October 2016: Gabriel Githens

Congratulations to our October Athlete of the Month: Gabriel Githens!

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Gabe’s committed effort and dedication since joining CrossFit Hierarchy in March have been impressive to watch. His constant desire to attack his weaknesses are evidenced by improvements across the board over the last 6 months. Gabe has made leaps in everything from gymnastics to strength to aerobic conditioning. He also brings a constant positive attitude and is a pillar of the CrossFit Ivy City community.  Congrats again, Gabe, on being our Athlete of the Month!

When did you start CrossFit?
April 2016 at Hierarchy Ivy City. I started Foundations with Ikaika at Ivy City based on a few wise recommendations :-)

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, military, interests, etc.).
My wife Sarah and I welcomed our first child into the world recently! His name is Avery Samuel and he loves hanging on the front porch with Mom and Dad while he absorbs the new world. We’re consumed by many new adventures at home these days but we still found time to visit family in Sonoma and Lake Tahoe in August. I’ve always loved exploring the world and have lived in Japan and New Zealand and traveled to many wonderful places in SE Asia, Central America and most recently in South Africa with my wife on our honeymoon. I’m mildly obsessed with EPL Football and College basketball with Liverpool and Duke as my teams.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Copious amounts of running and biking, which was much easier when I lived next to Rock Creek park. After I moved to NE I started lifting at a few local gyms and then joined the box at Ivy City.

How did you find CrossFit?
My colleague recommended Crossfit to me during a hike at the beginning of the year. We were talking about overall fitness and he is a big proponent of Crossfit for both training and nutrition.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout?
This is incredibly intense! At first I found AMRAPs and pacing really tough so finishing a workout was difficult. Now I enjoy the longer WODs and focus on timing and form. The variety is great and the workouts continually challenge me.

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?
Initially I wanted to lose a few pounds and gain better posture and core strength through lifts.

Have you achieved any of those goals?
Yes – I lost weight (fat mostly) during the 30 day challenge and was able to improve on my gymnastics and lifts.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?
Yes – I’ve adopted a healthier lifestyle, specifically in a better diet with more home cooking and vegetables. I feel much stronger and healthier on a day-to-day basis.

Do you have any other special memories/achievements during your time here?
My Mom, my wife Sarah and our son Avery visited Ivy City after one of my workouts during the summer. From the looks of it Avery is a future athlete with some big legs!

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Hierarchy?
To start off be patient and focus on proper form and technique. It’s a learning process and you’ll always find new challenges.

Favorite Lift?
Deadlift

Least favorite lift?
Snatch Balance

Favorite WOD (Girl, Hero, or just a type of workout)?
High Intensity Training

Least Favorite WOD?
WODs with 400m runs in the summer swamp heat.

Something you might not know about me is…
I was born in WA state on a house that was completely off the grid.

The Athlete of the Month is chosen (Kingsmoot-style) by the coaching staff, and is awarded to an athlete that has demonstrated both outstanding performance and attitude. Above all, the AOTM is someone that embodies the gym’s core values of excellence, community, hard work, and integrity.