We are very excited to announce our newest member of the month, John McCarthy, aka Little John! John has been a member at CrossFit Southie for over three years now, and he is a staple in our community. Though we affectionately call him Little John (or LJ for short), John is definitely our tallest member. This poses some problems when it comes to some CrossFit movements: we’ve yet to find a barbell long enough for him to use a wide grip on an overhead squat, and as you can see in the photos below, kipping on the pullup bars is pretty difficult. But John never quits and always makes the most of every workout with a smile on his face. You can always count on him for an encouraging word and a good laugh when you’re sharing a platform with him. We couldn’t imagine this place without him!
How did you get involved in CrossFit? What was your first WOD/experience? I “found” CrossFit when I was over in Fenway one afternoon. I was walking down the street, noticed CF Fenway, stopped and gawked for a little bit, decided getting pizza was more important, and moved on. I was about a munchkin shy of 400lbs at the time, so getting pizza was much higher on my priority list than inquiring about a crazy workout routine. About a month later I noticed that a former college teammate was posting about CrossFit on Facebook. I reached out to him full of questions. Could I do this? Was it fun? Will I like it? After a few emails back and forth with him, I decided I would at least try it. I searched for the nearest box which happened to be CrossFit Southie.
I called to find out when I could come in check it out and following that phone call I was excited and terrified at the same time. I showed up for my intro session and walked into orange to find a class in session. I watched for a bit until Goose made his way over to the desk and greeted me with “Whoa, you’re a big dude!!!” This introduction was followed by the intro class/WOD with Maze; I soon realized that thrusters, burpees, and I would never be friends.
My first official WOD would have been the intro one but the one I will always remember was my 4th day of CrossFit. I showed up for the 7am class on a Friday. I was excited to meet a new group of people because I had only come in the evening the first few days. Well, the only person I met was Amy. I was the only person in the class. The workout was OHS for strength and Nancy for the WOD. To say it was a disaster would be putting it very kindly. The strength session ended with Amy and Goose wondering if they could order me a larger barbell because my arms and mobility were so terrible. Then came the WOD, Nancy with just the barbell…I think I made the decision to scale the WOD to 4 rounds from the beginning…about halfway through it Amy decided that it was enough…I think I did like 3 rounds in 23 minutes and at one point there may have been a search party involved to see if I was still alive.
Is this the first CrossFit you’ve worked out at / how long have you been CrossFitting for? Yup, CFS is the first CrossFit I tried and been here for a little over 3 years.
When did you realize that CrossFit was right for you? It didn’t take me too long to realize it was right for me, probably within the first two weeks after the soreness subsided. In all seriousness, there was something new but familiar about CrossFit that I really appreciated. A lot of the strength movements were things that I had done while playing football in college, so there was some familiarity there even though it had been a long time since I had done any of them. That plus the community was what really sold me on it. I hadn’t experienced anything like the camaraderie at CFS since college. I never really looked forward to going to the gym until I found crossfit. And the fact that I’ve been coming for 3 years says something, I guess.
What are you short-term and long-term CrossFit goals? Short Term: stringing together double unders. It’s pretty embarrassing at this point. Long Term: I’d like to say get a HSPU or Muscle Up but I’m a giant and gravity is my enemy. I really just want to continue to get in better shape, those other things would be nice but for me it’s about being healthy.
What is your biggest accomplishment? I’m pretty proud of my first pull-up. I remember working with Amy and Berretta one day in open gym on them and then I got one after months of trying. It was pretty cool. That’s the one I remember the most.
What is your favorite / least favorite WOD/movement? Let’s start with my least favorite WOD, it’s not even a question. Open WOD 14.5!!! If it weren’t for Ben, Borg and Dr. Brand, I never would have finished it. I’m pretty sure Ben timed me using a sun dial. Favorite Movements: Rowing, Power Cleans and Snatches. Favorite WOD is “Dedonno” aka Grace.
What do you do for a profession outside of CrossFit? I am a Director of Business Analysis for Fidelity Investments in Boston. It’s an interesting role, basically it’s a project management/analysis role. When asked to describe what I do I usually say I look at numbers and try and make a story out of them. It’s a lot more interesting than it sounds.
What are your hobbies outside of CrossFit? Golf, Photography, Cooking, Reading, and randomly running into Andrea in every grocery store in Boston
Do you eat Paleo or Zone? What is your favorite paleo/non-paleo meal? I try and eat mostly paleo now. It’s been interesting to participate in the various paleo/whole 30 challenges over the years. It’s taught me to make better choices food wise but it forced me to learn how to cook, which is probably a good thing. Favorite paleo meal probably would have been sautéed shrimp with zucchini noodles with avocado/basil alfredo sauce. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you’re missing out. Non-Paleo: Nachos or Chicken Parm
Fun fact? In 8th grade, I won my middle school talent show by rapping. Safe to say there wasn’t an abundance of talent at my middle school, so I chubby, giant rapping and dancing was the lock to win. So thankful that my youth predated iPhones and YouTube.