As one of our most dedicated 6am-ers, we’re excited to showcase Shawn Winters as our next Athlete of the Month. He’s lost almost 40 pounds since starting CrossFit- in fact, his reward for breaking 200lbs was getting his cat, Pumpkin! And the best of it all, he now has normal blood pressure for the first time since he was 18!
Check out his story below:
1. When and why did you start CrossFit?
I did my first trial class on June 13, 2015. I decided I needed to stop sitting around and slowly dying. I had tried the gym, personal trainer, running and a myriad of other crappy diets/fads over the years. CrossFit seemed to resonate with the last time I was really healthy back in High School. My wife keeps asking me why. I don’t really have an answer other than that.
I decided I needed to stop sitting around and slowly dying.
2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?
Geez. I went from couch to CrossFit. I’m now able to RX more WODs than I used to and I’ve lost a ton of weight (37 lbs and counting). I don’t get winded playing with my kids anymore. My back and neck pains are gone. My blood pressure is normal for the first time since I was 18. I’m as light as I’ve been since I was 20 or so.
My blood pressure is normal for the first time since I was 18.
3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?
A pullup. I hadn’t done one of those since High School. I can now do double unders, too.
4. How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?
The tire around my mid-section is virtually gone (lost 3-4 inches on my waist). I have more definition in my arms and back, in fact, I’ve gone from a large to a medium shirt size. I’m stronger and in better aerobic condition too.
5. How has CrossFit (and the paleo challenge) changed you in other ways?
I sleep better now. My wife says I’m happier and talk more then I used to. CrossFit definitely helps with stress management. It’s an outlet that has helped me find a new normal. I feel guilty when I don’t workout, which is a dramatic change from the past when I saw it as an annoyance or another chore I need to do. My blood pressure is normal now when it was always really high. I’m hoping to get off the medication or start to reduce it at my next physical.
My wife says I’m happier… CrossFit definitely helps with stress management.
6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?
I tell them it’s like doing athletics in High School, with a group of people you like and feel like you’re in the same boat together. We all gotta get through the workout to survive. There’s a kinship that I haven’t seen in the traditional gym before. People are usually curious- I just want to be healthy and enjoy getting there while I’m doing it.
There’s a kinship that I haven’t seen in the traditional gym
7. What keeps you motivated to continue?
The results. I keep losing weight and keep getting stronger. I also am enjoying the variety of the workouts.
8. Favorite WOD or lift?
Back squats and floor press are my two favorites.
9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?
Be patient. It’s tough getting over the soreness and new movements, but eventually you’ll start to get it. Listen to the coaches and you’ll be fine.
10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?
Do more Pull Ups and get two unassisted Pull Ups.
11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?
The Angry Irishman – AMRAP 15 mins – 10 Deadlifts – 10 Wall Balls – 10 Burpees – 20 Sit-ups
12. Best take away from the Paleo challenge?
Awareness of how much sugar I still ate even after changing my diet. I read all the labels now on everything.
13. Favorite Paleo dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.
Paleo slow-cooker beef chuck chili. For a cheat meal-I love a chicken parm sub from Fairwinds deli in Fair Haven, but really, any al all chicken parm is welcome….