As a former All-American baseball player for Wingate University the competitive spirit never left after my career ended. Baseball, much like fitness, has always been a big part of my life, whether I was training for an upcoming season or keeping in shape throughout the season. When I joined CrossFit the first time, I immediately wanted more. The sense of community and spirit of competition is what really drove me. CrossFit was able to fill the void of activity, competition and social atmosphere that I loved in my college career.
The best part about CrossFit is it can give any person of any age, gender or shape the ability to push and challenge themselves beyond what they thought they were capable of achieving.
I grew up in Long Island, NY and later lived and went to college on Oahu, Hawaii. However, I’ve now lived here in Charlotte for the past four years… Before you ask, I left HI and moved here for my wife :).
Unknowingly, I’ve been searching for CrossFit ever since my soccer endeavors I was a part of at a younger age ended. I had done the gym thing but that only lasted for 4 – 8 months at a time, then boredom set in. Having been a surfer my whole life, I’ve always loved the fact that I was healthy and in shape from something that didn’t even feel like hard work. Since it was pretty tough to continue surfing once I moved to Charlotte, I struggled to find something active and made me motivated to do it each day. I was searching for something that would build speed, strength, power, and endurance all at the same time, and that was actually fun. I stumbled upon CrossFit and was instantly hooked.
It sounds cliché, but it has been life changing for me. I eat better, sleep better, have more energy, and best of all, the workouts are fun. I’m always excited for the next workout and am usually looking up the next day’s WOD before I even get home. I am a huge advocate and hope you’ll come join us for a WOD.
As a kid I always played sports. Mostly team sports, especially football. After high school, I joined the Navy. Unlike most people, I loved basic training and found I excelled at a lot of the physical tasks and really enjoyed the comradery of working with and encouraging others. While in the Navy, I started weight training on a regular basis
After leaving the Navy, like most people I got a job, got married and started a family. During this time, I played some recreational sports like softball or flag football but was not at my previous activity level and started to put on a few pounds. About 10 years ago, I committed to getting back in shape and started working out at a traditional gym. I studied every workout magazine or book about weightlifting that I could get my hands on. I lifted a lot of weight and thought 30 minutes on the elliptical was all that I needed. I thought I was in great shape.
My wife of 16 years had been going to Crossfit and wanted me to give it a try. I did not want to. I was not into group fitness. Finally, I gave in and went with her. I was not expecting much and thought I would destroy the workout. My first workout was Cindy for 16 minutes. It was just pull ups, pushups and air squats. 16 minutes, that’s all. I completed the WOD and proceeded to lie on the floor for about half an hour. I had never got a workout like that in such a short time. I was hooked. I gave up my gym membership a week later and have been Crossfitting ever since. I am now 15 lbs lighter and am stronger than I ever was.
My wife and I have been doing Crossfit now for a little over 2 years and love it. Crossfit has changed our lives. For me it is the perfect combination of weightlifting, running and other exercises with the added fun of competition and comradery of good friends. I have always enjoyed helping others and with my knowledge of exercise and body mechanics, I found myself helping out at the gym. I love helping or pushing someone to that place they never thought they could go whether it’s an air squat or 400 lb. back squat. I believe in Crossfit and want every person that I coach to love it as much as I do.
Throughout high school, I was very athletic and played pretty much every sport except football and tennis. After leaving high school, I decided to play Collegiate baseball for a year at Methodist University before transferring to Campbell University for the remainder of my years.
Upon entering Campbell, I was beginning to take a strong interest for fitness and was continuing to learn more about Strength & Conditioning. My second year at Campbell University, I decided to push my athleticism even further by becoming a Division 1 Cheerleader. Still to this day, I tell people that Cheerleading is by far the hardest sport I have done and is not for the faint of heart. Cheerleading essentially shaped my life for the next five years. In which led me to earning my Masters Degree at Liberty University where I cheered as well for two years.
Knowing that I was a cheerleader, I had to be sure that I was not only aesthetic and strong, but also athletic, flexible, and powerful. I began to search for summer training programs when I came hope for summer that year and came about Crossfit. I did not think much of it and was never big on Group fitness. However, I then saw the 2014 Crossfit Games. Seeing these massive dudes that were aesthetic, powerful, and could still swim and run with efficiency blew my mind. The next day I got up and went with one of my friends to his box. My first workout was a 6:00 minute AMRAP of 10 Wallball’s (20#), 10 KB Swings (53#), and a 50m sprint. I ended up completing the workout, however, I laid on the floor for 10 minutes asking myself “what just happened?!”.
