Andrew (known for his coffee drinking at the box) has been a part of our morning class since the summer. He lives in PA but stays in a hotel in Albany to work here during the week. This week is his last week with us before he moves back to PA!
When/Why did you first start doing CrossFit? I officially started doing CrossFit on 6/13/2012. Prior to that I had messed around with a few WOD's from the main site on my own (like Murph...bad idea if you've never done any other WOD before, by the way), but nothing too serious. I got into CrossFit for a few reasons. Probably my biggest influence to start was my friend Matt Bertsch who has been into Crossfit for a number of years and was always telling me about how great it was, and all the "functional fitness" benefits I would see. In addition to that, I really wanted to improve my work capacity and endurance for the fire department. I had a huge awakening after a particular fire last February when I worked to absolute exhaustion trying to remove a victim. At that point I knew I needed to do something to improve my physical conditioning.
What fitness activities were you doing before? I was always into sports of all kinds since I was a little kid. In school I played baseball, basketball, and was on the track team (pole vault, long jump, and the occasional running event). But, after college I spent several years only working out sporadically and my fitness activities were few and far between before I found CrossFit. I was really out of shape when I first came here.
What results have you seen since you joined CrossFit Beyond? I have definitely seen a huge improvement in my overall fitness. I just generally feel better about myself and my health. I've lost a few pounds, and I have definitely seen an increase in my strength and work capacity. I've also noticed myself being able to do more work, in my normal life, for longer periods of time without getting tired. I also catch myself being much more aware of how I lift and move things (there is always a voice in the back of my head saying "stay back on your heals...chest up!"). I truly feel that I'm in the best shape of my life right now!
What do you like most about CF? I enjoy the challenge that each day brings and the uncertainty about what the WOD will be. I also really like the camaraderie between the athletes and the constant support and motivation to go faster, lift more weight, or get that one extra rep in. It's like being a part of an athletic team again, which I really missed!
What is your favorite CF exercise? Any of the Olympic lifts for sure. I really didn't have much experience with any of them before coming to CrossFit Beyond. There's just something exciting and empowering about barbell movements that can make you feel very accomplished...or very humbled.
Your least favorite? Burpees....no question about that.
What CF accomplishment are you currently most proud of? There have been many, and mostly just include personal satisfaction with PR's and improvement on times of WOD's we've repeated while I've been here. But, I think one of the most exciting accomplishments for me was being able to squat clean 185 pounds!! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be moving that kind of weight around!
What CF goal are you working towards? The elusive Muscle-Up, for sure! That's one of my ultimate goals, but I think there are a lot of other things I need to work on as well. After every work out there seems to be a new goal to look towards or areas for improvement. That's another thing I really enjoy about CrossFit...there's always room for improvement, and there's always more you can learn!"Additionally, I just want to add that I'm truly grateful to have had the opportunity to meet such wonderful and welcoming people at Crossfit Beyond and I'm definitely going to miss you all! Especially Joy for the fantastic coaching and motivation and my 6AM friends who made it such a great experience!" -Andrew D. Garger