CrossFit Celsius would like to congratulate John Griffin
for achieving Athlete of the Month!
When, where and why did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit in June or July of 2013 at CrossFit Full Strength in Phoenix, AZ. I had always heard really fun things about CrossFit and had seen the Games on ESPN and wanted to try it, but I definitely thought I needed to “get into CrossFit shape” before even visiting a box. I had always been in good shape throughout my life and was very active in grade school, high school, and college, but I had gained a few pounds since graduating. I was working 3 jobs at the time and that didn’t leave much extra time for exercise. I tried P90X and Insanity and saw decent results, but after going through the program a few times, I got bored and my fitness suffered. My girlfriend Alyssa (also a CrossFit Celsius member) bought me a 30-day trial on Groupon for Full Strength, so after a year or so of debating about it, I finally tried it….and loved it! What initially started as a new and fun way to lose weight became a new way of life for me.
What keeps you coming back?
I keep coming back to CrossFit for so many reasons. I absolutely love it as both a fitness modality and as a sport. I’m constantly seeing positive results in my fitness, capabilities and physique every single day, and seeing others at the box experience those same results makes me very happy. I love to push myself to my limits and see if I can achieve that next level of fitness, and CrossFit provides that test for me. The workouts never get any easier…you just get better! And with that, you can push a little harder and the workouts become more challenging. I was involved in Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, MMA-style training, and basketball pretty intensely for most of my life, but as I got older and went back to school, I stopped doing those activities. I love to train, and CrossFit is the only thing I have found that mirrors that intensity and gives me a chance to really push myself. As for why I come back to CrossFit Celsius, it’s easy: they are my friends and family.
What are your favorite and least favorite lifts, movements and/or WOD’s?
Favorite lifts/movements: Clean & Jerk, Snatch, OHS, HSPU, T2B, and Bar MU (now that I can finally do them!)
Favorite WOD’s: Grace, DT, JT, Murph
Least favorite lifts/movements: KBS, thrusters (they hurt!), WB…and running
Least favorite WOD’s: Karen, Fran (I hate going fast)
What is one big CrossFit goal that you’ve reached and one that you are currently striving to achieve?
CrossFit has allowed me to achieve so many goals, but I have to pick two! The first one is that it has allowed me to lose around 35 lbs. I don’t necessarily have a goal weight that I’d like to achieve, but CrossFit has allowed me to see the physical changes in my body that I’ve always wanted. The other goal I’ve reached is the elusive ring muscle up. I may not be able to do many of them or even get one consistently, but I got it! Always a work in progress. The goal that I’m striving to achieve is to make it to Regionals on a team. My fitness level may not be there yet, but going to regionals on a team is something that keeps me motivated to keep pushing.
Is there someone specific who has inspired your fitness/CrossFit journey?
I can honestly say that everyone at CrossFit Celsius has inspired my fitness journey. They are all my closest friends and they all inspire me to push myself and to help others to push themselves. I am, however, especially inspired by my girlfriend Alyssa for always pushing me to be better…and yet always reminding me that my best is good enough; Bob Stewart for introducing me to Celsius 2.5 years ago and for being my best friend/workout partner/big brother; and of course my parents!
Obviously CrossFit influences changes in your physique – but what kind of changes have you experienced mentally, emotionally and with your overall health?
CrossFit has made nothing but positive changes for me mentally, physically, emotionally, and in my overall health. It’s helped me to lose 35 lbs. and become more fit in general. I honestly thought that I have always been mentally tough, but CrossFit constantly tests your ability to step outside your comfort zone and push just a little bit more. Because of that, I’ve become more mentally tough. CrossFit has also helped me to manage and cope with my emotions over the last few years. It has been the best stress reliever from medical school and the constant studying that comes with it, and it has recently helped me to stay balanced during a very emotional and challenging time in my life.
What is your favorite thing about CrossFit Celsius?
My favorite thing about CrossFit Celsius is the people. There are so many CrossFit gyms out there now and that doesn’t even include the big corporate gyms. In my personal opinion, at the end of the day, you can workout anywhere and see some kind of result. But if you can see those results in a place that’s welcoming and supportive and with people you WANT to spend time with, then that will always bring you back. CrossFit Celsius is that place for me. We are a community, we are a team, and we are all friends. Of course I love the WOD’s and programming as well, but I love doing that programming and those WOD’s with THIS group of people. When you go to Celsius, you’re part of a family. And after very recently experiencing a very difficult and emotional time with the passing of my mother, CrossFit Celsius showed me that they are my family with their support, kindness, and encouragement. I love all of them…and that’s why I always come back!!
Is there anything you’d like to share with current and/or potential members?
CrossFit Celsius has something for everyone. For the potential members: if you’ve always thought about trying CrossFit but for some reason haven’t given it a shot just yet, come to Celsius. Whether you’re looking to change your lifestyle, compete locally or at a more intense level, or any other goal, CrossFit Celsius can definitely help you achieve those goals. For the current members of Celsius, thank you for always being so supportive of me, Alyssa and my family always!! Thank you for making me a better athlete and a better person!