Tom, September 2012

The September Rogue of the Month is Tom!


Give us a little background on who you are and what you do for a living

I’m a 42 yr. old husband and parent (we have an amazing teenage daughter, thank god we stopped at one!). I work at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as a Database and Systems Administrator, which is fancy talk for “I make the email work”. Born in Ashland, raised between SoCal and Oregon, lived or visited 45 states of the country yet have never been outside our borders (not even Mexico or Canada, go figure).

How long have you been CrossFitting?

I started CrossFitting in 2010 with Region CrossFit in Valparaiso, Indiana. Was there for just a month or two before I moved home to Ashland, then had about a year hiatus where I fell back into nearly every possible bad habit that’s legal and doesn’t require an ID. Damn you Pepsi Throwback! I started again with RVCF on July 9, 2011 and haven’t looked back.

How did you hear about RVCF?

A very old and dear friend of mine, Ali Lively, called me one day and told me there was a new box close to Ashland and that I should come check it out. My first day the workout was the Filthy Fifty, so I thought I would be smart and just do the Dirty Thirty and go at the pace I could maintain in Indiana….big mistake. I have to say, that was the most humbling physical experience I have ever had; no other workout has made me practically blind and ready to faint just halfway in.

What training did you do before CrossFit?

Honestly, I was not athletic in the sense of doing any organized sports at any point in my life other than Little League at ages 9-11. I played some beach volleyball, did some skateboarding, some weight lifting, and the globo gym thing where you get on a bike or elliptical and read a book…but I don’t think that counts. In December of 2009 I was stuck in Florida on business and we were in a holding pattern so I decided to get a personal trainer. Drew kicked my butt, hard. I was 205# when I started with him, my heaviest, and down to 185# by the time we left in February of 2010; it was his training style that caused me to find CrossFit, as I went scanning the Internet for similar movements and workouts.

How has crossfit impacted your life?

Oh man, such an easy question and a hard one at the same time. I might be better suited saying how it hasn’t, because I feel like it has influenced everything. My confidence is up, my stress is down, I don’t feel like I’m carrying an extra person when I run, I smile more, laugh more, and just generally feel better. I’m not afraid or ashamed to take my shirt off in public now; in fact I probably do it more often than necessary because I’m just that comfortable now. My wife laughs and says she gets to bring her own eye candy now, while my daughter tells me to keep my shirt on because she doesn’t want her friends to think her dad is hot; love that child!

What has been your most memorable experience at the gym?

Other than my very first workout? This may seem strange, but my most memorable experiences at the gym aren’t mine necessarily; they are things like seeing Sarah get her pullups during the Open, watching Zack lift weights so heavy they make the bar bend a little, seeing Melissa get under the bar like a pro to get her power clean 1RM, Erin going amazing mode and doing the Open WODs in a ‘boot’; by golly the list just goes on and on! The people at RVCF are what make the experiences for me; any stronger/faster/better that I do is because they are there with me. What’s your favorite WOD or exercise? Filthy Fifty is my favorite WOD, with Fight Gone Bad a close second. If I had to pick a single movement as a favorite, I might go with Kettlebell Swings or Wall Balls. They just seem to flow for me.

Do you have any advice for new CrossFit members?

So much! I’ll break it up a bit though: if you are new and you haven’t exercised in a while or ever, don’t be afraid to take it slow and work up to things. We all start somewhere, and everyone around you knows your pain and is cheering you on. If you are already athletic or have been weight lifting etc., leave any ego at all at the door when you come in. CrossFit is a great equalizer and it will humble you like nothing you have ever known (unless you’ve had a Marine Drill Sergeant decide you were his personal rag doll). For everyone; listen to the coaches, and if they tell you to take the weight or the reps lower, do it. They want you to succeed more than anything, and they want you to be able to function the next day!

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