Athlete of the Month

Congrats Derrick on being our May Athlete of the Month

1. How did you get started with CrossFit:

A few years back one of our good friends, JR started doing CrossFit. He really enjoyed it, felt stronger and liked the atmosphere. He’s also a Physical Therapist (and a good one)–and so were many of the people he worked out with; which helped make it seem less of an “extreme” activity and take some of the risk out of it. He talked about how important it was that you work on technique and learning the movements first (so you minimize the chance of injury).

Just around Thanksgiving of this past year I reached an all-time fitness low and decided to give it a shot. I signed up for the CrossFit 317 kickoff sessions and was really glad to have Jake say the exact same thing about focusing on technique first. Most of the things we did were new to me and he was patient and thorough in explaining and demonstrating everything. After those 6 sessions, I started going 3x per week and Jake has continued to teach, focusing on technique first.

2. Favorite Wod and or Movement:

I like checkmark days! I think the Rope Climb is my current favorite movement.

I don’t think that I’ve done the same Wod twice yet so I wouldn’t say that I’ve had a favorite. Rope Climb, Jump Rope, Box Jumps, Toes to Bar and Head or Handstands are fun. I’m not great at them all yet, but I enjoy working on them.

3. Least favorite Wod or Movement:

EVERYTHING that requires lifting something over my head. My shoulders just don’t do that.

4. Long term and short term goal:

Short term goal would be to string double-unders together. I’m just starting to get the hang of alternating between single and double (which is helping me keep my jump timing, speed and height consistent). I’d really like to be able to do double-unders easily when the Wod calls for it.

Long term goal / possibly-impossible: I would really love to be able to do a hand-stand walk. I don’t have much mobility for things with arms over my head–though I guess technically this is arms under my head… definitely would be fun.

5. What would you tell someone that is on the fence about Crossfit and not sure whether to try it out or not?

Two days after a particularly tough workout I was feeling pretty sore. Neal told me, you will hurt for the first 3 months or so–and then you’ll be fine. I’m heading into my 5th month… and I still hurt (and I no longer believe what he says). I was also in the worst shape of my life when I started–and still have a long way to go. You don’t need to be in good shape to start, and it will be humbling to see just how out of shape you are. It will be rewarding to see how much you improve.

I’m still going, still interested in seeing what I can do, and am enjoying seeing myself get stronger and more coordinated. 6. What is your proudest accomplishment thus far?

RXing an open workout!

6. What is your proudest accomplishment thus far?

Being new at all of this, I get to PR in almost everything.

About 3 weeks ago it was that I could climb the rope (never done that before!). Last week I did my first Toes-to-bar (7 unbroken; never had done one successfully before that) and started getting the hang of double-unders (alternating with singles). This week, after our tall box jumps, Francisco and Jason convinced me to try and jump up onto the tall red platform and I did it on the first (and only) attempt. That was fun.

 7. Tell us something about you that nobody knows, preferably an embarrassing story:

After the 5:30am workout I catch my breath, manage to get into my car and drive a short distance home. By the time I actually get into my house, my wife (Carrie) has made breakfast and my four kids (Owen, Eileen, Leo and Lucy) are eating. Most mornings, but especially those involving the assault bike, rower, running or burpees I sit down at the table and have to put my head down for a few minutes more before I feel like talking or eating. Metcon really takes a lot out of me! The other day Owen (my oldest at age 8) suggested that I just run a little slower.


8. If you could workout with ANYONE…who would it be and why?

I’d like to be able to workout with *me* from 5 months ago, and with *me* from 5 months from now. When you are sore and tired it is sometimes hard to see how far you’ve come and also hard to see where you are heading.

9. If you could have dinner with three people, any lifetime, who would it be and why?

Carrie (my wife) – because with four small kids you tend not to enjoy dinner as much as race through it.

My folks – because I really enjoy their company (2 people — so a bit of a cheat).

Teddy Roosevelt – because of his passion for the outdoors and his larger-than-life reputation. I’d love to listen to his stories.

10. What do you love most about CrossFit 317:

The people–coaches and athletes. They have been patient, supportive and welcoming. Being new to the midwest, these are some of the first people in town I’d met. They are high quality people that I’ve enjoyed working next to [more slowly and with smaller weights].

11. What is your favorite quote and or/ that you live by?

I guess I’d say that I aspire to live by the Boy Scout motto – “Be Prepared.” Not always there, but trying.


April 29, 2016

Derrick Ellis | May Athlete of the Month

Congrats Derrick on being our May Athlete of the Month 1. How did […]
April 7, 2016

Ben Porter | April Athlete of the Month

Congrats Ben on being our April Athlete of the Month 1. […]
February 25, 2016

Dr. Jeff Butts | March Athlete of the Month

Congrats Jeff on being our March Athlete of the Month 1. […]
February 1, 2016

Shawn Phelps | February ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

Congrats Shawn on being our February Athlete of the Month 1. How […]

Ready to start your own fitness journey, a beginner’s guide to nutrition, or want to stay fit at work?

Our Free ebooks are packed full of fitness advice and nutrition tips.

Download these now

You have Successfully Subscribed!