Let me take a minute to introduce you to Mike. Mike is an awesome man who came to us with lots of goals and drive to be the best Mike he can be while enjoying life outside. Mike you exemplify what we are looking for in a Humble – Hungry – Happy Athlete. Thank you for being an awesome addition to our community.
1.TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
I am Mike and have worked in the music and education industry for 34 years. I have 2 children, a daughter that is active duty Air Force intelligence (I don’t know what she doesJ) and a son that served 5 years in the Marine Corp as part of the presidential security detail in Washington DC and at Camp David.
2. WHAT IS ONE THING WE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU OR BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT?
Most people are a little surprised when they find out how much of an introvert I am. With all of my years of performing on stages and in clubs, teaching large classes of students, and even doing things like CrossFit with groups of people the truth is that it is really out of my comfort zone. I really love the days that I am backpacking in the wilderness or running and biking were I am completely on my own. It is a challenge for me to insert myself into conversations and group events and something I constantly work on. All of the great people at CrossFit Hippo have actually helped me feel more comfortable doing things I am not very good at around others.
3. WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT?
The short answer is my Daughter. Being in the Military and a fitness/nutrition geek I was always intrigued by her text messages and pictures talking about new PRs or WODs and the kind of people she was around. I had always been a runner and bike rider (my sport growing up was baseball) and the thought of all the lifting and HIT workouts didn’t make sense for me. My thought was all on cardio as I suffer from high blood pressure and cholesterol. It just didn’t seem to fit what I thought my needs were but was still intrigued.
Unfortunately all of the impact I was doing finally took its toll on my knees and I blew up my meniscus. After the initial recovery I began to run again. The pain was pretty intense and my knee remained in a constant state of being swollen. I started wearing various braces and supports and it helped some but still not what it used to be. I got kind of depressed over not being able to run as much and issues with backpacking with anything over 25lbs on my back. My daughter suggested trying CrossFit as an alternative. The thought was how would my knees react if I actually strengthened the muscles around my knee to help absorb the shock.
After about 18 months of CrossFit I comfortably hiked aver 100 miles last year with pack weights of 35 to 40 lbs, I recently ran over 5 miles with no knee pain or swelling, I have a PR of a 7:30 mile again, my cholesterol numbers are the best they have ever been, my blood pressure is completely normal, and I feel like I am getting stronger then I have ever been. Something feels wrong with my day if I don’t make it in for a workout. I love CrossFit but do wish I would have found it many years ago.
4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT?
I really enjoy the sense of accomplishment when I complete whatever is planned for the day. Each day is a new challenge and being able to just do me by scaling appropriately to finish the task and get stronger is very enjoyable. I’m very competitive and this allows me to be competitive with myself. I like seeing a new PR, a faster time, a lift I couldn’t do before, and all of the encouraging people who don’t care how much I am lifting or how fast I am going because all of us are pushing ourselves at our own level. Too many things in the world have a certain standard or bar and if you can’t compete or perform at that level you get pushed out or you quit. My bar or standard here is only what I set for myself and everyone is ok with that.
6. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
There is really not a one-time proudest moment accept for PRs when they happen. The proudest moment is honestly still happening. Doing CrossFit consistently for over a year now is what I am proud about. Anytime in life you can do something that is really good for you consistently and without injury is a huge win. I am proud that I am still going, still enjoying, and still learning and growing.
7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?
I love anything lower body like squats or even deadlifts. I never worked on upper body so I struggle with any of those lifts.
Overhead squats are the only movement that I have to force myself to show up for. It is a culmination of everything my body struggles to do.
8. WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
My goal is and always has been to be able to live a healthy life, with full mobility, and no pain. When you are young you are constantly trying to gain muscle, size, endurance, or maybe lose weight. My goal is to get stronger, keep my weight and bp in check, and continue to be able to backpack, run, bike, hike, or even change a car tire late into my life. I am getting stronger every day but I know one day that will stop. My goal would be to still be walking in the door of CrossFit Hippo 5 days a week 10 years from now. As for right now I feel better every day so I think I am progressing as I need to.
9. WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HIPPO HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
CrossFit Hippo has created more positivity in life. I go in the gym with positive people around me and know I will come out feeling good about whatever I did. Every workout ends positively. Because of the sense of accomplishment and positivity I think I have taken that to other places in my life as well. I tend to be more positive and encouraging around my colleagues. I help others find solutions to their problems that they can live with rather than being limited to just one way. It’s ok to just do you. I think CrossFit Hippo has helped me be more comfortable reaching out to others both in and out of the gym with teamwork, positivity, and encouragement.
10. WHAT MAKES CROSSFIT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FITNESS PROGRAMS THAT YOU’VE TRIED IN THE PAST?
Constantly varying and challenging workouts that can be tailored to individual needs and strengths. Other workout programs are either the same thing over and over or you are left up to your own devices to figure something out. Constantly varied, nutrition and strength driven, daily goals, and amazing coaching and instruction set it apart. CrossFit Hippo has even gone farther for me with My Zone. This really helps me to know my intensity and goal for the day within the workout. There seems to be a scientific and proven method for most of what we do. Having encouraging people around make you want to come back the next day and do it all over again.
11. IF YOU COULD CREATE A WOD, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
I love cardio!
Box jump 20
Double under 25
Push ups 20
12. WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT CROSSFIT, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
Backpacking is my favorite thing to do that is planned. I love nothing more than going completely off the grid for 3 or 4 days and seeing things that most others never get to.
When at home after work my favorite past time is watching any sporting activity. I enjoy whatever is in season and admire the abilities that athletes display. I’m a season ticket holder for the Texans and I really wish we would get an NHL team. An evening at home, watching a game, and enjoying a great Bordeaux or Cabernet with exotic cheese selections is the best activity ever for me.