Happy Thursday! This week’s member spotlight is Steve Phillips!! Steve got started last summer, but recently has been dialing up his commitment, culminating in an impressive 121 reps on open 13.1 this weekend. Read on to learn about Steve’s first Whole 30, his football career, and how training at The Foundry has been going!
The Foundry: You were active in sports growing up – tell us about your athletic background?
Steve Phillips: Growing up I was the typical kid that his parents had him play sports. I participated in wrestling, football, and baseball. I excelled at football and was recruited in 8th grade to play at a nationally recognized football powerhouse. I was dealt with a tough decision, and the way my Dad put it, “you can stay with all your friends and be the big fish in the little pond, or try and be the big fish in the big pond.”
I chose to enroll at Archbishop Moeller High School, which alums include, Ken Griffey Jr, Barry Larkin, Tom Waddle, Bob Crable, Buddy Bell, and John Boehner. These alums along with others would come back and motivate us to be our best and would remind us through hard work anything is attainable. While playing at Moeller we had the toughest schedule in America constantly playing teams from all over the country. I earned a scholarship to play football at Hillsdale College. At Hillsdale my drive to compete continued, which allowed me to significantly contribute in every single game as a freshman and become a two year starter before having major back surgery and essentially ending my football career.
The Foundry: Before joining The Foundry, you had not been that active for a period of time. Why did you choose to get started?
SP: After my back surgery I rehabbed and really focused on getting back to where I was physically before. I lost the extra 75 pounds I was carrying from playing football, and was a trim 210 pounds. I was just out of college and took my first job as a Financial Advisor. For the first year I was able to get to the gym and work out. After my first year, the social events took priority of the little spare time I had. The 10 years that followed consisted of gradually putting all the weight I lost back on. I went to the doctor and was put on blood pressure medicine. I took this medication for about a year and this past summer I decided that it was time to get back in shape because I didn’t feel good, and wanted to get off the medication I was on.
I joined a gym; found I was using the parking garage more to get my parking validated from going to the bar rather than using the gym. So that didn’t work. It was a Sunday that I was walking the dog through the South Loop street fair and saw the Foundry’s booth. The following week I stopped in, signed up, and as of today I’m off the BP medication and I was 126/82 this morning. The Foundry filled a couple of void’s for me. First thing, it gave me a little of the competitive spirit back that really keeps the workouts interesting and sustainable. Secondly, it has a “team” atmosphere that is very unique to crossfit.
The Foundry: Recently you’ve upped your commitment significantly, taking on the Whole30 and registering for the CrossFit games Open. What’s driving you and how have you been feeling?
SP: In February I made the commitment to Whole 30 and signed up for the open. I was seeing results from working out and getting stronger, but my body composition wasn’t changing much. That was really the deciding factor for me to make a change and actually take my diet seriously. The Whole 30 has been a great addition to the workouts, and I actually feel it’s easier to recover from the workouts. The toughest thing so far has been not having a cocktail, but if that’s the worst of it so be it. As for the open the first week has been fun. It reminds me of football practice and getting ready for the big game. I’m a little disappointed in my first week performance, but this will definitely help me focus and continue to improve.
The Foundry: What is something we don’t know about you?
SP: I went through the process and got an appointment to West Point. Another thing that people might find interesting is I actually dislike lifting weights/working out, but realize it’s a means to an end and I like the end.
Thanks for sharing with us Steve! Be sure to congratulate him and continue to WOD hard!