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May Athlete Spotlight–Nick Doland
I joined CFD in June of 2016. I followed CrossFit online for a while and knew I wanted to eventually try it. It looked fun. When I realized I needed to break out of my daily work/home/repeat routine, CrossFit was my answer. I didn’t have a friend to show up with the first day. I knew I’d be walking into a gym full of strangers. I decided to walk through the door anyway, and I felt welcome from the start.
2. What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day?
I am embarrassed admitting that much of my incentive for starting CrossFit was based on vanity. I wanted to look like I could complete more than 12 consecutive push ups. I wanted my wife to ask me to move a box without adding “…if it’s not too heavy for you.” I wanted to avoid “Dad Bod” at all costs.
But those superficial goals were quickly replaced with more meaningful ambitions. I quickly started challenging myself to squat heavier, eat better, run faster, improve mechanics, make a friend in class, get to bed on time, test my limits.
3. What did you do for fitness prior to CFD, and what do you like most about CrossFit?
I never had a gym membership before CFD. I would work out in my basement, but my workouts lacked intensity and commitment. I didn’t have a partner or an entire class to keep me on track. The workouts got boring. I also didn’t have the reassurance from knowledgeable coaches that my mechanics or programming were on point.
There are so many things I like about CrossFit. I’m the strongest I have ever been, and I’m getting stronger. I like slamming barbells at 6:30 a.m. I like being covered in chalk and sweat. It makes you feel like you got some work done. I like coming home and telling my wife I set a new PR even if she has no idea what I’m talking about. Everyday is a different workout and a new way to test yourself.
4. What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
I don’t know why, I just like front squats.
This may sound weird, but I also enjoy the workouts that everyone – including myself – underestimates. The workout on the whiteboard looks easy enough. 12 minute AMRAP of a few simple movements. You think it will be a breeze…then it starts and – surprise, surprise – you were wrong. When it’s over half the class is on the floor making sweat angels while the others are wishing burpees were never invented. You question why you bother putting yourself through these workouts…then you show up the next day for more.
5. What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
The assault bike is just…the worst. Every time I go near it I get the sudden sensation of leg cramps and the need to puke.
6. What are you goals going forward?
Fidel and I are nearing the end of the Muscle Up Challenge. I want us to both to be able to complete one when it’s finished. I want to RX more workouts. I want to do double-unders, so I can stop practicing in my garage on weekends. I want to be able to show my daughters that I can do a handstand. I want to have the energy to give my best effort at work (shameless plug time- Doland Jewelers – seriously, come see me). And I want to be a happy and healthy husband and dad.
7. What advice do you have for someone just starting out?
I see so many parallels between life and the workouts we grind through everyday. I will limit it to one example here. We are what we repeatedly do, and the workouts are a great way to practice being better with the rest of your day. Assuming I’m not the only person who delays projects or chores, when the coach yells out, “We start in 10 seconds!” there is no delaying the workout. You can’t call a Zach Morris timeout. You just have to start chipping away at the movements no matter how long the workout. The same holds true in life, I’m much better at telling myself to just get the job done.
Also, we are fortunate at CFD to have coaches that continue to learn their craft. They do a great job programming to make us better athletes. They know how to challenge us when we need it, and we can all use that extra encouragement when we question our limits.
Thanks to the coaches for selecting me as the spotlight athlete this month. I’m humbled. And thanks to the athletes that make it fun to show up everyday and work hard.
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