May Athlete of the Month: Aaron
Congratulations to Coach Aaron, you are our May Athlete of the Month!
Aaron has been a NoCoaster for over 4 years now and in that time he’s been a Regional Athlete and Regional Coach. He helped run our LumbarYard Throwdown back in the “day” and, more recently, was the mastermind behind our In-house Open competition. He’s also been one of the most consistent NoCoast athletes we’ve ever had, hitting our “AM” WODs 5 days a week, every week, all year round.
Aaron embodies the character of our community; he truly loves the process of training and nutrition but, more importantly, he cares about everyone he interacts with at the gym.
Thank you Aaron for your commitment to our community, the time and knowledge you give to our competitors, and for being the Wolverine!
How long have you been CrossFitting?
7.5-years, first CrossFit workout 090930 (https://www.crossfit.com/workout/2009/09/30#/comments)
Played soccer for 12 years as a youth. Split time between soccer and football for a year as a high school freshman before transitioning to football full time. Found powerlifting as a football offseason training method. Lifetime competition powerlifting total 1,320-lbs (305 Bench, 500 Squat, and 515 Deadlift). Lifetime powerlifting PRs…365 Bench, 525 Squat, and 530 Deadlift.
What’s your favorite part about competition and/or coaching some of our competitive athletes?
I enjoy the process of preparing to compete more than competing itself…as an athlete. The most rewarding thing about being a coach is working with the athletes to develop a strategy for success, coaching them through the implementation of the strategy, and seeing the excitement on an athlete’s face once they reach their target.
We know you love numbers and charts, how does Beyond the Whiteboard and other logging tools help you?
I do love my numbers, but I don’t keep all of those numbers in my head…I have to write them down. Logging is critical to keep track of performance and plan for the future.
How did you get into CrossFit?
Nasty Girls! Must see TV for those who have not see it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0nPnElcqgU). Nicole Carroll (same Nicole from today’s CFHQ videos), Eva T, and THE Annie Sakamoto (the gal in the roller flyer on the wall between the Crossover Symmetry rigs). My brother sent me this video and told me I should check it out. I was floored! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I knew I could not do what those three ladies were doing…BUT, I wanted to. I was hooked.
What is your favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?
Anything inverted or with rings.
What is your least favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?
Rope climbs, KB Swings, and the Bear Complex.
What is your most memorable CrossFit moment?
Competing with the NoCoast CrossFit regional team in Salt Lake City, the final event of the weekend…a Congo line where each athlete did 49 PUs and 7 OHS (185). This was a sprint workout where the PUs should be done in 1-2 sets and the OHS must be UB. I was the fifth athlete in the Congo line. Four team members were on the finish mat and one team member remained on the starting mat. I moved through the PUs to plan. I picked up the bar for the OHS, got 3 reps, and then was no-repped on the 4th. The no-rep threw me off my game and I dumped the bar. There is no storybook happy ending other than ultimately finishing the 7th OHS with enough time for the final member of our team to get some PUs before the cap. Regrettably, we finished last in the heat.
This moment is memorable for two reasons. First, the support of my teammates as I struggled to get my act together was amazing. The encouragement in their eyes as I stole glances in their direction was critical…my desire to live up to the level of support they provided me was an incredible motivator. The second reason is that I will never forget a 185 OHS. Any time I am doing OHS and the bar gets to 185, regardless of the workout, I go for 7 reps at 185!!
How does nutrition play a role in your fitness and recovery?
Nutrition is critical to fitness, recovery, and health. I have been eating a Zone diet for so long at this point, it is second nature to me. I probably enjoy too many “cheats” to claim to be a strict observer of Zone, but it remains the backbone of my nutrition plan.
How has CrossFit improved your overall wellness?
I was headed down a less than stellar path in 2009…overweight, overeating, over drinking, and generally over indulging in everything. I had stomach problems, skin problems, gut problems, and joint problems. CrossFit didn’t fix these problems…I did. However, CrossFit and my desire to do things that I could not do came together to provide me the motivation to keep dialing in my lifestyle and my choices to achieve my definition of success.
How has CrossFit changed your family?
Not sure…yet! My kids were 1 and 2.5 when I started CrossFitting. My family doesn’t really know a world without CrossFit. My hope is that my lifestyle choices will serve as a positive example for my kids as they grow older and discover their own passions.
Advice to new people:
Enjoy the “Kool-aid”, we have all been there. At first it will seem like you need to get better at everything…that might be the case. Don’t be discouraged. If this CrossFit-thing were easy, everyone would be doing it. CrossFit is a “long game”…implemented correctly, CrossFit will serve you for the rest of your life.