May 2017 Athlete of the Month

 In Athlete of the Month

Congratulations to Jake Gray for being selected as the May 2017 Athlete of the Month!  Jake brings amazing energy to the noon class as well as a can do attitude. He comes in everyday and works his butt off! You can always find Jake helping other with their equipment and after class to work on his mobility.  For those reasons and many more, he is definitely deserving of the title for Athlete of the Month.

Started CrossFit:
First Class was “Fran” in August 2015; Commited and started “for real” March 2016

Favorite WODs:
Open WOD 17.4, then “Fight Gone Bad”

Least favorite WOD:
Any with running intervals – the runs zap my energy for the fun stuff and slow me down.

Favorite lift:
The Bear Complex

Least favorite lift:
Sleds

Story:
“CrossFit, where have you been all my life?!”

After playing baseball and football in high school, then baseball and intramurals in college, my fitness/athletic pursuits tapered off until I trained for and ran the Houston Marathon in 1997. Though it was not my intention, I never trained to run distance again. From 2000-2002 I went to grad school in Austin while running my own business in San Antonio – think “very little sleep and late night ice cream and snacks”. I met my wife in 2002; we married in 2003, and I started a couple companies in 2006-2007. One of those companies was the primary reason that 2007 to 2011 were the worst four years of my career as an entrepreneur, with expensive life lessons, even less sleep, more stress eating, and virtually zero exercise. My daughters were born in 2007 and 2009 and represented the biggest blessings in an otherwise yucky time.

For years I paid the typical gym membership dues, played racquetball from time to time, jogged, cycled, but still, had no meaningful, CONSISTENT exercise.

Then in 2013 I co-founded with a friend of mine another company located one mile from Mission CrossFit. I would drive past MCFSA daily thinking “I should check that out.” It took me a couple years, but I finally did check it out, and early Google search results for CrossFit were intimidating and perplexing (the CrossFit brand could do without Pukie the Clown, if you ask me). Anway, it wasn’t until I realized that you can scale the workouts that the beasts like Froning, Bailey and Bignall were crushing that I finally ventured into MCFSA. Fran was my very first workout. I felt drunk afterwards – think “impaired…under the influence”. Not euphoric. In hindsight, I realize that I should not have driven back to my office that day.

Since then, I’ve logged more than 150 workouts at MCFSA, with no two the same. I LOVE the variety of CrossFit. I’ve overcome joint pain that initially kept me from regular class attendance, lost some weight and improved strength and mobility in ways I could not have imagined. Before CrossFit, I never lifted weights with any concerted effort or purpose, even in high school or college. I never rowed. I rarely did pull ups or push-ups.

Now, I think of the barbell and rig work that we do as “recess for big kids”. And I want to do fun new things and get better every day. We get to throw weights and wall balls around, do handstand pushups (or the scaled version for me), jump rope, climb rope, jump over boxes, row until our lungs explode and hang from the rig like it’s a set of monkey bars on the playground. My youngest daughter, Katie, points to the callouses on her hands and says, “Why did God have to invent monkey bars…because I just CANNOT resist them!”). I feel about Mission CrossFit like Katie does about the monkey bars. I just cannot resist it.

THANK YOU to coaches Drew, Meagan, Rebekah, Julianne, Junior, Roland, Mike and Amy who have shepherded me and my noon classmates. And THANK YOU to Stephanie and Chris and Caleb and the veteran members of MCFSA who have also given me coaching tips along the way. You guys are the athletes of the month, truly. CrossFit has been the best thing to happen to me in the past two years, and I am grateful to all of you for the community and CONSISTENT improvement you’ve welcomed me into here at MCFSA.

“CrossFit, where have you been all my life?!”

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