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June Athlete Spotlight–Jarred
How long have you been a member at CFD, and what made you want to get started?
Before I answer this first question, it seems like I’m always after Chad Blanchard. He was the Spotlight Athlete last month and I always finish behind him in the WODs. I just can’t keep up with him.
Anyway, I started in September 2016. My manager at work twisted my arm so much, I joined just so he’d stop bringing it up every week. Just kidding….kind of. Really the main reason, is that I used to do similar workouts and exercise on my own and ended up hurting my lower back in November 2014. I went to several doctors, surgeons, chiropractors and they all told me to back off the intensity and weight. That wasn’t really what I wanted to hear so I decided to do rehab/strengthening exercises but still missed the intensity of the workouts. I thought my time had come that I just would never be able to deadlift or back squat any more and that was really hard for me to handle. So I decided join CFD so I could get some coaching on proper technique in hopes that I’d be able to deadlift and squat, even if it was less weight than I wanted. Looking back, seems like a pretty good decision considering I’ve PR’d just about every lift since I started. I wish I could make it more than 2-3 days per week, but my schedule just doesn’t allow it.
What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day?
My technique has improved more than anything. I’ve also noticed that when I don’t get to the gym enough, I get irritated easier and stressed out more, so it’s good for me mentally too. I’m also not afraid to try something new. I’m more willing to try lifting a weight I’ve never done before or go for a PR even and not worry about failing at it. There are a lot of similarities between CrossFit and my job so if I’m “slumping” in one I usually try to think of what I would do at the other to get me recharged.
What did you do for fitness prior to CFD, and what do you like most about CrossFit?
I’ve always liked playing sports and had been doing similar workouts on my own. The things I like most about CrossFit are the intensity and variety of exercises that we do. I could join the YMCA or Planet Fitness, but nothing really gets my intensity up like what we do at CFD. I also like the people I work out with—I usually hit the 1:00 class because it’s the only thing that works in my schedule and there is usually someone there I try to keep up with.
What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
Favorites WODs would have to be long chippers with a mix of barbells with heavy weight, gymnastics and cardio. Something like Overhead Squats, Pull Ups/Muscle Ups, and Double Unders would be great. I’m not good when it comes to lifting a heavy barbell for a lot of reps, but I enjoy doing it even if I finish last (which is just about every time). I really try to make it to class on Deadlift Day because it helps strengthen my posterior chain, which is naturally weak from sitting at a desk all day. I like doing Hero WODs & Standard Baselines like the Filthy Fifty, The Seven, Fran, Grace, etc. I’d love to see something like that programmed once or twice a month.
What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
That’s a pretty short list because there’s not a lot I dislike. I try to come on days that challenge me because I always like to get better at the things I’m not good at. One thing I hate with a passion though, is the assault bike. I like using it in warmups but I despise getting on it for the WOD. I don’t care much for burpees either—they’re just boring. A few at a time aren’t bad, but if we gotta string 20-50 together in a row, that sucks.
What are you goals going forward?
I’d like to get stronger and maintain my fitness. Get better at the things I struggle with as well as working on the finer points of technique on the Olympic and Power lifts. I know I’m not going to the Games, but I still like to set PRs and feel like I’m making progress with my conditioning. That’s one great thing about CrossFit—no matter how good I am at something, there’s always something else I can get better at.
What advice do you have for someone just starting out at CFD?
I’m not sure I’m the best one to answer this question because I felt pretty comfortable since I started. But, if I have to give an answer a couple things I’d suggest to someone new…
First, don’t feel intimidated–everyone has different reasons to join CrossFit but ultimately we’re all there to live a healthier lifestyle. That commonality can be a pretty strong bond even if you’re not very close with the people you workout with and usually everyone is supportive. Occasionally someone might call you an IDIOT! but that’s their way of joking (yeah, you know who you are).
Second, It’s OK to fail. If you don’t fail, you’ll never know what you can do. So give it an honest effort.
Lastly, just have fun.