Tell us a little about yourself!
I work for a German engineering conglomerate, Siemens AG. I currently work in their Human Resources as the Learning & Education program manager for finance, accounting, business management and strategy topics and job families. Before this role I was an accountant and an analyst for Siemens. My back ground is accounting and finance. I have an active CPA license, have a Bachelor's in accounting and a masters in business administration. So if you ever want to talk about corporate accounting and finance then come to me and I will talk your ear off. I live with my wonderful partner of almost 10 years, Jason Roberts (also a Del Val member) and we live in Drexel Hill with our doggo and two kitties.
How long ago did you join Del Val and how did you find out about us?
Originally I joined Del Val in May of 2013 on a 3 month trial basis. However, after the trial I did not renew, primarily because I did not have the proper mindset at the time to be consistent with CrossFit. My real start date was January 2015. Joe Buchanon, a Del Val member and friend of mine informed me that Del Val was offering a New Year's Comeback Special. I was floundering at LA Fitness and tired of my routine so I started back at Del Val and have stuck with it. I am very happy that Joe spurred me on to rejoin. I found out about Del Val on Google when I searched for my nearest CF gym. I really got lucky to have found a great gym on the first try. I had done CrossFit informally with some Marine officer friends of mine at their Marine recruiting depot in Orlando, FL back in 2008-2009 and really enjoyed it. I liked the social or team atmosphere of those workouts and was hoping to find that again. I was successful at finding that, Del Val had plenty of it.
What brings you back every day after day?
The other athletes at Del Val bring me back day after day. I love the people. I work at home alone 99% of the time and I also work a sedentary desk job, so Del Val provides much needed social interaction as well as needed physical activity. I also like the competitive atmosphere although I don't take the competitive side to extremes. I have a few unsuspecting (and some suspecting) in house competitors that I compete with each week.
It is no surprise that you will always be an Early Bird! Can you share with us a few memories from the morning classes that stand out to you?
I love being an Early Bird and love the 6:30am class. I have so many memories from our morning classes that I don't even know which one to cite. One of the more memorable ones for me was when I had been at Del Val for a few months and I wasn't able to Rx most workouts. One day I scaled the workout by using the women's Rx weight. I believe it was either C&Js or snatches in the work out and Lauren Foehl was in that class. She beat me so badly using the same weight that day. Lots of memories of Chris....he really pushes me to do better, it is very much appreciated. He will "no rep" me during workouts, which is frustrating but needed. I feel that most “no reps” are on shoulder to overhead movements and air squats. I get in a hurry. One of the memories I have of Chris is him not letting me quit the DT workout. I tried it at the RX weight and my forearms burned out in the hang cleans. He told me to rest a few minutes, unload 20#s and retry. I tried to quit at that weight too, but he kept pushing me along until I finished.
Over the past few months we’ve noticed your pull-ups have developed into beautiful butterfly pull-ups! Can you talk about this process and share with us your game plan for achieving this movement?
Oh wow, I didn't even know anyone noticed. Pull ups are a goat for me, probably 2nd to running. I started learning butterfly pull ups because I thought they may be easier than regular kipping. Justin Marriott sent me a YouTube video of a lady instructor showing how to do butterfly pull ups with a PVC pipe. I watched that video and would do some practice here and there until I got a decent movement pattern down. Volume is still an issue; I don't have a lot of pull up volume. I am trying to learn to butterfly CTB, but that seems to be very difficult. Anyways, still a lot of work to do with pull ups and CTBs.
Tell us about another important recent accomplishment!
I was very pleased to hit a 405 pound 1 rep max back squat in June 2017. I set a goal in 2016 to achieve that although I did not think it was possible at my body weight of 175-180 pounds to back squat 405. That really pleased me when I completed that rep.
What are some short term and long term CrossFit goals you have?
Short term goals: conditioning, conditioning conditioning! I hate conditioning but it is the one thing I need the most. I have decent strength numbers but my lungs can’t keep up. I also would like to be a more proficient Oly lifter. Long term goals – I would like to marry my strength with better conditioning to finish more Rx+ level workouts while also keeping my body healthy and injury free. Some more specific goals for me: finish DT Rx, still never have done that due to the hang cleans killing me, 225# snatch, 275# C&J, 40 unbroken pull ups, sub 6.5 min miles consistently (probably the most difficult goal for me), butterfly CTB and ring muscle ups. I still can’t get ring m/u’s, but I also don’t practice. I also would like to dial in my nutrition, mainly around optimizing intake. Some days I don't eat enough, others days way too much.
Does nutrition play a big role in your life and if so, how does it affect your CrossFit performance?
HUGE role. Poor nutrition leads me to poor workout performance. The biggest goat in my nutrition is alcohol. I don’t have a sweet tooth or drink sodas, but I love gin, bourbon and beer. My breakfasts and dinners are solid, but my lunch time eating is opportunistic, just whatever I can find. I really need to meal prep for lunch.
Tell us something we don’t know about you!
Before my job at Siemens, I qualified for the the U.S. Marine Corp’s Officer Cadet School. I was scheduled to start boot camp in Quantico, VA but then was bumped from my original start date to one 5-6 months later. In that 5-6 month period, I met Jason and was hired on at Siemens. So I asked to have my application withdrawn for OCS. Had I not been bumped, I would most likely be a Marine and not here with you guys at Del Val. No regrets though, life worked out just great.
Fill in the blanks:
On the weekends you can find me at happy hour on Friday afternoon, college football on Saturday and bootcamp on Sunday.
The best concert I’ve ever been to was Dolly Parton because my partner Jason is a huge fan and he got to meet her.
My favorite CrossFit workout is Bradshaw (for time, 10 rounds, 3 HSPU, 6 deadlifts (225/155), 12 pull ups, and 24 dubs).
If I was stranded on a desert island with only one person, one type of food, one drink and one song to listen to it would be Jason, Sushi, Tired Hands Beer, Free Bird (duh).
My next vacation is to Montreal.
You can always find me at Sunday boot camps because it is fun, no scores, just work out.