
2. When do you start CrossFitting? Why did you start? Why do you continue now?
I did CrossFit for a year and a half about 12 years ago, in Colorado. After Melissa and I were married, the co-ed classes didn't seem to make sense, so I stopped for 8 years. Melissa actually took an interest in CFB before I did, but when I stepped inside the Box while she was observing a class, I was hooked again. That was almost 3 years ago.
Doc sometimes makes a reference to exercise helping a person's mental health. From the first time I tried CrossFit I understood that it was very helpful to me in that area. I have suffered from some degree of mild depression all of my adult life. Intense exercise is a very reliable, healthy and effective treatment for this. The only side effect is that I force my co-workers to listen to every painful detail of my workouts, which might cause them some mental distress. They have become experts at faking their interest. Another big reason I do CrossFit is to set an example for our children that exercise is very important. It's a tool that God gave us to help with so many troubles in life. And as a bonus, it will even help you physically.
3. Do you remember your first WOD? What were your thoughts after your first WOD?
I remember it was called 'Lucky 7'. I don't remember too many details, but before it began I remember thinking, 'just 20# wall balls? Perhaps they don't know I'm a welder'. It was terrible! My ego was damaged, but that evening, I couldn't wait to see what was next.
4. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?
You know those WODs that leave you still gasping and very uncomfortable several minutes after its over? I love the feeling that sets in after that feeling. I also like to talk and joke with the guys.
5. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
It was the first time I ever beat Andy at a WOD. It was a run/row. Melissa baked a cake to celebrate.
6. What is your favorite movement or lift? What is your least favorite?
I like to run. It's a special movement. You can see where your competition is. You can always dig deeper. I have never warmed up to wall walks.
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?
Last year I broke my foot at work. With the help of Doc, Andy, and all the coaches, I was able to scale around that injury and hold on to the fitness I had worked for. Now I have a couple other injuries I am scaling around and my only goals are to keep coming and 'scale as needed', until I am 100% again.
8. What makes CrossFit different from other fitness programs that you might have tried in the past?
The only program I have ever tried in the past was running and lifting with my brother at the Y. I only stuck with it a few months here and there. Something would always easily derail the routine - sickness, injury, vacation. The biggest difference that CrossFit offers is the structure. The coaches are reliable and so are many of the other athletes. The measurement and daily competition also keep me coming back.
9. What impact has CrossFit Benedictus had on your life, in and out of the gym?
I have more energy every day of the week for my job and for my family. I am also much happier. My mood is almost always better, and when it's not, I know what to do.
10. Tell us about your nutrition and how it has changed, if any, since starting CrossFit?
We are more careful about what we eat and that means better nutrition for the kids, too. More meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, less bread, potatoes, pasta. I do intermittent fasting.....intermittently. I also stopped eating sugar and sweeteners back in January.
11. If you could write a WOD for the classes to do, what would it look like?
20 pull ups
20 body weight deadlifts
1 mile run
20 pull ups
20 box jumps
1/2 mile run
20 pull ups
20 KBS American
400 meter run
12. What advice do you have for others about the importance of the dedication of taking care of yourself, of investing in yourself?
Every time you sit down in an airplane they tell you 'in the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure put on our own mask first before helping others'. You are not going to be able to help your spouse, your children, friends, strangers, if you have neglected yourself. Take care of yourself so you are better able to care for others.
13. What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or who is thinking about giving it a try?
If you decide to try CrossFit and it benefits you, don't stop! Realize that for most of us, taking extended breaks is a slippery slope. Life rushes in and fills up that hour instantly if you don't keep up the routine. I hate to see athletes come consistently for a year or two, make great, life-saving changes and then stop coming because of a work schedule conflict or injury. If CrossFit works for you, it's because you need it. Keep it a high priority.
14. Open Forum:
Thanks to Doc for being an example of excellence. For doing more for people's health than any doctor I know of, by starting CFB. Thanks to Andy and Joe for keeping us going this spring, and through these strange times that continue. Thank you to all of the coaches for your patience and professionalism. And thank you to all the athletes for showing up when you have a list of good reasons not to on any given day. Thank you to Melissa, most of all, for your support and encouragement. I could not do this without you.