Today’s feature is a member who has really come out of his shell to become one of our most consistent members.
He’s overcome a lot of personal obstacles and been incredibly courageous in facing the unknown, including participating in both the CF Games Open AND our very own “Rumble in the Box”.
Add that to the fact that he went from being a “reluctant CrossFitter” all the way to traveling to attend this year’s CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin, and it’s quite the journey! Please read on about:
What’s your name?
Describe your first work out here at CrossFit High Voltage:
I had heard about CrossFit since I moved to LA in 2010. The friends who were participating spoke about it….a lot, and I thought it was just another workout fad which would pass. Fast forward to June of 2016, my friends Daniel & Pam had been going to High Voltage for a while. I’ve known Daniel for a long time and it struck me that he was passionate about CrossFit and actually going to class and enjoying it. He had been pestering me for a while to come, so I gave in and said “Ok, I’ll come with you guys one time” The first workout was June 15th, 2016. There were 30 people in the class. Slam Balls, Wall Balls, Kettlebell Swings, Burpees. It was organized chaos. I felt like I was going to die…but I loved every second of it. The people were so friendly. The coaching so clear & helpful. The rest is history. I was hooked and although there have been times where I’ve been MIA, since The Open in 2017, I’ve been as consistent as I can.
Before joining High Voltage, when did you know something had to change?
I have been an on / off exerciser my whole life. Had gym memberships but didn’t use them because I didn’t know what I was doing. When I started at High Voltage I was training for yet another half marathon. I thought that I had found my thing with running. I enjoyed it, but it had become very time consuming, and lonely on the road at 5am for those long runs. I wasn’t considered overweight or unhealthy. I did, however, get to a point where I realized that in my 30s, I need to establish habits & a lifestyle now, so that when I am in my 40s, 50s, 60s & beyond…that I’m not trying to catch up and reverse the lack of physical discipline from my younger years. For me this was a lifestyle decision. Before working out was about looking good, but I got to a point where it was no longer about vanity but completely about longevity. The financial investment now, is going to save me a LOT in the long run when I don’t have medical bills & medication every month! Its a win/win.
Describe your most memorable CrossFit Experience so far.
There seem to be so many! – My first Open workout. I had been sick so wasn’t able to do 17.1. As luck would have it the website for score submission was down so they extended the time to submit scores, so I went from days in bed to the floor on a Monday morning to do 17.1 so I could submit a score. Ryan & Bryan were there & guided me through my first open workout. – Rumble In The Box. I had the best time. My team mate Christina was incredible and inspired me in the workouts and then watching everyone else kill it in the competition inspired me so much!
Outside of High Voltage, what kind of work do you do? Give yourself a plug!
I work for my church. I am a project manager for a couple of our departments. I get to be part of helping people every day, it’s the greatest privilege. (And then I get to come to the gym and the coaches get to do that for me! Ha!
How has getting in shape changed your professional life?
It has for sure helped with the physical aspects of my job. Being fitter & a little stronger has meant when we have to lift & move things, it’s a lot less of a burden than it used to be. It’s helped my professional life by bringing greater balance to my life. I have something outside of my job which I am active and involved in, so I am not trying to fill all my tanks in one place (work), which has created a more rounded and balanced life, which has made me happier at work, more motivated and hopefully a nicer person to be around the office!
Tell us about an area of your life most impacted by your decision to join High Voltage?
Joining High Voltage has changed me a lot as a person. I came along with friends, i would never have just showed up on my own. And then they moved away and I had a decision to make. Do I stop going because my friends can no longer go with me? Or do I just keep going? I am an extremely shy & introverted person, so that decision was probably one of the most difficult I have had to make. I am glad I was able to connect the dots and make that decision based on my health & lifestyle and the long term, more than feeling uncomfortable around large groups of people, especially strangers. Best decision I’ve made in recent memory. Because I have grown so much as a person. I am more confident than I ever thought I could be. I have learned how to be in a group of people and talk to strangers and get to know new people. Add to that the fact that physically I am changing too, that has added to my confidence. It has also impacted my family. I have always been the follower in my family. I’m the middle child and my brothers have always been more naturally gifted at sports (traditional South African sports) than me. I was the first one to try CrossFit and over time, I have been able to get them on board and they are both now involved in their local CrossFit boxes and we’re working on getting dad & mom on board next!
When have you used CrossFit outside of the box?
I can’t thing of a specific event or moment, but for sure any time I have to move an odd object from one place to another, I know how to do it with good form and am able to do it!
Who is your most idolized fellow community member?
I have to pick one? Ha! So many people inspire me at High Voltage! For sure Coach Bryan. As a fellow shoulder injury suffer seeing him come back from that and push through pain & recovery has been inspiring. And then Mat and Jen. I watch them work out and say “when I grow up I want to be able to crush workouts like them”
What is your one year or next CrossFit goal?
This is probably going to sound super generic but I in the next year I want to be fitter, faster, stronger than I am today, and I want working out to be part of my life so that when I don’t get to the gym, I notice & feel it. Once my shoulder is stronger, I also want to learn how to do pull ups the way we do them in CrossFit and master double-unders 🙂
What is your favorite & least favorite movement or WOD?
They are all so new to me (I hadn’t touched a barbell until I came to High Voltage) so I haven’t yet developed a love/hate for any specific WOD / movement. I do love anything that has running in it!
What is your favorite cheat meal?
It’s a tie: Chick Fil-A + In n Out!
If you had to describe CFHV in one sentence:
One of the best decisions I’ve ever made, because it changed my body & my soul for the better. – CFHV is where you can go and be yourself, make friends and have your life changed for the better.