Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No Excuses

I often work on better mobilization for myself. I actually have many range of motion limitations, but if you didn't know what you were looking for you probably wouldn't notice.

Since I started teaching CrossFit, I have seen many individuals who have obvious issues with this. It's kind of like when they move it makes me hurt to watch. I am certain that Tony ranks right up there with the most severe cases.

Having been through major injuries in the past, I know first-hand that continuing in any athletic endeavor is a challenge. Knowing what Tony has gone through, it's hard for me to say that I would have been able to battle through the same experience personally. I believe the commitment required by this man to overcome his injuries deserves all the credit in the world! He never has excuses and continues to seek out advice regarding what should be his next major steps towards improvement.

Tony is a straight up stud and a hell of an inspiring individual!

Tony's Story

I had been CrossFitting for four months before joining Big Mike’s class. Coach Zach Thiel recommended him to me when I wanted to workout three days a week instead of two.

I broke my right wrist playing high school football. Then I broke the same wrist two more times and dislocated my shoulder twice playing college Rugby. Eventually, I had to have bone grafted from my hip into my wrist to stabilize it. I haven't been able to bend it back since 1991, so I pretty much gave up lifting weights all together. Prior to CrossFit, I did a lot of wake boarding and running, but I'd become burned out on long runs. I rejoined Gold's Gym but I hated it. Then I saw an article in the paper about CrossFit, and I was hooked on the competitive aspect of it.

I don't allow my injuries to stop me from giving my all during a WOD. I do a lot of fingertip push-ups and occasionally have to modify a WOD, but I don't let it get to me. CrossFit Central coaches (Big Mike, Lisa Thiel and Zach Thiel) have taught me to push through barriers and just try my best. Most challenges are 90% mental anyway.

I have been able to overcome some of my range of motion limitations by following Big Mike’s advice. I roll out all the time and also go to Sam Sneed (a lifesaver) for wrist and shoulder therapy at least 6-8 times a month. My wrist still doesn't bend but I don't let it stop me from exercising. I try my best to do the workouts Rx but some things like handstand push-ups are impossible if you can’t bend your wrist. Big Mike modifies them for me but he never seems to make them easier.

CrossFit and Big Mike constantly remind me that there are no shortcuts to success. The only way to get there is by consistently giving 100%. You might be great one day but if you don’t do the right things - eat right, stretch, roll out, avoid alcohol, etc. - then the next workout will be a disappointment. The discipline and consistency required to be “good” at CrossFit are the exact same attributes needed to succeed in life.

I tend to be pretty competitive. I’ve done Fight Gone Bad twice and recently did I Am Crossfit. I like the one-day challenges as they remind me of “game days” from when I was a kid. In class, I want to be able to beat Robert Malina more than he beats me, which means I have to be more consistent with everything. I don’t expect to “win” every workout but I do expect myself to compete. I also don’t want to let down my classmates or coach by showing up and giving less than my best. Every class is different but as long as I show up and give it all I’ve got, then I figure I’m ahead of the game.

Now I know when I’m not eating right, and I make a lot more informed decisions about what I put in my body. My goal is to be more consistent with my workouts and what I put into my body (i.e., less beer and better food). I like feeling good, and I know this is the only way to get there for me. When I joined CrossFit, I was 38 years old and had the same waist size. I weighed around 208 lbs and had 19% body fat. Even though I had a bit of a beer belly, I thought I was still pretty fit. When I didn’t finish the “introductory WOD” on Day 1 of Elements, I went home with my tail between my legs. Now at 40 years old, I'm in better shape than I was at 30 (or maybe ever) and that is due to listening to Big Mike, pushing through barriers, and working hard in class. I’ve lost 5% body fat and weigh 195. I’ve dropped from a tight fitting 38" waist to a 33" waist.

I used to really dread going to the gym, but with the competition and camaraderie in Big Mike’s class I’m having fun working hard. I actually look forward to going to the gym. I feel better and I sleep better. I want to look good for my wife and be around for a long time for my family.

1 comment:

robot malone said...

Way to go Tony! Keep Kicking Ass!