It is with much excitement to announce Greg Douglas as Athlete of the Month for July. His dedication to the sport is clear especially when looking at how far he’s come in just over a year’s time. He, along with many athletes at the box, didn’t walk into box at the level you see them with today. It is through hard work (and blood, sweat and tears) that makes them the athlete they are today. Give him a chalky high five next time you see him at the box and check out his story below.
Through this monthly recognition, we are showcasing those dedicated members for their hard work and accomplishments and show the community that anyone can be a CrossFitter. All you have to do is make the choice to give it a try, set goals, work hard and challenge yourself. You may be surprised at what you will accomplish! It’s not always that this person is able to RX every workout or lift the most weight. What makes an Athlete of the Month is that every time they come to the box, they try their hardest, give the workout their all, and then some. They go above and beyond by spending extra time to work on specific skills, are welcoming of others and encourage other athletes to do their best, too. They really embody what CrossFit is all about and work to make CrossFit Salus the community and family that it is. Each month we will choose a different Athlete and post some fun facts about them to help you get to know them better.
When and why did you start CrossFit?
My first CrossFit WOD experience was in the Secret Service Academy in 2010 when my instructors introduced us to a workout called Murph. It was 5am on the 4th of July, 2010 and the instructors explained why we were doing this workout and who Lt. Michael Murphy was. That was my first taste of CrossFit. But at that time I was too into bodybuilding and working on my beach muscles that I didn’t know how a consistently varied workout system was going to make me a better athlete, human being and police officer. In 2012 my personal trainer suggested that I try CrossFit. Although hesitant, I finally met him for a class a couple weeks later. After that first class I wasn’t hooked but decided to come back the next week and try it again. The first 6 months I think I only went once or twice a week. It wasn’t until CrossFit Salus opened up that I really saw what CrossFit was all about.
CrossFit is much more than a workout; it’s a community and through that people get ridiculously fit.
How does CrossFit impact your performance?
Being a police officer my job is hard enough, but being fit makes it easier. Since CrossFit workouts are constantly varied and I’m learning new skills every week; I have the peace of mind that whatever my jobs throw at me I can overcome and adapt, just like a WOD.
Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?
When I first started CrossFit, I couldn’t do very many skills including double unders, muscle ups, handstand push-ups, kipping pull-ups, pistols…. you name it, I couldn’t do it. Now, since CrossFit Salus pushes us to learn new skills, I can do all of them! I remember Gino spending an hour in my driveway trying to teach me double unders before they opened; it took time a lot of patience and a ton of rope whips to finally get them.
How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?
Describing CrossFit can be difficult, especially trying to explain it to somebody who hasn’t experienced it before. I once heard someone describe CrossFit as this. You have a large bag, and in that bag you have Olympic lifting, powerlifting, anything gymnastics, running, calisthenics, kettlebells movements, rowing, pullups, and any other bodyweight movement you can think of. Now, shake up the bag and dump a few things out of it each day.
It’s training for the unknowable and the unthinkable so you can be ready for whatever life throws at you.
What keeps you motivated to continue?
I think CrossFit Salus has a great community and a great atmosphere. More than my own goals and motivation it’s the people who go keep me coming in for more of the pain and punishment. I think the people hold each other accountable and if you don’t show up one day it’s like you’re not only letting yourself down, but in a way, you’re letting other people down, too.
I am also motivated to keep getting better and coming back day after day because I know as a police officer one day I will have to come face to face with a life or death situation and I want to know in my heart that I prepared as much as I could to overcome whatever that day may bring.
CrossFit doesn’t just train the body, I think CrossFitters and very mentally strong. You have to be to know that every day when you walk in that gym you’re going to get kicked in the proverbially nuts.
But yet, you walk in there every day no matter what the WOD is with a smile because today you are getting better than you were yesterday.
Favorite WOD, skill, and/or lift?
My Favorite WOD would have to be Karen, 150 Wall Balls for time. I do not know why but I just like doing it. My favorite skill is the Muscle Up because it took me so long to get them and I can still remember the feeling when I got my first one. My favorite lift now is a tough one to choose from, Overhead Squats have to be up there along with deadlifts.
What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?
I would say to new people trying out CrossFit for the first time or even Salus for the first time is CrossFit is fun and it will get you in better shape no question about that. You will also feel empowered because you will be able to do things that you didn’t think you could. For me, CrossFit has definitely gottn me in better shape. I also thought just because I could bench press a lot or bicep curl a lot that I was fit. I didn’t know what “fit” meant until I started CrossFit. It has changed my outlook on what being fit means.
I can honestly say that I am in better shape now than I was when I was going through the Secret Service Academy at 21 years old.
What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?
My next Goal is to master handstand walks and qualify for regionals either with a Team or as an Individual. I know that I have a lot of work to do but with the help of the amazing Coaches at Salus and community I know the sky is the limit for me!