Eric, July 2016
July 2016 Rogue of the Month
Give us a little background on who you are and what you do for a living…
I was born in Hood River, Oregon and after living in various parts of the state I have lived in the Rogue Valley for two years. About 22 years ago I married my wife Corina, an awesome lady from California. We have two fantastic children, a son of 18 years and an 11 year old daughter. We all enjoy being active and outdoors, especially hiking, camping, lakes, and the beach.
I work as a district operations manager for the electric power company that serves the greater part of the Rogue Valley.
How long have you been CrossFitting? How did you hear about RVCF ?
I have been CrossFitting for the last two years. Before moving to the Rogue Valley two years ago, I put together some basic equipment in my garage. I was able to complete a few basic WODs but really had no idea what I was doing. When I moved to the Rogue Valley I wanted to sign up at a legit Box and figure out this CrossFit thing. I had a workmate who had been to a CrossFit affiliate in Medford so I asked her opinion. Her recommendation was RVCF because of the professionalism and solid sense of community. That was enough for me. I emailed Porras for “On Ramp” information and made an appointment. She was spot on with her evaluation.
What training did you do before CrossFit?
I went to a large number of standard gyms in the past. I would wander around these places for 90 minutes a few times each week and not improve. The most improvement in my overall fitness came when I started to train for what turned out to be 5 or 6 half marathons. For the record running sucks but it certainly has its benefits. I have played recreational basketball throughout my life but never played organized sports.
How has CrossFit impacted your life ?
With a long way to go, I am getting better… in all aspects of life. CrossFit has also helped me mentally. While we time our workouts and enjoy a little friendly competition by comparing, CrossFit truly is about improving yourself from who you were yesterday. I absolutely agree with the people you hear talk about how CrossFit relieves stress and clears your mind. A key element of that for me is the self-evaluation that occurs when I am fighting thru a workout. The mental strength developed in those moments has application throughout our life. For me the greatest help has been in replacing doubt with visions of success before approaching any situation in life. If we doubt our success we start with an unnecessary obstacle that must be overcome first.
What has been your most memorable experience at the gym?
So many… Most involve seeing others succeed. Progress can come slow but to see a person accept any progress and stay determined to succeed no matter what their circumstances are is motivating.
I think a key memorable experience was during the first week of the 2015 Open. There was a clean and jerk component. After a completing one of the ugliest clean and all kinds of doubt running through my mind I went into the overhead portion of the lift. I had the weight partially overhead and I was struggling to move it any further. Many people were yelling encouragement. However, it was Marty who stepped in front of me, pointed at me and said “DO NOT PUT THAT BAR DOWN!” I completed that lift. Every time I want to put the bar down, or reluctant to say do put the bar down, I either hear Marty or feel like I let him down. It will always echo in my mind.
What’s your favorite WOD or exercise?
I am not sure I have a favorite. All of them are fun and challenging. The variety is awesome. “Kelly” and “Eva” come to mind. I like triplets. The three movements keep my mind engaged and the time flies by.
Do you have any advice for new CrossFit members?
First, if you want to be better walk thru the door and sign up. Everyone else is there for the same reason and to see others improve. The environment is built for your success. You will contribute by putting in the work. Improving your fitness never stops. Improvement is measured differently for each person. Even if your fight for the day is getting to the gym and you make it, celebrate that.
Second, listen closely to the coaches. The entire crew at RVCF knows stuff. Whether they are scaling for you or pushing you if you follow their guidance you will progress.
When the coach tells you to pick up the bar, do it. When your body feels like it will crumble they know it has more. Pick it up… You won’t regret it!