What is your athletic background?
Going all the way back to my high school days I was really involved in tennis. I played year-round and was obsessed with everything Andre Agassi. It was the ’90s so that’s my excuse. I made it to the state competition my senior year.
When I went to college it was during the rise of the x- games and everyone was obsessed with extreme sports. I was really into rollerblading and skating. We tore up the U of I campus daily. It was really a lifestyle back then and skating had a cult following back then that you could somewhat equate to crossfit culture today.
After i graduated from college I worked extremely long hours and got totally out of shape. I felt like i didn’t have the time i did before to do the things i loved. I weighed over 300lbs. When i turned 30 i decided to do something about it. first i started eating better and jogging. I lost 40lbs in 4 months doing that alone. At that point I decided to try martial arts. Not knowing what i was in for i dove into Shaolin Kung Fu. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Flexibility, gymnastics, endurance… my out of shape body was in shock. I became addicted despite the struggle and lost over 60 more pounds by the end of the year. At 31 I was under 200lbs. After getting my black belt I moved into Muay Thai because i became more interested in sport fighting. Muay Thai is a ring sport so it was fun to add that competition aspect to my workout. I did that regularly until I moved to Oak Park a year and a half ago and that is when I tried crossfit for the first time. That’s probably more than you want to know about me but there it is.
What was your workout routine prior to CF Spero?
I would do Muay Thai 4 days a week. Normal practice was circuit training through various drills for an hour. Extreme cardio but no weight training was part of practice. It was on you to lift on your own if you wanted to. Saturday was sparring competitions.
How much weight have you lost since you began?
Strictly from a weight perspective not a lot but I have lost 4 inches in my waist so i think that is a good start. Starting this January I’ve increased my focus on fat loss and have stopped drinking on week days along with improving my diet and have lost 15lbs so far. Ramping down drinking is probably the 2nd hardest thing I’ve done…..BUT I GOTTA GET THAT F’N HSPU!!!
What was your first experience with CrossFit?
Hah….I actually DJ’d a crossfit regionals competition 5 years ago. I have a friend who is a coach in naperville and he asked me to do it. I thought these guys were insane. He’s been after me to try crossfit for a while so I finally decided to give it a try when I moved to OP.
When did you start CF?
Why did you choose CF Spero?
I saw Dave sitting out at the Harrison Street festival that the town has every year and just got to talking to him.
What keeps you coming back?
Really two things.
1. The people are great. I feel incredibly lucky to know everyone here. It’s such a good environment. I don’t know where else in society everyone comes together in such a positive, inclusive and supportive way. It really helps me get my day started right.
2. I enjoy the challenge and competition. Crossfit is so demanding. It makes you give 110% of yourself. It’s not something you can master because it is so varied and everyone has different skills they excel in. It’s fun to see how far you can push yourself to compete against yourself and your friends.
Why do you live in Oak Park?
My wife made me move here. We used to live in the Glen Ellyn area but our commute was just too long. As an architect I really love the town’s character. We also have 2 kids and like the schools in the area.
What do you do for a living?
I’m the senior architect at a design/ build firm. We do a wide range of projects from multi family, commercial and healthcare to single family.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I have 2 hobbies.
I have a 1967 Barracuda that I work on. Orange. Loud. My neighbors love me when I fire it up on Saturday night and take it around the block to test my work.
I also love to brew beer. I’m building a larger brewery in my basement now. I’ll make some beer for one of the Spero events when I’m done with the brewery.
What do you like about Oak Park?
There are really a lot of great people here. Of course we didn’t know this benefit before moving to the area, but I think it is now what I like best about OP. We have really great neighbors and have met so many awesome people. Everyone is so friendly.
What are one or two improvements you have seen in your life since starting CF?
The desire to challenge and test myself. I started not knowing what crossfit really was. I just thought it would be another workout. Now it makes me want to test myself and see where it can take me. I started crossfit to become more healthy and fit in life… Now I find myself trying to do things outside of crossfit to improve my performance in the gym. I didn’t expect this circumstance… but I really enjoy this challenge.
What are your goals for 2017?
For 2018 I’m really focusing on losing weight. I’ve cleaned up my diet and drink much less. I’m on my way and have lost 15lbs so far this year but I’m shooting to lose at least 30-40 more pounds. That will put me in the 185-195lb range that I want to be in.
On top of that goal I really want a HSPU!
I’m halfway there.
What would you say to someone thinking about starting CF?
Just come see why people are so fanatical about it. It’s so much more than just a workout. It is a culture. Its a family. You will love it. You will find friends who will support you every day and won’t let you fail. I promise you will make accomplishments you never thought you were capable of.
What’s your favorite and least favorite CF movement?
Right now I really love double unders. The rhythm just clicked. I can regularly knock out 25-30 unbroken. My best is 93 unbroken.
Wall balls used to be my least favorite…. but I think burpees are my current nemesis. I just suck at them. Hopefully of I can lose some more weight they will get easier.
Whats your favorite meal?
Doesn’t take much to convince me to go to Kuma’s for a good burger.