CFS Athlete Spotlite- Gerrit O
We are so lucky to have Gerrit grind it out weekly with the 5am crew! Consistent 5am attendance takes a special kind of person… Gerrit has improved tremendously since joining CFS. He is incredibly motivated and is always is a positive mood! Thanks for taking the time to fill out the athlete questionnaire so we can get to know you a bit better!
First Name & Last Initial:
When did you first start CrossFitting?
I started with CFS bootcamps in the summer of 2012 but didn’t join the gym until later that summer.
When did you first start training at CFS?
CFS was my first experience with Crossfit.
I tend to prefer WODs which focus more on bodyweight movements and have more rowing, running and pull-ups.
Least Favorite WOD:
I get humiliated every time I do Fran. Also, 13.3 was pretty brutal and I didn’t even get to the muscle-ups.
Tell us about your sports & fitness background:
I grew up playing soccer and tennis. I didn’t play either at the collegiate level but played both throughout college. I picked up road and mountain biking, climbing and snowboarding in college and moved to Colorado in 2000 so I could spend more time on these activities.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel?
I was terribly out of shape and was running on bad momentum. I had the excuses of two young kids, 100+ flights a year, etc. and used those excuses to hardly work out and make poor diet decisions. I went to the doctor and was really disappointed, but not shocked, with the results of my physical. So, I finally decided to get out of my rut and try to do something different.
I had a good friend recommend CrossFit a few times and we talked about it quite a bit. After realizing that the workouts that I was doing on my own were not going to get the results I wanted or needed, I decided to give it a shot.
I started with the bootcamps and one of the first workouts we did was a mixture of sprints, wall balls, KB swings, burpees, mountain climbers and push-ups. I really did think I was going to throw-up for at least an hour after the workout.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF? (before / after)
The changes in the first year were pretty dramatic and I continue to see good progress. I eat better, drink less, look forward to every workout and feel much better. I lost 15 pounds in the first year (I’m now back to college weight), total cholesterol dropped 45 points, my blood pressure and BMI dropped into the healthy range and my resting pulse rate dropped 18 BPM.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected?
I expected material physical changes but I didn’t think about the mental outcomes that would come along with the physical changes. Each one of the WODs gets you to a place where your body is screaming for you to quit and it took me a long time to get to the point where I could really deal with that and push through it. That voice is still there every WOD (some a lot more than others) but it doesn’t have the same impact anymore. This has helped me in so many ways outside of the gym. My focus is better at work, I accomplish a lot more in less time, I deal with stress differently, I am more confident in all aspects of my life and I sleep better.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFS moments.
There have been so many: my first RX workout, finally stringing together a good number of double-unders, first bar muscle-up, etc. but I think the best feeling was when the 5 AM workouts were no longer something I dreaded but were something I looked forward to with anticipation. That switch was due to a number of things: I enjoyed the varied programming, the teaching style and individual attention of the coaches, I started to see material improvements in form and performance, and I really enjoyed the group that was often there with me. While it usually isn’t a team sport, CFS does a good job of instilling the sense of camaraderie and community into the classes and this has allowed me to develop great friendships while getting back into shape.
Any advice for people just getting started?
I remember being extremely intimidated by the gym. I knew I was out of shape, I had no weight lifting experience, many of the movements seemed to be really difficult, and I felt like I was a new kid at school. Everyone was so close and I wasn’t sure how welcoming or accepting they would be. I am happy to say that all of my concerns were blown out of proportion in my head. The other members and coaches were so supportive I quickly got over any nervousness that I had when I first started. While I was still out of shape, I became much more comfortable in the gym in just a few weeks.
Also, commit to it for 6 months. It takes some time to get comfortable with the lifts and movements. It will be really easy to quit in the first couple months because the level of commitment required to see great results is not easy and the workouts are really hard. The gains you will see by creating a stretch attendance goal, committing to it and following through with it are incredible.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I am on the road every week for work so I really enjoy getting back to CO and spending time with my family and friends.
A. Back Squat- Build to a max in 20min
8min AMRAP 80-85%
20m Walking lunge