2016 Success Story: Keith

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I started my CrossFit journey at CrossFit Central years ago, but since then I’ve tried lots of different gyms and training methods. When CrossFit Central made the switch to unlimited membership, I found my way back which is perfect because I work only 4 blocks away. I get to ride my bike to workouts when it’s not bitterly cold out.
beforepicSince joining CrossFit Central my body composition has completely changed. I hardly recognize myself sometimes, nor did I ever think I could look or feel this way, even in my 20s. I previously had a broken snatch/clean/squat form with no core stability. I could move a lot of weight, but I was using the wrong muscle groups. Now, everything is performed with a solid core as the basis.
Handstands, muscle-ups and single leg squats are not things that a lifelong swimmer normally thinks about doing, but now I’ve awakened this inner gymnast that won’t be satisfied until I can do all these movements flawlessly with perfect control. The thought that I wouldn’t eventually be able to make a lift or perform a movement never enters my mind anymore. Before belonging to the Advanced Athlete program, I just accepted that I would never be able to do certain things

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A Few PRs
Lost 7% body fat (went from 20% body fat to 13% body fat)
10 lb PR on the snatch @ 175
10 lb PR on back squat @ 335
Big gains on bench press, went from about 200 to regularly doing 225 for reps
Bar and ring muscle-ups
Achieved a good form single leg squat
Handstand walk, the length of the gym

I was a distance swimmer all throughout my career, so I had a good endurance base, but it’s been muted over the years. I’ve rediscovered that engine that gave me the physical ability to break through walls even if I had it mentally. Now, I do not think anything physically is outside the range of possibilities for me. I remember one of the open workouts that had bar muscle ups and I thought I would just give it my best try even though I had never come close to getting over the bar before. The atmosphere that Central promotes from the music to the coaching, to the people really pushed me that day and not only did I get my first one, but I got like 6 more after that.

Friendship is something I crave. I’ve discovered that I’m a bit of an extrovert, so spending time with friends and having good conversation really fills my heart. CrossFit Central provides the opportunity for good people to find each other and establish a judgement-free community based on friendship. I sometimes wonder if that’s not the most important health benefit derived from this sport. It’s definitely a top one for me.

Advanced Athlete at CrossFit Central is my church and pushing myself to the limit is a soul cleansing experience. It’s also my playtime. It allows me to reset my emotions and keeps me smiling the rest of the day. Difficult encounters with a work client or a big pile of pending work is nothing compared to completing any of the “girl” CrossFit workouts. The workouts allow you to put difficult office work in perspective.

My wife definitely encourages me to hit the gym, especially when I start getting into my own head, which is definitely a tendency of mine. Counter-intuitively, I feel energized after a hard workout which gives me the impetus to take my son out for play and do my share of the house chores.

There’s definitely a bond people form after going through a soul crushing workout together. It’s something that transcends age, race, gender and beliefs. It definitely makes me check my personal prejudices and preconceptions from which we all suffer.

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