Dustin Baker

I was definitely in a workout rut before discovering CrossFit Dubuque. Due to my work and extracurricular schedule, I often had to get my workouts in over my lunch break. Pressed for time and in the middle of the afternoon, I routinely found myself working out alone, and because I planned all my own workouts, I rarely tried anything that challenged me. I’m not a runner—I’m not built for it—but I still tried to drag my ass onto the cardio equipment a couple times a week as well, despite resenting the very sight of a treadmill. There was nothing motivational about my old routine—I was ready for a change. I played competitive sports throughout high school and college and missed the camaraderie and competition it offered.

I knew a little about CrossFit from a few friends who dabbled in it. As soon as I heard that a dedicated CrossFit box was opening in town, I wanted to know more. I went to my first intro class at CrossFit Dubuque and was hooked immediately. I started Foundations in November 2011.

With that said, it was also a bit of a rude awakening for me. I have always considered myself athletic but quickly realized that for my entire life up until that point I had solely focused on movements directly related to specific athletic events. And throughout my athletic career, I was always injuring myself –to the point that the ER nurses knew me by name. I’ve had broken ankles, sprained knees, shoulder and elbow surgeries…. name a joint and I’ve probably had issues with it. I’ll never forget those first few CrossFit workouts – muscles that I didn’t even realize existed were sore. And I now realize that it was those previously unused muscles that had been causing all my injury problems. Within the first couple weeks, I felt much more stable, my joints weren’t hurting and I eventually was able to wean myself off the basketball ankle brace I thought I would have to wear for the rest of my life. It felt great!

Those times when I finish a workout last, however, don’t feel so great and it was really hard for me to mentally deal with a poor performance. While I’ve come a long way physically over the last several months—well beyond what I thought my genetics would allow –I’m even more impressed with what CrossFit has done for me mentally. There are still some remnants of my early temper tantrums in the box, but I now view my daily trip to the box as my hour of serenity where the daily worries and multitasking get shut off. And when life gets stressful, I reflect on making it through a workout of overhead squats and double unders (the two banes of my CrossFit existence and the reasons for the above-referenced tantrums) and know that I can mentally handle anything. Personal improvements aside, I love going to the box every day; the camaraderie between the athletes at CrossFit Dubuque is amazing and I now hate to miss a workout because I’ll miss all my new friends.

I still workout over my lunch break, but now all the programming is done for me—there’s no guess work and EVERY member, documented on this website or not, is a testament that the programming works! Yes, it can be humbling—sometimes I win and sometimes the WOD wins—but I’ve learned that everybody has their strengths and weaknesses and watching the other athletes push themselves through the same workouts is very motivational. I definitely get a whole lot more out of an hour at CrossFit Dubuque than I ever could on my own. Hands-down, it’s been one of the best investments I’ve made for myself. Most importantly, I will never have to see a damn treadmill ever again! Good riddance!

You will read a lot of inspirational stories within the testimonials section. Being one of the “original seven,” I am proud to have witnessed so many successes and achievements at CrossFit Dubuque and I am inspired daily by each and every one of them. Thankfully, I haven’t had to cope with the serious medical problems or tragic life events that some other members have had to overcome. I wouldn’t say that I’ve had a dramatic physical transformation either. But in seven short months, CrossFit Dubuque has gotten me in the best condition of my life physically and, more importantly, mentally.I highly recommend CrossFit Dubuque – it has truly changed my life.

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