February Member Spotlight

Photos by Dustin Nevill

Photos by Dustin Nevill

We are so proud of all of our athletes and the commitment to their goals and their health every day at Razorback, Foxcroft, and DAC CrossFit. The determination and hard work is displayed when our athletes are becoming healthier, stronger, quicker, and developing their overall fitness.  This incredible group of athletes in our growing community is devoted to helping each other and themselves become better every day.  As coaches, we feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to work with so many like-minded, hardworking athletes to achieve their goals.

For our February installment of our Member Spotlight, we introduce Buddy Johnson. Buddy joined Razorback CrossFit in May of 2014 while searching for guidance to improve his workout program to meet his goals. He has rarely missed a 5:30 a.m. class since then!

Were you following a different exercise routine prior to starting CrossFit?

I was working on an elliptical machine and doing some weight machines but didn’t seem to be making much progress. I had undergone surgery for a leg injury about 16 months earlier, and I had yet to learn how to run again. I needed some guidance, so I sought out a trainer and used one of the coupons in my LRAC coupon book to do so.  

Do you remember what your first CrossFit workout was? What were your thoughts after it?

I came to a Saturday open session and recall being a bit overwhelmed by the routine and the movements I was not familiar with.  I remember the first week or so being asked to do a handstand against the wall. My thought was, “I haven’t done that in 40 years!” My first effort was rough, but they’ve gotten a lot better. I also remember the early soreness, my leg hurting when the workout involved running, and my repeated questioning of whether CrossFit was right for me. I’m glad I stuck with it, and it did get better. I’m not nearly as routinely sore as I was in the beginning.

What do you like most about CrossFit?

The camaraderie of the 5:30 a.m. class, which has some of the best people one could ever want to meet. They are nice, encouraging, intelligent, thoughtful, and a joy to be with.  The coaching, too, is tremendous. I grew up and have spent a lifetime around coaches, and I consider Anna to be one of the best. She really knows her stuff. And lastly, the hour-long session each day is guaranteed to be varied and interesting.  The camaraderie, the challenges and the daily routine keep me coming back.   

What is your favorite exercise or workout?

Burpees, of course. Just kidding! It’s hard to identify a favorite. One thing I really enjoy about CrossFit is how the exercises and workouts change from day to day, and the outcome is holistic fitness – mobility, strength, and endurance.  

What changes have you noticed since you’ve started CrossFit?

I feel athletic, and I’ve learned to run again.

What goals have you accomplished and what are your next goals you are working towards?

My first goal was to make progress in becoming more fit. This I’ve done. My next goal is to stick with it. I so admire those LRAC members I see every day – whether in CrossFit or not -- who’ve been doing their workouts for years or even decades. They’ve figured out what works for them. I consider myself a newbie in that sense. I aspire to sustain this active lifestyle for the long term. It helps immeasurably that my wife, Elizabeth, supports me completely in my training program.

How has CrossFit helped you in your everyday life (work, family, etc.)?

I feel better all around. Feeling strong and healthy improves everything.

Tell us about your half marathon training and how you have incorporated CrossFit into it?

Back in November some of my fellow CrossFitters threw out the idea of me running the Little Rock half marathon, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve closely followed the training schedule and am optimistic about the race. The only downside is that I’ve been missing some CrossFit sessions so I could get in my miles on the track. 

Is this your first half?

Not counting the recent distance covered on one of my training runs, it will be my first half.

What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit, or someone who is thinking about joining?

Be patient and adapt the CrossFit workout to fit your abilities. When it comes down to it, your primary competition is yourself. There are many, many exercises and movements I have trouble with or cannot complete, but that’s okay. I can scale back to a level that is challenging, demanding and do-able. I’m surrounded by good people who push me or pull me along the way to the finish. CrossFit might not be for everybody, but, so far, it works for me.