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Our April Blade Athlete of the Month is Jim Swanson. Jim has one of the highest attendances at an average of 5.5 classes per week. He has improved tremendously in his gymnastics movements because he has listened to the coaches instructions and applied them to his training. He also always has a great attitude, is never negative, and cheers his fellow classmates on. He works at all things crossfit and attends not only regular crossfit, but also crossfit life. Since he has joined us he has shown significant improvements due to all of his hard work.

Why do you crossfit?

JS: A friend of mine recommended Crossfit to me almost a year ago, I was excited for the heightened level of fitness the constant variety of exercises, and the idea of community, “you mean we cheer each other on in support rather than isolate ourselves behind our headphones and zone out at a pace I deem appropriate?!” Sold. I continue to do Crossfit for the ridiculous fitness beatings I continue to take and love, the constant challenges that I am confronted with, along with the back and forth of “huge sense of accomplishment” vs. “big lesson in humility”. Mentally, and physically, Crossfit is more challenging than anything I have done, and I love it! Oh yeah, the community is pretty awesome too!

What is your favorite benchmark WOD? (Girl or Blade)
JS: I would have to say Kelly, it’s a LOVE/HATE thing. The first time I met her, it was one of the hottest days of the year, 5:30, so ill-prepared for her hostility… She beat me down big time, but the challenge was set. I vowed to come backon Saturday and have my way, so I did. Kelly showed me how bad things could be, but also how much I had in me to give it right back. ThatSaturday, I won. I hate Kelly, but I’ll be there with bells anytime she shows up again.

What is your least favorite exercise?
JS: Well that’s an easy one. Thrusters. I don’t know why I dislike them so much, maybe because I’m weaker than I’d like to be at squats, and they’re just exhausting, and always seem to show up in high volume.

What are your hobbies?
JS: Sports, you name it. Basketball, football, baseball, CROSSFIT, biking, running, hiking, etc. Though it seems of late, gardening has taken of quite a bit of my “hobby time”.

What is something that many people may not know about you?
JS: I was fully vested for 12 years in martial arts when I was younger. My dream was to own and run my own studio. I was certified as a Junior Instructor at the time and was in the process of testing for my 3rd Black Belt rank and Certified Instructor.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
JS: In Crossfit- The strict pull up. 33 years and I was never able to do a strict pull up. 30 days in Crossfit and a lot of green band pull ups, and I got one. Talk about a “moment” for me.

What are your goals for 2014?
JS: DU’s (thank you 14.1), HSPU’s in a WOD, and back to 185#. Is it crazy to add Muscle Up? Why not… Muscle Up.