Sep 25th, 2013
Author: Haley Byrnes
If you’ve ever been to the 7pm class in Southie Green, you definitely know Joel. If you haven’t yet, you are missing out! Joel’s positive attitude and strong work ethic is contagious. As you’ll read below, Joel’s journey to CrossFit is very unique, and he’s dealt with more than most of us will ever have to – but that doesn’t stop him! Joel is always pushing himself outside of his comfort level to hit a new PR, but he cheers the loudest when someone in class with him PRs. He’s always got a funny story or joke to tell, and he’s the first to volunteer a helping hand when it’s needed. His hard work has been paying off, and we are so excited and proud to watch all of his progress over the past year. Drop by the 7pm class and get to know Joel – and be sure to give him a big high five. CrossFit Southie would not be the same without him!
How did you get involved in CrossFit? What was your first WOD/experience?
I got involved in CrossFit by accident. In November 2011, some people at my office were signing up for the May Tough Mudder, so I signed up. On my way home I realized that I had made a big mistake. I had no chance of completing this thing. 10 miles…. might as well be 100. I was 20 pounds heavier back then. I had a pretty sweet double chin, a killer beer belly, blood pressure through the roof, and daily cholesterol medications. Not a good look (to steal a line from Sham). I needed to make some major changes.
So, I decided to stop in at BSC to sign up for a trainer. As luck would have it I was paired with Beth (a legit CrossFitter/regional competitor). I started the following week and Beth had me doing these seemingly insane workouts which I came to know as WOD’s. Over the next 8 months, she taught me the basics of all the Olympic lifts we do in CrossFit (which was probably brutal for her as I had no idea what the hell I was doing). She taught me how to do unassisted pull ups – started with 3 of the thickest bands we could find. I lost my second chin and my beer belly.
Working with Beth was a great onramp to CrossFit/healthy living but it was time to spread my wings. She had been begging me to quit BSC and join a real CrossFit gym for at least a month. So August 2012 I signed up for a Thursday night intro class at CFS. Voided check in hand, I came in the next day for ‘Fight Gone Bad’. With an odd number of people in the class, I paired up with Beretta.
When did you start coming to CrossFit Southie?
Is this the first CrossFit you’ve worked out at / how long have you been CrossFitting for?
CFS is the first CrossFit box I have worked out at and I have been a member for just over a year.
When did you realize that CrossFit was right for you?
I had a feeling I would enjoy it but I never had any idea I would like it as much as I do. I think it took me about a day to realize I was hooked. WODs by yourself at BSC while a trainer watches you makes you look like a lunatic — At CFS you’re just part of the family.
What are you short-term and long-term CrossFit goals?
Short-term: I want to get a muscle up (Amy claims she can teach me in a day so I could have it before this hits the web site)
Long-term: I want to back squat double body weight—260#. Mobility – I have come a long way from where I started (couldn’t even do an air squat) but I am still far from being flexible.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
So far…. no leg rope climbs, 215# back squat, 295# deadlift, 135# push press.
What is your favorite / least favorite WOD/movement?
People will laugh but I like burpees. Yup. And rope climbs are fun.
My least favorite movements are rowing and wall balls – those are a tall man’s game. Chuck and I invented a nightmare WOD for me – 5,000m row, 150 30# wall balls, 100 30 inch box jumps It doesn’t have a name yet but we are taking suggestions.
What do you do for a profession outside of CrossFit?
I trade US Equities for Congress Asset Management Company. We manage just under $7.5 billion and specialize in creating diversified portfolios of equity and fixed income securities for institutions and high net worth individuals. Congress employs about 50 people.
What are your hobbies outside of CrossFit?
Anything outside — Hiking, skiing, mountain biking, surfing, boating. I started doing the Spartan Races last year and really got hooked. I am running the Beast at Killington later this month. I love live music and traveling.
Do you eat Paleo or Zone? What is your favorite paleo/non-paleo meal?
I do eat Paleo for the most part and have been doing so since February of last year. Beth and a coworker were relentlessly trying to convince me to go Paleo. So, like the Tough Mudder, I collapsed under the peer pressure and gave it a go. I will be the first to admit that I thought they were full of it. But I was wrong. It really worked wonders for me. I lost something like 18 pounds in a matter of months.My favorite Paleo meal is steak with grilled veggies and some sort of salad. Boring but delicious. I cheat on the weekends. I love beer. But you won’t find me down at Sissy K’s chugging Bud Lattes after work anymore.
Hmm… I am a Leukemia survivor and blind in one eye. 5 bucks if you can guess which one.
50 Double Unders
10 Toes to Bar
1 Rope Climb
Rest 1 Minute
L2 – 25 Double Unders
L1 – 4 Rounds 100 singles
ADV – (20 ft rope climb)
**Reminder to wear protection for those legs on the rope climbs! Long pants, tape, soccer shin pads, cardboard, chainmail, etc**
4 minute plank hold (front, right side, left side,front. switch on the minute)