Customer of the MonthSeptember


I grew up mostly in Park Ridge after moving from Rochelle Park with my parents and 4 younger sisters. My family is big and loud (I am not loud) and made even bigger by lots of cousins, aunts, and uncles who live nearby. After graduating from college, I made the decision to stay in Park Ridge to be near my family and remain on the fire department, so I lived at home for a few years while I saved up to buy my condo on South Maple. I work for a telecommunications infrastructure company. I do mostly project management and some light engineering. My biggest projects involve radar towers, but the general theme of my work is “things you put antennas on.”

Tell us something we don’t know about you?
I play the tuba. I had a pet iguana as a kid. I used to take the iguana on bike rides and walks around town. I was almost pushed down the stairs by George Pataki at the 2004 Republican National Convention. As a kid, I was obsessed with Ghost Busters. One of my friends who I played Ghost Busters with in Rochelle Park is now a Paranormal Investigator on a travel channel show called Ghost Loop.
What made you decide to try Crossfit and why Crossfit Ignite?
You guys moved in to the neighborhood around the same time as I did. You were really loud and woke me up every morning, so I said “ok, I’m up anyway, I might as well go work out.” No, none of that is true actually. I girl at work told me about a groupon you were offering for 3 lessons and a 1 month membership. My old gym wasn’t working for me, so I decided to give it a try. It was very intimidating, but you (Steve) were so welcoming and insistent that I come in and get to know everyone.
What is your favorite Wod/movement and your least favorite Wod/movement?
I think my favorite are Power Snatches or Hang Cleans. I enjoy the Olympic lifts. My least favorite is probably Wall Balls. I can’t catch. I have no eye-hand coordination. The coaches keep telling me to squat lower, but I’m just trying to keep the ball from hitting me in the face and breaking my glasses.
How has crossfit changed your life/lifestyle?
Oh my gosh. How hasn’t it? I used to hate words like “athlete” and “coach.” Working out the way we do at crossfit seemed like something for marines and professional athletes – not for regular people. On a scale of athleticism, I ranked somewhere well below “regular people.” But the family at Ignite has taught me that not only can regular people do this stuff, but I can do this stuff. That was a huge change. For most of my adult life I’ve hiked and boated, and been on the fire department. All of those things require a certain amount of strength and mobility I never had – especially the mobility. Now I can do all this stuff I’ve always loved and actually feel good at it.
What were your first thoughts after your first experience/first crossfit class?
“What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath-of-God type stuff… Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling… Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes… The dead rising from the grave …Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria.” - Ghostbusters
Any advice for “newbies” /anyone looking to try crossfit?
Drink lots of water. It doesn’t hurt as much after the first 2 weeks.
What motivates you during a WOD?
The coaches doing my thinking for me. Really. If I listened to my own inner voice, I’d just stop and take a nap – or at least slow down and relax. But in the middle of a WOD I have to shove away my own inner voice and listen to the coach and keep going. There’s a lot of trust involved in that. I couldn’t do it if I wasn’t sure the coaches knew what I could do better than I know.
Proudest crossfit accomplishment?
I’m not sure. I won a contest a few years ago for the biggest change in body weight composition. I hit something crazy like 9 or 11% body fat. It was an odd number. One of those. When I got measured at my old gym once, I was at like 36%. So there’s that. I also lost 100 lbs.
Favorite Cheat meal?
Words to live by/favorite quote?
“He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be though him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1: 2-5)
Favorite book you would suggest the CFI Family should check out and why?
I have a lot of favorite books, so this is hard to say. Check out Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules for life: An anecdote for chaos.”
Finally If you created a WOD named "Camping Jay" what would it consist of? 3…2…1…GO!!
With a loaded backpack of about 25 lbs, preferably in the rain: 22 Box Step Ups 400 Meter Run 35 Box Step Ups 400 Meter Run 46 Box Step Ups 400 Meter Run - In the middle of this run, take a short break to look at the sky and ponder. 48 Box Step Ups 400 Meter Run Drink a beer.

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