MOTQ: Paul Hammell
Q: When did you first hear about CrossFit and how did you get started?
I came across CrossFit by chance heading home from work one day. I was driving past the gym, when it was located on Broad St, and happened to look over and see in the window. I turned my truck around and parked in the service station across the street and just watched the class for a few minutes. I remember thinking to myself, “WOW! Look at what they are doing. I need to find out what this CrossFit thing is all about.” So I went home and googled CrossFit. The next day, I walked into the gym and Coach Audrey was there. She gave me a quick rundown on what CrossFit was all about. The next thing I knew I was signed up for on-ramp. And I never looked back.
Q: Why did you stick with it?
For me there are many reasons. The competitive side of me wanted to see if I could keep up with all the ‘youngsters.’ The reality is that I was working out harder than I ever imagined I could. At the end of every workout, laying on the floor gasping for air thinking, “OMG….did I just do that? Thank God it’s over.” And at the same time thinking, “I can’t wait to see what we will be doing tomorrow.” I really like the fact of being able to show up at the gym and not have to think about what I want to do. The Coaches go over the WOD, answer any questions, and we are off. There is no guess work on what exercises to do or if I am doing something correctly. The Coaches are always on point watching over us and keeping us safe. I personally thrive in a team environment and the CrossFit community provides that and more.
Q: What do you enjoy most about Bell City CrossFit?
The things I enjoy about CrossFit are the people and the community. The support from fellow athletes as well as the Coaches is amazing. Everyone in the gym wants you to succeed and gives you the feeling of being on a team, rather than just a member of a gym. You feel part of something more than a gym class.
Q: Most and least favorite lift?
My favorite lift would have to be strict press. My least favorite is overhead squats.
Q. What do you train for?
I train for playing with my kids. I train to continue to be around them and grow with them as they grow and change. I train to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. I train for the benefits of functional fitness training which makes it possible for me to do more now than I was doing 20 years ago. One of my “hobbies,” if you will, is OCR, or Obstacle Course Racing. These races include Spartan races, Tough Mudder, Rugged Maniac, etc. CrossFit training fits perfectly with OCR and is used by many competitors as a basis for their training.
Q: What is your greatest CrossFit success story?
My most memorable accomplishment thus far was competing in the CrossFit Open this past year for the first time. The workouts in the Open, to me, were extremely challenging but I knew I gave it everything I had. It was such a feeling of accomplishment, and it was a feeling I will never forget. I know I will continue to give it my all in the next Open, as well as in each workout I do.
Q: What do you do for work?
I am the owner of Elite Mechanical, a plumbing and heating company in Bristol. We specialize in commercial and industrial projects.
Q: What do you do for fun with you’re not at the gym?
Outside of the gym I like to stay active. My girlfriend Megan and I travel several times a year for OCR events, and somehow, she is always able to find a winery or two along the way to enjoy after the race. We also enjoy hiking, bike riding, and riding my motorcycle. In the summer, we spend a lot of time relaxing on our boat with our pup Melina, friends, and neighbors.
Q: What advice would you give to someone interested in CrossFit, but not sure it’s the right fit for them?
If you are ready to change your life for the better, CrossFit is there to help. Do not be intimated by the movements. Everything we do has scaling options, and the Coaches are there to watch over you. And to remember that everyone in the gym was, at one point, new to CrossFit. We have all been there. Now it’s your turn.
Q: Favorite breakfast meal?
My favorite breakfast meal is a sausage and cheese omelet from Riverside Restaurant. But my go-to breakfast in the morning is Zone cereal with some Honey Nut Cheerios and fresh blueberries mixed in.
Congratulations Paul, and thank you for sharing your story!
When you see Paul at Bell City, be sure to give him a high-five and congratulate him!!!