Dave C! Big heart and personality at our gym! Dave has shown incredible progress and has stuck to his plan getting that wobbly shoulder in line….showing great discipline, patience and doing the work required. Dave is a competitor….loves to awaken the inner beast and certainly has learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Dave is also a huge contributor to our community and is of great support, cheering and chirping of us all. We are pleased to give you a little deeper glimpse at the CrossFitter that is Dave C!: Enjoy….
1. What do you do for a living?
I’m an educational researcher and I work in student success at UPEI (Editorial note: on no less than 10 occasions I have asked Dave this question. He talks a long time and I leave with still no idea what he does:)
2. How did you get involved in CrossFit and how long have you been CrossFitting?
A long, long time ago, I was a sporty type of person. I had a number of injuries common to hockey and rugby players, including a shoulder surgery, and found myself on my couch for 15-20 years. In a fit of nostalgia (or delusion) I decided to try to play rugby again in 2010, ‘before it was too late.’ I love the intensity and the camaraderie of rugby. My shoulder, however, did not like tackling.
My partner, who has no one to blame but herself, suggested I try out this CrossFit thing. No way, I thought, I’m not a joiner or a squirrel. I imagined that “three more, now two, and one more” from the front of the class while I was on the hamster wheel. But, my rugby career fully over, I decided I had to try something… 2 ½ years later… I got up at 5:30am in the -33degree wind chill to go to the gym. (no, I don’t call it a box, nor will I ever… J )
3. What are some of your goals in doing CrossFit?
My first goal, 30 months in, is to stay healthy. I listen to my body better than I did when I started and tried to do CrossFit like a rugby player. I have now tried tackling (otherwise known as falling on) a large wooden box, and it’s unpleasant. I rest when I have to, I listen to my coaches (mostly), and I don’t try and do all the things.
I’d like my shoulder to be strong enough to do some of the more advanced gymnastic movements. It’s still barely believable to me that I can use my shoulder to carry the groceries, let alone doing the 70 or so pullups I did this morning. It was 6 months before I could do one pullup. Before I started CrossFit, my shoulder subluxed (popped in and out) while I slept. Now I’m slowly working towards doing a strict muscle up.
4. Biggest challenges and rewards of coming to the gym?
Humility was the biggest challenge for me – Not only in rehabbing my shoulder but in realizing that there was always someone stronger, faster, with better technique. Understanding that coaches were trying to help and knew what they were doing when they told me to take a break or take some weight off my bar. I now see everything as an opportunity to learn or praise and less about me. That’s been a pretty big growth experience.
Playing with my kids has been the biggest reward outside the gym. I was turning 38 when I started and felt myself thinking ‘I don’t know if I’m the kind of person who runs around outside anymore” or “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to pick up my 6 year old, he’s getting heavy”. I won’t say I can run them into the ground (but I can run them into the ground). I can wrestle with them, I can still pickup all 70+ lbs of my eight year old and carry my six year old when she’s tired. That’s a pretty great feeling.
Everyone says it… but the community is pretty great. People are welcoming, and while the jokes are pretty bad at 6am J, people are willing to take time to help, to get to know you and to leave you alone when you need it. It’s an interesting cross section of people I wouldn’t have met otherwise… and I look forward to seeing them when I go to the gym.
Last, but not least, I’ve done a couple of competitions. Being able to compete again has been awesome. While there is certainly competition available in the gym, if you want it, going to a competition with friends is an experience I thought I’d never have again.
5. Any results you would care to share?
Skipping. I never liked skipping as a child. I didn’t, until about 2 months ago, like skipping as an adult. I am not what you would call coordinated… I made my living as an athlete with intensity and, though others would likely disagree, with my wits. Double unders were my nemesis for two years. Every time they would show up on the whiteboard I knew I was in for 5 unbroken minutes of not being able to skip after everyone else was finished.
Seems the trick to double unders is to not try so hard. (see humility comment above) My current PR is 49 in a row. I was trying too hard to get to 50 😛
6. Favorite workout or movement?
I’ve gotten to the point where I’m pretty happy with most movements. I used to hope for cleans or front squats… and worry about double unders. Now I keep working to get better at the ones I like, and kinda like the chance to work on the things I suck at. I know it sounds weird, but one of the great things about this kind of thing is that getting better is always possible, and success is measurable. That’s not always true in my professional work.
7. Least favorite workout or movement?
Things like Nancy (running and overhead squats) are the most difficult for me. It’s easy to try and push too hard and forget your form. The workouts that are just ‘work hard and fall down’ are easier for me to do because I don’t have to think my way through each movement. Safety first… I hate having to put safety first. But, really, I’m not going to the gym to win a prize. That’s what I keep telling myself.
8. Favorite music/song to CF to?
I like working out to slow, lyric based music. Can a fella get a little CSNY in here? No?
9. Anything else you would like to add?
Crossfit has worked for me. I’m healthier than I’ve been since I was 17. I get to go play on the school ground with my friends a few hours each week, and there are still coaches there to tell me to be careful, and teach me how to get better at swinging on the bars.
Seeing success around me is pretty awesome. Whether it’s someone who has never done any exercise in their life doing their first box jump or it’s a pure athlete beating their personal best, being onsite to cheer and celebrate is always exciting.