My first parlay into CrossFit came at the demise of my pure resistance against my best friend’s insistence on trying it. (Sound familiar?) After berating him for months about his new obsession, I figured I’d give this whole fad a try at Dennis Kap’s original gym, Always Forward CrossFit through Denison University’s Big Red Fitness Club. BRFC offered the unique opportunity to do CrossFit for free with other college students three days a week. Needless to say, I was hooked immediately and had to finally admit I was now one of “those” people.

I graduated from Denison University and started my first year of law school at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2014. After turning down Dennis’ recommendations to join his new gym (which wouldn’t you know was CrossFit Clintonville) due to lack of funds, I attempted and failed miserably to do “CrossFit” on my own at the RPAC. I then stumbled upon BuckeyeFit and the one and only JP Anders, a young, bright-eye fella that wanted to spread the word of CrossFit and its messiah, Greg Glassman. BuckeyeFit found a host in CrossFit Clintonville, where I worked out two days a week. Again, I was hooked. I decided I loved it so much that I might as well just bite the bullet and pay to go whenever I wanted.

For two years at CFC, I got stronger and better. I competed in the Festivus Games and the Vikings Games, a local competition between Denison and OSU. Then, well, I got stagnant. The PRs came less and less, the gains were really only on the scale, and I assumed my position in the middle of SugarWOD. Like all cliché stories, my most recent health and fitness journey started with a pretty crappy break-up. If you were unaware of this, you are the only one because I told basically everyone. I was consistently being told “you’re so awesome, he has no idea what he’s missing,” yet I couldn’t see that for myself.

After seeing the amazing results of my best friend and fellow dog lover, Kelly Haines, from working with a nutritionist, I decided to take the plunge. For years, I had convinced myself that I would always be the same size, forever stuck in my hereditary inevitability. After working with the nutritionist, my perception of health and fitness took a total 180. Those PRs amped up, I could survive mile(s!) runs, and started checking RX on SugarWOD more often than not. Even though cutting back on my spoonfuls of straight peanut butter from a jar was a struggle (woof, that was ruff), for the first time in a very long time, I was happy with myself by myself.

Thankfully, a few months ago, Natalie Kahler approached me about joining a team to compete in the Validus Games. I jumped at the opportunity to compete in my first RX CrossFit competition. I had always watched CFC teams compete in the Arnold and just assumed I’d forever be stuck on the sidelines cheering. That day, I got to compete with some of my best friends, perform like I never thought, and truly relish in my hard work. I fully admit that the photo included is a bit narcissistic, but hey I worked hard for that! Also, I wanted to prove that if you put your mind to it, you can do it too. Side note: Have I told you about my macros?

Aside from the physical aspect of CrossFit, I am also obsessed with the people. I have been studying this whole summer to prepare to take the Ohio Bar in attempt to become an attorney. Again, if you were unaware of this, I’m flabbergasted. CFC’s workouts and community have been my sanctuary. The love and support have been unconditional, despite a few meltdowns, panic attacks, and intense unleashing of my wrath on occasion. You all have put up with my zombie modes and encouraged me every step of the way. I thank you for that. CFC has its characters and I would not want it any other way.