CROSSFIT AND LIFE WITH CROSSFIT
- How did you get started with CrossFit (in general)?
I had seen the CrossFit Games on TV and had mentioned to my wife that it looked kind of amazing. My wife, of her own accord, found a Groupon for Lando and gave it to me as one of my Christmas gifts! I had heard very little about it previous to that, but I haven’t looked back since.
- What did you do before CF for physical fitness?
Was there physical fitness before CrossFit?!?! I played a collegiate soccer, so had some introduction to strength and interval training, but just prior to CF, I was doing home workout videos like P90x, a little Shaun T, dabbled in some yoga (very briefly) but mostly, I played in as many old-man (30+) soccer and softball leagues as I could get my hands on (and still do!) I’m also an avid skier, but don’t get out nearly as much as I used to.
- Was CrossFit Lando your first experience with CrossFit? If no please share where you were before you came to us.
It most certainly was! I’ve been to other boxes while on vacation or traveling, and MAN did I get lucky!
- Favorite lift/movement/wod?
I try not to have favorites, and there are very few movements I dislike! But if I had to choose, I love me some deadlifts and snatches. For WODS, I have a love/hate relationship with Diane.
- Least favorite lift/movement/wod?
Thrusters… just thrusters. Most people would say burpees, but no… I hate thrusters.
- What is your biggest/proudest CF accomplishment/moment?
Most recently, I hit a 230# snatch at our in house competition (15lb PR). My family and fellow Landos were there watching and cheering so, yeah, it felt pretty amazing.
- How did you find CFL?
I used google maps:) J/K It was the Groupon that my wife bought for me at Christmas in 2014! It’s 2 minutes from my work, so I think she thought it would be geographically convenient as well.
PROFESSIONAL/FAMILY LIFE WITH OR WITHOUT LANDO
- Where are you from/born/grow up?
I was born in Waterville, ME, but grew up in Abington, MA, down the South Shore.
- What is your current profession or major/desired profession after school?
I am a High School History Teacher at Woburn Memorial High School. I’ve been there for 13 years. I’ve also been a High School soccer for the past 12 years (currently on hiatus in order to spend time with my little monsters at home!)
- Where do you live now?
I live in Tewksbury, MA!
- Tell us about your family in any way. Immediate (wife, kids) and/or parents/siblings.
My family consists of my wife, Kristen, and my 2 kids (my 3 year-old son, Logen, and my 1 year-old daughter, Colbie) My wife is a certified athletic trainer, but currently works in sales at an online registration company. My wife’s family is from Delaware and we travel down there each summer for a few weeks to see her family and friends. Kristen keeps me grounded, and is loving/super supportive in all my crazy requests for new shoes, Crossfit Competitions, Sundays dedicated to meal prep, and all the other positive lifestyle changes I’ve gone through in the past 2 years. Plus, she does the very stinky Crossfit laundry without complaint!
My parents live in South Boston and my sister (Katie), her husband (Jared), and their 3 kids (Jolie, Cooper, & Kennedy) live in Foxborough (they’re 1.5miles away from Aaron’s man-crush most days from September to February.) All family members do not do CrossFit, despite my repeated attempts at conversion:)
- Anything about your job or family that you want to share?
My experiences within my job as an educator and coach, as well as the athletics program & the need of the students at Woburn, have me contemplating ways to get students more involved with physical fitness and in particular, CF. I see myself trying to get students involved in some way in the future (at Lando would be ideal.) How that would work is beyond me right now, but I consider it a general goal to pursue in the future.
- Do you play any sports outside of CrossFit? Do you do any other kind of training, for health and wellness or for events (Marathons, IronMan, etc.)?
Soccer, baseball, softball, and basketball (and skiing of course). I’ve done a Tough Mudder and Spartan Race in the past. I’d do more of those, but I typically only like doing them with groups of friends!
- What other hobbies do you have non gym/fitness related?
I’m an avid reader and I’m NEVER satisfied that I know enough. I really do try to embrace being a lifelong learner, so my trips to and from work tend to be filled with audiobooks and podcasts. I’ve got a propensity and curiosity for languages and used to be fluent in Spanish. I’m currently, when time allows, studying Japanese and Korean.
