Please join us in congratulating December’s Member of the Month, Christian Keene. Christian joined us in June 2016 and has continually gained strength ever since. Christian manages to PR almost every month and you will always see his name on the PR Board! He works hard at the hospital, works out hard at the gym and plays hard, Rugby we mean! If you want a good workout try to chase Christian during a WOD. He is fast out the gate and manages to always finish strong. His friendly disposition is what makes him popular at the gym. We look forward to what 2018 will bring for him and are happy to have him as part of our team.
Why do you do CrossFit?
I initially started doing CrossFit two summers ago because I was looking for a way to not only workout and gain strength at the gym, but also get into better general athletic shape as well. CrossFit HCC did not disappoint, as the workouts quickly kicked my butt and the changes followed. Every day and every workout presents a new and different way to challenge yourself and improve, and it’s amazing how quickly those improvements can accumulate and sneak up on you. I remember seeing the top athletes in the gym doing complicated movements like handstand push-ups and snatches and thinking, “I’m not the type of person who can do those things” but CrossFit has a way of pushing you past those mental limitations and showing you that you are capable of doing things you never thought you could before. There is always a new area to grow in and improve, and CrossFit HCC has provided that atmosphere to continue to get better.
Probably the Overhead Squat. It’s a really tough movement that requires a lot of concentration and a combination of upper body, lower body, and core strength as well as flexibility.
What makes you stay at CrossFit HCC?
It’s gotta be the people! Thinking back to days at normal gyms where human interaction was a social faux pas makes me shudder. Seeing all of the other members and growing relationships with those working hard around you is what makes coming back so motivating and worth it. Everyone holds everyone else accountable and we all push each other to improve. Of course the coaches are also a pivotal reason why HCC is a great gym to be in. They help make everyone feel comfortable no matter your capabilities and experience, and are always looking to make sure everyone is performing exercises safely and correctly so that we can continue to come back injury free and maximize our potential.
In the future I hope to continue to not only learn new skills and exercises, but also become better by refining the basic movement patterns in everything we do. And by improving, hopefully starting to incorporate some of the Competitor level training. Maybe even put on a little weight too!
Advice for newbies?
Do not measure your progress by anything but your own improvements. Don’t worry about what the people around you are doing (you’ll get there) and focus on the small changes day by day. A lot of people determine their success by a number on a scale, but if there’s anything crossfit has taught me it’s that being in-shape and healthy is so much more than that or how you look in the mirror. Focus on the small differences in your health, your flexibility, or your capabilities in the workouts first; and with consistency and commitment the rest will fall into place.
Tell us a fun fact or something you do outside of CrossFit
When I’m not working out in the gym, I’m usually out on a field playing rugby instead. I play with the men’s club in New Haven, and nothing has suited getting conditioned for the season like CrossFit has. The intensity of the workouts helps replicate the demands on the field, and since starting has always helped me be one of the fittest players out there. If you want to perform like an athlete you need to train like one and CrossFit has been the perfect solution.
Words from Christian:
Joining CrossFit HCC has been one of the most positive decisions I’ve made in my adult life. My entire perspective on what it means to be healthy and in-shape has completely changed. Instead of focusing on looks and aesthetics, making performance and ability a priority has resulted in an entirely more healthy lifestyle from the way I look, to the way I perform, and even to the way I feel mentally every day. If you’re on the fence about giving CrossFit a try, absolutely go for it. And there’s no better place to do it than with the CrossFit HCC family.