“Thom at 29 focusing on career and letting his health slide at the bottom of his priority and Thom at 40 after five years of doing CrossFit eating a “mindful” diet.

I was sitting and thinking about a question someone asked me at work earlier this week “why do I Crossfit, and why in the world do you get up at 4:20 in the morning to do it?”. My initial response was pretty vague and I said well I enjoy the diversity of the training, I can get in and out pretty quickly, and I have gotten to be good friends with others at 5am. They listened to my half-ass answer and we both went about our day with neither really gaining anything from my response…it was as vanilla an answer as “I’m doing pretty good” when someone asks “how’s it going?”. As you can tell I am a little disappointed in my answer and have thought more about the question and a “real” response.

When I first started Crossfit in January 2013 I’d just moved 3000 miles across country not knowing a soul in Corvallis or the West Coast for that matter.  I had friends who did Crossfit in South Carolina who all seemed to enjoy it and were always hanging out with their Crossfit “family”, so I thought this might be a good way to meet people.  Within a week of moving I joined a Box in Corvallis, and was hooked not just with the constantly varied exercise format, but even more so the sense of community I found. 

I give you this background because it is a huge part of why I do Crossfit.  Yes, I do love the physical fitness aspect of Crossfit. I do not like sitting for very long (I pace a lot, like hole in the floor pacing), and have a problem doing anything longer than an hour (get bored way too easy), so high intensity workouts with variation works well for me!  I love the challenge of working on my weaknesses, seeing the improvements from week to week, and the competitive spirit that comes alive after “3,2,1”. Sometimes it’s like as wrecked as you feel beforehand when “3,2,1” happens it’s like your body completely forgets and is ready to perform for you beyond what you thought it could do.  In my years of doing different kinds of exercise and sports I’ve never found anything that is even close to keeping me as motivated like Crossfit. However as great as all this is, the main reason I do Crossfit has to do with everything around me when I walk into the Crossfit Box…it’s all those people you say hello to when you walk in the door.   You remove that and my “obsession” would not even be close to the same. I think that is one of the aspects of Crossfit that is hard to explain to people, but to me the most important part. I can show you a burpee, or demonstrate a snatch, but I can’t show you how good it feels when you are completely collapsed on the floor in a sweaty heaping mess to have someone come over and tell you awesome job and help you to your feet.   I absolutely love it when everyone cheers on that last person and is genuinely pulling for them to finish that last rep and how great that feels especially when it’s you. How the vibe is so positive when you walk through the doors that anything troubling outside in other parts of your life seem to disappear at least for that hour…for me that 1 hour from 5am-6am in the morning dramatically makes a difference in the next 16-17 hours of my day.   As “CrossFitters” we are a hodgepodge of great people that hold each other accountable, and will be there to catch each other if we ever need it. I could not possibly think of a better group to cheer for, sweat with, laugh with, smile with, sometimes cry in pain with, and most importantly a group to inspire to be better with every single morning.

 So I guess now if someone was to ask me “why do you do CrossFit and why 5am?” my answer will probably be a little long for them and they’ll probably walk away before I even get to tell them about, but I know how special it all is to me.  I’ve always known it, but sometimes reflection really makes you appreciate what you have even more.

– Thom King

My fitness journey started way back in Iowa about 15 years ago. I am 5’10” and was 210 lbs of fluff. Busy raising two kids, building a career, and eating frozen pizza three times a week led me to a physical state I was not happy with. I started eating better, tried the Atkin’s diet for a year with decent results, and mixed in some jogging. That kept me at around 190 lbs of fluff, better than my worst but not where I wanted to be either.

In 2013 I moved to Corvallis and I joined a Globo-gym. That was fine for a bit but I quickly got bored trying to think up different exercises to do and defaulted to the elliptical and a random assortment of machines. Nobody really talked in the gym and there was no community feel to it. I work from home so not feeling connected to the area was a drag. At the beginning of 2015 I was introduced to CrossFit. I was super intimidated by the movements, the weights, and the intensity.  

I thought I had to get into better shape before I even tried something like that but, the coaches were great and quickly had me jumping into the flow. I can’t lie thought, that first week, just the warmups had me exhausted! I loved it immediately. The variety of movements meant that you were trying something new all the time. The scalability meant you could do anything the group was doing or a version of it and provided an infinite number of little personal records (PRs) to fuel the motivation. The coaching was terrific, getting the individualized feedback on positioning and movement was invaluable to learning how to move well and safely. And the community of friends keeps me coming back day after day.
Anyone can do CrossFit and CrossFit benefits everyone. Come in, make a friend or two, and never look back!

– Dave Husby

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