My Member of the Month Q&A

This month I had the wonderful privilege of being the “Member of the Month” at the CrossFit gym I attend (Tangletown CrossFit).

One of the perks about being the Member of the Month is getting to design your own WOD (Workout of the Day) and have everyone at your gym do it. If you’d like to see what shenanigans I put my gym buddies through, click here: “10-4, Good Buddy!”

Another fun part about being the Member of the Month is getting to share a Q&A about myself (my background, personal fitness goals and accomplishments, advice for others, etc.) with the rest of the crew at my gym. If you’re interested in seeing what I said, keep reading below! 😃

QUESTION #1 – Who do you live with?

I live with my amazing wife, Kate, our four fun kiddos (Mary, Piper, Zoe, and Blaise), 2 cats (Peekaboo and “Blue the Bobcat”), and 7 backyard chickens (Garfield, Captain Chicken Noodle, Snow Goon, Freckles Speckles, Cocoa Puff, Clover, and Pom-Pom Pterodactyl). 😃

QUESTION #2 – What is your occupation?

I taught middle school religion for 2 years in Texas and 12 years in Minnesota before transitioning to be a stay-at-home dad. While being a stay-at-home dad I started an online business (Catholic Religion Teacher) that supports teachers with classroom resources (lesson plans, posters, etc.). I’m currently studying to become an online health and nutrition coach, which I’m really, really excited about!

QUESTION #3 – What is something interesting/funny about you that you don’t mind sharing?

When I was 21 I almost died from an allergic reaction to bee stings. I thought I was fine and wanted to just lay on a couch and sleep things off, but thankfully I had a very stubborn (and smart!) co-worker who forced me into her car and drove me to the hospital (just in time for me to get the attention I needed!). Next thing I knew it was a day later and I was in a hospital room watching Scooby Doo and eating fried chicken! 🤣

QUESTION #4 – How long have you been at Tangletown CrossFit and what was your previous experience with fitness?

I joined Tangletown CrossFit in the fall of 2019 after being SO nervous to join. I think it was a combination of not knowing anyone and thinking I was going to make an absolute fool of myself! I still make a fool of myself on occasion but I feel so blessed by all the fun and welcoming members at TTCF. This community is the best! 👍 👍

Before joining TTCF I did a lot of running, pull-ups/push-ups, and training for obstacle course races (Spartan, Rugged Maniac, etc.). Around 2017 I discovered CrossFit and began testing out some of the workouts in my basement home gym. I loved it from the start so it was just a matter of time before I got the courage to join a gym.

QUESTION #5 – What hobbies do you enjoy outside of work and the gym?

I love listening to podcasts (anything from sports and fitness to faith and mental health), going for walks, watching football or a good show with my wife, visiting family in Iowa, reading and wrestling with my kids, holing up by myself at a coffee shop or local library, and occasionally satisfying my sweet tooth with a caramel cookie dough Concrete Mixer from Culver’s (so good!).

QUESTION #6 – What do you think is your greatest achievement (most proud of) thus far in your fitness journey?

2022 was my best year of fitness to date. There are a number of things I’m really proud of and grateful for from this past year:

  1. In January I decided to invest in myself by hiring a health coach (Anna Dooley, former coach at TTCF!) which was a complete game changer. Anna guided me to a CrossFit comeback after dealing with a nagging back injury, helped me dial-in my nutrition (after years of trying all the diet fads), and aided me in accomplishing my goal of being in the best shape of my life by my 40th birthday!
  2. In May (on the morning of my 40th birthday) I PR’d my Murph time.
  3. In June I tied my all-time pull-up record.
  4. In July I finally broke a 6-minute mile (after trying for 15+ years!).
  5. In September I PR’d at an obstacle course race and placed in the top 10.
  6. I stayed injury-free all year! (more on this below)

QUESTION #7 – What goal(s) are you currently working on (long-term/short-term, in/out of the gym)?

Some non-fitness goals:

  1. Grow deeper in my faith
  2. Be the best husband and father I can be
  3. Be the best husband and father I can be
  4. Strengthen and deepen connections with family, friends, and folks at TTCF
  5. Do things that are beneficial for my mental health every day
  6. Start my health coaching practice

Some fitness-focused goals:

  1. Participate in the CrossFit Open for the first time (I’m nervous, but excited!)
  2. Hit all kinds of new PRs (CrossFit WODs, lifts, races)
  3. Learn double-unders
  4. Strengthen my left shoulder to help with overhead squats, cleans, and being upside-down
  5. Be more consistent with my nutrition, especially regarding protein intake and overall calories
  6. Continue to dedicate time to mobility every night before bed
  7. Stay injury-free!

QUESTION #8 – Describe an obstacle in the gym that you have overcome or are working to overcome (goal-related perhaps). What steps helped you to do so?

I mentioned this already, but I think my biggest victory from 2022 was being able to stay 100% injury-free.

In 2020 I tore my meniscus and had surgery. In 2021 I dealt with a bunch of low back issues. Then at the start of 2022, I finally started listening to the following advice:

  1. “Check your ego at the door” (don’t worry about being the slowest or weakest some days)
  2. “Focus on form before increasing weight”
  3. “Live to lift another day” / “Play the long game” (Don’t be afraid of taking a day off or scaling/modifying movements/workouts. Doing so can keep you injury-free and therefore happy and able to get back to the gym sooner rather than later!)
  4. “Trust the process and enjoy the journey” (Don’t get worried about not hitting PRs all the time. Instead, appreciate and celebrate the daily challenges and victories. If you’re putting in the time and effort the results you’re looking for WILL eventually come.)

QUESTION #9 – Provide one piece of advice for your fellow CrossFitters at Tangletown based on your experience thus far.

I don’t know if this will resonate with everyone or not, but it’s something that’s had a big impact on my workouts for over a decade. In short, my advice is to “Make every WOD a Hero WOD”.

By this I mean choose to secretly dedicate each one of your workouts for a specific person. It could be your spouse, your kids, the TTCF member working out next to you, a friend who has cancer, someone at work that drives you crazy… you name it!

In my experience, there’s always that moment in a Hero WOD when the workout gets really tough and I’m tempted to slow down or hold back. But upon remembering who the workout is dedicated to, I’m reinspired to push myself as a way to honor and remember this hero.

When applying this to our everyday CrossFit WODs I’ve come to discover something amazing and powerful that happens. I don’t think I can fully explain it, but I believe choosing to offer up one’s workout for someone else can be a kind of gift for that person, and I know first-hand that my love for others seems to grow when I dedicate my pain and effort for them. Now I don’t only feel like I leave each WOD with a bigger and stronger body, but also a bigger and stronger heart.

So, the next time you hear one of our coaches yell, “10 seconds!”, think of who you’d like to offer your workout for, then give it all you’ve got. 💪 💪

Thanks so much for reading through some (or all!) of my Member of the Month Q&A! Hopefully you were inspired or learned something new. 😉

Just a reminder that if you want to see what kind of workout I designed and put my fellow gym buddies through, you can read all the details and see it in action by clicking here: “10-4, Good Buddy!” 🤠

Have a happy, healthy, and holy day!


Would you appreciate some extra help and encouragement on your journey to happiness, health, and holiness? I’m here for you! CLICK HERE for some inspiration and a whole bunch of freebies to help you start living your best life today!

Thanks, and God bless you!

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