Congratulations to our March Athlete of the Month, Doug Guerrin!
When coaching, managing the energy of a class is extremely important. You have to work to make sure that the class is animated and ready to go, but also make sure they are focused and ready to go. There are many factors such as how you coach, what music you play, how you run the warmup. But far and away the most important one is who is in the class. Once you have coached for awhile, you get to the point you can glance at the roster for class and have a good guess how its going to be. Some folks bring energy by talking (or shouting), some by supporting and encourging other. But some athletes bring energy simply by caring deeply about what they are doing, how they are doing it, and by trying their absolute best each to achieve their goals. When we as coaches see this month's Athlete of the Month on our roster, we know for sure that he will bring exactly that kind of enegry and that our class is off to a great start. That person is none other than Doug Guerrin!
Doug joined us back in September with the goal of getting in shape for his wedding, and he has been absolutely crushing it since. A regular at the 5 and 6pm classes, he has hit a number of PRs, learned new movements quickly, and increased his cardiovascular capacity substantially. Most impressively, he has come in on weekends and after class on numerous occasions to work with the coaches to improve his form on deadlifts, cleans, and snatches.
Beyond that as stated above he bring fantastic energy and effort to each class and makes those around him better. He will be leaving us soon for a month to get married and travel the world for his honeymoon, but we cant wait to have him back after! Congrats again to Doug! Read on below for out fantastic interview with Doug.
When did you start CrossFit?
Free class and Foundations: September 2018. first official class: October '18.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.).
I'm a proud recovering NY'er surviving in DC. As everyone is probably tired of hearing by now, I'm getting married in 3 weeks to the love of my life, Lexi. I love a good dark beer. I've been told I'm a pizza and bagel snob. Outside of CrossFit, I love to ski, surf, and play floor hockey.
What were you doing before CrossFit?
I got lazy in college and didn't consistently workout again until I hit 30. Then I joined some local floor hockey teams. That reignited my passion for athletics. In the past few years I have bounced from gym to gym in an effort to get in better shape. What I have come to realize is while I have great motivation for going to the gym, once I'm there I either don't know what I'm doing, I get into workout rut, or I just go through the motions (going for a run, messing around with dumbbells). The closest I found to keeping my interest was boxing. I still love boxing (Tyler, get a heavy bag for Open Gym!!!) but find its better for my cardio and not as for building muscle.
How did you find CrossFit?
My best friend from home has been preaching to me about CrossFit for 12+ years. He has done literally everything in CrossFit. Competed in the Games, coached and owned gyms, worked for Reebok corporate, Again Faster, and now NC Fit (check them out if you are ever in the San Jose area). I had been going to the 14th Street Y for about a year but when I would go to the gym (outside of boxing or swimming) I would just go through the motions. I live just around the corner from Hierarchy so I passed by in constantly. In fact, the first time I went to Harris Teeter, I couldn't figure out what the constant loud banging sounds coming from below the produce section was. When I got 6 months out from the wedding, I decided to finally give it a try even though I had never done any real weightlifting in my life.
What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout?
For my free workout, Eva had me and another guy (don't think he stuck around) do a short workout of jump squats, burpees, and maybe lunges? It lasted a maximum of 5 minutes and my lungs were on fire. I thought I was in decent shape (at least for cardio) so that was a bit of a wake up call. I immediately thought, "I need to be pushed and this is the place to do it."
What were your goals when joining CrossFit?
I'll be completely honest, I wanted to look cut in my honeymoon photos.
Have you achieved any of those goals?
Well, I have definitely added muscle mass. I'll probably never be super cut because I love beer and pizza too much but that's OK.
Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?
100%. In edition to the daily workouts, I have tried to really embrace the nutrition challenge as much as possible. I am way more conscious of the food I eat, going with healthier options while still enjoying the process of eating. My fiance makes fun of me about how much I enjoy logging my food in the myfitnesspal app. I probably won't be as diligent after the wedding/honeymoon but I hope I have made some permanent changes to my diet. This has impacted my sleep, daily energy, mental outlook, and about 100 other things.
What does Crossfit Hierarchy mean to you?
Community. I am an incredibly social person but I want those social interactions to be genuine and not forced. Going to other gyms is such a solo endeavor. Barely anyone talks to each other, and if they do its 5 second platitudes. I love seeing everyone from Hierarchy around town, usually at Teeter after a workout but really anywhere. Having that sense of community makes it so much better to head to the gym everyday, especially when I am feeling low energy or it is a workout that I am intimidated by.
Do you have any other special memories/achievements during your time here?
When Dave emailed me about being named athlete of the month. While my progress has been steady over the last 5 months, I'm not sure I can point to a specific "aha" moment. But this felt like confirmation from the coaches that I am making substantial progress and that it is noticeable for others.
What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Hierarchy?
1) Keep coming. 2) Ask questions. Keeping coming no matter what. When the workout is something you have no idea how to do, come! When its something you are really good at, come! Ask questions. I probably annoy Dave with the amount of questions I ask every class, but I know that is the only way I am going to learn and get better.
Favorite WOD (Girl, Hero, or just a type of workout)?
Anything with burpees and/or box-jumps. Those were the two moves I knew I could do when I joined and they continue to be what I am most confident in. Although, I need to listen to Dave's advice more and pace my burpees better so I don't die in the beginning of workouts so often.
Least Favorite WOD?
Anything that is over 15 mins in length. I like um short, like me.
Strict press. It's a simple movement and when I look around the gym I'm actually within reasonable weight of the real beasts in the class.
Least favorite lift?
Any of the real technical Olympic lifts. Snatches, Cleans, Deadlifts. I had never done anything like that before joining and my form is still mostly crap. I'm trying to improve but progress is slow.
Something you might not know about me is…
I enjoy reading fantasy novels (Dave has great recs) and I am super excited to live out one of my dreams in a few weeks and go surfing in Australia.