From the Coaches
Sean is one of our Rise and Grind athletes and always has a refreshing smile on even when he’s fresh out of bed at 5AM. He has always been eager to learn and because of that has seen tremendous progress. One of his most recent milestones was knocking out his first Bar and Ring Muscle Ups which he got to put to use in his first CrossFit Open. Speaking of the Open, Sean’s performance for the last workout, 16.5, was one of the coolest and most inspiring things we have seen at Manta Ray. He constantly proves to himself and others that we are capable of anything with hard work, the right attitude, and a little (or huge) push from our friends. Sean is only headed up from here and we are excited to see what the future holds!
“Are you alright!?” I give my head a nod as it’s all I can manage as I try to keep my breakfast in my stomach. I just finished Open workout 16.5. I didn’t think I’d be able to finish it, but with the support of everyone in the gym yelling at me, somehow I did.
Let’s go back almost a year, to my Crossfit orientation… “Are you alright!?” Coach Chris asks me as I lie on the ground trying to keep my breakfast in my stomach. I nod and try to act as if I’m fine but I’m not fooling anyone. To some it would seem like nothing has changed. But to me, everything has changed.
Lying on the ground after that first orientation, I realized the full extent of the years of sitting at a desk for 9+ hours a day, coming home and sitting on the couch watching TV, and then sitting in front of the computer again until the wee hours of the morning. At 30 years old, a few pull ups, some squats and sit ups made me feel like I was dying.
I had already recognized that something needed to change. I had tried running on my own. But with no one to push me and no one holding me accountable, it was all too easy for me to roll over and go back to sleep. And then my loving wife found a Groupon for Crossfit and signed me up. Little did she realize what she had started.
After the orientation I started going to OnRamp. I thought I would never get to the point where I didn’t want to die after the 400m run, but I did. I thought I would never make it out of OnRamp, but eventually after 2 months I did. I thought I would never get double unders, but eventually with a lot of practice I did. I thought I would never get handstand pushups, but eventually after some serious neck pain I did. I thought I’d never deadlift 300lbs, do rope climbs, Rx a workout, or muscle ups, but I did.
And I realized something: even when I thought I couldn’t do these things, my coaches and friends pushed me forward. They believed in me even when I didn’t, and if that isn’t what friendship is all about then I don’t know what is. Recently, I’ve let go and started just doing the things that the coaches push me to do (Fit 4 Change, Crossfit Open etc.) and I continue to be amazed at what my body can do.
So along the way I realized something else: Evolve Fitness Clearwater isn’t just building chiseled Crossfit beasts, they are building a family of some of the most fun and supportive people I know. I am humbled and honored to be chosen as Athlete of the Month. I am eternally grateful for the new outlook on life Crossfit has given me. By the time I get to work I feel like I’ve already accomplished so much, and I’m ready to tackle the world.