When did you first start CrossFitting? I was first introduced in 2004 when I was overseas but started actively participating in 2007.
What is your favorite movement? Favorite workout?
My favorite movement is deadlifts and my favorite workout is “Murph” with a weight vest.
What is your least favorite movement? Least favorite workout?
Double unders! Anything with double unders and high volume Olympic lifts.
Tell us about your sports & fitness background:
I ran cross country and wrestled in high school. On my 18th birthday I enlisted into the Army Rangers and was in the 75th Ranger Regiment when 9-11 happened and was subsequently deployed twice. In addition to regularly working out to stay fit for duty I also grappled, rock climbed, and ran distance races (10k’s mostly).
When I was at school at the University of Illinois I did Muay Thai Kickboxing and Jujitsu. After college I started doing CrossFit regularly and still grapple occasionally.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Do you remember your first WOD? How did it go?
I was deployed on my second tour in 2004 and I was in the same compound as some SEALs who’d been on West Coast teams before deploying. They were talking trash about how they could crush me with this 20 minute work out that was just push ups, pull ups, and body weight squats, yep you guessed it – “Cindy”.
Three or four minutes in I felt like I was going to die and they were just cracking up asking me how it was going and calling me out. It was one of the worst 20 minutes of my military career.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit? (before/after)
When I’ve been disciplined in my CrossFit training and with my diet is when I’ve been in the best shape of my life. Doing CrossFit helped me go out and win the Bataan Death March in 2009, get ready for the Army Combatives Tournament, and a host of other things.
I stopped coming to CrossFit Durham for three years and in that time I ended putting on 20lbs, and getting really out of shape. The first thing I did after leaving my former company was come back to CrossFit Durham and have stayed in great shape and I’m having a blast!
What impact has CrossFit had on your life?
The sense of community here at CrossFit Durham and the friends that I and my wife have made are incredible. I feel so privileged to be able to be part of such a wonderful community!
What is your favorite CrossFit/CFD moment?
The start of the 2016 CrossFit Open. For 16.1 my boy, Eric Cervone, had the great idea to have members of the gym to head to head just like the elite athletes. The gym really loved the idea and everyone really got behind it. To lead off it was Eric and I for the guys and Charlotte and Haley for the ladies.
We went at it in a good natured way and had a blast. Every week a new group of guys and girls stepped up and we had a blast. In addition to those awesome week nights it was incredible to see the whole gym pull together every Saturday both as members of their intramural team and as a member of the gym. It was a really cool, awesome thing to see.
What is your advice for people just getting started or thinking about starting CrossFit?
Just do it! It’s not about you vs the gym or you vs the people in your class, it’s about you vs the clock. Along the way what you realize is that it’s about you vs the clock and you doing what it takes to get just a little better each and every day. Along the way you’ll meet some incredible friends and have a blast every time you step in the gym, well once you’ve caught your breath.
What are your hobbies, interests, and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Build Star Wars Lego sets (the really big ones)
Whiskey Tasting (seriously)