Name: IV Ashton
I am an attorney by training but founded a software company 17 years ago that helps people that cannot afford lawyers.
What is your athletic background?
I enjoy athletics. I grew up skiing (my biggest passion), sailing and biking. I played sports in high school — basketball mostly. I still ski and bike when I can.
What was your workout routine prior to CF Spero?
I have done Bikram Yoga since 2014. Prior to joining Spero in 2016, I tried a few other gyms but nothing that I really connected with.
How much weight have you lost since you began?
I have lost around to 20 pounds since I joined Spero.
How has CrossFit influenced your mental health?
Crossfit is part of my routine now. It used to be that working out was the exception, now it is the rule. I travel a lot for work and I notice that I feel off if I miss too many days. I have played around with the time of day I work out and I have found that working out in the morning works best for me. Typically I do Crossfit before I go to work, which energizes me and provides clarity and focus. I also do Bikram Yoga in the afternoon before I come home from work, which is a really nice balance to my day.
How has CrossFit impacted your physical health?
There is no doubt that I am in the best shape of my life. I am not the strongest person in the gym by any stretch and that is fine by me. I see a noticeable difference in my physical shape compared to where I was three years ago. Importantly, focusing on my technique has helped me tremendously. I would much rather lift less weight correctly than do something that results in an injury.
What positive changes have you noticed in your life since starting CrossFit?
CrossFit Spero has given me a foundation and a community that has become increasingly important in my life. I always know that no matter what class I attend, there will be dedicated athletes and coaches ready to push me, support me, and allow me to do the same for them. That foundation has really meant a lot in my personal growth. I am very thankful for being a part of this amazing community. Additionally, continuous conditioning has helped my mental health as much as anything. I am more focused and more driven. Finally, I don’t always make the best food decisions, but I am much more mindful of what I put in my body. Food is my fuel. When I eat poorly, I really feel it in my workout.
What was your first experience with CrossFit?
I live close to Spero and had passed by the gym several times. I had an idea to try it one day, so I called and left a voicemail. Dave called me every day for a week until I finally dragged myself into the gym. After the workout, I signed up and haven’t looked back. I was immediately impressed with the level of detail and attention to doing things correctly in my workout. It was significantly different than other gyms.
When did you start CF?
Why did you choose CF Spero?
Initially, because it was convenient (close to my house), but honestly, the reason I stayed has been the quality of the experience.
What keeps you coming back?
Dave has compromising photos of me and he told me that I can never leave . . . Honestly, I come back because I feel at home at the gym. People there always make me laugh and make me feel welcome. I also really I love the exercise, especially Spero Sweat (which I initially mistakenly signed up for thinking it was Spero Sweet — I thought it involved an EMOM WOD involving pie at the bakery across the street . . . it turns out that you just run a lot and there is no pie).
Where do you live and why?
I live in Oak Park. We have four kids and moved here (like many) to raise them. I love the diversity and the community of Oak Park.
What do you do for a living?
When I am not modeling Men’s Health (most of my work is in the “before” photos), I run a software business working at the intersection of law and technology.
How do you like to spend your free time?
With my family mostly.
What do you like about Oak Park?
I love the community and the people. It is a safe place to raise a family.
What are one or two improvements you have seen in your life since starting CF?
I have gotten in much better shape and I feel healthier. I sleep better too.
What are your CrossFit goals?
I really want to get my first pull-up . . . and I REALLY want a full head of hair. Both thus far have alluded me, but Dave promised me that anything is possible at Spero. I estimate success sometime around Christmas.
What would you say to someone thinking about starting CF?
I have found that Practice makes Progress. So make a commitment to show up — showing up is half the battle. My experience is that once you are in the gym, others will be there to support you in achieving your goals — we are battling together! My guess is that if you show up consistently, you will find great benefits inside and outside of the gym!
What’s your favorite and least favorite CF movement?
I like box jumps for some reason. I am not a huge fan of Thrusters (unless this is a trick question and now you are going to make us do Thrusters, in which case I hate Child’s Pose, so please don’t make us do that . . . for like 45 minutes).
What’s your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is breakfast — eggs, potatoes, breakfast meat, etc.
Anything else you would like to share with the Spero family?
I would just like to express my gratitude. I don’t take for granted how special this community is and am fortunate to be a part of it. Thank you Dave and the staff for ensuring that we have a safe, clean and well-equipped facility to workout (I especially like the putting green). And thank you to the coaches for working so hard at your craft — I realize how much effort goes into being a great coach and your preparation/dedication does not go unnoticed! Thank you!