What brought you to the gym?
Believe it or not, I spoke to Stacey McKibban on and off around the spring of 2011 or 2012 about trying CrossFit. I was always very interested in getting into it, but I never had the guts to actually try it. Fast forward to 2015: I had just gone through a really tough breakup and I was almost 100lbs heavier than when I first asked about CrossFit. At that time, I was about to turn 27 years old and I wasn’t sure I’d make it to age 30 at the rate I was going. I knew I needed to make drastic changes. That was my wakeup call. I could either keep feeling sorry for myself and horrible about my appearance and health, or I could get off my ass and do something about it. That’s when my cousin, Andrew Widman, called me and told me about Bellum. We went to our first class and I never, ever looked back.
What was your first impression?
When I first walked into Bellum, I was absolutely blown away how welcoming everyone was. I was always afraid of walking into a CrossFit gym and being looked down upon because I didn’t know what I was doing, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The incredible sense of community and the team atmosphere continues to amaze me night after night. We’re all each other’s biggest fan.
What are you most proud of?
Oh man, where do I start? I’ve accomplished more since first walking into Bellum in October 2015 up to this point than I ever have in my entire life. If you would have told me two years ago that I was capable of push pressing 215lbs, or squatting 375lbs, doing box jumps, jumping rope, and doing burpees like they were nothing, I would have told you that you were insane. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, I’ve lost almost 70lbs since joining Bellum, and I’m confident in myself and my appearance, all while being among friends (some new and some old).That alone is worth its weight in gold to me.
What are you working on next?
Well, if Test Week has taught me anything, it’s that an athlete’s work is never done. One of my goals is to increase my deadlift from 325 to about 350, and I’m trying to improve my unassisted dip as well as double-unders. Aside from that, I’m excited to participate in the Rookie Rumble this spring for the first time, and to participate in the Crossfit Open to see how much I’ve improved since last year’s Open.
There’s no place like Bellum, period. From the coaches, to the athletes, Bellum makes you want to be a better athlete and a better person. It’s almost like we’re all in competition with each other, but it’s the friendliest competition in the world where everyone wants everyone to win. I look forward to showing up every single night and pushing my limits, while encouraging everyone else to do the same. Thanks to all of you for allowing me to take part in such an amazing community and for encouraging me to be the absolute best I can be.