Meet Tim

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 19:27
Tim box jumping

Being thrown into quarantine with little warning forced us all to sink or swim when it came to figuring out our new health and fitness life. Tim -- who was just a few months into CrossFit and our gym when it began -- decided to swim for his life! With a big friendly smile (except for some meaner faces away from the livestream camera after too many burpees), Tim is on a mission. His progress and determination through these past months has been outstanding. And now he's back in the gym to keep the momentum going. Here is more about Tim, an athlete to watch as he keeps chasing big goals.

Jessie: When did you start with us at CF100 and what brought you here?

Tim: I started around the second week of January, 2020, with the Basics class. By the end of the month, I was regularly attending the CrossFit lite classes. It wasn't a New Year's resolution or anything like that, it was just the right time for me to start. Honestly, my wife made me go the first time, but after that it's been all me. I knew I was ready for something different, and CrossFit 100 was the perfect thing.

J: What kind of fitness have you done before (growing up, etc)?

T: Being the youngest of 4 boys, I did everything my brothers did! But my sports in high school were football and basketball. During adult life, my activity level has gone through serious ebbs and flows. I've gone years hardly doing any exercise at all, and other times I've run half-marathons and even a marathon. I did a little bit of weightlifting at times, but the monotony of the same lifts and machines made it impossible to stick with. Marathon training burned me out so much that iI hardly ran at all for about a year afterwards.

J: What do you do outside of the gym (work, family, hobbies)?

T: Family and work keep me busy. Our daughters are 13 and 11, and growing up too quickly. I'm a diehard Badgers fan, and have had season football tickets for 25 years. Also, I graduated from The French Pastry School in Chicago, and worked in several pastry kitchens in Chicago. I still love making all sorts of pastries, breads, wedding cakes, birthday cakes, etc. Making pastries and trying to obtain a healthy weight can be a big challenge!

J: Quarantine was a rough transition for so many people. You have been thriving! Tell us a little about how you stayed on track with your fitness and nutrition. What were your challenges, successes?

The livestream classes were crucial for me! When lockdown started, I was very nervous about losing the progress I had made, and falling off the good habits. But working from home and the consistency of being able to log on at 5:00 every night for class made it easy to stay on track. I also think that being forced to use sometimes heavier weights, and using tempo to make up for lighter weights, actually increased my fitness in some areas. I used the opportunity to focus on core strength, which was one of my weakest areas.

Nutrition-wise, things started out strong and we did a lot of cooking and incorporating lots of veggies and lean proteins. In the last month or so, we've gotten a little more carry-out, but I'm still high on protein and veggies. My weight loss did slow down during quarantine, but I still lost 10 pounds over that period! I think most of the U.S. went in a different direction on the scale, so i feel pretty good about my progress. In all, that's 35 pounds since starting at Crossfit 100, and 50+ pounds total since around this time last year.

J: You decided to return to the gym this week. How has that been going?

It's been great. I love seeing everybody again, and I like how the gym is set up for the workouts. You guys did a lot of work with painting, organizing the weights, and getting new equipment while we were out! I noticed the new climbing ropes, I'm a little nervous about that...

Honestly, I was a little apprehensive about coming back, but I talked to a lot of people about it before returning. One person I spoke to is a physician who actually had a fairly bad case COVID-19. His advice to me was that the pros of exercise and how well I've been doing outweigh the potential cons. I think for me, personally, he's right.

J: What are your plans/goals for your fitness now that you’re back in the gym?

T: My first priority is to get back into the swing of it and work on my form. I'm not worried yet about how much I'm lifting or how many reps/sets. But I need to keep working on my core and upper body strength as I progress towards a longer term goal of being able to complete pull-ups.

I also need to focus on nutrition and keep the momentum I've had with weight/fat loss over the last 5 months. And then there's those new climbing ropes... and Murph 2021...

J: Favorite CrossFit movement?

T: I really like all of the Olympic lifts, and I'm looking forward to doing more of that now that I'm back in the gym. If I had to pick a single favorite, I'd say the bench press, because it takes me back to my high school football days when we all obsessed about how much everyone could bench!

J: Least favorite?

T: The only thing worse than burpees is burpees over the bar.

J: What would you tell someone starting out in CrossFit and/or someone trying to work on their health and fitness at home, right now?

People ask me if CrossFit is hard, and I say it's @#$&ing hard! But that's the point. You don't get fit by taking it easy. But you have to find your motivation, too. For me, it's as much mental as it is physical. I like the mental challenge of doing things that most people can't or aren't willing to do. I challenged myself to run a marathon because I knew the training would be mentally tough, and it was.

Working out at home, I challenged myself to hit every rep, even though the coaches couldn't see if i was doing a sit-up or taking a nap! I also set other smaller goals for myself, like attending more classes in May than I did in April (which i crushed, by the way). But back to my original point, as hard as it is, YOU CAN DO IT. If I can do it, you can do it.

On my first night of Basics, I literally almost passed out. I was so light-headed I had to sit down several times. I'm sure Jens was wondering if he was going to need to call 911 before the night was over! But here I am, five months later, going five days/week, and basically in the best shape of my life.