Start Date at Torque: Sept 20, 2014
Something not many may know is that my four years of college I spent it wearing a uniform saluting the flag at 0715 everyday. I went to Massachusetts Maritime Academy, a regimented maritime college in Buzzards Bay to study International Maritime Business. That means I lived with an ocean view for 4 years, making my bed daily, dusting my desk daily, and stripping & waxing my floor 2x a semester. All things I did over 4 years, more than many can say in a lifetime.
Fiance & member Siobhan: How did Siobhan and I meet, well that means you need to turn the calendar back to the summer of August 2006, to a Willie Nelson & John Fogerty (of CCR) concert at Tweeter Center. Now before you call me a uber hippie, I was 16 years old, having just failed my drivers license test because, according to the State trooper, I couldn’t parallel park very good. I was a “grill cook” making $6.75/Hour (frankly I did not know how to even cook eggs) and Siobhan was my “stand leader” in what was my first job ever. I made a fool of myself that evening, yet she still enjoys my company as I continually make a fool of myself on the daily.
What about CrossFit Torque made you want to join? Joining Torque in 2015 was, at the time, one of Siobhan and I’s more “crazy” decisions we probably have ever made that ended up being one of the best decisions we have ever made. Back in 2013-2015, my definition of working out was 10 minutes on the elliptical and a few sets of bench press/bicep curls, yet I wondered why I was in the worst possible shape of my life. CrossFit Torque didn’t look like the type of gym that was full of Body builders and Elite athletes that we certainly were not, and this approachability is what brought us through the door.
Why keep coming back? Day one former Coach Jake & Coach Alex put us through what I realized one day years later was simple 8 minute workout of burpees, air squats, and maybe sit-ups that made my soul die. From then on, I realized that soul crushing workout was what I needed and had been missing since I played football in college. The ability to show up, not have to think or plan a workout, and someone with 100x more understanding of what fitness is and 1,000x ability to show/explain it, is unmatched.
This ability to simply get better at specific things, making what is “hard” now, easy in the future is something I have loved. Torque shows truly that there is no such thing as you can’t, only not yet.
Do you have one moment you are truly proud of? I can’t necessary point to a specific thing I have done that I am most proud of since I have joined Torque, however I am proud that after 5 years of coming to Torque, I still enjoy getting my butt whooped a couple times a week. Despite what the little (sometimes big) voice inside my head says, I still enjoy making Crossfit a priority.
Probably one specific thing was when I could first string double-unders together after the double under clinic. My first handstand was pretty cool considering a guy my size with broken shoulders and a crooked back should not be able to do a handstand.
Okay, so tell us your biggest challenge. The biggest challenge I faced overcoming personally is understanding that I don’t need to “win” a workout nor be the strongest, fastest, or jump the highest. Walking into the door at CrossFit Torque means you have already won, and now you get the opportunity to become strong-er, fast-er, or jump high-er. Everyday you evolve what it means for you to simply be fitter. Torque is a group of some of the nicest humans you can find, with one goal, beating yesterday’s version of themselves today. No one cares who you are, what you background was, or your Fran time, only that you made it in today, and you get to share in the journey together.
What is one of your favorite things to do at Torque? I use to cheat and look at the workout of the day and try to come on the Clean days as I would love doing anything related to cleaning (just not the cleaning done at home). Nowadays I would rather do anything that just gets me moving around in space and have grown to enjoy the things I stink at and used to avoid. Burpees (yup Tom Brady voice LFG!), box jumps, air squats, anything with a dumbbell.
No one ever got better at burpees by doing clean and jerks eh?
Alright, let’s share some advice to those who haven’t yet started CrossFit. Any journey that is worthwhile or valuable is not easy. Mike Tyson’s first punch he ever threw would probably make him sick now seeing it. You don’t graduate college by just showing up on graduation day in a cap & gown. Tom Brady was a 6th round draft pick and a 4th string quarterback on the Pats his rookie year, yet he turned out ok.
In college I was the 5th string center for a 0-10 D3 football team my freshman year (literally I was so bad I couldn’t snap the football). Sophomore year I was no better and was basically relegated to the scout Defense by week one (and we were 0-1). When I was at literally the lowest point on the team (the back-up kicker got more reps then me), and on a team that had lost the last 12 games in a row over the last 3 seasons, it all started to change in my mind as I had nothing to loose.
I started to really work hard and go all out at practice, to the point I got noticed by the defensive coaches. On Sep 13, 2009 my first ever play in a college football game was when I started at nose tackle having the very first tackle of the game week 2 vs MIT. After 3 plays I got my second tackle. On the 5th play, a sweep to my right, in trying to make my third tackle I dislocated my left shoulder and essentially ended my college carrier. Even though I only played 5 snaps and had two tackles, we won the game, and with it a losing culture on our football team.
I would go on to play another game 3 weeks later, but dislocating my left shoulder again. Two weeks after that my first full practice back from injury I broke my right foot, sealing the deal for never putting the pads on again. Despite my rise from the bottom to the top in a short span, I would have never had the chance to do that if I didn’t start someplace, even at the bottom.
My point is this, no one starts out as the best at what they do nor does everyone necessarily become the best, but the journey of getting to something rewarding is what it’s all about.