May Athlete of the Month: Luke Wotruba
Congratulations Luke, you are our NoCoast Athlete of the Month!
From Luke’s first day at NoCoast, he’s been putting up big numbers and impressing everyone with his hard work, dedication, and blazing times! As we wrap up this years Games Season, he has impressed us all once again by placing 26th in the world in the 40-44 year old age group during the Open and following it up with placing 52nd in the world in the Age Group Qualifiers. What's more impressive is that Luke has only been CrossFitting for 3 years! As he is about to turn 40, Luke will be entering a new age group category and is hoping to seize an opportunity to earn a spot to the CrossFit Games in 2019, even though it didn’t work out this year, we are really excited to see how Luke does in 2019 after another year of training under his belt!
The only sport I really played/did was swimming. I started at age 7 and was pretty comfortable in the water from the beginning. My parents put me on a club team where we lived at the time in Green River, WY. I swam all year round with only a small break around when school started. I spent my weekends at swim meets all around the great state of Wyoming. I stuck with it all the way through college. I was a nationally ranked swimmer coming out of High School and earned a full ride to Southern Illinois University. Lots of fun times were had during my swimming career. I guess the highlights for me personally were making my very first Jr National time and then being ranked in the top 16 nationally in my best event.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
I have been CF'ing for exactly 3 years. I started right after the 2015 open.
How did you get into CrossFit?
I had known about CF for at least a couple years. Watched it on TV, was a hater of the "cheating PUs", etc. My wife had been bugging me to try it for quite some time. I got a free pass to another Box for a month and gave it a shot. I was hooked after day 1. I think part of me knew this was going to happen and I held off until things in my life were a little more settled.
What is your favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?
WOD: Amanda (hands down). Movement: tie between snatch and MU
What is your least favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?
WOD: Fran. Movement: Kettlebell snatch - dumbest thing I have ever seen
What is your most memorable CrossFit moment?
Helping somebody figure out how to link T2B and PU. It was a lot more rewarding then I thought it was going to be. In truth, I didn't have to help too much as they were almost all the way there. People are always and continually grateful for any help that you pass on to them.
How do you feel about the 2018 Games season? And what are your goals for next year?
While it didn't end the way I wanted and I didn't reach my ultimate (far-fetched?) goal, I was very happy with my performance. I exceeded the realistic goals (yes, i have two sets) and had a great time doing it. In the end, it was really about the journey and I think I proved my ultimate goal is in reach. The big goal for next year is the same, make it to the Games. I was afforded the opportunity this year to see exactly where my shortcomings lie. It will be up to me to fix them. Along with the big goal, I do have a smaller goal to get on top of my nutrition. I know it held me back in several areas over the course of this year.
How does nutrition play a role in your fitness and recovery?
Unfortunately I didn't allow it to play a large enough role. When I was really paying attention to it, I felt good most days because it aided my recovery and allowed me to be fueled properly. I know that really focusing on this aspect will help me out going forward. My issue has always been that I like food... all food.
How has CrossFit improved your overall wellness?
More than anything it has served as a stress relieving tool and a mood booster, it keeps me balanced. I have always worked out (30 minutes of machines, 30 minutes on the elliptical!) and stayed in good general shape. I am of course much fitter now than ever before, but I truly enjoy coming in and doing WODs with the group. I look forward to it each and every day. I think it brings back my memories of all those swim practices where the group all had to endure the same suffering. On days I can't get to the gym, I feel fat, irritated and generally gross.
How has CrossFit changed your family?
I wouldn't say it has really changed our family. We were generally fit and active before CF. We have always skied, biked and have done things outside. Since my wife and I both swam through college we never got into the sedentary lifestyle. Through my experiences with CF, my wife has started and really enjoys it and my youngest sister has begun as well. I think her seeing the changes in myself and my wife pushed her to check it out.
Advice to new people:
Ask for help and advice from your coaches. Understand that the guy or girl crushing the WOD or lifting huge amounts didn't start that way. Focus on your technique, then focus some more on it. It is 10x harder to go back and try to learn the correct technique after you have implemented the wrong one first (ask me how I know). Log everything (your time, your scales, how you felt, etc). You will be surprised how quickly you are making improvements even when it doesn't feel like you are getting any better. Being able to look back and see improvement is the greatest motivator you can ask for.