I love my job. Seriously, I have the best job in the world. How often is it that people get to say that they come to work and see some of their favorite people on a daily basis? See them succeed, see them accomplish things they never thought possible, see them fall and get back up? I get to do it everyday! And among those favorite people is Michael Kremin. Michael is a gem of a man. He radiates such kindness and love. But don’t let that fool you! He’s one heck of a stud when it comes to woding it up at the box! There’s not a day in which he comes into the box without the desire to set a PR, accomplish something new, show the world just how awesome he really is. Every time he is at the gym, he makes the effort to brighten someone else’s day. Michael is simply wonderful. He’s the epitome of an athlete, a hard worker, and a friend. And without further ado, here’s Michael!
How long have you been doing CrossFit?
A year and 3 or 4 months.
How did you hear about CrossFit Merge?
Last year, when I was relocating from Washington DC to Los Angeles, I started looking for a gym that would be a good fit for my style of working out. After trying several of the “big box chains” (and being completely turned off by the members and facilities) and interviewing a couple personal trainers, I came across CrossFit Merge while searching the web. I even drove by one evening to see what was happening before I set up an appointment. I was unfamiliar with Crossfit and did some research and the concepts appealed to me. I had done some TRX training with a personal trainer in DC and came close to buying the P90X disks to work out at home, so I thought it would be similar. As it turned out, it was much better than I expected. After meeting Bryce and doing an individual workout, I liked what I saw and felt. As I say, CrossFit Merge had me at first squat”!
What was your first CrossFit Merge WOD experience like?
I do not remember much about the first WOD other than being totally spent and thinking that I must be a complete masochist. I also realized that despite working out regularly at a gym and with a personal trainer, that I still needed more to achieve a higher level of fitness. I recognized that the intensity of CrossFit was lacking in all of the other workouts I had ever done before.
What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?
How grateful I am to my family and friends for always being there for me and helping me achieve the successes I have had in life. I try not to take things for granted and strive to reciprocate whenever possible.
What is your greatest CrossFit Merge accomplishment thus far?
Graduating from Beginner to Intermediate level after about a year, LOL. Actually, I feel my greatest accomplishment has been the friendships and bonds that I have formed with so many Merge members. I am also pleased with the improved stamina, strength, and in my opinion, muscle definition that I have achieved from these workouts. This weekend I was able to do handstand push-ups, something I had not done since I was in college. That put a big smile on my face.
What is your favorite WOD and why?
I do not have a particularly favorite WOD. I have enjoyed some of the Merge “birthday” WODS. My favorite skills and routines keep changing as I learn more and gain confidence, but I will always entertain doing WODs that include various squats (front, back, overhead), box jumps, v-ups, burpees, and deadlifts.
Least favorite WOD and why?
I avoid WODs that have complex weightlifting skills, but as I learn more and practice more, I say to myself “bring it on!”. Wall ball shots/squats remain among my least favorite skills, though.
What advice would you give a new member?
If you are intimidated, just go with the flow, listen to the coaches, and appreciate the camaraderie of your fellow athletes. Expect to be sore after the WODs, especially for the first few months. Relax, focus, and have fun!
Out of all the hours in the day (both sleeping and awake) how much time do you spend working out? Thinking about CrossFit? Dreaming it? Watching vids? etc.
I probably think about Crossfit an inordinate amount of time each day – it is one of my obsessions, and I am certain many of my colleagues are tired of hearing about my workouts and classes. I try to get in a Crossfit class 3 times a week. On the non-Crossfit days I try to do stretching exercises or at a minimum, 10-20 minutes of squats, sit-ups, lunges, push-ups, etc. that I can do at home. I only occasionally watch videos or sports programs that feature CrossFit, but I do get into them when I do have the opportunity.
What is your favorite movie and why?
I have many favorite movies, but at the top of the list are “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – the original romantic comedy, “To Kill a Mockingbird” – its focus on intolerance and prejudice, and “Slum Dog Millionaire” – because there is always hope for a better life.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be and why?
On a beach in Nicaragua or Argentina with my family. My fondest memories are time spent with my aunts, uncles, and cousins at the undeveloped beaches.
What do you like to do for fun?
Crossfit, of course. But also trying out new restaurants (I am a total foodie), shopping (clothes horse), checking out museum and gallery exhibits, hiking, bicycling, and beach-combing.
If you could be any superhero who would you be? Why?
Aquaman, because I like the water. However, being Robin, Batman’s sidekick, has always been appealing.
Where do you see yourself in 1 year?
Living a full life with family and good friends – not much different than the present.
Michael, you have enriched our lives with your wonderful spirit, charismatic personality and tender heart. In fact, we could easily say that you had US at first squat 😉 We couldn’t ask for more!! And the rest of you, if you haven’t met Michael, be sure to look for him as he’s setting PR’s!
Workout of the Day (WOD):
4 rounds of:
1 minute of rowing for calories
Rest 30 seconds
1 minute of overhead squats (intermediate) or front squats (beginner) (75#/53# for women)
Rest 30 seconds
1 minute of burpees
Rest 30 seconds
Score is max reps at the end of the WOD
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