How old are you? What is your occupation?

39 years old. Risk Management & Compliance Officer

What month and year did you start CrossFit?

June 2015

What made you Join CrossFit?

In 2015, I felt terrible from a health standpoint, was not proud of what I let myself become physically and was dealing with significant mental battles with myself. I never realized how unhealthy I was all around until one day in May 2015. I realized I lost track of a major life goal I said I would never fail at if given the opportunity; I have a drive in life to be around to play with my great children just like the drive my ancestors had to see our family grow as long as they could. At the rate I was going in 2015, I was not only worried that I would not be able to do activities with my kids and family, but I was worried I was not going to make it to see my kids grow up.

So I gave up just going to a gym to try my own routine or take classes I had no interest in. I talked to my wife who is my best friend and love of my life about all this & trying Crossfit so I would not fail her or our family. Obviously the conversation went well and I messaged Mike Dudevoir immediately following it to join. However, few people know (until now), on my 1st day at the Swamp, while in the parking lot, I called my wife telling her I was not going to go in because everyone in the building was "jacked & shredded" & I do not belong in there. Lets just say that my biggest cheerleader and supporter in life put me into check really quickly & left me no choice but to walk into the Swamp; she refuses to see me fail.

What were your original goals?

Get healthier, plain and simple.

What is it about CrossFit (vs. other fitness alternatives) that has made you successful?

Community, Variation, and the CrossFit The Swamp staff

The community is filled with people that share common bonds in wanting to make themselves better and wanting to support the person next to them to get better. The workouts are hard for every person that does CrossFit, but they are actually fun because you get to do them with a community that feels the same way and no person is going to be left behind or alone to struggle through a workout. We are all there for each other.

The workouts are constantly changing so people do not get comfortable or bored and so people do not fall into that same old gym routine we tend to get used to or comfortable with.

The Swamp has some of the best coaches & mentors that anyone could ask for in CrossFit. The entire staff makes sure each individual is comfortable with a workout and what they are capable of. They know when individuals need to scale workouts and when it is time for an individual to be pushed a bit harder than usual. They want to see everyone that joins their community be comfortable with the uncomfortable, not just in CrossFit but also in their daily lives. The entire staff wants to see everyone succeed and it is evident by the constant energy they all bring to classes.

What is the biggest factor in your success, and how do you maintain it?

I am healthy. I plan on being around for a long time for my family and friends. I never want to lose these things or sight of them again and that is what helps me maintain my success.

How many classes do you attend each month?

Mike Dudevoir don't you keep track of this for me? You can find me at the Swamp Monday thru Wednesday, Friday & Saturday.

Has nutrition played a role in your success?  If so, how? Be specific.

100%. For me the diet is all about refueling and recovering my body.I have tried various forms of diets since starting Crossfit and learned from each and every one of them until I found that the one that suits me the best. It was not a rush but I was aware from when I 1st started Crossfit that I had to at least eat healthy to become healthy. Prepping healthy meals, making smaller portions and eating more times during the day were a great start and since then have evolved into me finding the diet that has made me feel healthy, feel focused and be able to constantly be active whether it is at home, doing activities with my kids, at work or at Crossfit.

How much weight have you lost since you joined The Swamp? Any other significant physical transformations? (Feel free to brag here.)

The most weight I have lost has been approximately 50 pounds. My waist size has gone from about a size 38/40 to a size 30/32.

What has been your biggest hurdle and how did you overcome it?

My biggest hurdles in life have been lack of confidence, the fear of failing and the fear of being judged negatively. These things mixed together could eat one alive and bring one down and they did this to me for a huge portion of my life. I used to be so afraid to do or say something because I thought it would lead to me failing, being perceived as a failure or that people would judge me. These three hurdles led me to have so many painful mental battles with myself. Failing would set me back instead of helping me move forward. Lack of confidence led to me wondering what people thought of me instead of not caring and being my true self. Failing sucks but it has to happen for us to learn how to overcome that failure in the future and succeed which raises confidence; and to do these things you have to not care what people think about you.

