Tom O’Grady’s Story

Here is another great and very inspirational story from member Tom O'Grady. Please keep them coming! Send me an e-mail


Tom O’Grady’s Story

 I started at CrossFit Beyond in August of 2011.  I am career Air Force and the jokes the other branches make about the "Chair Force" were all true. I'd gotten fat and lazy.  So in 2010 when the Air Force revamped its physical fitness standards I found myself in a bad place.  The test consists of a waist measurement, 1 minute max pushups, 1 minute max situps and a 1.5 mile run.  The first test I took I scored a 33%, with passing being a 75%. I only did 11 situps and DNF'd the run. The Air Force gave me six months to turn around my fitness.  So I hit the street.  Sometimes.  Unless it was hot.  Or cold.  Or raining.  Six months later I got myself up to a 59%.  I was up to two failures now and only allowed four before discharge. This is when I found CrossFit. 

 I first looked at Albany CrossFit, but their website spoke about an on-ramp program.  Six weeks where you were in a developmental class. I didn't want that.  I just wanted to get right into it.  So I looked and found CrossFit Beyond. In hindsight, On-Ramp programs, or any type of skill development class is really crucial to setting people up for success and minimizing injury. But I was stupid, and in a hurry. And sometimes I got hurt. You live, you learn.

 A month after my second physical fitness failure (and after starting CrossFit) I was passed over for a promotion as a direct result.  A promotion I can now never get again.  I was literally told "I would have given it to you but my hands were tied".  The opportunity vanished before my eyes.  But aside from that passover, I knew my 18 year career was on the chopping block. So I worked hard. Really hard.  I wasn't the strongest, or the fastest but I didn't care.  I was happy just to be doing it.  There were WODs that came up that I DNF'd occasionally.  That little voice in my head made me quit.  I remember every one of the WODs.  Any time I feel like I'm not going to make it I remember failing. And it helps me keep going.

Since then...I failed one more test with a 74.9%.  One tenth of a percent away from passing.  I was 21 seconds too slow on the run.  Strike 3 of 4. So you know what Joy did?  Started programming running.  And sprints.  A lot of them.  And now 2 years later?  I'm consistently scoring above 85%.  I retire December 1st and I am chasing that elusive 90%.  And if I don't get it?  I keep doing what I'm doing after I retire. 

Day 1 Goal:  lose weight, pass my PT test (check) 

Year 1 Goal:  increase strength, flexibility and performance (check)

Year 2 Goal:  Start RXing workouts whenever possible (check)

Year 3 Goal:  RX  weights on lifting WODs, increased Snatch and C+J, and one damn muscle up! 

Top 50% of CrossFit Open age group (in work)