I started at CrossFit Midlo in May of 2012. I had been competing in Triathlon and Cycling events for approximately 5 years prior to that. I had to take a break from endurance training during the winter of 2011-2012 due to an injury, and when I went back to it that spring, I realized I had lost my passion for it and needed to find something else. I saw the CrossFit Games on television and thought, “So that’s what this CrossFit is that I keep hearing about!” Coach Kevin was one of my daughter’s soccer coaches at the time, so I asked him about it at their season ending party. He said “We have a Foundations class starting tomorrow, why don’t you come check it out?” My wife, Danielle, and I went to that Foundations class and we have been members of CrossFit Midlo ever since. When I started I thought I was in fairly decent shape.
I was a competitive triathlete, I could run, I could bike, and I could swim, but I found out very quick how little of that translated to CrossFit! I did most of my lifts with a PVC pipe or an empty barbell. I could only manage 2-3 assisted pull-ups, and could not squat below parallel! In watching others, I felt that things like handstand pushups, butterfly pull-ups, chest to bar pull-ups, muscle ups, double unders and pistol squats were all things that were only for the ‘Elite’ athletes at the gym, and never anything that I would be able to do. Doing a workout ‘RX’ was a pipe dream. I was hopeful that I would someday be able to do the women’s RX weights! Heck, one of my biggest challenges and one that my wife and I would google everyday on the way to the gym was in figuring out all the crazy abbreviations in the workout descriptions: PP, HC, HPC, DU, HSPU, PSP, PU, C2B, etc. It was like they had their own secret language! Through Midlo’s great coaching and programming and my remaining consistent in training that all slowly changed. I was able to start lifting heavier (and even heavier) weights, I increased my pull-ups without assistance bands, increased my flexibility and strength to allow me to squat below parallel, and started learning some of the things that I previously thought were only for the ‘Elite’ athletes.
Fast forward to today, in a little over 3 years I feel that I have become a very competitive CrossFit Athlete. My CrossFit Games Open placing demonstrate the progress: 2013 – Masters 45-49 493rd out of 3240 2014 – Masters 50-54 321st out of 2319 2015 – Masters 50-54 63rd out of 4007 – (Qualified for Worldwide regionals and placed 47th overall.) I have also qualified for the Granite Games for the past two years (a national CrossFit Games style event) in St. Cloud, MN and will be heading back there this fall to compete as one of 15 qualifiers nationally. The progress and accomplishments that I have made is a direct testament to the fantastic coaching and programming that we receive at CF Midlo. Whether you choose to compete in the sport of CrossFit or just want to get a really awesome fitness program with an amazing bunch of people, you can’t miss with the great programming provided. I used to dread ‘going to the gym’ back when I only worked out at your traditional ‘globo gym’. I would usually go 3-4 times per week for about 3 month stretches at a time, and then quit going until I got my next fitness motivation. Now, I wake up every morning looking forward to seeing what today’s WOD is and heading to the box with my wife to train and compete with my friends. Oh and I finally figured out all the abbreviations!
*Since writing this, Brad finished 3rd in the 2015 Granite Games, 3rd in the 2016 Wodapalooza Fitness Festival, placed 26th WORLDWIDE in the CrossFit Games Masters Qualifier, and currently sits in 2nd for the 2016 Granite Games qualifier (with just one more week to go!).
Written: July 2015
To date I have been with CrossFit Midlo for 21 months. Currently, at 44 years old I can honestly say I am in the best shape of my life. I owe that to the coaches, programming, and fellow members I work-out with several times a week. As for my brief history, I played little league sports as a kid, a little in high school, but never have considered myself an athlete. Growing up with severe asthma always seemed to limit me, (at least I thought it did). Throughout my 30’s and early 40’s, I became more sedentary, gained a few extra pounds, and eventually learned I was pre-diabetic with elevated blood sugar at the age of 42.
Throughout this same time, I had actually attempted to “get in shape”, several times. I went to the YMCA, I tried running, I even joined Anytime Fitness. I could never stick with it! I’d get bored, and I never saw any results. It was frustrating. I eventually started the CrossFit Midlo Roots Program in the fall of 2013. I jokingly say, “that is when I was born!” When I started, I could not squat well, Olympic Lifting was new to me (and it showed), I was stiff as a board, and my endurance was none existent. Within 30 days, I could tell something was different. I was not really concerned with “results”, I was just having fun learning and simply working out. I honestly felt and still feel like I’m 15 years old again. The amazing thing is that while I stopped looking for results, they were happening, RAPIDLY. Within 90 days, my blood sugar was completely normal, my blood pressure had even dropped, and my asthma (though still present), is the best it has been in my life, AND I lost 15 pounds! When I started, I figured this would be like any other fitness attempt I have made.
