February Athlete Spotlight
Congrats Carrick D.!!!
What are your favorite hobbies, talents, skills outside of CrossFit?
Cook. Eat. Geek out about data and charts. Sleep. Watch reality TV (guilty pleasure). Spend time with my dog and girlfriend.
What motto or phrase do you live by?
I heard someone say once, about athletic training: If I miss a day, I notice it. If I miss two days, my coaches notice it. If I miss three days, everybody notices. I remind myself of that when my girlfriend asks me to take a rest day.
What is something we might not know about you?
What is your favorite music to listen to while WODing?
I was digging Kief’s TuPac phase he was going through last summer.
What recent adventure are you planning?
My girlfriend’s sister is pregnant with her first and is due on Groundhog Day. We’re going to Houston in mid-February to meet the baby. I’ve never held one before…
Do any of your family members CrossFit? If so, where?
Said girlfriend’s pregnant sister goes to PinUp Crossfit in Houston.
Where are you originally from?
Juneau, Alaska. Crazy thing- there are no roads out of town because it’s bound on all sides by mountains, ice, and water. And no, I can’t see Russia from my house.
What is your occupation?
I’m a Prospect Development Analyst at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association. I use statistics and data to help find alums who might make good donors to UW-Madison.
What is your athletic background?
I wasn’t really ever an athlete. I played some sports, but I never really ‘trained’. As a little kid and in high school it was soccer. In college it was Frisbee. Athleticism was always the weakest point. I couldn’t run far enough or fast enough. I didn’t like being pushed beyond what was comfortable. Even on day 1 of Crossfit with Em, even before on ramp, she pushed me past that point and I was ok. I knew I could do more.
How long have you been with CrossFit Connex?
January 29, 2014 was my last day of on-ramp, so just over a year.
What is your favorite WOD?
I do better with endurance work than sprint-style WODs. The 30 minute, EMOM WOD went surprisingly well. I’m always overwhelmed when I see the Saturday team WODs, but I like them a lot.
Short WODs with heavy bar work.
What is your favorite lift?
The snatch. I did a workout a few months ago and Fil was the only other person there. We warmed up with snatches and both of our form was so bad that Kief spent the entire hour drilling us on bar path with an empty bar. Because of the time I’ve spent on it since then, I’ve gotten to a spot where it feels good and looks good.
What is your least favorite lift?
Front squats. We do a lot of them, but my wrist flexibility in my front rack is not great – I have a long way to go.
What is your favorite paleo meal/snack?
What is your favorite cheat Food(s)?
What would your perfect WOD look like?
I would have a lot of bodyweight stuff, like box jumps and burpees. Rowing. I would do it for time – I find myself catching my breath a lot on AMRAPs.
What is one thing you have done at CFC that you never thought you would do?
Handstand pushups. Also, I remembered that I had set a goal for myself eight years ago that I wanted to bench press my body weight. At the time, I wasn’t able to do it. I had forgotten about the goal altogether, until about two weeks ago at open gym, when I did it no problem.
What motivates you during a CrossFit WOD?
Coaches and the other athletes there. I need the external motivation and encouragement.
What do you eat pre/post WOD?
Ibuprofen! I’ve gotten better about post-WOD protein shakes, but a meal is never far behind.
What results have you seen so far in coming to CFC?
In the last year I’ve gained 30 pounds – all muscle. Additionally, I have a ton more confidence in myself, both physically and in my own fortitude.
What was your main reason for joining CFC?
See above, re: girlfriend’s pregnant CrossFitting sister.
Give us some insight as to your thoughts after your first workout at CrossFit Connex?
I don’t remember what the WOD was. I was exhausted and relieved it was over, but by then the bug had got me. I knew I’d need a day to recover but I’d be back.
Tell us a little about then VS now in regard to your performances as a CrossFit athlete.
When I did Fran on the last day of on-ramp, I did it with a 45-lb bar and a band in 14:40. Last week, to test my one-year progress, I did it again with the same weight, and did it in 4:14.
I’ve clearly gotten stronger, but I think what I’m more proud of is my technique and form. I still scale – I don’t think I’ve done an RX workout with weight, but I feel like my technique and my form has always been good and is just getting better. To me that’s more important than lifting heavy. Improvements don’t always come in pounds.
Do you have any special or successful CrossFit Connex memories/moments?
Doing Tough Mudder in September of 2014 with Alyse, Zell, Nadia and Drea (and Drea’s team) was awesome. An important part of CrossFit and specifically Connex is the community of athletes. To do things on your own time, offsite, together demonstrates the strength of those relationships.
What advice would you give to a newbie or someone just joining CrossFit Connex?
Keep coming back. It’s easy to get discouraged as the new person with finishing last or working with lighter weight than everyone else, but this stuff is not meant to be easy. It takes time to train your brain that you can do it. Sleep and nutrition will help you get there, too. The athletes and coaches around you really want you to be the best you can – when we’re cheering for you, we mean it.
Connex is hard. Really hard. But it starts to make you feel like you can do anything. You want to do it better, so you start taking care of yourself. Eating becomes fuel and working out becomes training. All I had to do was come in and challenge myself to finish the WOD. Em and Kief will start by pushing you, but there’s a point where you realize you’re the one pushing yourself.
What sort of life changes have you experienced because of CrossFit that you didn’t expect?
I consider myself an athlete now, training for the sport of life. I feel more adaptable and ready for the unknown, be it physical or mental demands.
After a year, I now feel some serious ownership in Connex. Not like ‘I own the place’, but I feel invested in the place. I really care about the athletes and coaches I spend a lot of time with. I want them to succeed.
I feel pride in my space. I belong to Connex. If Em and Kief (seriously) asked people to come in and help you wash down the gym and vacuum between mats and wiped down all the stuff, I’d show up. I think a lot of us would.
What does CrossFit mean to you?
CrossFit has challenged my consistency – to do it well, it demands consistency. You have to do it regularly. You can’t come in once/week or 3x/month and expect to see results. So it’s been a way to test that for me.
But I think it also has taught me about continuous improvement instead of instant gratification. Meeting small, incremental short-term goals over time takes you a long way.
I’ve accomplished a lot this year, and a huge part of that are my fitness accomplishments. I’ve done things this year I never thought I could do. I did a Tough Mudder, a Spartan Race, and a 10k. All these were firsts. Connex was a big part of accomplishing these things, but Em and Kief are the coaches that got me there. Thanks.
Work up to a heavy 3 rep OHS
75 Power Snatches (75/55)
*OMEM 5 Burpees (first minute starts with Burpees)