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Old 12-24-2009, 05:06 AM   #1
David McLean
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Location: Qasr  Iraq
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Newly converted Crossfitter, living in a "get big" world


I'm a 25 year old male serving in the US Army. Aside from the PT required of me as a leader in the combat-arms, I have a history in endurance sports. I was competitive in cycling in high school and college and have always been a runner. Later in college I got fat from dark beer and mexican food. Before joining the Army I dabbled in strength training.

I've been doing Crossfit WODs religiously since October 12th of this year, when I was biding my time in Kuwait in route to Iraq. A peer persuaded me to come along for a workout, and after that WOD I suddenly realized that my pre-deployment train-up was completely inadequate. After that night I went along for each subsequent WOD (we've been following 2008 WOD archive.) Now here I am just 2 months after that and I feel like a new athlete already. For a while I finished the WODs feeling frustrated because I couldn't get a hang of the olympic lifts or the sheer number of repetitions was too daunting. I can now say that I love my Crossfit and look forward to it all day long. On rest days I find myself back at the Crossfit website, reading up and suffering through ridiculously slow load times to watch the videos.

Without meaning to I have become an ambassador for Crossfit. I don't usually try and sell it - people just see me doing something completely different from their static workouts and ask about it later. It usually sounds like "What the $&%# kind of pull-up is that" or "what are you training for?". I speak my piece and invite them to come along but no one ever joins. I'm hooked on the Kool-aid and will share with anyone who wants it. It seems I am a lone-wolf around here when it comes to my methods. I believe in following the WODs as RX'd and supplementing with the occasional run, I eat a fist-sized portion of lean protein and fill the rest of my plate with veggies. I've cut out all simple processed carbs except for the occasional treat that comes in a care-package. I don't believe in protein shakes, which seem to be as vital to supporting the average soldier as Monster energy drinks and Maxim magazines. I try and bring soldiers with me to do WODs, but I just can't compete with the apparent allure of "getting big". To them, lying sweaty on the floor with a 95 pound bar-bell laying next to you, panting "TIME!" is just not as cool as doing bicep curls in the mirror or doing drop-sets on the bench-press. Eating right apparently doesn't give the same sense of satisfaction of thrice daily protein shakes and get-you-wired pre-workout drinks.

None of that will stop me though, I just wish I had better methods for sharing what I feel is a precious gift to our profession. I'm incredibly thankful for this sport and this website. If anyone is down at Camp Bucca give me a shout; I'll be the guy at the back of the gym doing "that Crossfit stuff".

David McLean
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:16 AM   #2
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: Newly converted Crossfitter, living in a "get big" world

Excellent testimonial. Thanks!

Originally Posted by David McLean View Post
...I just wish I had better methods for sharing what I feel is a precious gift to our profession.
I'm convinced that there's one best way to share Crossfit. Do it yourself and let your friends see the results.

We can gush all we want to about all of the things that make Crossfit so great, but nothing convinces and attracts like results; especially when they are results seen on someone we can relate to. My first exposure to Crossfit left me in awe of the Supermen and -women who did this stuff, and I shied away from it until I saw pictures and read testimonials here from people that I felt were more or less "like me." Once I (1) knew it worked and (2) knew that a middle-aged fatty like me could do it, I was in.

Cheers, and Happy Holidays!

- Mark
"Ima champ Still pushin Strong, Remember You only get what you train FOR>"
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:37 PM   #3
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: Newly converted Crossfitter, living in a "get big" world

Originally Posted by David McLean View Post
"what are you training for?"
Whatcha gonna do PL?! The correct response to that question is to be polite and honest, but brief. Don't proselytize - it doesn't work. Then turn back to what you're doing - probably kipping pull-ups. Besides, if your guys have been in the Army for more than a year and haven't heard of CrossFit, they're hopeless and they belong elsewhere.
I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings. -W. Mozart
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:52 PM   #4
Bryan Kemper
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Location: Rapid City  SD
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Re: Newly converted Crossfitter, living in a "get big" world


If you ever get to Balad, come by the H6 Fitness center at 1500. We have a good group of Crossfitters that will be here for a couple of more months. We always have room for visiting Crossfitters from the FOBs.

Your results are the proof. Keep hitting the pull-ups and squat deep!

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Old 12-28-2009, 09:09 AM   #5
David Meverden
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Re: Newly converted Crossfitter, living in a "get big" world

Thanks for sharing your story! We are glad to have you on board and helping other people see that there are other things one can do in the gym besides curls and bench press.

Keep doing your thing, keep your answers to peoples questions simple and humble ("I've come to believe that this kind of varied, high intensity, training will help me do my job better than conventional workouts, or lifting just for muscle mass, will") don't skip the strength days, make sure you write down all your workouts, scaling, weights, and times, and keep us posted on how everything goes!

Stay safe and thanks for serving!
SEMINARS: Starting Strength, Ultimate Advantage, CFE, CF O-lifting, MovNat
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