1.Tell us about yourself, your family, your occupation, hobbies/interests.
I grew up in So. California with 4 brothers and 2 sisters. I didn’t learn much in the public school system, but I sure had a blast playing sports. I moved to St. Mary’s in the Summer of 1979 where I popped the big question to my beautiful wife. We were married in 1980 and raised 12 wonderful children, 6 boys and 6 girls ages 40 years down to 18 years. My main occupation is in the flooring business and my part time occupation is in the cattle business. It is the only business where you don’t mind eating your own mistakes! I like hunting, fishing, and being a grandpa. The latter has prompted a recent hobby of taking longer naps and shorter hunting trips. I am getting so that I can fall asleep before the toddlers. It takes a lot of practice, but I’m improving one nap at a time.
2. When do you start Cross Fitting? Why did you start? Why do you continue now?
I started CrossFit on the hottest day in Aug of 2015. It all began in the Doctor’s office. He just stared at me and gave me that “what the heck happened to you” look that I will never forget. He gave me a VERY big and much needed wakeup call about being fat and out of shape. Feeling like a walrus, I wanted to change. My son Joe just started CrossFit and was happy with his results. CrossFit has helped me to shed 50 pounds and keep it off. My high blood pressure is under control. CrossFit helps me keep moving and do the things I like to do.
3. Do you remember your first WOD? What were your thoughts after your first WOD?
I don’t remember my actual work out. It was so traumatic; my mind has totally erased if from all my memory. I do suffer flash backs now and then of the sensation of drowning or being waterboarded. After coming back to life from the Skull and Cross Bone initiation process, I do recall my mouth was completely dry and I needed hydration asap. I had brought a water bottle with a straw sticking out of it. I was breathing so hard for oxygen that I could not hold my breath long enough to suck some water on the end of the straw.
4. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?
That would be fellowship in pain! It’s fun getting together with other guys who are as equally crazy as you are and who are willing to torment the old body to bring it under submission. I can’t imagine doing these workouts by myself… I guess it would be like going out to shoot some hoops by yourself as opposed to playing one on one with a good competitor. It’s so much better with someone to challenge you.
5. What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
Doing an overhead squat. I never thought I could ever do one. It took over a year to accomplish it. I’m still not good at them, but if I am warmed up enough, I can see how much progress I have made there. I went from using the PVC to 135#. I hope this encourages any of the other athletes who are struggling with their OHS. Be patient. You’ll get there.
6. What is your favorite movement or lift? What is your least favorite?
My favorite movement is probably power cleans. Least favorite is thrusters or wall balls. Probably wall balls because you must hit a certain target, and then the 20# wall ball turns into 50# on the way back down. It jars my world.
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?
At my age, I don’t really have any goals other than going RX without getting hurt!
8. What makes CrossFit different from other fitness programs that you might have tried in the past?
CrossFit is a lot more fun because it’s a relaxed and congenial atmosphere. I can always scale any workout if I need to, unlike other sports. Football practice was intense, brutal, and at the end, we would have to run 20 100yd wind sprints for time. (Our coaches would not have tolerated us telling them we would like to scale wind sprints today….) We were punished for mistakes with extra torture at the end of practice. The worst thing that happens to us in CrossFit is a ‘no rep’. Another difference is that everything I had learned about lifting was wrong. I was taught to stay relaxed; to “Let the meat hang off the bones!” instead of tightening the core. I was told NEVER to be flatfooted or have my weight in my heels, but to always stay on my toes. And -brace yourself- in all my years in sports, I was never told to squeeze the glutes!
9. What impact has CrossFit Benedictus had on your life, in and out of the gym?
Well, I would have to say that it has greatly increased my ability to enjoy all the things that I had taken for granted, but felt like they were slipping away. I’m not afraid to throw the long bomb with the grandkids, after a proper warm up of course.
10. Tell us about your nutrition and how it has changed, if any, since starting CrossFit?
I got rid of almost all sugar and junk food. I stay as close to the paleo diet as possible, and just use common sense with my portion sizes.
11. If you could write a WOD for the classes to do, what would it look like?
Ten To Your Own Business, AMRAP
10 muscle ups
10 bar dips
10 Pull ups
10 single leg box jumps @30” R=L
10 min cap
Rx or non
Masters 55+ perform all movements in the pool, in the shallow or the deep end. Your preference. ; )
Cash out is a 15-minute nap with or without an abmat. Your preference
12. What advice do you have for others about the importance of the dedication of taking care of yourself, of investing in yourself?
Taking care of yourself, whether it is spiritual, mental or physical, is an obligation you are born with and need to stay on top of 24-7. Putting yourself in the best environments is a great start. That’s why I moved to St. Mary’s! I know when I go daily Mass I receive the graces that only the Mass provides, and this keeps me on the straight and narrow road to my Ultimate Goal. In a way, CrossFit is similar. CrossFit is to the body what spiritual reading is to the mind and soul. All these positive environments affect the way I pray, eat, drink, sleep, exercise, and recreate. It all keeps me honest with myself and the choices I make each day.
13. What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or who is thinking about giving it a try?
Close your eyes and jump on in. The water is always warm, and we won’t let you drown. Just do it.
14. Open Forum:
I must salute the one that didn’t just give me the wake-up stare down, but also the remedy I needed to get healthy and stay the course. Thanks Bruce! I would also like to thank Andy and Joe, and all the other coaches who have helped me. Thank you for putting up with my stupid jokes and believing in me. And a big thank you to all you crazy fellow comrades at arms who help me shake off the deer-in-the-headlights feeling at the beginning of each class. If it wasn’t for the rest of the guys in the class, I would probably erase the whiteboard and just pour the whiskey. God bless CFB!