Ben, February 2013
The February Rogue of the Month is Ben!
My name is Ben Whitmer. I’m 33, 6’4”, 200 lbs. I’ve been in the Rogue Valley (off and on) since 2007. I make a living doing internet marketing for Harry & David selling gourmet gift baskets online, which primarily entails being willing to sit in the soft glow of a computer monitor analyzing numbers longer than anyone else is willing to do. Honestly though, I love my job – always new things to learn and I get to learn them with great people. When I’m not CrossFitting and basking in the computer’s glow, I enjoy spending time with my wife and family.
How long have you been CrossFitting? How did you hear about RVCF?
I first heard about CrossFit from a bodybuilder (ironically enough) friend at work back in 2008 or so. I was hesitant to jump in, but subscribed to the CrossFit Journal to learn more. I dabbled in CrossFit in 2010, but never fully committed myself to doing it 100% until May 2012.
What training did you do before CrossFit?
Before CrossFit I was searching. I used to play a lot of basketball and occasionally “hit the gym”. I was big into cycling for a few years, then tried running at various distances, all the way up to a marathon. Not doing that again.
How has CrossFit impacted your life?
CrossFit made me realize how little I really knew about fitness and nutrition. Being humbled like that is great because it fueled my desire to learn. And fast.
Sticking with CrossFit has given me confidence that I can (almost) always do more than I think I’m capable. It’s taught me that the mental aspect of getting through a workout is the most challenging part; kind of like remembering to keep your core tight. If you don’t do that, everything fails.
What has been your most memorable experience at the gym?
Seeing my kids do the Wishing on a WOD fundraiser workout. I told them what it was for and the more rounds they completed, the more money they’d raise to help those kids with life-threatening conditions. What stunned me was their determination. Ali took a picture of Luke, my 7 year old, with a focus I’ve never seen on anyone’s face before. It was awesome!! He couldn’t walk down the stairs for two days his legs hurt so bad. After the workout he just said, “I’m glad we could help those kids.”
I want to be like him when I grow up.
What’s your favorite WOD or exercise?
The snatch. It’s got everything: power, speed and technique. I love how simple it should be. And impossible to master it really is. Every time I get a tip from Jake, Kelly or something I read online, I improve.
Do you have any advice for new CrossFit members?
Here’s some things that work for me…
- First, learn how to do each movement perfectly. Then learn to do it faster.
- If you don’t know how to do a movement perfectly, ASK.
- Wear tall socks when you rope climb.
- Make a habit of showing up. Don’t allow yourself excuses. Stick to your schedule no matter what.
- Get your nutrition and sleep right at the onset so you can recover (and actually make a habit of showing up).
- Pay $25 for a CrossFit Journal membership. It’s incredible how much content is there to help you. AgainFaster.com also has great free content.
- Jamie gave a great tip last month to download an app to track your progress. MyWod is awesome. Seeing your own improvement across all types of workouts and movements is a huge motivator to keep pushing yourself.