MATT ALEXANDER

I began my crossfit journey back in January 2013. Over the 8 years or so following college, family, work, and overall life, had taken me far away from being in the shape I was once in. I had tried several times to get back in the gym, doing the typical one month on, 4 months off routine that many often fall into. I had watched the Crossfit Games on TV with my wife one day while drinking a few beers and gorging ourselves on chicken wings and pizza! The thought then entered my mind that I would love to try my hand at this type of training. It took about 6 months of convincing myself and my wife to find a box.

There was a gym that was a few minutes closer to the house, but running around in a grocery store parking lot just seemed too comical for me! As fate would have it, April and I stumbled upon the diamond in the rough that is Elite Crossfit. The first coaches that I met were Emily and Brenda. I was quite impressed with there knowledge and abilities. We were welcomed in and started our "On-Ramp" course that weekend The first few weeks were tough, by tough, I mean brutal. I then realized just how far gone I had let myself go. Over the next few months I attended when I could, but was still set in my ways and lifestyle that wasn't conducive to getting any better or making progress. That following August, after a trip to the coast and a sly remark about not being able to quit smoking, I dedicated myself to truly getting back into shape and getting healthy for myself and family. Once that decision was made, a switch flipped. My workouts began to improve, my speed, strength, endurance, and overall demeanor were improving exponentially. After about 4 months into training 5 times a week, I was able to compete in my first competition with two coaches and another fellow athlete. The experience lit a fire inside of me, I was officially hooked! A month or so following, I competed in my first individual competition and placed first in my division. For the first time in nearly 10 years, I felt like an athlete again!

During my time here at Elite, I have met some truly amazing people and built many cherished friendships. I could not ask for a better group of people to be involved with. The programming is great, but second to the camaraderie!

The coaches have taught me more that I could ever imagine. Like most meatheads, we think we know all there is to know! Two years into this journey, I learn more and more everyday and still plenty left to learn! There is an abundance of misinformation out there concerning crossfit and its methodology, the staff at Elite puts those myths to bed! Each and every one of them have dedicated themselves to educating themselves and others about what fitness truly is. They literally eat, sleep, and breathe Elite!

Looking forward, I have several personal goals to meet. I am really wanting to hit the 600# mark on back-squat and 350# on Clean, which has become my favorite movement. I vividly remember my first few days trying to get the clean movement down, barely able to clean 225.. I had so many bad habits that had been instilled during my high-school football days. One by one, Brenda, Jeremy, Jared, and Clint, coached me through my faults ,enough to get me to the 300# mark. After a pretty nasty bicep tear, and few months recovery, I was left with no choice but to fix my form. Three months after injury, I hit a PR. If there is a WOD with cleans, you can guarantee I will be there! Now snatches, that's another story! It may take some bargaining to get me there! Hopefully I will finally get that movement down and it can also be moved into the favorites column.

This entire experience has been absolutely awesome. Working out has gone from a mere way to keep weight off to one of my favorite pastimes. I have found something that my wife and kids can do together and enjoy each others successes, regardless of ability. I truly enjoy watching the same transformation in everyone that walks in the door. I have learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. If I wasn't stubborn and bullheaded before, I am now(just ask my wife)! I have learned how to push myself mentally and physically through points I would have never imagined . The sick part, I actually enjoy going into that dark deep place and coming out on the other side. I find that I am able to deal with adversity much easier in my personal and professional life. After subjecting yourself to all the blood, sweat, tears, and emotions experienced in the gym, you learn that you can truly do anything you put your mind to and that the only limitations in life are the ones that are self-imposed. As stated on the wall at the Redland gym, "All it takes, is all you got!" Give everything of yourself in anything you do and success will follow.