Ryan W. personifies why the Cove even exists. If you’ve ever read our story, you know we built this place because “we understand that finding balance among career, family and self is a constant struggle that often feels impossible to reach.” Ryan struggled with that balance for years, and has finally found it. And he has done amazing things ever since. He celebrated his one year anniversary at the Cove, and to celebrate, he re-tested his first ever workout (21-15-9 front rack lunges and bar facing burpees). Last year his time was 11:58 with 55lb for the first 21, then 35lbs from there. This time he did the RX weight of 115 in 6:44. Holy crap.
Performance measures are great because they are objective, data-driven indicators of wins. But it is the more subjective things that make you FEEL different that are just as (or even more important) than empirical evidence. We asked him about how CrossFit and the Cove have moved THOSE soft measures and his story is just incredible:
Growing up an athlete, and staying around sports as a coach, I had always been in shape and made sure I stayed that way. That really started to change though when we had kids… Willa was a really tough baby. I had no experience with kids, and a lot of stress in my technology sales job— and Willa had colic. That colic resulted in daily fits of screaming from 4pm-9pm nearly every day. The same time I would use for the gym, or to unwind, was being consumed by a whole new stress.
Having just moved to Maryland, we were downsized in a small apartment, and with the screaming, our world felt really tiny. The only way to escape the evening fits and stress were car rides that, more often than not, ended up at Burger King for their $2 Ice Cream Sundaes. This started me down the wrong path.
As Willa got older, I added coaching to my plate. And not long after that, Ryder came into the picture. As more and more got added, going to the gym fell further and further from my focus. The more out of shape I got, the less I cared about how I was eating, and the worse I felt about myself— a terrible cycle had formed.
At one point before Thanksgiving last year I was tipping the scales at almost 210 pounds— This was 30 pounds more than when I first moved to Maryland.
I had tried Planet Fitness, the Y, and P90X during all the struggle— but nothing could keep me coming back. I needed a drastic change. I had heard about CrossFit for years—but always swore it wasn’t for me. Crossfitters, after all, were “crazy”.
I needed a dramatic change though— so maybe it was time. On New Year’s Eve last year I tried my first class— Coach Josh blasted the song Roxanne, and Marina took the class beside me asking, “So, do you know what a Burpee is?”. We move through the strength of ring rows and push-ups and I thought, “I got this.” Then we got into the MetCon… and I died. If Marina wasn’t so focused on keeping the gym clean, you might still see the chalk outline from where the police declared me dead in the back corner near the kettle bells.
Somehow I was hooked though. I couldn’t push myself that hard on my own. The community of people gathering around me cheering me through my first WOD brought out the competitive side of me. The hour-long classes made it seem digestible, and the fact that they were scheduled help me plan it into my day better.
CrossFit gave me a new focus. As I worked out more, I wanted to eat healthier. As I ate healthier the weight, fat and pants-sizes dropped. A whole new cycle had begun. I was down to 13% body fat, and was weighing in at 168lbs— 40 pounds less than before. Naturally, I started to feel a lot better about myself, and that carried over into a happier home life, and a happier work life.
I love to work, and I have some great hobbies in coaching hockey and playing golf— but there’s one thing I can’t say about those things that I can say about CrossFit: CrossFit changed my life.
Thanks to the Cove for having such a great atmosphere and such awesome coaches and athletes. And thanks for such amazing programming that sometimes rest days seem hard to come by 🙂
Lastly, I’d like to point out that when I started CrossFit, the one rule I had was that ‘I would not talk about CrossFit…’ I didn’t want to be one of those people. Now look what you’ve made me do.
FRESH START SKILL WOD
Squats and Pull Ups
10 Minute AMRAP of:
5 Pull Ups
10 Push Ups
15 Air Squats
1 Minute on 1 Minute off for 16 minutes:
6 Slam Balls
12 Jumping Air Squats
Coach’s Tip: For the strength, this is something we did last week. BUT we noticed that people did not necessarily a) go wide enough or b) sit back deep enough in the squat to force the shins to the correct angle. We are looking for at least vertical… but ideally the shin angle should be pointed AT you. These are not your standard “box squats” and the load you can lift is likely a LOT less than what you can do for a regular back squat or box squat. This is building the HIP and most of us have mobility issues here. We are trying to intentionally fire the hip so we can translate that to our more ‘traditional’ squat. Even in the video you see he cruises through regular air squats but struggles with the wide stance box squat even without weight! The coach will be there to help you, but watching the video really helps (save yourself some time and start about 1:20 in…)
For the METCON, jumping air squats there just needs to be air under the feet that is all, it does not need to be a high jump. You should have at least 30 seconds on the rope, so if that’s not the case, definitely scale volume!
The nooners working hard…