Athlete of the Month - Jason Roberts

Tell us a little about yourself! 

I'm originally from a tiny town called Seminole, Texas, where I grew up in a family of cotton farmers. I hoed cotton every summer with my sisters, drove tractors with my grandfather, and promised myself that after high school I'd never work anywhere that didn't have air conditioning! Texas is such a great state, but after college I wanted to get out and explore. I spent a few years in Northern California, and ultimately moved to Orlando, Florida for my first "real job" at The Walt Disney Company in 2005. Most everyone who knows me knows that I love Christmas, and every year I'd throw a Christmas party for my marketing colleagues at Disney. Those parties got to be so big, that in 2010 I decided to turn it in a charity benefit to help raise money and toys for children stuck in the hospital at Orlando Regional Medical Center over the Christmas holidays. By virtue of that party and the relationships I made with leaders at ORMC, I was approached by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to help start an outreach program in clinical diagnostics - a program that would help bring the incredible, research-driven diagnostic testing expertise found within CHOP to hospitals and health systems around the world. I accepted the role, convinced my fiancé Jordan that moving to Philadelphia in February was a fantastic idea, and the rest is history! 

How long ago did you join Del Val and how did you find out about us?

I joined CrossFit Del Val in March of 2017. My fiancé, Jordan Baskins, had been a member for a year or so and highly recommended it!

Do you remember your first class or first workout?

Jordan thought it best that my first CrossFit experience should be Sunday bootcamp. I remember being SO nervous and intimidated by the idea of working out alongside people who were extremely athletic. Everyone was so welcoming though, the workout was fun, and I had a blast!

What made you want to continue coming back after that?

The people. There is such an amazing sense of community at CrossFit Del Val, and everyone is so encouraging, kind, and optimistic. What I love most about CrossFit Del Val is that regardless of where you are in your fitness journey, there is always a place for you! Also, I'm a hugger, and I find that most folks at CrossFit Del Val are huggers, too! 

What is it like to be able to share CrossFit with your partner, Jordan? 

Oh my gosh. Jordan is such an incredible athlete! He inspires me to be better, dream bigger, and take risks - and I encourage him to keep his shirt on during workouts. ;-) Seriously though, I never imagined that CrossFit would be something we could both share, and I hope I can continue to encourage him as much as he encourages me!

You recently completed one of our benchmark workouts Angie (For time: 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats) with a great time! Tell us your strategy going into this workout. 

This workout was so much fun! I tend to do well with bodyweight workouts, and was SO excited to be able to complete the pull-up portion of Angie. (When I started CrossFit in March, I couldn't do a single pull-up unassisted, so for me - this was HUGE!) My strategy for success in any CrossFit workout is simple: WWJBD? (What Would Jeff Besnick Do?) In this workout, I kept the pull-ups to 10 sets of 10 so as not to become completely exhausted before the push-ups. I shared the pull-up bar with Jacki Ford, and her determination and drive throughout Angie was palpable, and really inspired me to keep going!

Tell us about another important recent accomplishment and your strategy for achieving it. 

I recently one-rep-maxed a 200lb bench press, and a 290lb back squat! I oftentimes work on those movements on my own in the Dungeon to continue building strength. I've learned that with any movement (including my pull-ups), practice makes perfect!

What are some short term and long term CrossFit goals you have?

I would love to get better at barbell workouts. Shoulder to overhead movements can be challenging for me, as well as anything with the word "snatch" in it. I would also like to back squat 350lbs!

Tell us something we don’t know about you!

In 2016 I fulfilled my lifelong dream of meeting my personal hero and idol, Dolly Parton!

Fill in the blanks:

Aside from Crossfit, my other passion is singing (I started college on a vocal performance scholarship!). 

My favorite musician is Dolly Parton. Obvi.

Christmas is my favorite holiday because it promotes love, and brings people together, and that's what life is all about.

List three role models (can be alive or deceased)

My grandfather, Layton Oliver, who taught me discipline and integrity, and to never take life too seriously.

My grandmother, Virginia Jackson, who LOVED Jordan and I to pieces, and helped us buy our house!

My health and fitness role model, Jacki Bunting Ford. Jacki is a cheerleader and encourager to SO many people, and has helped give me the confidence to succeed at CrossFit!

My favorite movie is Steel Magnolias.

My ideal weekend includes working out, some good wine, and spending time with my doggie Scout, and fiancé, Jordan.