Outside of my typical regional sports dedication to the (Pats, Sox, Celts, and Bruins) I’m a die-hard Liverpool supporter and follow the Premier League and European football religiously.
Though I have almost no time for it, I’m a giant child and enjoy my video games, both modern and retro.
- What major lifestyle changes have you made (willingly or not) since you began CrossFit? Any accomplishments you would like to share(losing weight, stopping smoking, curing disease or improvements in disease related to wellness)?
I’ve made the commitment to train at least 3 days a week. I’ve also most recently committed to counting my macros (Thanks Sarah!!) so that I have a better handle and understanding of my nutrition. I prepare my food and set time aside for doing so. I came into Crossfit pushing 245 and am currently 215. Most of that came during the lifestyle challenge we did last January. I also now stand at my desk for most of the day while I teach, instead of sitting on my chair or desk.
- What did you find hardest about becoming a CrossFit enthusiast at CrossFit Lando related to lifestyle? (food/diet changes, social changes, etc.). Everyone has a different experience day in and day out with CrossFit so be open and honest. Maybe someone can help if you are still struggling!
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a terrible self-motivator, but it doesn’t take much to get me motivated as long as there is SOME, EVEN THE SMALLEST BIT, of accountability at stake. Whether it’s a coach telling you not to drop that barbell (Stacy), or lifting with someone who is willing to push you a bit (Mike Gray), or just putting your scores on Wodify to see how you compare/compete with your friends, the smallest bit of accountability gives me the motivation to hurdle the tough mental aspects of CrossFit. Even motivating others with encouragement and seeing them succeed gives me that motivation to challenge myself.
The social component can be intimidating at first for some. This is why I try to make people feel at home at Lando regardless of how long they’ve been there.
- Share as you feel comfortable one dream or desire you want to or wish you could pursue? Be as wild as you want!
I’ve come to the desire of bringing CrossFit to a larger community. I love to educate and coach and find myself finding more purpose to it in CrossFit. In coaching high school athletics, the objective has always been to provide kids with the knowledge of the sport, but also teach them how to deal with success and adversity, set goals and ways of achieving them, and of course learn how to compete effectively. With CrossFit, we can add the objects of a lifetime of health and wellness which is something most high school students are grossly uneducated about. I find more and more of them asking me about my CrossFit experience. That interest is where the desire to coach CrossFit has recently stemmed from.
(Because you asked for wild) Qualify as a masters athlete for a major national CrossFit competition (I’m talking when I’m 40+ years old folks…)
- What is your favorite food?
So hard to answer… sushi, maybe? Salmon? Lobster? I’m a seafood type of guy… But then there’s pizza… and pad thai…. Like I said before, I rarely have favorites. I’m overthinking this aren’t I?
- Have you done a CrossFit competition before?
Yes, but all in-house, and 2 CF Opens. I have my first CF competition out of Lando the weekend after Thanksgiving at the CrossFit 2A Winter Throwdown.
- Olympic Lifting , Powerlifting, any other fitness competing?
Nope. Well the in-house weightlifting meet last year, but otherwise I’m green.
- What would you give your best friend in all the world as a vacation if money and time didn’t matter? Vacation, not move or study abroad!
I’d have them stop at a veritable cornucopia of locations from Spain, to Iceland, to Egypt, to China, Japan, the Philippines, Australia, South Pacific, and parts of South America. I’d try to have them see and experience as much of the world as possible. Then they’d likely never speak to me again because I made them travel so freaking much. BUT THEY’D BE A BETTER PERSON FOR IT, GOSH DARN IT!
- What is your favorite car, either in general or that you have owned ?
I’m not a huge car guy, but I loved my 1995 4WD Blue Jeep Cherokee Sport. That sucker could go anywhere. I hear McLaren’s are nice;)
- If you won the lottery what is the first thing you would do/buy?
Kid’s college tuition. Not a sexy answer, but I love my kids!!!
- What would you tell your pre-CrossFit self that is about to take the first class you did back whenever you did.
“Dude, you’re gonna hate this shit, and then you’re gonna love this shit. That’s the way it will be every day, and you’ve never going to want to stop. Plus, you’re about to make a whole bunch of friends!”
Thank you all for being so amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people do be my coaches. You have made this experience what it is for me and you all are a massive reason why I come back every day. Please never stop being awesome and thank you for this great honor