I’d have to force myself to go, I would not see any results, and I’d eventually quit. I WAS WRONG. In a short period of time, I have realized this is now a part of my life and I can’t wait to do it each and every day. I could go on forever because there is so much more that could be said about CrossFit Midlo: positive vibes, awesome friendships, family atmosphere, seeing lives and bodies changing daily, etc. The list goes on! In conclusion, I’ll just say (if it’s not obvious), I love it!
Throughout my first year and a half of joining the CrossFit Midlo community, I have gone through many life changing events, and all for the better. I came into the gym for the first time in January 2014 for a “Bring a friend” day with Brian Douglass. As a former college baseball player, I thought I would have no trouble doing a simple workout. I was sadly mistaken, as Kevin Knight put me through a hellacious workout of box jumps, strict pullups, and double unders (I could only do singles at the time). Finishing up playing baseball in college, I was overweight and not in good shape at all. From the first time I stepped on to that gym floor, I was hooked. It was a great opportunity to release my competitive attitude I had been so accustomed to.
After going through that class, I immediately signed up for Roots with Vee and Kathy. I thought it would be pretty easy to learn simple movements, but once again I had to check my ego at the door. The roots experience was incredible, and I would not be anywhere close to what I am today without it. Having a solid foundation in fundamental movements is key to improvement, health, and recovery.
Once Roots had ended, I started entering GenPop classes with all the other members. Immediately, I was welcomed with open arms by all members and coaches, and felt like I had been there forever. It was amazing how strong the CrossFit Midlo community was, and still is to this day. Within just a few short months, I had already lost over 30 pounds while still gaining a tremendous amount of strength.
Now, being over a year into CrossFit, I can notice dramatic changes. My lifting numbers have gone up a large amount, and my gymnastics skills are improving as well. The coaching and programming is top notch, which is the reason we have so many successful individuals at our gym. Our coaches are extremely well connected with all athletes and are excited for every milestone. Whether it is someone getting their first strict pullup or a 300 pound clean and jerk, the coaching staff at Crossfit Midlo will be there to cheer on and provide guidance with the exact same amount of enthusiasm.
Not only have I improved myself physically, but I have met so many amazing people along the way. My wife, Trisha, has even started to become very competitive and has put in a ton of hard work to improve herself as well. The journey still continues everyday as I try to improve weaknesses to become a better overall athlete. I also would love to look into the possibility of coaching in the future, so I could try to help people in the same way that our coaches helped me. With the unbelievable support of the coaches and members, I know that anything is possible for anyone. My only regret is not starting at CrossFit Midlo sooner, as I think it would have improved my college baseball career tremendously. CrossFit Midlo has been an absolute life changing experience for me, and I am forever grateful to Kevin, Brandon, Vee, Brett, Kathy, and Ryan for their help every step of the way.
My CrossFit journey has spanned a total of 2 1/2 years (with a 7 month break; in 2013 Krakow, Poland had no CrossFit gyms!) and 3 boxes. While I have enjoyed all of my training, and all of the places I have been, CrossFit Midlo really feels like home. When my husband and I moved to Virginia, we first checked out another box because it was closer to his work, and he wasn’t interested in the extra drive CrossFit Midlo would be for him. I made the decision to drop in anyway, and from my first class, I knew that I would be going to CrossFit Midlo with or without him! Fortunately, he agreed to make the drive! The community is amazing; everyone is so friendly and welcoming! We have made some amazing friends at CrossFit Midlo, and truly feel like we are a part of a very special family.
The coaching and the programing at CrossFit Midlo is top notch. The coaches are very aware of proper technique and know the abilities of every athlete. They know exactly how and when to scale or push an athlete to achieve the best possible results. My numbers and abilities sky rocketed when I joined. For example, my Back Squat has gone from 120lbs to 180lbs, my Front Squat went from 105lbs to 155lbs, and I can do pull-ups and “real” push-ups for the first time, EVER! But what I love most about CrossFit Midlo, is how it makes me feel. I look forward to my work-out every day. I love walking into the gym and being surrounded by friends who are genuinely glad to see me. I love working out with/next to people, cheering them on, and being motivated by them. I love hitting new numbers in my lifts, and beating old times on workouts. I love feeling strong, powerful, and accomplished. Continuing my training at CrossFit Midlo is one of the best decisions I have ever made!