STUDENT ATHETE OF THE MONTH – JOSEPH THOMAS
Each month we highlight an outstanding member of this community as our “STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE MONTH.” This month we have chosen an incredibly dedicated, consistent member. He has made tons of progress over this past year and his insight may resonate with you all. Let’s get to know JOSEPH THOMAS!
What’s your age and athletic background? I am 31. I have always loved outdoor activities. Before joining CrossFit, I would go surfing or hiking on weekends. I had a gym membership but I hated working out alone and got bored with the lack of variety.
What results have you experienced since starting CrossFit? There has been a significant shift in my body composition. I have gained muscle, strengthened my joints, improved my flexibility and my body is much more resilient. Overall my energy levels have increased and I wake up energetic. A year ago, after a long hike or surf session or even a night out, I would wake up the next day tired. Now I wake up just fine, which means that I can go out late and still make it for an early morning hike!
Any changes to your lifestyle or diet? I am a foodie and love trying out new restaurants/cuisines, so I struggle with limiting my diet. However, I have started putting more effort into eating raw/unprocessed food and avoiding sugar over the past few months. My appetite and metabolism has increased, which is great for someone who loves food!
How has your mindset towards fitness changed since starting CrossFit? CrossFit is very hard for beginners and the challenge is as much psychological as physical. A lot of the movements like muscle-ups or double-unders are overwhelming in the beginning. It is so tempting to try these a few times and conclude that they are unachievable. However, while working through the progressions, you learn that CrossFit is about persistence and technique rather than raw power and your body is capable of so much more than you ever realized.
What’s your favorite CrossFit movement or workout? My favorites are gymnastics based movements like bar muscle-ups or pull-overs. I practice them a lot but I am still far from mastering them. However, it has been an exciting journey so far. Among the Olympic Lifting movements, I love clean and jerks.
Do you have any favorite CrossFit gear? My gymnast hand grips, they have helped with wear and tear.
Any future athletic goals? Immediate goals include mastering the bar/ring muscle-up, handstand walk, and squat snatch. For next year, I would love to do well in the Crossfit Open.