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Athlete of the Month: Brett Luna

Brett Luna started at NoCoast in 2015, and we are excited to ring in the New Year with him! He is loaded with a good amount of athleticism as it is. That's clear when you see him do endurance workouts. But, Brett doesn't hang out in any kind of comfort zone. He pushes his limits and expectations without much hesitation. Since coming to NoCoast, he's tackled anything that comes his way, most notably the Oly lifts. He ended 2015 with a bang by competing in the Alpine CrossFit Holiday Weightlifting Meet. We are convinced nothing can stop Brett from accomplishing what he wants. We look forward to 2016!

Age/Weight: 28/146 How long have you been CrossFitting? - 4 years Athletic/Sports history/highlights: I grew up playing soccer as a kid, then began running Cross Country and Track in High School. I ran varsity all 4 years and then got a scholarship to run in college. I went to Kennesaw State University, near Atlanta, GA. The 1500m was my favorite event because I was a miler in high school. I ran a 4:32 in high school and a 4:06 1500m in college.

How did you get into CrossFit? I was at KSU working on my Masters degree in Applied Exercise Physiology. I met a student, Justin Saxon, while doing a group project. He owned a local CrossFit gym and our class project was on rowing ergonomics. The goal was to see how closely correlated rowing and running were in terms of effort. My first CrossFit workout was 500m row for time. Whew! That was humbling! After that first WOD at CrossFit North Cobb, I was hooked. What is your favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?

Deadlift is my favorite movement, although I really enjoy Murph each year. What is your least favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?

Anything with the kettlebell is the worst for me. Snatch used to be my least favorite, but after training for the Alpine meet, I really enjoy it now.

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment?

I broke my neck at C6 in August of 2012 and wasn't able to overhead squat for at least 1.5 years. This fall, Leah was coaching OHS max day and I was pretty nervous because it is my weakest movement in the gym. She gave me some simple cues on posture and I was able to go from 135 to 160lbs. Something really clicked that day and I am very grateful to all the Nocoast coaches for their careful attention to each individual.

You have been recovering from a serious neck injury. What has been your motivation through that, and how has the gym/CrossFit been a part of your comeback?

Every person in the gym is my motivation. If I see them do it and I can't, it pushes me to go harder. During the Open in 2014, I wasn't able to complete the first round of 14.2. I couldn't do 10 reps OHS at 95lbs and it crushed me. I watched everyone else in the gym and I cheered them on. Justin Saxon was a great coach to help me through my injury. I modified many workouts and had to stay committed to my recovery. It's been 3+ years now and it still bothers me sometimes, but it no longer is a big limiting factor. My first workout at NoCoast was squat snatches and I was so scared, but Dan and the team worked with me. How does nutrition play a role in your fitness and recovery? This has always been a tough area for me. A a small kid growing up, I could eat anything I wanted because I ran so much. In college we were running 80-100 miles a week, so food wasn't a thought for me. I never lifted weights growing up, but once I began CrossFit, I had to pay more attention to it. To be completely honest, getting married to Jessica, has helped my diet more than anything. She is a very healthy eater and I get to benefit from her wise choices. I have noticed that the healthier I eat, the better I perform each day.

How has CrossFit improved your overall wellness?

CrossFit has given me a second chance at life after breaking my neck. It has made me a better runner while running far less miles. I feel stronger, healthier, and happier. Advice to new people:

Keep it fun and be consistent. Never miss a Monday, it will start your week out right. Believe in yourself!

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