In high school, I played 4 years of varsity football. With football comes a lot of time in the weight room, so I started to become very use to both Olympic lifting and high-intensity interval training. Once I graduated high school in 2010, I started looking for something to fill that gap. In the summer of 2011, a friend of mine talked to me about this “CrossFit” gym he joined in Miami. It sounded awesome, so that December (for my birthday) my Aunt got me a 1 month membership at my local CrossFit box and I fell in love with the atmosphere; I’ve been doing CrossFit ever since.
I’ve been bouncing around a lot since I’ve started CrossFit in 2011. I had my home gym (CrossFit Mid-Hudson then CrossFit 299, NY), my college gym (Poughkeepsie CrossFit, NY), my study abroad gym (CrossFit Central London, UK), and my internship gym (CrossFit Beyond, NY). Then in 2015 I got a job with Toyota out in California, so I joined an ultra-competitive yet family oriented gym (Code 3 Athletics, CA). I learned a lot there, especially about Olympic lifting. I even competed in my first Olympic competition out there. In October 2015, I was relocated the Toyota office in Aurora, IL, so it was time to find a new home. After a failed free class at another establishment, I found CrossFit 630. Meeting Nate, I instantly knew I found a credible coach, and participating in class I knew that he not only wanted his members to work hard at his gym, but to do the workouts the right way. That was very important to me, so I signed up right after my first class… I didn’t need to “shop” further.
I’ve hit some pretty huge PRs in my life that honestly I was never sure I’d hit. I’ve Snatched 225 lbs, Cleaned 300, Clean & Jerked 285, Deadlifted 450 lbs, Squated 360 and Front Squated 340. On top of that, in the 2014 CrossFit Open, I made a goal to try and get in the Top 20%... I got to the top 11%, and just missed out on Top 10%. Now, after my year of hell, I hope to hit all those PRs again. It’s been a crazy year and had to miss a lot of gym time, so I’m nowhere near those numbers. However, I’m optimistic that with the right training, I can get back there in a year. In the future, I want to keep piling on those numbers, hitting new PRs wherever I get the chance. I want to start get certified for Weightlifting coaching and start taking class so I can not only improve my Olympic lifting, but help others improve theirs. I mean what’s better than watching your buddy hit a PR, right? Oh, and the last goal? Checking the last movement I can’t Rx off my list: handstand walks.
Other info: (I definitely don’t mind sharing my cancer story either, that’s just as important to the whole “don’t think because you have a health issue you can’t CrossFit”)
1st diagnosis: July 2015. - Had surgery to remove the mass, out of CrossFit for 6 weeks.
Remission: December 2015.
Chemo Therapy: January- February 2016. Started working out in February between chemo session.
Follow up Surgery: April 2016. - Remove 2nd mass, out of CrossFit 6 weeks.
Present Day: Cancer Free, and willing to tell me story. And show my scars.
Andrew's story is an awesome one. His commitment to training in the face of what he's gone through is truly inspiring. We haven't talked too much about it, but I can tell how much CrossFit and training has helped with his recovery. We often think about fitness and the physical adaptations it helps create, but the mental side of it is where we often see bigger transformations. Going through something that shakes up your entire world and having the drive to continue training as a high priority is commendable and something we can all learn from. Yes, sometimes these workouts are hard. Yes, sometime we want to quit in the middle. Yes, sometimes you want to cherry pick tomorrow's workout because it involves things we're not good at. Let's collectively stop that thinking and attack each workout like Andrew does.
Thanks for being a part of the CrossFit 630 family Andrew! Keep up the good work and we all look forward to you re-hitting and surpassing those old PRs.