MIKE SMITH

"CrossFit hasn’t just changed my life – it quite literally saved it."

Before
MIKE SMITH
After
MIKE SMITH

I came to Local in February of 2010 after a weekend in which I stepped on the scale to see 232 pounds staring me back in the face – AFTER a bike ride which saw me getting dropped by people who only months before I had buried with ease. No longer was I the former collegiate athlete who had a big engine and a well of competitive desire… instead I was fat, out of shape, and desperate. I’d heard my friend Charlie talking about CrossFit, and after speaking to him one more time, I drove up to see what it was all about. After listening to me for about 5 minutes, Sarah, the former owner of Local said “I think you’re gonna like this.” I came back the next week, and on the 27th of February 2010, I got started. After some medball cleans, box jumps, and burpee demonstrations, we got to business on my very first WOD – Jeremy… with PVC. 7:27 later, I was lying on the floor on my back, heart hammering… I WAS going to like this.

After 3 months, I was already feeling better, stronger and more confident. I still was doing banded pull-ups and scaling every wod, but my workouts had purpose, I was having fun, and I couldn’t get enough. People started commenting that I looked like I’d lost weight. I won a couple town-line sprints on my bike rides. All this fueled the fire and kept me coming back – it had turned into a mission. I did my first Rx WOD in May of that year – Michael. I was getting stronger and faster, and I wanted more – I wanted to get better at the things I sucked at. First it was kipping pull-ups. Then double unders. Then men’s weight cleans. (Snatches took awhile longer). A year later, I had lost 20 lbs. I was doing most workouts Rx. I was hanging with people that had intimidated me at the beginning, even beating them on occasion. What’s more, I had found a community of people who cared about me and shared a common goal of getting stronger and faster and supporting one another while we all did it together.

Fastforward to 10+ years later… I am back at my college swimming weight of 183. I placed 3rd in a wellness contest that required abstinence from drinking, bread and potatoes – three of my favorite things. Since the first of the year I’ve run a 10 mile trail race, competed in a statewide CrossFit competition, raced my first Olympic distance triathlon in 18 years, and then a half Ironman 2 months after that. All the while had I texts, emails, and phonecalls of support from friends that I’ve made in this loud, sweaty, clank-y warehouse that is my sanctuary. I’ve injured myself and recovered from those injuries. I do a half hour of mobility work every night. I don’t eat bread anymore except once in a great while. I’ve worked out on the roof of a Spanish castle, on the beach in front of incredulous rednecks, and in my backyard on rings hanging from a pullup structure I built myself. My 4 year old daughter can do burpees (and does them voluntarily while giggling… not sure that’s genetic). Oh, and those friends that dropped me on that bike ride? Suffice it to say that I’m back to dropping the hammer on them instead of the other way around.

So what does CrossFit mean to me? It hasn’t just changed my life – it quite literally saved it. It’s my therapy, my “quiet place,” and what helps me greet my day. It’s my hangover cure and my jumpstart. It doesn’t define me, but it helps me be better at the things that do.

BEFORE

Bodyweight 232
Body Fat: who knows, but it wasn’t pretty
Squat: 185
Clean: an ugly 95#
Snatch: an ugly 75#
Deadlift: 245
Pullups: couldn’t do one.
Double Unders: couldn’t do one.
Jeremy: 7:27 with PVC
Fran: 11:15 with banded pullups and 85 lbs.
Helen: 12:20 Rx

AFTER

Bodyweight 183
Body Fat: 9%
Squat: 355
Clean: 260
Snatch: 195
Deadlift: 195
Pullups: 28 unbroken
Double Unders: 129 unbroken
Jeremy: 3:50 Rx
Fran: 3:36 Rx
Helen: 8:08 Rx

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