Joseph LaBarbera A.K.A Jumprope Joe
Athlete of the month: January
We are so excited to announce our first ever Athlete Spotlight … Joe LaBarbera! Joe has been a member at Ignite for a little over 5 years. My very first memory of Joe was coaching him in a WOD that involved jump roping. You may think Joe acquired his nick name because of his stellar single unders that he now has, quite opposite. I will never forget the first time I saw him attempt to jump rope…let’s just say he resembled a fish out of water! From that time forward he has been known as Jumprope Joe! For those of you that don’t know Joe, he is one of the MOST genuine people I have ever known. He took a chance on Crossfit wanting to make changes in his life. He is consistent with his workouts and his main goal is to get the best out of his workout every time he is in class. Jumprope Joe it’s truly an honor to have you at Ignite as one of our athletes and as January’s Athlete Spotlight! – Coach Sandra
11 Questions with Joe:
1.Tell us a little about yourself (family, school, job): I have been married since before the turn of the century (July 1999) and my wife (Michele) and I have two son’s Joseph ( 17 ) and Anthony (15). For over 15 years I have worked for KPMG in Montvale as an Associate Director in the Finance and Accounting group. I went to IONA College for my MBA and my undergrad at Pace University.
2. What made you decide to try Crossfit and why Crossfit Ignite? I was reading and seeing a lot on TV about CrossFit. Although, I did not do any exercise or physical activity for over 10 years I knew that the fitness club route wasn’t for me.When I belonged to fitness clubs if I had to wait to use a machine or other gym equipment I treated it as a signal from god that my workout was done for the day 🙂 I searched online for CrossFit’s in the area and since CrossFit Ignite is close to work I decided to give it a try and have no regrets about it!
3. What is your favorite Wod/movement and your least favorite Wod/movement? When it comes to strength (weights) my favorite lift is the Back Squat because it is not a complicated movement. Power Snatch is my least favorite because it is complicated for me and I can’t seem to get the shrug.
4. Words to live by/favorite quote? Man Plans, God Laughs. I say this because even basic plans get derailed. A simple example, I would plan to go to CrossFit three times a week and on Sunday would look at my calendar and say I will go Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Inevitably something would come up at work or home on those days and I was lucky if I made it to CrossFit one day that week. However, I could have probably made it in the other days because something on my calendar wound up not occurring that day or I was cherry picking because I wasn’t a fan of that day’s WOD. I decided to just keep gym clothes and my sneakers always in my car and go to the gym any day I can go even if I am not a fan of the WOD that day. I probably average four days or more a week going with this strategy.
5. Tell us something we don’t know about you? My children inspire me and if it wasn’t for me seeing them accomplish all the amazing things they accomplished I would have never stepped outside my comfort zone and joined CrossFit. To keep it brief and not go on and on, Joseph earned his Black Belt in Kung Fu when he was nine years old and Anthony has undergone several open-heart surgeries because his right side of his heart never developed. Doctors told us not to expect much from him academically and physically. However, in little league he hit an out of the park home run and always makes the honor roll at school.
6. Any advice for “newbies” /anyone looking to try crossfit? My advice for anyone looking to try CrossFit or newbies is don’t be intimidated. Everyone has their weaknesses and do not try to be the athlete you aren’t. Have the best work out for you and do not compare your times or scores to other’s. Fortunately, CrossFit Ignite has amazing coaches and they will make sure you are comfortable with the movements and can quickly assess the individual and are realistic about each individual’s capabilities. If they know you can give more they will get that out of you to get you the best workout.
7. What were your first thoughts after your first experience/first crossfit class? I was surprised at how interactive it was and not only was the coach helpful and knowledgeable the members there that day were also very helpful and encouraging during the workout. You knew the people there were committed to getting a good workout and not just going to a gym to say I went to the gym today. Over five years later I still feel the same way and that is in good part to the culture that Steve and Tina fostered and the talented and caring coaches who share their same values (Sandra, Adam, Kung Fu Jim, Danielle, Kiley, Stevie T).
8. Favorite Cheat meal? Wine, Pepperoni Pizza, Calzone, Oreo Cookies, Chocolate Ice Cream..
9. What motivates you during a WOD? The people around me motivate me. The coaches motivate me with their encouragement and the athletes around me motivate me because I am always amazed at either their speed or the amount of weight they can lift and still have good form.
10. Proudest CrossFit
11. If you created a WOD named after you…what would it consist of? 3…2…1…GO!!
STRENGTH: BACK SQUAT
Percentages based off of most recent heaviest set of 3
AMRAP in 20 Minutes:
- 400M Run
- 20 Box Jumps
- 10 Toes to Bar