As I mentioned earlier, I have a wife that hates to see me fail because she knows it could eat me alive. I sometimes think she was dying to see the true, confident, happy and energetic version of me more than I was; never mind I want my kids to see and get the best possible me as a father that they can. Overcoming these hurdles was not easy and it took a lot of patience. If I did not start CrossFit I do not think I would have ever gotten comfortable failing or regaining my confidence. Now I fail daily in front of a lot of people whether it is trying a new movement, improving on a movement I already know or trying to get stronger on a barbell movement; but the best part is that I do not mind failing because I am learning from it, I have the support of the community (friends) I am working out with and my friends are not judging me. This has all led to me being confident and happy not just at CrossFit, but at everything I do and has helped me not wonder what people think of me. I am so grateful to have met the people in this community because of the support they give and because they want to see me get better every day; like my family they want to see the true, confident, happy and energetic me and that is what they and my family get to see from here on out.

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment?

Damn there is a lot but I will keep it to my top 2…

Most Memorable Workout Moment - 2018 Jen & Jared Hero Tribute. Paddy Boscoe let my 2 boys do the Jared workout alongside me. Their version was obviously scaled but there was nothing more fun than to be able to honor a hero workout with my boys. We got to do burpees alongside one another with smiles on our faces. The boys got to see me fail at ring muscle ups and I was able to show them that I would not back down and keep trying to get another.

Most Memorable Coach/Student Moment - 2016 Open workout 16.1. I was doing CrossFit for less than a year and the workout called for Overhead Lunges, Burpees and Chest to Bar Pull Ups. I hardly had pull-ups at the time. It was 5am on a Friday morning. Mike Dudevoir came over to me as I was warming up to do the scaled version and told me to get on that rig and try Chest to Bars and see what happens. Lets just say I did a whole lot of them for my 1st time doing them. Man did Mike have some serious faith in me that morning.

How has this experience enriched other areas of your life?

  • Family - Crossfit has helped me be a better father and husband. I am healthy and I know my family has the best possible me that plans on staying around for a long time. I am able to keep up with my kids and their activities. I am able to have plenty of energy to keep my family upbeat, have conversations with my wife when the kids go to bed or we have date night and keep my wife smiling as much as possible.

  • Friendships - I have become friends with some of the best people I know because of Crossfit the Swamp. These friends have become family and it is great that we all support each other inside and outside of the Swamp.

  • Helping Others - I have always enjoyed helping people since I was a kid. Joining the Swamp community has enhanced this for me as it has helped me learn how to support so many people during challenging circumstances and it has also showed me how I can better support people not just at the Swamp but outside of it as well.

  • Work - As my energy levels are up and I feel healthy, I am more productive at work and can bring my A game day in and day out.

  • Health - I am a healthy as I have ever been and it feels phenomenal.

  • Being Comfortable with the Uncomfortable - This applies to so many different areas of life and has helped in so many ways to take challenges and fears head on.

If you could send yourself advice 10 years ago what would you say?

To be completely honest, I would tell myself to go sign up for CrossFit. I know that sounds so easy because of the positive experience I have had. However, 10 years ago I was traveling the world for work, think about the friendships I would have made globally by dropping in at a CrossFit everywhere I was traveling to.

Accomplishment(s) you are most proud of since joining?

I am healthy and feel great.

What are your current goals?

To keep getting stronger, getting better at skills I currently can do and attacking new skills I cannot do.

What advice would you give someone thinking of starting CrossFIt?

There are people that say CrossFit is a cult following but yet it works. Am I in a cult following as a Freemason & Shriner? All 3 groups strive to help those in need. Does it matter that the needs are extremely different or is it more important that there are people out there that want to help others get better?

If you are thinking of doing Crossfit, just message/call the Crossfit you want to go to (hopefully it is the Swamp), walk through those doors, do not be intimidated and get that first workout in; it will get easier after that. We all started somewhere but the community will welcome you with open arms and help you get to where you want to get. I hope that my success story will motivate those that do not believe their goals are possible & that need as much support as I have received over the last 3 years. This journey not only helped me become healthier & transform my physical appearance, but it also helped me become a better person for my wife, children, family, friends, co-workers and all those I meet along the way. If I can do it, I know others can as well.

What would you hope your CrossFit Future holds?

Sharing my Crossfit experience with those that are interested in trying Crossfit. Help and mentor those that are doing Crossfit and want to get healthier, improve their lifestyle and/or get better at Crossfit.