January Athlete of the Month

 In Athlete of the Month
Congratulations to Raymond “RJ” Pittman on being selected as January Athlete of the Month. RJ has embraced the CrossFit community like no other, best way to put it, he drank the cool-aid. RJ came to us with some military background training but nothing prepared him for what we had in store for him. He comes in every afternoon with a positive attitude and willingness to get better and work on his weaknesses. Besides the work he puts in the box, its also the little things he does for the Mission community outside of classes. You can always find RJ helping out for events and bringing in his friends to give Mission a try. For those reasons and many more is why RJ has been selected as January Athlete of the Month.
Started CrossFit: April 2018
Favorite WOD: DT
Least favorite WOD: Karen
Favorite Lift: Deadlift
Least Favorite Lift: Overhead Squat
Story: My story is like most people, I was previously a very active person, from distance running in my teens, to military PT in my 20s, to making it up as I went (with Ken Helgren) in my 30s.  After spending 4 years in Germany doing nothing but eating schnitzel and consuming beer by the liters, I found my way back to San Antonio in far worse shape than I had left it.  Ken could not shut up about CrossFit and the results he was enjoying and the amazing people at MCFSA.  I decided to give it a try in April 2018.  After getting my a$$ handed to me in a trial class I signed up.  I took the Foundations class with Coach Amy and set a few short term goals- trade some body fat for lean muscle, improve my physique, and fix my diet.  I wanted to look like my old self in 3 months.  For me, that meant losing about 10% body fat, building about 10 lbs of muscle, and getting smart about food.  Several factors lead to my success in meeting those goals:
1. MCFSA ran a 6 week paleo challenge.  This was a great kick start to educating myself on the diet I needed to fuel my body the right way.  Having spent most of my active life in running I had a very carb heavy approach to food, and remember vividly saying “I work out so I can eat whatever I want.”
2. MCFSA Coaches!  There is not enough space on the internet to list everything the coaches have done for me.  Every coach has helped me in my pursuit.  Each has their own specialty or their own way of making things make sense to me.  I know which coach to engage when I need a kick in the butt for motivation, who to ask about aches and pains, who can spot my flaws and get me straight.  No matter which coach is leading us I learn something and improve.
3. All of you fine people!  Countless members of this community have impacted my story.  Teaching me technique, cheering me on, pointing me to resources.  Some of you don’t even realize that I look up to you and watch you doing movements to try and emulate you.  You all have been welcoming and amazing.  People call us a cult, they call us crazy, fanatical kool-aide drinkers- if I can continue to be associated with and surrounded by you great people I’ll wear those badges with pride.
Being selected as an Athlete of the Month has me looking both backwards and forwards.  Reflecting on almost two years of memories and experiences in our CrossFit journeys and the impact all of this craziness has had on me; reaching my own goals and PRs.  Thinking about what goals I should set for myself going forward.  Thank you for selecting me, it’s an honor.
Thank you, Ken and Amy, for dragging me into this world.  Thanks to all the coaches for your efforts week after week.  Thanks to all of the MCFSA family for being a great community.  A special thank you to my amazing wife, Noha, for letting me talk you into joining me in this journey. I love you and am so proud of you and your accomplishments so far.

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