The next Featured Athlete is actually our most tenured member of CrossFit Everett; Rob Carrithers. Rob was training with the original CFE crew before an official gym was open, and has been bringing his standard dedication, hard work and positive energy for almost 3 years. Rob is one of the guys who puts everything into his workout – he know the moves and the substitutions, you’ll never seen him slack… or finish without a pool of sweat as his proof of presence. He could just rest on those laurels, but he insists on making the rest of us a little bit better every time we’re with him. You’ll recognize him as the one who is encouraging whoever is working out at the end of the WOD when tiredness reins and they might start to sag, with his claps and shouts of encouragement. He makes a point of complimenting members on their time or form or style while never missing an opportunity to share laughter, encouragement and strengthen all of us in ourselves and to each other, making the gym feel more like a team and a place to be motivated and uplifted. Rob truly leads by example and it’s what makes him one of the cornerstones of CrossFit Everett.
Q&A with Rob:
What fitness improvements have you experienced as a result of doing Crossfit?
I lost 25 pounds in the first 4 months of my Crossfit experience, without changing any part of my diet. I also lost about 4 inches around my waist – it was great because dress pants that had not fit in ten years suddenly fit perfectly again, the only problem was the shirts that went with them were way too tight around the neck and shoulders. From an athletic standpoint, I noticed a huge difference in strength and stamina while skiing. Crossfit is a perfect match for skiing – go all out for 5 or 6 minutes, then rest for 5 minutes – repeat 25 to 30 times. Overall, I just feel better; and feel better about myself.
What changes have you made in your nutrition program? What has been the hardest part of these changes for you?
Prior to Crossfit, I never ate breakfast, I would then eat a huge lunch, snack a bunch in the afternoon, and eat a normal dinner. Not a great recipe for burning fat. It took about a year after starting Crossfit, but I started eating protein for breakfast every day (meat/eggs), lunch consists of veggies and protein, afternoon snack is fruit and nuts, and dinner is whatever the wife makes. I cut way down on bread and cheese, but I still have a glass of milk every morning. The changes have not been difficult at all, I feel well balanced. Like every good thing, I just wish I had figured it out sooner.
What is your athletic / fitness background?
I am blessed to have a brother who is 8 year older and is a very good athlete. Growing up, we devised a way to play every sport known to mankind in our basement, garage, driveway or the hall way. My brother’s favorite game was called 4th and inches. As you might picture, the goal was for me to advance a football 6 inches while on my knees, while my brother tried to stop me. I virtually always ended with my face getting ground into the carpet. Repeat 25 to 30 times. I played baseball and basketball in high school (1980 4A Baseball State Champions) and baseball and soccer in college at WSU. I started running regularly (as in every day, never miss a day, somewhat obsessive) when I was about 15 and continued into my 40’s. Ran the New York marathon in 1998 – it was absolutely awesome. Pretty much done with the running thing now. Overall sports have always come relatively easily for me, which makes my inability to maintain proper deadlift form, or time my shrug and arms on a clean, or climb a stupid rope without panicking even more humiliating. Oh well, check your ego at the door and do the work.
How did you find or learn about CrossFit?
My former boss started Crossfitting about 4 years ago. He bugged me daily for a year and a half to try it, then basically forced me to go if I wanted a raise. My first day the warm up was row 1000m. I was about to pass out at 600m and was done for the day. I went the next day and the workout was Fight Gone Bad – that did not go particularly well. At my boss’s not so subtle urging, I committed to going for a month, just so he would stop bugging me every day. Next thing you know, I start seeing results, start understanding the workouts and have the fitness to do reasonably well, and 2.5 years later here we are. My take away is, do what you have to get people in the gym, it will change their life. I greatly appreciate what my boss did for me.
What keeps you coming back to CrossFit?
Without question, it is the results. I spent years wishing to get in great shape, but never did. Once I started seeing clear results, why would I want to stop? I can see myself continuing with Crossfit a really long time. In addition, I love the environment and the people. The folks I work out with clearly share a unique personality trait, because it is not easy. You know the people you workout with even if you do not much about their life outside the gym.
What do you like the least about Crossfit?
My workout clothes seem to disintegrate after a couple of months.
What is your most favorite lift?
Hanging Power Clean
What is your least favorite lift?
Anything that comes off the floor.
Who does not love a Fight Gone Bad
Least favorite WOD?
Anything that involves Eastern European exercises.
What advice do you have for others that are looking into CrossFit?
If you want to make changes in your fitness and life, it is readily doable. Show up every day and do the work, it is that simple.
What do you think about the trainers at CFE?
I greatly appreciate all the trainers at CFE, but I especially appreciate Jesse for stepping up to the plate when he took the gym over and telling me my form absolutely sucks and if I did not let him fix it, he could not have me in the gym. For about the next year, he watched closely every heavy lift I did and coached appropriately. I am still not perfect, but much better. Once again, check ego at the door, show up and do the work. Amen.