Member Spotlight: Vincent C.

How did your journey with CrossFit Northland began? How long have you been a member of CrossFit Northland? What brought you into CFN?

I started Crossfit in February of 2014, which was about a year after my sister, Georgena, started. She talked me into trying it when I began to lose interest in attending the kickboxing classes I was a regular at for 1-2 years.

Tell us about your fitness/health background? (Have you always been active? Played sports growing up? Tried other gym settings? Worked out at home?)

It may be surprising based on how often I attend Crossfit classes that I was never a very active kid or teenager. I didn’t play sports until I was in high school and that was only because it was required. I played tennis for 3 years and ran cross-country for 4 years, but I was never very good at either to be honest.

What are some changes you’ve noticed in yourself during your time here at CFN? What kinds of things can you do now that you were not able to do when you first started CrossFit? (inside or outside of the gym)

Over the past 7 years at Crossfit Northland, I have noticed some dramatic changes both physically and mentally. I always love to point out to new Crossfitters and Crossfit-skeptics that when I started Crossfit I weighed 120 lbs and exclusively used a girls barbell because it was all I could lift. On the rig, I had to use a large band to assist with all movements, and I commonly partnered with my sister or other girls during strength portions. I remember how excited I was when I was actually able to Rx a WOD, and when I was finally strong enough to use 25 lbs plates on the bar because previously I was limited to 10’s and 15’s. All of this growth has changed my attitude toward what I was capable of achieving and encouraged me to get outside of my comfort zone! I have absolutely applied the discipline and confidence I have gained in Crossfit to other areas of my life as well.

What is a goal you are working towards in the gym right now?

A few years ago I made several goals to get a #200 snatch, #200 bench press, #300 back squat, and #400 deadlift by the end of 2019. I was able to get the snatch and bench press before the end of the year, but the other two goals eluded me. However, I did recently get a #395 deadlift and #295 back squat, so I’m focusing on getting those last 5 lbs on these lifts in the next few months!

What does your favorite type of workout look like?

Even given the huge progress I have made in strength with the barbell, my favorite workouts are still the body weight and gymnastic WODs! As much work as I put in with the barbell, I know I will always be an athlete that does better with workouts that require more finesse and cardio as opposed to strength. My favorite WOD would have something like burpees, running, or double-unders combined with gymnastics movements like pull-ups, muscle ups, handstand push ups, or handstand walks.

In your opinion, what is the most valuable aspect of Crossfit Northland?

Crossfit Northland does a great job teaching proper form and movement! As much as I might complain about warm-ups and technique drilling before the workouts, it definitely pays off. For example, several months ago Coach Hayden helped me re-learn a more effective front squat form which resulted in a big PR a few weeks ago. Consistently at Crossfit competitions I have heard judges comment that everyone from our gym has the best form of any gym in the competition. I appreciate this because proper technique not only leads to bigger PR’s, but also safer workouts and that means less injuries and long-term fitness.

What would you say to someone is considering joining a CrossFit gym?

I would tell people considering starting Crossfit my story of starting at the bottom of the class with a girl’s barbell and scaling everything and how I now consistently Rx WODs with weights I never would have dreamed of moving 7 years ago. It takes years to build strength and learn new skills, which can be discouraging. Although, if you put in consistent work, have quality coaches, and a supportive team around you like we have at Crossfit Northland, you will achieve great things!

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