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Where did you grow up?
I am from Canton, Ohio.  Home of the Football Hall of Fame!  I discovered Arizona when I went to school at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott.  I moved back the first chance I got!

What are your hobbies (besides CrossFit)?
Jeeping!  I bought my 2000 Jeep Wrangler off the showroom floor, and have been exploring the backcountry in it ever since.  That led to volunteering for Search and Rescue.  I have gotten several certifications over the years, and eventually joined a SAR team when I was living in South Dakota.  We did a little of everything: classic ground searches, high angle, swift water, trench and building collapse, vehicle extrications… it was very rewarding.  I also love to play basketball, not to mention hiking, gaming, reading… I am an unabashed geek.

What is your occupation?
My degree is in Electrical Engineering.  But the Air Force had other ideas, and turned me into a software developer.  I have been doing that ever since.

How were you first introduced to CrossFit?
A girl I was dating at the time introduced me to CrossFit about 4 years ago, when I was 40.  It seemed like a great way to help my conditioning on the basketball court, and to get in shape for SAR work.  I had no idea what I was in for… but was immediately hooked!  I only did classes three days a week, and had to deal with various minor injuries that held me back at first, but once I started at Blade, I attended classes 5 days a week whenever possible.  The results have been astounding!  I have hit more PRs in the last 6 months than I ever have before.  I am easily in the best shape of my life, and stronger than I have ever been.

What is your favorite WOD/movement?
Overhead squat!  It requires so much core strength, stability, and flexibility… I get a great feeling of accomplishment each time I slightly improve my PR.  My favorite WOD is probably Nancy: 400m runs and overhead squats!

What is your least favorite WOD/movement?
Thrusters!  There’s no way around it: they just always hurt!!!  So I have a love/hate relationship with Fran: I always look forward to a chance to improve my time, but I always question my sanity about halfway through the round of 15.

What CrossFit accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my overall progress.  I had never done any kind of “real” weightlifting my entire life, not until I started CrossFit at age 40.  Since then, I have done things I never thought I was capable of.  I am easily the strongest I have ever been, and in the best overall conditioning of my life.  I have lifted far more weight, and completed WODs in times I never thought possible.  The ultimate payoff is from friends and family that have remarked on my transformation.  I was always a pretty skinny guy, so when I get compliments on how I have “filled out” (in a good way!), I know I have done well!

What is your favorite song to WOD to?
I like just about any kind of music, but 80s and 90s hip-hop gets me going!  Or just throw on some Crystal Method.

What would you like to accomplish next through CrossFit?
My major goal since the start has been a 200# snatch/OHS, 300# back squat, and 400# deadlift.  I got the OHS about a month ago!  The other three are within reach!

Fill in the blank: I love…Ieat…I will…I am…
I love…. life!  As the song goes, Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life!  I really try to do that, no matter how bad things may seem. There are so many interesting and wonderful things to see and do, people to meet, new stuff to learn… I just want to enjoy all that while I can.

I eat…. sensibly.  I have focused on eating much more healthy since starting at Blade.  I have cut a ton of sugar, bad fat, fast food, etc. out of my diet since then, and have seen great results.  But I still like my Starbucks or a slice of cake or pie now and then… just in moderation!

I will… remain humble and work to keep improving.  Every day, I reflect on how fortunate I am to be where I am in life, to have such great opportunities, to have such wonderful friends and family.  But there’s always room for improvement: new things to learn, bigger challenges to overcome, loftier goals to meet.

I am… .  thankful I found CrossFit Blade! When I moved back to Arizona last March, I looked for a home close to a CrossFit box.  I was thrilled when I found one so close to CrossFit Blade!  I knew nothing about Blade besides the website and online reviews, but I just had a gut feeling.  I think it is safe to say Blade has exceeded all my expectations!  It really is like a family to me.  I look forward to seeing everyone every day.  And the coaches are wonderful!  Claire, Chris, Terra, Frankie, Tammy, Anthony… I have learned so much from all of you.  Your coaching and cues have been invaluable.  Even when I think something is out of reach, you always seem to know me better than I do (deadlifts, handstand pushups, certain Hero WODS…) Thank you so much… there is no way I ever could have accomplished this much without you all!