March Member Spotlight

Photos by Dustin Nevill

Photos by Dustin Nevill

Our athletes commit to achieving their goals and improving their health at Razorback, Foxcroft, and DAC CrossFit. We are very proud of the determination and hard work that each of our athletes display as they become healthier, stronger, quicker, and develop their overall fitness.  This incredible group of athletes in our growing community is devoted to helping each other and themselves to become better every day.  As coaches, we feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to work with so many like-minded, hardworking athletes to accomplish their goals.

For our March Member Spotlight installment, we introduce Aaron McDonnel. Although Aaron had done some CrossFit on his own, once he heard that DAC CrossFit was starting, he joined on opening day, March 1, 2014! 

Why did you start CrossFit? 

"Before joining DAC CrossFit, I did some CrossFit on my own, just doing the WODs from the CrossFit mainsite, since there wasn't a box that was convenient for me to join.  I've been a runner since high school, but I was getting burned out on running. I was looking for something to push me further and help me get stronger.  Based on my limited experience doing CrossFit on my own, I knew it was the perfect thing for both."      

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

"I don't remember exactly what my first workout was; I believe it was either Fran or Helen.  I do remember after I finished it I thought, "Wow, I really thought I was in pretty good shape from running before I started CrossFit, but I was clearly mistaken."   I also thought it was crazy that such a short workout could leave me as exhausted as it did!"

What do you like most about CrossFit? 

"I like the community feel and the fact that you're surrounded by like-minded people.  People who aren't looking for a magic pill of fad diet to get them fit, people who want to better themselves and aren't scared to work hard to do it." 

What is your favorite exercise or workout?    

"I'll give both my favorite exercise and my favorite WOD. My favorite exercise is probably the overhead squat. It's one of the exercises that I remember being the most difficult and awkward when I started and the one I feel like I've probably improved the most at. I like it because it works upper body, core, and legs, all in one movement. Hopefully, if you ask me again in a year my answer will be Snatch!" 

"My favorite workout is the Hero WOD, Bull.  It's a test of both strength and endurance, and is just a grueling workout. Just about the time you're halfway through and start doubting if you can even finish it, you remember the reason for the workout and what it stands for, then it's impossible not to finish."      

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

"I've definitely gotten stronger. I've also noticed that despite not running nearly as much as I did before CrossFit, my speed at short distances (5 miles and under) has actually improved. I think it's mostly because of the increased leg strength I've gained from doing CrossFit."    

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

"When I first started, double unders seemed impossibly hard, and I wondered if I'd ever be able to string together 50 or more consecutively in a WOD. I feel like I have them down fairly well now and actually look forward to a WOD that incorporates them. My next two goals are to be able to do muscle-ups and handstand walk."    

How has CrossFit helped you in your everyday life?    

"It has helped me improve my diet. The last thing you want to do after you've busted your butt in a workout is to go eat a bunch of junk and cancel everything out that you just worked so hard for. The combination of being in better shape from the workouts and improving my diet has helped me feel more energetic and given me more confidence.  It's really a positive Domino effect."

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

"Don't put too much stock in what you've heard previously about CrossFit. There are a ton of misconceptions floating around. Just give it an honest try and find out for yourself if it's for you.   When you do try it, don't worry about how much weight you're doing or how fast you're doing it, listen to your coach and concentrate on form.  If you start out with the correct form on each movement, speed and strength will follow."