Athlete of the Month – Ammar Akhlaq
Thank you, Ammar, for being such and amazing member of our community! You always come in to class with a great attitude and a smile on your face! We absolutely love having you and supporting you on your fitness journey! Keep up the great work and ya’ll enjoy this hilarious interview!
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
Hmm I usually don’t like to talk about myself but since its required here, here goes. On a stormy April night in a small remote town of Pakistan back in 1986, I was born. I got my early education from… wait! I’m sure you don’t want to hear any of that (I wouldn’t), so here’s the crash course. Avid CrossFitter, single dad-in-training, proud PepsiCo Ambassador living a life that can be categorized as anything but normal. Optimistically delusional about the potential of human mind and what it can accomplish. Hates comfort zones and loves to do anything that people believe cannot be done. O yeah, lost over 150Lbs twice and this time, I have bigger plans.
WHAT IS ONE THING WE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU OR BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT?
Hmm right after Hurricane Harvey, I was confirmed to make a big move to a different part of town far away, start afresh (sell the house, everything). The ONLY reason I stayed was because I did not want to leave the Hippo J
WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT?
Not sure, I just found myself walking into this place called CrossFit Hippo one day, met a big guy named George who had the most mischievous smile on his face while he said “Let me show you around…” and the next thing I know, over a year had passed, I was in the best shape of my life, had quit many bad habits including smoking, addicted to CrossFit going 6 days a week, having vivid memories of not only competing in events like Katy Classics (CrossFit competition) but remembering that event where everyone actually stopped what they were doing in that big gym hall to chant me and my team during my last heat (still don’t know for sure what made them do that but my version involves telling people I was so good that everyone felt they had to stop and support ; ) and yeah, CrossFit Hippo is the Bomb!
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT?
Hearing Courtney’s loud voice in every class I enter, saying… “HEYYY AMMAR!!!”, still trying to figure out how I should respond, I mean should I just yell back “HEYYY COURTNEY!!!” or just duck my head down in shame knowing I am late yet again and she just made it obvious. Lol always puts a smile on my face.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
When I beat Miguel at Bearcrawl! Has not happened yet but I am more close to it than Miguel thinks! ; )
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?
I don’t discriminate, I dislike all movements equally. In fact, just the word movement gets me tired yet here I am, down half my body fat in less than half a year and a diehard CrossFit fan. Moral of the story… Find the right Will and the right Herd! I like “Running” WODs and not so much the “Squat” WODs. Remember, the strongest medicine tastes the worst.
WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
The Journey has just begun but glad to know that I am on the right path. Hmm.. CrossFit goals? To score a girl like Sam’s J and I am not close; at least I don’t think I am, unless a hot bombshell reading this wants to contact me. Lol I just want to have a healthy cool lifestyle for myself and my son and CrossFit makes a great start.
WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HIPPO HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
It is really hard to put this one in words but if I had to take stab… I am attempting some extraordinary things in my life that require the utmost Discipline and a wise man once said… “Discipline is sacrificing short term pleasures for long-term self-respect”. I believe you can accomplish anything you want, all you need to bring to the party is the “Will”! the tools you can always find. CrossFit Hippo is a perfect Live example of this phenomenon (plus, they help with the “Will” too, through motivation and an amazing community). Health is a prerequisite for a productive life and CrossFit Hippo is the vehicle that delivers health!
WHAT MAKES CROSSFIT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FITNESS PROGRAMS THAT YOU’VE TRIED IN THE PAST?
Hmm the only other fitness program I have tried was starving myself thinking I will get fit/lose weight (seriously, one time I went 7 days on a pack of gum and water) and I would rather do CrossFit, which is to eat right and burn right rather than unhealthy starvation. See the way I see it, what Taekwondo is to the Korean culture and Krav Maga to Israel, CrossFit is a lifestyle developed by the US Strong and the experience cannot get more real than a proud coach with an amazing coach wife, 2 lovely kids 4 dogs living and breathing fitness along with a community of hippos who decide to get out of their comfort zones every day and make things happen. Love Hippo and the Hippo Herd!
IF YOU COULD CREATE A WOD, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
Sunrise WOD on a beach somewhere but the Hippo box is a close 2nd. I like running, bench press and bicep work so a combination of those.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT CROSSFIT, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
Daydream about what the future can hold. I believe in the power of doing good at a large scale through small efforts. I am anti-War #BooksOverBombs #BusinessOverBullets. I am big on supporting small business and startups, so you will probably find me colluding at Station or a former HTC company working on some executional strategy in a totally weird industry or market, if not playing with my Son or at Agora (local coffee shop)