March 2021, Member Highlight: Mitch Bondur

“Mitch is an blast to have in class both from a coaching standpoint and as a fellow athlete. He is always looking to improve with every aspect of his fitness.  Mitch is a faithful 6am attendee, and I love having him socially distanced from me in class while we work out together.”

– Coach Sara (March 4, 2021)

    I think it’s no secret that I am fairly quiet when I am at the gym, at least pre/intra workout. I promise I am not being stand-offish!  It’s usually early and I am still waking up for the 6:00am (i.e. the pre-workout has not hit) and I am mentally preparing myself for the workout ahead.  Amelia (Abe) also a member at Torque, could tell you all about her impression of me when we first met at our gym in NYC!!  Amelia and I met at our 6:00am CrossFit class at Oculus located in the Financial District of Manhattan. I invited her out one night when I had friends in town, and somehow, I managed not to scare her off! 

     I was born and raised in California (Bay Area) and did the “reverse migration” as I tell people. I moved to Boulder, Colorado and attended the University of Colorado, Boulder where I studied Marketing at the Leeds School of Business. I wound up starting my career for an awesome fiber infrastructure company, Zayo Group, headquartered in Boulder. This led to the amazing opportunity of moving to the east coast with the company where I help support some of the largest financial institutions around the globe.  

     When I was four, my father took our family to France for three years for work. I learned to speak fluent French given I was put in an all French speaking school. I still speak it when I can, but it’s not nearly as good as it used to be!

    I grew up playing hockey most of my life. My dad has a picture of me at six months old in a San Jose Sharks onesie holding a small hockey stick. Not to mention, I was put in skates by age three and never looked back. I was fortunate to play competitive hockey (AA/AAA/College) for nine+ years and still play when I can. I consider myself “retired” and will play “beer league” on occasion with good friends of mine.

     In college, I became very serious about my health, mostly my physical appearance, which meant I was in the gym – A LOT! I eventually got out of the “gym bro” mentality by senior year where I then started focusing on nutrition and an overall active lifestyle.  Colorado was a great place to do this with the mountains, active culture, and the amazing weather. I am a big skier and still have not adjusted to the fact that I can no longer go skiing 20+ times in a season.

    When COVID hit, Amelia and I spent about the first three months cooped up in my studio apartment in NYC. We then made our way to Norfolk, MA where her parents currently live. We obviously could not go back to the city after being exposed to open space! She introduced me to CrossFit Torque given she would attend classes while she was home for holidays. So naturally, we signed up as soon we could when the doors opened up again. Personally, I needed more than the burpees and kettlebell exercises in the basement. CrossFit Torque was the immediate antidote for that!  I was immediately impressed with the facility (equipment, space, adaption to COVID) and more importantly the community (coaches and members).

     I keep coming back for more at Torque!! 2020 was a tough year for everyone. I had my moments that were challenging and I felt lost in some cases. When CFT was opened with outdoor classes after two months of being shutdown, it brought back one of my biggest passions. Fitness! Now that we are in 2021, I decided to take my health/fitness even more seriously (again). With the help of all the great coaches, I have been able to make substantial headway in my goals from a lifting perspective, and of course, my nutrition habits.

I come back day after day (I’d go seven days a week if I could) to be with a community of people. Each and every individual that I have had the pleasure of meeting have made my experience welcoming – especially as a “non- Massachusetts” resident (i.e. local).  The coaching staff is excellent and well versed in what they do. For example, I am very happy that I signed up for the Olympic Lifting Specialty course to improve my form and ultimately perform heavier/better lifts. 

     My proudest accomplishment at Torque thus far is whenever I beat Sara during the workout (just kidding! 🙂 ) Actually, I was able to perform my first ever muscle up this week. I have to thank Sara for the help there!  I am also proud of how I did in the “Fall Back Into Healthy Habits” challenge in late 2020 with Nutrition Coach Jamie. I am generally good with my nutrition, but of course, COVID lead to some bad habits. With her help, I was able to see where I needed to focus most (i.e. being aware of the snacking I was doing). I lost a few pounds of fat and in return gained some muscle!

      My biggest challenge lifting wise traditionally has been/is overhead exercises such as strict press. I have “weak” shoulders in my opinion mainly stemming from hockey injuries. It’s a work in progress, but I am noticing improvements especially when I spend time doing accessory work and stretching.

    My favorite movement is the DEADLIFT! All day every day! 

     A piece of advice to one that is debating whether or not to try CrossFit – TRY IT!!  I was one of those people two years ago – not interested in CrossFit. It was mainly due to the overhead movements such as snatches or squat cleans. It took a friend/colleague of mine to convince me to try one class in Boulder, CO. I clearly did not understand why people wanted to participate in these exercises. Frankly the movements scared me because I feared re-injuring my shoulders or knees. Once I was taught technique and safety around the movement, I understood why we go overhead.

Once I was introduced to the members/coaches I immediately felt welcome. The biggest difference between CrossFit and a “normal gym” is the community. If you want to have more than “just a workout” and have meaningful connections with people that will push/coach/hold you accountable, then CrossFit is exactly that place.

     My super power would be “strength” given that is what we think of at the gym. However, my honest answer would be to control time. I say this because there is never enough of it. This becomes more true to me as you grow (age), and yet I am still young! I’d like the ability to control it – especially to freeze or slow time down during the best parts of life.

     In conclusion, I just want to thank the staff/coaches for all the work that is put in day in/day out. There are many things that go into planning the workouts, ensuring the equipment is usable, and keeping the place clean/organized.   But let’s not forget, all of these “normal” tasks now have extra pressure/scrutiny around it due to COVID. Thank you for doing a great job maintaining the gym and keeping it up and running for the community. It’s the best part of my day (even when I have to wake up at 5:00am!) and I am sure many people can relate to that.

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