Ryan is a self-admitted competitive person, whose mental perception of his workouts has been transformed over the years from “need to be at the top of the scoreboard” to “lifting/moving/training in a way that’s best for my body today.” For many people who are naturally competitive, it’s easy to approach group classes with a negative mentality. In a desire to lift more or move faster than others, you can push yourself to unhealthy extremes. It’s a hard fought battle getting to a point where you can recognize your weaknesses and approach them with a GROWTH mentality. This means your desire shifts to learning and improving those weaknesses and you recognize that your imperfections are actually strengths, not a flaws. It’s transformative in the long game. Ryan is a great example of this mindset. Through his years of attendance and encouragement from fellow members and coaches, he has learned that his journey toward fitness and wellness is just that- a journey.

Before becoming a member at Bellum, Ryan was always active but has since changed his workouts over the years from traditional “bro-style” workouts with a cardio finisher, to workouts that are constantly varied, never the same from day to day. He adds in movements that maybe aren’t his favorite, but help him be prepared for anything that his life or his job will throw at him. As a firefighter, he truly never knows what to expect from each day on the job, and appreciates his preparedness for the unknown and unknowable.

Ryan loves his family and wants to stay active and playing with them throughout their lives. On his days off, he and his wife Shannon are never idle, taking their girls to the zoo, a park, or the beach. They love hiking as a family and are thankful that consistent training with Bellum has made all of these things much, much easier.

Ryan – your commitment to your family and your community is admirable. We are glad to play a part in helping to better YOU mentally and physically, so that you in turn can better serve those around you. Thank you for all you do, day in and day out, and for being a great example of consistency and fitness. We know that between you and Shannon, your girls have a great example of how to take care of yourself and work toward accomplishing hard things.

What type of workouts did you perform before coming to Bellum?: I would do exactly what I do now after I finish CrossFit classes ….Be a total Bro lol. I would only do traditional weightlifting then old school cardio like running or an elliptical.

Why were you looking for a new style of workouts?:  At first, I wasn’t necessarily looking for a new way to workout. Brewster has been one of my best friends since pre-school. I had decided to try Bellum because he was coaching when we joined. After trying it once, we joined immediately. We fell in love with it right away. The style of workouts are so beneficial for what I do at work and seemed almost immediately to make my job easier.

One other thing I’ve grown to love is that the program is thoroughly planned and laid out for you. I don’t have to think of what I want to do every time I go to the gym. One other thing that keeps me hooked is that it in a way, it is like my job. It’s never the same on any two days so it never becomes boring or mundane.

Now, with two beautiful and crazy girls it is a huge deal that it keeps me able to keep up with them. I want to be able to be an active daddy and do everything with my kids. I don’t want to ever be the dad that can’t play or take part in something with them because I don’t take care of my own self.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement or workout?:  Anyone that knows me in the gym has seen that bodyweight is my wheelhouse. I’ll deal with a bar if I have to, but I’d rather be bodyweight and put the pedal to the floor and not slow down.

What is your biggest accomplishment since starting at Bellum? I wouldn’t necessarily say there is a specific accomplishment. There are many things that I’ve been able to accomplish partly because of CrossFit that I am proud of. As I said, I’m happy and proud to be able to be fit and take a very active role in my daughters’ lives.

Also, Shannon and I have always enjoyed being active, traveling and trying to have experiences to remember. Like a vacation hiking in the Rocky Mountains last year (carrying Addison in a backpack carrier btw). Without Bellum, those things would not be as easy as they are. 

Lastly, I think being at Bellum has had a positive impact on my career as well. It keeps me very fit and makes the job of being a firefighter easy. Firefighting is a team sport and you are only as strong as the weakest link.

What is your favorite out-of-the-gym activity?: My favorite thing to do is probably just being with Shannon and the girls. We try to do as much as possible and take the kids as many places as we can and I love it. Whether it’s a day trip to the zoo, or the beach or just playing at home. Anything is fine as long as we’re making those girls happy.

Before you came to Bellum, you worked as a trainer at a gym! How has your workout style and mindset toward workouts evolved over the years, especially as you became involved in CrossFit through Bellum?: I think the biggest thing is that we don’t follow a traditional lifting schedule. Arms one day, Chest another etc.  It took some time to get used to the style of CrossFit workouts but it definitely is more fun and more beneficial. As I said before, I really love that I’m not the one coming up with the plan. I used to have to plan workouts for myself and other people when I trained and I don’t care to ever have to worry about that again.

If you could go back to when you started at Bellum and give yourself some advice, what would that advice be?: Don’t treat every day at the gym like a competition. I am very competitive and hate losing. I would always look at sugarwod (our programming “scoreboard”) and see what the guys did that day and die trying to have the best weight or time in a workout. It’s a sickness that I’ve conquered lol. I’m finally listening to my body and train smarter. There are those days where I go all in but I also now know that if I feel off, a rest day or backing it down a bit is ok. 

What’s your “Why”?: 100% our Girls. I want to be there for everything and be active in every stage of their lives. Keeping fit and healthy is the first and most important step to ensuring that.

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