Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What brought you to Chicago? What are you passionate about?
I was born in Chicago and raised in the south suburbs (Calumet City) where I lived until I went to University of Illinois. Ever since high school I had a fascination with living in the City and always hoped to end up there, which I did about a year after finishing school.
I love going to Cubs games and other sporting events, live music events, but most of all I love to travel.
What was your relationship with fitness or athletics growing up? What made you decide to include CrossFit in your life?
I was always active, playing sports with friends (mostly basketball), but was never really in any organized sports. My senior year of high school I ran cross country but I wasn’t very good, at least compared to the others on the team. As the years passed after college, I occasionally had gym memberships but never stuck with it too long. Eventually, I became less and less active which I always blamed on working too much. While that was a legitimate reason, it was still an excuse. After starting a new job in Spring of 2016 (and being in the worst shape of my life), I decided it was time to make a change. I knew I needed something that would help motivate me and loved the idea of the small group classes. I wanted to show up and have someone tell me what to do, instead of going to the globo-gym and doing random weightlifting. That’s when I decided to give CrossFit a try.
What does training with The Foundry family mean to you in your life?
It’s hard to describe how much The Foundry Family means to me. I give a ton of credit to the coaching staff and members for motivating me to improve. The friendly competition between us makes me always want to get better. There is always someone at the gym to offer encouragement or advice. I truly look forward to attending classes and working out with my Foundry Family.
If there was one CrossFit movement you’d like to perfect, what would it be?
I can only pick one? I feel like there are about 20 that I would like to improve/perfect. I guess I would go with Muscle Ups… that’s the one that I can’t quite get. I am hit or miss on bar muscle ups, but have only done a few on rings. I just can’t seem to get the turnover part. Unfortunately, I have been dealing with some shoulder pain for what seems like a year now, so I haven’t been able to practice them as much as I would like.
How do you plan on coming out of quarantine #2xstronger?
I’ve tried to take advantage of resources that are available, knowing that a lot of the normal training components (barbells and kettlebells) aren’t available. Although, I have a long way to go, I have been working on my mobility/flexibility with yoga and/or stretching about 5x per week. I have also been keeping up doing classes 5x a week. And when I can’t make the scheduled class on a given day or I am not really feeling the program for that day, I usually do a workout on my own.
I am also trying to do the little extra things each day and stay positive about what I have done instead of dwelling on what I haven’t done. One example is that I have set up an hourly timer throughout the day. When it rings, I try to do a set of whatever exercise is most convenient based on where I am at and what I am doing (pushups, squats, curls, etc). And while I don’t do it every hour, I probably average about 6 times per day that I get the bonus work in.
What adventures, events, or future bright spots do you have planned for when all of this is over?
I look forward to traveling and dining out with friends. Hopefully my vacation race half marathon scheduled in the fall will still take place. I am also looking forward to going to Cubs games and concerts, but I think we are going to have to wait a while longer for those.
What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I plan to retire to Central America. I love the climate (75-90F everyday), easy/relaxed way of life, low cost of living and good healthcare system. And there are tons of outdoor activities with beaches, coral reefs, rainforests, and mountains all nearby.
What are your words to live by?
One of the motivational quotes that I have seen from Spartan races that has really stuck with me, is “Always Earned, Never Given”.