What were you doing before CrossFit
Fitness has always been a big part of both of our lives; we both started with a variety of youth sports. John played hockey, soccer and lifted weights and I was a swimmer who dabbled in track and cross country skiing. You name it…….we’ve probably done it! We really got uber-motivated when we joined Boot Camp at Lifetime fitness about 10 years ago, and had an excellent trainer. Until we did that, I don’t think either of us ever knew how far we could actually “push” ourselves. We both came to the realization your body is capable of far more than you think. Most often, your mind gives out long before your body does………..It’s amazing how you can change your body when you push beyond your comfort zone (and, of course, improve your diet!) About 9 years ago, kind of on a whim, we decided to join the triathlon community. Prior to that John struggled to swim one length of a pool. We have been doing triathlons ever since, ranging from sprint-distance to Half-Ironman’s. We even got our kids to join us racing! Completing a full Ironman is on both of our bucket lists.
Why did you start doing CrossFit
Funny thing…….. Our Boot Camp trainer had mentioned CrossFit to us about 8-10 years ago. He said, “Go online and check it out. That’s the future of working out.” We went and checked it out and vividly remember thinking, “wow, that is some crazy s**t!” Funny thing………don’t think it’s so crazy anymore!!!! One of the main reasons we started doing CrossFit is because we both are always looking for a challenge.
What apprehensions did you have before starting
CHRIS: I, personally, didn’t really have any reservations before starting. I love a challenge! It was actually after I started, that I started to question what the heck I was doing here??? My hands were blistered, my body was bruised, legs were bloody from rope climbs, and my chin was beat up from hitting it with the bar (multiple times)! Did I mention, I’m not always the most coordinated or graceful person in the world J I had very seriously considered “hanging it up”. But Pat “talked me off the ledge” and encouraged me to hang in there…………that was 8 months ago! And now I love CrossFit (Ok, sometimes maybe it’s a more of love/hate thing J).
JOHN: I am what some might term, “flexibility-challenged”. This probably came from years of playing sports (mainly hockey) and lifting weights combined with 6 to 8 cumulative minutes of stretching. So, needless to say, I was apprehensive about throwing weights, or more importantly, maintaining weights, over my head for any extended period. While there are some exercises where my flexibility challenges come into play, I am able to perform most exercises. And, with great challenges come great opportunities.
What made you decide to come CrossFit SISU
We came to SISU because I saw their advertisement/special on Living Social. It was a perfect location, so we thought this was our opportunity to give it a whirl. I joined first, but John quickly got the bug himself. Having worked with trainers/coaches before, you kind of know the type of person/coach you can connect with and feel comfortable. We could tell immediately what a great atmosphere SISU had and how great the coaches were. Not to mention, the SISU athletes are a great group of people!!
What’s the greatest benefit you see so far since starting CrossFit and SISU
CHRIS: Obviously, the greatest benefit is that I am stronger! I am just incredibly amazed at how, in 8 months, I can now do things that I would have never imagined being able to do (Filthy 50, 100 pull ups (really???), double-unders (yeah, right). I also believe that CrossFit has helped my triathlon racing. It was, and still is, a little challenging for me to try and figure out a balance between my tri training and CrossFit, as I am not willing to give up either of them. Every race I did this year, I felt pretty strong, even at the finish. I truly think I recovered faster and had more endurance, and am anxious to see what next season has in store, once I figure out that perfect balance!!
JOHN: I was concerned with whether or not I could possibly fit another “activity” into an already jam-packed day (my mantra tends to be “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”). However, I also was trying to find a way to get back to some level of strength training without jeopardizing my triathlon focus. What I have found is that within 60 minutes of CrossFit I can fit in a solid warm-up, five to ten minutes of flexibility work and then a killer WOD which, if done right, leaves me completely drained but ready for the next day. I challenge just about everyone to find 60 minutes in their day…..it is well worth the effort.