10-5-16 Member Spotlight: Mike Newman
Written by Jake Coleman
Mike’s first exposure to CrossFit came from watching The Games on ESPN two or three years ago. As with many people whose first experience of CrossFit comes through the sport-facet of the discipline, he didn’t feel a draw to it as a fitness pursuit. The stuff the juggernaut-esque athletes on TV could do was cool, but it didn’t translate the communal aspect of what normal, everyday CrossFit looks like. He had no interest in trying it until a conversation he had with a coworker 15 months ago. She relayed her experience about the group atmosphere and excitement around the culture, and he knew that was what he wanted. Besides, he felt he needed to do something.
A little over five years ago Mike tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus playing softball. He grew up playing sports and always stayed active through tennis, golf and going to the Y, but once he experienced the injury, he never recovered the habit and his weight ballooned. He felt he’d become a couch potato and knew he needed something group-oriented with a class setting, that he’d do much better with that than being on his own. The latent intensity of CrossFit wasn’t a perfect marriage for Mike at first. It was a struggle.
“I was so far out of shape that I had trouble getting through the class. I had all these doubts. Is this for me? Should I try something different? I never had this one moment where it really clicked. It took several months, but I saw gradual improvement in my weight loss and increased performance. That let me know what I was doing was working. That is probably what I’m most proud of, just that I kept at it.”
Growing up accustomed to athletic participation then suddenly not having it for half a decade affected Mike mentally, and he credits CrossFit for helping reignite that flame and mold his mentality to something more performance-based.
“When I first started, I would feel some frustration as to why I couldn’t do something, and now, that’s changed to maybe feeling a little frustration toward why I’m not doing a workout better or a WOD faster.”
Mike’s next goals are to string together bigger sets of both pull-ups and double-unders as well as be able to complete some handstand pushups. Like when he started, he knows that if he keeps working at it he’ll get better, and that’s the encouragement he offers others that might be just starting or struggling.
“Don’t watch what other people are doing, maybe don’t even look at them. If you need to modify, modify. Realize that, if you keep at it, you will start to see improvements. Just do what you can.”