To me CrossFit is more than a workout, it’s a lifestyle. I am an “oldschool” CrossFitter that believes in the ideals set forth by the CrossFit methodology. I believe constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity as part of a well thought out strength and conditioning program are the keys to health, fitness and overall well being. From the exercise, to nutrition, to mobility and recovery, to the community and friendships that CrossFit breeds, my world has been enriched each day by the CrossFit lifestyle.
Coaching CrossFit has given me the opportunity to pass on the things given to me by the great coaches and influences I have worked under and around. It is a never ending cycle that makes my life better by being able to make the lives of others better as well. I would never trade Coaching or being an athlete for anything.
I am motivated by progress. I have little tolerance for self-pity and those that do not want to be better. Life is about change, you can either move forward or move backward, but I believe you never stay the same. Strength and MetCon PRs make me excited, I love being a cheerleader as well as a Coach. I feel as good leaving the gym on a day when one of my athletes has had a good workout as if I had done it myself. Seeing someone achieve body composition goals makes me believe in long term work. Weight loss and muscle gain are hard things to accomplish and can only be achieved by those that are willing to work for it. Watching someone run a marathon, do a mud race or compete in an Olympic weightlifting event for the first time makes me smile like a little kid. Nothing is better than watching someone achieve things they had once thought impossible. Even if the athlete finishes dead last, they can still say they are better than all of the people that sat at home on their couch. Coaching someone to overcome a physical or mental barrier and knock down that wall is just fun!
My fitness experience has been greatly varied and a long and winding journey. In my youth I was an avid basketball player. I would practice for 2-3 hours each day after school from the time I was in grade school until the time I graduated high school. I was never the best athlete on the team, but I worked my butt off trying to have the honor of being on the team, even if I sat near the end of the bench.
As I went into college, I lost my love for basketball and unfortunately learned how delicious beer and pizza at 2am can be. I gained nearly 40 pounds in about 18 months and was at an all time worst of 265 pounds. In the summer of 2003 I found the South Beach Diet, Muscle & Fitness magazine, and a 5 year journey as a would-be body builder began. I lost 65 pounds on the scale in a matter of 5 months and constantly pursued the “look” I wanted with traditional bodybuilding exercises. I never achieved the look I wanted, but I was fortunate enough to gain a decent amount of muscle and strength.
My CrossFit experience began in the fall of 2007 when I walked into XSport fitness and my brother (and my source of all fitness knowledge at the time), Jon. He tricked me into doing a scaled version of the Hero WOD “JT” as my “chest” workout. JT is 21-15-9 of Handstand Pushups, Ring Dips and Pushups. I couldn’t do a handstand, so I had my feet on a bench and my butt in the air while I repeatedly bounced my head off the ground. I had never seen a set of gymnastic rings, so I did assisted dips on a machine. After my 21s, my chest and triceps were so smoked that I had to do pushups with my hands on a bench to add incline and make them easier. I don’t think it was timed, but 30 or so minutes later, I was destroyed. A few days later I had my first run in with the “Filthy 50″ and I basically haven’t looked back since. Since that moment I’ve decreased bodyfat, added muscle, gained strength, increased proficiency in everything from running to gymnastics to weightlifting and I have never been happier. As I have learned more about the movements, nutrition and how to properly recover, the returns have been endless!
My experience in training and coaching dates back to 2007 when I first became a NASM certified personal trainer. I began my career as a personal trainer in the winter of 2008 at 2 “big box” gyms. I was young and inexperienced and it’s a wonder that I didn’t kill someone. I learned through trial and error and by listening to the people around me who knew what they were talking about. I began to read articles and books by fitness minds like Mark Verstegan, Juan Carlos Santana, and Gray Cook. I would watch videos on the internet from trainers that I knew had been greatly successful. In September of 2008 I received my CrossFit Level 1 certification and it changed my outlook on everything. I put it all together in a style that worked well for me and brought results to any clients that were actually motivated to work and do things right. In November 2009 I left the “big box” gyms and became a full time CrossFit Coach with CrossFit Tri-Cities. Group training was a whole different ballgame and brought my coaching skills to the next level. I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by great fitness minds and receive knowledge and tips from some amazing people. Coaching has been a never ending learning experience with constant fulfillment.
When it comes to leadership, I believe I have always been a leader of sorts. I was a shy kid, but when I believed in something I stood up for it. I was outspoken on my high school basketball team when my teamates were slacking off. In college I learned a great deal as a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity while I attended Illinois State University. I eventually became President of the Fraternity and helped bring a chapter of only 6 men back to prominence on campus. From there I became a leader in Greek life on the campus as the Vice President of the Interfraternal Council. I oversaw the governing body of all Greek organizations on a campus of 25,000 students. After college I had numerous promotional opportunities in the jobs I held and attempted to bring positive change where ever I was. Besides coaching, I am currently a full time police officer with the City of West Chicago. Police work brings me constant opportunity to help others and hone my leadership skills.
My coaching and leadership style is generally very direct. I call things how I see them and I am not shy to “call someone out.” Those that have worked with me know that I am to the point because I don’t believe in a lot of fluff and wasting time. When I coach someone and correct them it is for the sole purpose of making them better and preventing injury. If I ever holler at you in a workout just know it is out of passion and concern for your well being and I am never mad at you!
My goals as an athlete are to stay competitive in every arena possible. I have had the fortune to be bitten by the Olympic weightlifting “bug” and would very much like to compete in a meet in the near future. I enjoy local CrossFit competitions. Working out against others brings my best performances and gives me motivation in my day to day training. I also enjoy recreational sports like the Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder and various 5K races. I’ll try anything at least once! Beyond that I would like to get back to playing basketball on a regular basis. I miss the thing that began my fitness obsession.
As a Coach I feel my expertise lies in both CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting. I obtained my USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach Cerfitication and I am looking forward to applying my new found knowledge. I enjoy coaching our everyday members and helping them achieve their goals. My hope is to be blessed to work with athletes that posses the talent and ability to qualify for the CrossFit games or to be a competitive weightlifter. I believe I have the experience, knowledge and passion to bring someone to the next level.
In the next two years I look forward to continued success both in and out of the fitness world. I am constantly in pursuit of the next step in life. As an athlete I hope to continue to become bigger, faster and stronger. I believe competing in Olympic Weightlifting is in my near future. I plan to continually educate myself through certifications and seminars and never stop my growth as an athlete or as a coach. In my endeavors outside of the gym I hope to continue to develop personally and professionally. Building strong relationships with family, friends and coworkers will undoubtedly be the key to my success. Have love and passion for what you do and I know the same is possible for anyone.
- NASM Certified Personal Trainer
- USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach
- CrossFit Level 1 Coach
- CrossFit Kids Coach
- CrossFit Kettlebell Instructor
- CrossFit Mobility and Recovery Instructor
- CrossFit Nutrition Instructor
- Coaching/Training: 5+ years (4+ years CrossFit)
- Athlete: 17+ years (9+ years strength training, 5+ years CrossFit)