Q: When did you first hear about CrossFit and how did you get started?
I couldn't tell you when I first heard about CrossFit, probably as it grew in popularity, but I remember when I decided I would give it a go. I've always been a somewhat consistent lifter and casual athlete, but one day I was cutting down a dead tree with my father. We had to tie a rope on it and pull it into the field and away from the road. I was probably in my mid 20's and my dad ~30 years older. I could not climb the darn tree to get the rope up high enough, BUT my father could... and pretty easily too. I said to him I can bench 300lbs but I can't climb a tree and his fatherly response was "different strength". I finally decided shortly thereafter I would rather have functional strengths. The plan at the time was to do CrossFit a couple days a week and still do my lift/cardio routines the other days. Within the first month I changed from 3 times a week to unlimited and since then I haven't missed too many days.
Q: Why did you stick with it?
Long story short; it works. Since full-timing CrossFit I don't think a weekend has come without my entire body being sore and a weekend has ended without me looking forward to 5:30am Monday morning. I think there is something to be said for your body not being able to acclimate to the continuously variable nature of the workouts. I have never worked out and consistently had my entire body pushed in different ways that always leaves me sore. That's how I feel the workouts are working.
Q: What do you enjoy most about Bell City CrossFit?
BCCF is the only CrossFit gym I've ever been to, so I can’t compare to other boxes. I have been through many gyms and I will say that you can lift weights in probably 50 different locations in Bristol, but the best Coaches and Members are at BCCF. The Coaches care for the Members and push them to better themselves in and out of the gym. The classes breed a camaraderie that you don't find in other gyms when everyone does their own thing with headphones on. In the classes at BCCF we are routinely cheering along the other members in between reps and deep breaths.
Q: Most and least favorite lift?
For some reason I like snatching. Maybe because it is so difficult? I never once snatched before joining BCCF. I'm not particularly good at it... but it is a great feeling when you hit the technique perfect and the weight goes up nice and easy. I would just like for that to happen more often... I hate deadlifts. I say that every time they show up. Hate. Hate. Hate.
Q. What do you train for?
Health and longevity. Life changes when you have kids. I want to see them little guys grow old and I want them to be a positive role model of health to them. Training is also fun. My wife calls it my "me" time, and I guess that's true. It really helps me charge my batteries and prepare to tackle the day.
Q: What is your greatest CrossFit success story?
I think the first time I made it all the way up the rope was pretty cool. In this present cycle I was able to get my first handstand push up (with 2 mats) and then the other day I was able to get 12 done in a workout. For me that was surprising and an awesome little victory!
Q: What do you do for work?
I am the Public Works Director and Town Engineer for Plymouth right next door to Bristol. Roads, bridges, utilities, facilities, snow, etc. for the Town. I also have a landscaping company that I run part-time. We also have a family farm that I wish I had more time for.
Q: What do you do for fun with you’re not at the gym?
Love hanging with my boys, and the wife too I suppose. I have two little guys under 2 years old. They don't leave a lot of time for "fun" like I used to know, but they are my passion now; I just can't get enough of them. They are just the best and just being with them is the most fun I've ever had in my life. (And the wife too I suppose - LOVE YOU)
Q: What advice would you give to someone interested in CrossFit, but not sure it’s the right fit for them?
I think as human beings we are just uncomfortable with change. So whether you are new to a globo (large franchise) gym or new to CrossFit, it will be uncomfortable for a time. For some reason CrossFit also has an intimidating connotation, because it's different if you haven't tried it before. The workouts, the lingo, there’s no place to hide and all that can be a lot at first. My advice is to scale. When I was new I would scale all of the workouts. Even if I thought I could complete the workouts as prescribed, it was more important for me to be doing higher reps with better form. That's Quality AND Quantity for you keeping score at home.
I highly recommend new people start with the same attitude. Don't quit. Literally anyone can do CrossFit, everything is scalable, the only thing stopping you is yourself.
Q: Favorite breakfast meal?
I try to stick with a Zone type diet; I found that my energy levels and recovery in particular really flourished with that eating program. My go-to breakfast is 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites with a slice of cheese (4 protein) with a bagel thin (3 carb) with either almond butter or almonds (4 fat). I usually fill the extra carb with some spinach/veg in the egg or some fruit.
Congratulations Charles, and thank you for sharing your story!
When you see Charles at Bell City, be sure to give him a high-five and congratulate him!!!
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