One of the things we’ve been meaning to kick off for awhile now has been the Member Spotlight. As we’ve slowly started getting bigger, it’s becoming a little more difficult to find out everything about the folks who are working out with you and each of us has some very interesting stories to tell. Today, we’re kicking off our Member Spotlight with Jon, winner of our first clean eating challenge!
How about that change, huh? I still remember at some point in his first week, Jon asking me “So, are we going to have to do this ‘Paleo’ stuff now that we’re doing CrossFit?” He’s now gone from skeptical to a true believer in the Paleo way and the results are showing! Now, let’s sit down and learn a little bit about Jon.
- So, what brought you to CrossFit Zenith?
I knew I wanted to try CrossFit, so I scouted out a few different gyms (boxes for the aficionados) to see the right balance of price and workouts, and Zenith was a really good fit for me.
- When did you start CrossFitting?
I started ‘CF-ing’ around November 25th, 2013…so I’ve been at it almost 6 months. Pretty cool to become the poster child in that short span of time!
- What do you do out there in the real world?
In the real world, I get to talk about one of my passions (Dead white guys) all day long in front of a captive audience, (I am a history teacher). I also dabble in theatre and film on the side for amusement which satisfies the creative elements that no longer can be fulfilled teaching (thanks to the govt “geniuses” who are telling us how to teach) and have been a member of the CT Grey Rugby Football club for several years, which is medicine for venting one’s aggression.
- How did the Clean Eating Challenge go for you, day-to-day? Was it easy to stay on track? Hard to find substitutes for things you craved?
The clean eating challenge went very well. I had a great support group that helped keep me on track. Denise (my gal) was awesome and basically ate paleo right along side of me, without complaint, and Justin who I started CF with was/is great inspiration. I found that forcing oneself to take notes during the day about EVERYTHING you put into your body takes discipline, but my philosophy has always been “why not me?” …”what one man can do, another can do!” The drinking of half of one’s body weight in H2O was the hardest part of the challenge for me. The simple fact about the challenge is, we have to be more like our grandparents and take time to shop and actually cook, you can’t eat the shite the “cancer industry” wants you to consume. It wasn’t always easy, but cooking has always been a form of therapy for me, so finding new and interesting ways to make real food taste good is a challenge I embrace. The paleo chocolate chip cookies with pecans killed any craving I had for sweets, but now I am so used to eating right it’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t, and feeling good is worth it. Justin says “skinny looks better than fat tastes” lol.
- Okay, let’s hear it. What were the big changes you found after the Challenge was over?
The big changes were the amount of lbs I shed! 30 and counting! My back and knees are thanking me. I thought I would return to eating fast food or anything I felt like, but the truth is when I tried some of those foods, they made me feel terrible. So, it makes it easy to stay on paleo! Weird, but true, I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist, but there is some truth to these claims. I lived in Italy, and never gained a lb from the bread, pasta, or meat, here I can’t touch it.
- Ordinarily I’d ask what your favorite song to workout to is, but anyone who’s been in class with you knows that’s “Satisfaction” by the Bernassi Brothers. So aside from that, what’s your favorite genre of music to workout to?
I love music 80’s to opera to traditional Irish, to Italian rap… “Giovanotto” playing would make burpees suck less.
- Do you partake in any sports outside the gym? Hint: it’s time for rugby stories.
I’ve been playing rugby since 1988, and would like to continue doing so. Now playing for an “Old Boys” team, we are traveling to the French Quarter Master’s Tournament in New Orleans this Saturday for a bit of a run about, hopefully I’ll have some new songs and stories… I had a bumper sticker that read I would rather play rugby and lose than win at softball! So, there you have it, I like hiking, camping, golf, and I used to be an avid scuba diver, but rugby takes up most of my spare time.
- What are your next goals?
My next goal is to obviously keep working on strength and fitness, but I also really need to live a tobacco free life, and it ain’t easy…