Athlete Spotlight

So you walk into CrossFit Merge and you hear someone endlessly clapping, cheering and encouraging everybody around him…you’ve met Brian, then!

One of the many great things about Brian is his attitude.  He always has a smile on his face.  In fact, he’s been known to come to the gym while sick just to cheer everybody on during the WOD!  CrossFit-wise, Brian is awesome and is improving every day.  He is consistent and pushes himself in every workout. It’s exciting to see how he gets stronger and faster, while developing in all the components of CrossFit.

So enough of our talking, hear it directly from Brian himself…

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I’ve been unable to keep myself away from CrossFit since June of this year. (11′).

How did you hear about CrossFit Merge?

I found CrossFit Merge through a Yelp search. I had been trying P90X for a while and never really caught a consistent groove with it. It became evident that I need a partner or a group of people to workout with. I knew nothing about CrossFit at the time and decided to call Bryce for the assessment workout. I felt so charged after that first WOD! I felt intrigued and curious so I decided to sign up for a month. The more I came in and learned, the more it all started to make sense to me. Everything kind of just locked into place. I’m so happy to have found CrossFit particularly through this gym. I’ve visited other boxes and it gave me a solid perspective as to how well this gym is run. I couldn’t be more grateful. You might say I’m a lifer.

What’s your athletic background?

In lieu of organized sports, I opted for skateboarding at an early age. I never participated in any other sports other than that. I gained an interest in exercise about 4 years ago when my doctor informed me that I was “pre-diabetic”. He explained that I could control my blood sugar and prevent diabetes through diet and exercise. So I tried yoga for a while, P90X, and other circuit type training.

Is there anything you’d like to people to know about you?

I know this may be hard to believe, but I have a life outside of CrossFit…kinda.

What is your greatest CrossFit accomplishment thus far?

I feel my greatest accomplishment in CrossFit so far is having stuck with it at this consistency for this long. I’ve never stuck with any form of intense physical training like this before. It seems strange to call something like that an accomplishment because I’ve enjoyed the entire process so much. I have to force myself to keep away from the gym to take rest days.

What is your favorite WOD and why?

I LOVE when the vibe is strong right before the WOD starts. Everyone’s pumped and ready to play. Sometimes it feels like you’re in a big arena or in a movie or something. I’m really liking the heavy lifting, power hour classes. YYYYYEEEAAHHH BABY!!! I LOVED Murph, D1’s Birthday WOD was awesome. There’s one that stands out in particular. I had only been CrossFitting for about a month or so. It was a team WOD.

4 rounds ea. for time of:

14 lateral jumps (24″)

7 – 1 arm kettlebell snatches

7 – 1 arm kettlebell snatches

7 Toes 2 Bar

1 athlete does the round while the other holds (2) 35# dumbells overhead. If he gets tired and has to put them down, both athletes stop and do 3 burpees.

I teamed up with Chris Horton who as we all know is SUPER fit! I kept having to put the dumbells down and it took forever for me to get through my 4 rounds. It gave me a great sense of urgency and intensity. I had a great time working out with him that day and he did a great job of rootin’ me on. “You’re killin’ me”. “Come on!”, “Let’s go!” Haha so awesome.

Least favorite WOD and why?

My least favorite WODs are the ones where I don’t feel good, or I’m not feeling up to my maximum potential. Some days I might be feeling like I need rest and cold and not right. My form’s messed up or my head isn’t straight. I hate those days.

What does CrossFit mean to you?

I see CrossFit as an opportunity to come play with my friends and be the best I can possibly be. Every time I come to CrossFit, I get to tune in to my limits physically and mentally. It means making myself and others feel good. Best part about it is that it’s available every day!

What advice would you give a new member?

I know this sounds simple, but it’s sometimes hard to put into practice. Listen to the coach and try to directly apply what they’re saying to your movements. For example when you’re doing a squat and the coach says something like, “knees out!” Ask yourself “where are my knees right now?”, “How are my feet positioned?”. You can learn a lot about your body that way. Feedback from the coach is invaluable. Always try and take something with you from every class. Whether it’s a skill, technique, or something someone said or did that struck a chord deep within you. Come in as much as you can and keep trying.

If you could be a superhero, what would your name be and what would you want your superpowers to be?

Captain CrossFit! A dramatic train crash nearby carrying a top secret payload of toxic chemicals leaked noxious fumes into the gym as I was doing Fran. A strange, post WOD, neuro-metabolic chain reaction happened leaving me with uncanny super powers. Hang cleans so quick I can shoot laser beams out of my elbows! Bullet deflecting double unders! Earth moving front squats! I team up with my CrossFit Merge super friends to battle evil forces such as the villainous warehouse workers next door who attempt to defeat us with their treacherous, second hand super smoke! Other super villains have tried to infiltrate us to no avail by hijacking our cars and play loud music next door. All of which are no match for us Mergers! During the day I’m just an average Joe but as soon as I hit the metcon, I am Captain CrossFit!!!

What is your ultimate favorite movie and why?

I LOVE movies. Of course all the classics, Star Wars (1977), Raiders, Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, one that always sticks out is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I saw that when I was a kid and it always kinda stuck with me.

What would I find in your refrigerator right now?

Grass fed braised brisket, eggs, pre-cooked sweet potatoes (ready to eat!), asparagus, broccoli, kale, butter, old black banana, berries, almond milk, coconut milk, mascarpone, almond meal, bell peppers.

And some closing words from Brian…

Required homework for all friends and CrossFitters. Watch this video. The intensity is amazing but my favorite part is how they incorporate the most important thing. FUN!

Thank you, Brian, for being such a wonderful part of this gym while being such an encouraging person to all of us. It’s people like you that continue to make this box a better place! And for the rest of you, make sure you watch the video and tell Brian your thoughts — oh! and ask him about his superpowers! 

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