1.Tell us about yourself, your family, your occupation, hobbies/interests.
Barb and I have been married for 42 years. We have 6 children and 18 grandchildren (with 3 on the way.) Both Barb and I grew up in Minnesota; Barb in St Cloud and I in Freeport (about 25 miles west of St Cloud.) I served in the U.S. Army from 1975 to 1978 and was assigned as a helicopter mechanic to a unit in Schwabisch Gmund Germany in the southern part of Germany. I attended college at the St Cloud Vocational Institute and studied Data Systems Analysis and Design. Basically I was a computer programmer and operator. I’ve worked at a number of different jobs, both full time and part time over the course of my working life. (When I can’t sleep at night I don’t count sheep, I count all of the jobs I’ve had over the years. I keep coming up with a different number every time!) In 1986 I enlisted in the Army Reserve and was assigned to units in Paynseville and St Paul, MN. Then in 1996 I went active duty in the Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) and served in five different locations until my last duty assignment in Ft Hood, TX. I retired in 2013 and settled in St Marys, KS.
2. When do you start CrossFitting? Why did you start? Why do you continue now?
I joined CrossFit in August, 2016 when Doc suggested that I give it a try. I was out of the Army Reserve for 3 years by then and needed to do something to lose weight and get more active physically. I had first heard about CrossFit while I was stationed at Ft Hood TX and I was intrigued by it then. I decided not to join then because I was already doing physical training every morning with the Army and didn’t want to add more work.
I continue with CrossFit because I enjoy the camaraderie that I experience at the box. The coaches are all helpful and knowledgeable. The coaches and other members make it easy to keep coming back.
3. Do you remember your first WOD? What were your thoughts after your first WOD?
I don’t even remember how I got home after my first WOD! I do remember getting into my truck after a workout at Doc’s house and I remember getting out of my truck when I got home. I don’t remember anything in between.
4. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?
I enjoy the atmosphere and companionship that exists at the box. The members and coaches are fun to be around and make it easy to keep coming back. I also enjoy the variety of workouts that we do. This variety is what keeps CrossFit so interesting.
5. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
There are a couple of them. After I joined and started getting used to the workouts (as much as I could get used to them anyway) I started talking to Barb about joining. However, she simply told me that there was no way that she could or would workout with a group of people. So I just kept quiet about her joining figuring she would someday ask me about it on her own. Low and behold about a year later she asked me when the next women’s On Ramp was. Fortunately, there was one starting the next month.
The other moment was when I finally figured out how to do an overhead squat without falling over!
6. What is your favorite movement or lift? What is your least favorite?
My favorite lift is probably the deadlift. I really don’t have a least favorite but large numbers of burpees do seem to sap all of my energy pretty quickly!
I also enjoy running but I can’t enjoy that as often as I used to due to knee and back issues. I keep trying though. I just don’t run as fast or as far as I used to.
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 seem to getting better with overhead squats. For the first couple of years I was having a hard time doing them when there was any weight on the bar. As for a goal, I would like to break 300 lbs on the deadlift. I was close last year before I went on the road driving for Onyx and lost some of my momentum.
Oh, and a pull up. Just one pull up, that’s all I ask. After that, we’ll see! I have always had a hard time with pull ups, even when I was in basic training and only weighed 155 lbs. (That was a long time ago and many additional pounds!)
8. What makes CrossFit different from other fitness programs that you might have tried in the past?
Most of the workouts programs I experienced in the past was while I was in the Army. We really didn’t workout to consistently improve different aspects of our fitness. It was mostly to be able to pass our physical fitness tests that were held twice each year. Still, even if you could max your APFT score you still couldn’t get the variety of workouts that you can get from CrossFit.
9. What impact has CrossFit Benedictus had on your life, in and out of the gym?
CrossFit has made me much more active than I was before I started. Soon after I retired, mowing the lawn was about the most activity I would get and that was beginning to get difficult. CrossFit has helped with my mobility and stamina to be able to do more that I would otherwise have been able to do. I really noticed a difference last summer when I was driving delivery trucks for Onyx. When I retired from the Army I started driving trucks and delivering product all over the country. This was back in 2013 before I started CrossFit. When I started driving again I noticed right away that it was easier for me to move product around and off of the trucks while making deliveries.
CrossFit helps keep me moving as I get older.
10. Tell us about your nutrition and how it has changed, if any, since starting CrossFit?
I am more careful about what I eat and what I snack on. Some days are better than others. Still, since I started CrossFit and started watching what I eat (with Barb’s help of course) I have lost about 40 pounds. I still could lose another 40 but I keep trying.
11. If you could write a WOD for the classes to do, what would it look like?
I’ll leave this to the pros.
12. What advice do you have for others about the importance of the dedication of taking care of yourself, of investing in yourself?
To me, the hardest part of CrossFit or any workout program is just getting to the box. That great philosopher, G. Cerny, once said “Get up, show up, and shut up!” Sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do. Once you’re at the box, things just start to happen and all you have to do is go with the flow. CrossFit has made it possible for me to keep moving and as I get older it is important to me to be able to do the things that I enjoy doing.
13. What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or who is thinking about giving it a try?
As I said before, the hardest thing about CrossFit is showing up for the workout. CrossFit has made it possible for me to do the things I want to keep doing. Without it, I doubt I would be doing as much as I’m able to do now. It’s important to start now because there is never a better time.
14. Open Forum:
I would like to thank Doc for starting CrossFit Benedictus and also Andy and Joe for making it possible to continue the box as we know it. Their drive and dedication make it possible for all of us to continue with to improve our fitness and to maintain and improve our attitude. I would also like to thank all of the coaches, especially the ones I’ve had the pleasure to work with. Their motivation and drive allows the rest of us to keep motivated and driven to improve our attitude toward life and fitness.