Instantly I was hooked and began basing all of my programming around Crossfit. The fact that I could program weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, and endurance in a workout is what grasped my attention. Knowing that I can change an athletes body composition while improving their performance is what really fires my passion up for this sport!
Fitness and sports have always been an important part of my life. I basically grew up in the water, spending endless hours skiing, scuba diving and surfing. In school I played almost every team sport, from football to wrestling to baseball. I also found running at a young age, as I was trying to keep up with my older brother. As I grew older, I tried my hand at many other sports but the one I stayed with was running.I discovered CrossFit a little later in life than most. I was in my early fifties and was looking for a new fitness challenge. Although I still had running as my go-to fitness activity, it was becoming apparent that I needed something more. My posture wasn’t great, I had limited flexibility and the weight was starting to accumulate. My wife and I decided to try a CrossFit class. We are both fairly athletic but we felt a little intimidated for our first class. I know it sounds cliché, but after that, we were hooked.There are so many things about the sport that appeal to me. First of all, the CrossFit community is incredibly welcoming and supportive. Then there is the variety – always something new to learn or improve on – Got your strict and kipping pull-ups? Now it’s time to learn to butterfly them! Also, learning about Nutrition and the correlation to performance has helped me improve my workouts. The hardest part for me, though has been the mental aspect – learning to push through the pain when you want to stop but more importantly, learning to stop when your body is telling you to shut it down!
Born and raised right here in Charlotte, I graduated from NC State University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication-Media and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.
As a former member of the NC State Dance Team from 2009-2011, I initially began CrossFit as a way to “stay in shape” during our off season. Little did I know how greatly I would fall in love with this thing called “CrossFit” after the first time I stepped into a box. I was drawn to the family feel and sense of community that CrossFit provided. Growing up as a competitive dancer, I could relate to CrossFit. I initially loved it because the competitive aspect was still there but in a different way. No two days are alike and each day is just as challenging as the day before.
I find joy in coaching because I love helping people realize that this sport is for everybody, there is something here for everyone. I love being a part of someone stepping onto a 20″ box for the first time or getting their first unassisted pull-up. CrossFit is more than fitness, it’s living a healthy lifestyle.
As a child I was a year round swimmer, later a soccer player in high school and then after college a runner and triathlete. I wanted to get stronger for triathlons, as all the training hours was eating away at my muscle. Someone told me Crossfit helped them improve their running times significantly and suggested I try it out. I was warned not to start Crossfit by others who said, you’ll like it so much you will quit triathlons. Approx 2 years later I found myself loving it so much I got my Crossfit Level 1 certificate. When I started Crossfit I couldn’t do one single pull up. Now its one of my favorite movements. Working out in a group is what I enjoy most. Stronger people push me. Those who are where I was when I first came in, I love to share encouragement with and push them as other members have pushed me. When I came to Kaiju it was originally for all of the time slots made available for classes. As a mom of 3 and a self employed professional I needed a variety to choose from. I have stayed at Kaiju because of the incredible camaraderie, community, and friendships which lie within its doors. These people truly care, truly want to help you get better, stronger, healthier, and happier. Its truly a blessing to be able to work along side the coaches here and to be part of such a dynamic community.
Being active was always a central part of my life. I started sports at a young age and participated in Basketball, Soccer, Track & Field, and Volleyball, settling into soccer competitively. After an ACL tear ended my Division 1 soccer career and another that was a result of lack of fitness, I started looking for something else that would satisfy the competitive drive I’ve always had. After a co-worker told me about a great experience he had with CrossFit, I found a local gym and gave it a shot. After my first foundations course, I was hooked.
After a major work relocation transferred my family from Maryland to North Carolina, we found our new home in CrossFit Kaiju. With the support of the community and the coaches, I pursued my CF-L1 to expand my knowledge of the sport that has given me so much. Connecting with athletes and passing on the knowledge that has helped me to be successful is the core of what I love about being a coach. I’m constantly learning through a variety of perspectives such as Power Monkey Fitness Seminars and Camps, CrossFit Training Seminars, and USAW Seminars, hoping to pursue my CF-L2 in the not so distant future.
Married to fellow Kaiju athlete James, with two beautiful crazy heads, Lucas and Maddie. Graduated from George Mason University with a B.S. in Earth Science and currently work at Bank of America as a Senior Technology Manager in Global Information Security.