Sunday, May 20, 2012

An Up and Comer

Here's what I expect myself to do as a Crossfit Coach...

Make my athletes better at it!

Some people just move faster than others. In the short amount of time I have been working with Teo, he has rapidly improved.  Young, focused and unbelievably driven is who this kid is.  His story is about work ethic.  His peers respect him because he puts himself out there as the guy who is going to lead by example and demand that they keep up or get left behind.

I see Teo as a natural leader and as a young man who is destined to bring out the most in many, many people in the years to come!

Stay on the lookout for this kid in the CrossFit and the Austin community as a whole!

Teo's Story
I started CrossFitting in July 2011 with Big Mike. I didn’t actually choose Big Mike. The owner of our company, Holly Evers, was training with Mike and she would always talk about him. I always thought “He’s just a big dude. How good can he be? A meathead.” Holly got us into a CrossFit class, and I got to working with Big Mike and realized that he’s an amazing athlete and an amazing person. His work ethic and dedication went towards us and we realized that Holly was 100% right about everything she said about Big Mike. Big Mike is a role model to me – for someone his size, the way he moves, the flexibility that he has, the mobility is just amazing and I wish to be where he is.

When I started CrossFitting, I was 23 years old and already in pretty good shape. I ran marathons and I’ve always been an athlete. I weighed about 136-140, I was 6% body fat, and my energy levels were up and down. Now I’m under 5% body fat, I weigh around 142-143, and my energy levels are pretty high. I haven’t gone down drastically (in weight/body fat) because I didn’t have that far to go. But I've added muscle and have seen my strength skyrocket. Just last week I set a couple of PRs. I power cleaned 215 and I front squatted 235. I went up on my front squat 30 pounds in a month. I had never really maxed out in my power clean and I didn’t think it was over 185 – but I guess it is.

Honestly, CrossFit just reminds me of me being a kid again, in high school, in training super hard. I’ve always loved training and pushing my body, but now in CrossFit I can push my body to a goal, rather than just push my body to play a sport.  I’ve noticed that CrossFit has not only changed me, it’s changed my girl friend, it’s changed friends. I’ve changed many lives and I haven’t even started. I’ve always been a leader in the group of friends that I have and now with CrossFit it’s even more because I have something that they look up to, my ethic, and how hard I work, I never give up no matter what. It’s showing them that that’s how life is, you give up you get dropped away – you take weight off (the bar) it shows how you are in real life, you keep the weight on and you push through it, it reflects on your future and how you do things.

I got my girl friend into CrossFit and she’s amazing at it. I currently train 3 good friends of mine and I had one friend go from 235 pounds to 180 (in about 5 months) and he’s loving it, it’s changed his life – and he’s changing lives. Now he’s training 3 of his friends, so it’s kind of like a chain event – I’m changing lives, everyone is changing lives. People see the energy levels, they see the confidence, and they want that.

The only challenge I’ve done so far was the CrossFit Open which was a huge eye-opener for me on how, around the world, people are really good and they don’t leave anything on the table. When I grew up I was always leaving something in the tank, just to tell myself that I could have done better. But that’s one thing that CrossFit has really shown me, that you don’t leave anything on the table, that you go balls out and no regrets and that’s one thing that I do now. When I did the Open, that burpee challenge was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life, the most pain I’ve had in my life and it just showed me that pain is temporary and failure is forever. So that’s how I’ve been living my life.

I’m definitely looking forward to doing Fran (at the Level 1 cert). That will be the first time I’ll do it. My goal is to do a sub-4 and go unbroken and I think with motivation and those people looking at me I definitely won’t put that bar down, that’s for sure.

My future goal now is to coach. Big Mike has inspired me so much and I’ve started coaching and I love it – I love changing people’s lives, I love seeing the happiness that comes from it and the happiness that I get from it. Honestly, when I coach, I don’t stop smiling. I never saw myself as a patient person but now coaching people and watching them evolve and become better athletes, it does something to my inner self that’s just not explainable.

My peers approached me about being a coach. They always looked up to me. I never offered to coach anyone and I still don’t even call myself a coach. When people ask if I’m coaching anyone I just say that I’m helping people reach their goals. I have a mind block about calling myself a coach because I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished enough to be called a coach. When I came into CrossFit and I met the coaches here, and they are all great athletes, elite athletes and they’re still not even at their prime yet. I guess that’s one thing people see in Big Mike, he’s huge, he’s mobile, he can perform any movement he talks about. So of course people want to be coached by him because he’s an elite athlete.

What keeps me motivated in my own training is the future. I’m a guy that looks at the future. For example, the PRs that I did last week, those keep me motivated – getting stronger and bigger and faster. I currently do martial arts, I play different sports every week and every time I’m on the field I out-perform everyone, I’m stronger than everyone and that keeps me motivated. People see me out on the field performing, they’re in shock because they’ve never seen someone just push so hard for so long and that’s what keeps me motivated, showing people that you can do it and that you don’t need to do drugs, you don’t need to drink, you don’t need to do illegal substances to be at that level. If you want your body to perform at high levels you have to treat your body really really well.

I try to stay as active as possible. I’ve been doing jujitsu for two years. That’s what I love to do. It’s not a very contact sport. I used to box, I boxed for 3 years and I did some MMA but after a while I realized that I didn’t like to hurt people. I just like to learn. Basically jujitsu is submission wrestling, grappling – they call it Smooth Jazz because you just roll and it’s very graceful and very chess-like, every move means something, ever angle means something. I also have a soccer game every week on Sunday morning. I play softball with the guys from work, I’m in two softball leagues and I also play flag football on Wednesdays.

I grew up playing lots of sports. The thing I was most successful at in high school was cross country. I was a really good runner and had several scholarships in running and I still run a lot today. I did the Spartan race last year and I got second place overall. Anything that involves running, I’m really good at it. I love the Helen workout, that’s my favorite. That’s one thing that I will definitely never give up. A lot of times people will tell me that if I want to get stronger I need to stop running and I just tell them I’ll just eat more, whatever it takes, but I will never stop running.

I’m a valet driver downtown in the warehouse district with 9 other guys. We all started CrossFitting together in July 2011. Everything we do at work, we have a smile on our face. Everything we do at CrossFit, we have a smile on our face. That’s the difference I believe in working out in a box together. We love it. We never argue, we push our bodies as hard as we can, we don’t leave anything back. We challenge each other, we encourage each other, and we definitely have each others' backs no matter what. We’re definitely a lot closer – we were close before but now we’re inseparable. If one person doesn’t come to CrossFit, we’ll get on him and make him feel like there’s no way he’s gonna miss another day of CrossFit.

We normally work from 4pm to 4am. By the time we’re counting money it’s 5am. Get home, get some food, by the time our energy levels are down it’s 6am. So we don’t normally get that much sleep when we come to CrossFit, but it’s definitely well worth it. We’re not used to waking up at noon, that’s kind of early for us but we wake up at that time to come to CrossFit.

My brother always told me to lead by example and that’s what my dad has taught me too. I grew up in a real bad neighborhood, and thanks to my role models – my dad and my brother – they showed me that there are different routes in life. By working hard you can get places and that’s where I am now, taking risks, working hard. I was working hard as a valet and that got me into a position to do CrossFit here. It’s definitely a gift – we thank Holly Evers more than anything for giving us this opportunity, putting 9 guys through this great program with a great coach.


AL said...

That's awesome! I hope he's getting more than an hour of sleep before our 7am class!

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