May 2012 Athlete of the Month- John Morris
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit in October of 2011 after being inspired by my wife Angela. The results she was experiencing from joining the box were astounding and her energy and strength was nothing short of contagious. After beating around the bush for about two months I finally got around to finishing my fundamentals and had slogged through a half dozen WODs. Sometime around day 60 of half assed effort I began to understand the effort Angela was putting in and resolved to “get with the program”. It has been the primary lesson, “you have to do the work”. I have since learned to expect no more than I am willing to put into it. I cannot say that I always enjoy going to the box, but I can say that I always enjoy the rewards of putting in a solid effort.
Were you exercising before CF? If so, tell us about your typical workout.
In my 20’s I spent a fair amount of time in gyms lifting weights, nothing in my 30’s and very since I turned 40. In the last couple years I would throw in a few push-ups in the evenings if I was feeling particularly gooey.
What was your very first CF workout?
The baseline. Technically not a workout but it sucked enough to count as one. It took me 10 minutes even with Mary Cole politely reminding me that “this is for time”. The effort whipped my butt and sent me home sore.
Describe that experience in three words.
I had no idea how poor my physical fitness was. It sucked to find out but it was the first step toward getting on with fixing the problem.
What is your favorite CF exercise?
Burpees. They are the best barometer I have experienced for where my fitness is. If my energy is down, I have not slept well or haven't been taking care of myself, a couple dozen burpees will show it. Just try doing burpees with a hangover. Burpees make you pay.
Your least favorite?
Burpees (see above). Sometimes I don’t want to pay.
What results have you seen since starting your CrossFit journey?
There is a whole laundry list of improvements. I have become stronger, lost weight, have increased energy, greater range of motion and I have less joint pain in my knees and ankles.
What CF accomplishment are you currently most proud of?
That I can do pull-ups. Coach Ashley asked me once if I could do a pull-up and I said “sure, no problem.” I jumped up, grabbed the bar and almost did a single pull-up. I remember being quite proud of myself at the time. Of course I had no idea that her expectations might evolve into something as sadistic as Fran or Angie.
Also, I am pretty proud of adopting the Paleo diet. Planned on hating it…learned to love it. I can say with absolute certainty that I feel and perform better.
What CF goal are you working towards?
Double-unders right now and I can smell a muscle-up in my future.
What do you like most about CrossFit Lake Charles?
Without a doubt, it is the passion that the athletes and coaches show every time they walk in the box.
When I started CrossFit I came fully prepared to hate it, or at least to not be inspired by it. As it turns out, I am inspired everyday by the camaraderie, the sense of community and the efforts of others. There are many people within the CrossFit Lake Charles community who are working very hard toward their own goals and, not insignificantly, many of them are working towards the goals of others. I love that about CrossFit. The coach’s should all be very proud of what they do and how they positively impact the lives of the athletes who trust them with their training.
The grayish black color of a sweat puddle on a rubber mat.
Meat, salt and grease. Roughly in that order. Makes me almost paleo by preference. It hasn’t been too hard to round things out with a few vegetables and some seeds.
“After the first blush of sin comes its indifference” –H.D. Thoreau-
I’ve always liked that one. It speaks to how we begin to compromise our values, morals and goals. The indifference becomes the justification.
Anything you'd like to add?
The less obvious but more significant impact that Crossfit has had in my life is through the enjoyment and feeling of satisfaction I get by going to the Box with my wife. Most days Angela and I work-out together and we nearly always have the kids in tow. It is an endeavor that brings commonality to our relationship. We find ourselves chasing the same goals and supporting one another more.
A word from the CFLC coaches about John....
“Ah, John….what an interesting (and entertaining!) book thus far. Lol! I never saw John in the beginning. He came in for his fundamentals leisurely. No real rush; he was more into telling about his life. I think those took a month. Angela would come in and do her thing. I’d periodically ask when her Husband was going to come back. She’d shrug. I don’t think any of us thought he would actually ever commit. He finally made it to a few WOD’s. He still didn’t get the point, though….3-2-1 did not mean go to him, “for time” was a foreign concept, and he definitely did not understand why striking up friendly conversations in the middle of Fran got him rude looks. But then something changed. Form became important, WOD’s took less time, weights went up. Against his will, John Morris became a CrossFitter. It was wonderful to witness! He was watching videos and trying new things, stalking the website and learning the lingo. He could not get enough. The deal was sealed when he signed up for the Paleo Challenge. You see, John is a foodie. There are books about food in every room of his house. He’s an excellent cook and food was how he and Angela first lured me over to visit. To put restrictions on certain foods (and alcohol) was probably the hardest thing he’s ever voluntarily done. But did it he did. Not only did he win that six week challenge but he just finished up his second six weeks of paleo living and is gearing up for his third. To say John has done a complete 180 is an understatement…...Mr. Morris, the addition of you and your family to our lives has been a blessing. Thank you for everything you guys do for our CF community. This recognition is well deserved! Own it. The day we will celebrate your introduction to the muscle up club is upon us!” ~Ashley
What can I say about John Morris...alot! He likes riding motorcycles, drinking good whiskey and eating great food...I could hang out with him anytime anyday. He has also, over the last handful of months, become a Crossfitter! Something that we all have in common, the love of what it brings to our lives. Cliche'? Yes and still true! If you ask him he'll say it has made aspects of his life better. He has a wonderful family, strong career, by all reasoning things were great. Until "the baseline" gave him a different perspective. He likes a challenge, CrossFit became one and he has excelled at it and as Ashley stated and I'll paraphrase, "in spite of himself, John became a CrossFitter". John it has been a pleasure to see your evolution into this CrossFit world and am grateful to be a part of that journey, and know this is still only the beginning of what you will be physically capable of in the future. Congratulations on your achievements at the box and thank you for your support in the community!~John