November Member of the Month – Jukka

When we first met Jukka he was very quiet, but we could tell it was because he was doing some serious listening and thinking about our instruction. He is one of the most precise and calculated athletes we’ve seen come to Cróga CrossFit. Those two characteristics mixed with his dedication to doing the extra mobility and skill work he can at home have led to him making some HUGE strides in a very short period of time.

Here is a little Q&A about Jukka’s experiences here at Cróga CrossFit

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Dave(D): When did you join Cróga?

Jukka(J): April 2014. As many husbands have done since the Paleolithic era, I first sent my brave wife Saija to scout things out. Once she had survived weeks of WODs, I was ready to enter the lion’s den myself. In fact, I first looked at CrossFit back in 2008 and read Greg Glassman’s CFJ articles. I was intrigued already back then but the idea went dormant for six long years.

(D): What were you doing before for fitness?

(J): I use to be active in many sports but I didn’t do anything meaningful the past couple of years. Things went wrong for me physically. On Christmas Day 2013 after devouring Saija’s Christmas dishes, I decided it was time for a complete physical turnaround! After getting going on my own for three months (mostly Paleo/weights/intervals), I wanted to take things to the next level with CrossFit.

(D): What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?

(J): Surprisingly to me and those who knew me pre-2014 I saw improvements in my “Lifetime PRing” blood markers, body fat %, running times, lifting results, and so on. And I’ve learned many valuable life skills here at Cróga that I can show off to my kids like handstands – they’re already copying it!

(D): What’s your favorite WOD?

(J): Because of the November skill of the month, I uncovered some hidden affinity with L-Sits! I have also noticed that bodyweight and endurance WODs tend to be in my wheelhouse. So, how about a 1-hour long AMRAP of “GHD Sit-Ups, Burpees, Running”? At this point I’m still PRing and learning new stuff in every workout. And, hitting new lifting PRs with heavy weights is always rewarding.

(D): What’s your least favorite WOD?

(J): I imagine a “For Time” coupled with heavy Overhead Squats and high-rep Double-Unders for several rounds and trying to do it RX’d…before the coaches turn off the lights! I haven’t seen that exact one hit the whiteboard. But now that I revealed it publicly, I’m sure Dave will program it.

(D): What do you love about CrossFit?

(J): I’ll get deep here: First, its theoretical framework for fitness that’s comprehensive, measurable, and grounded in scientific findings. Second, personally applying its principles (=CVFMHI) keeps it challenging, interesting, and you get results. Third, CrossFit does a nice job encouraging members by integrating coaching with a community of fellow athletes with individual freedom and flexibility.

(D): What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?

(J): “Paleo pancakes” topped with blueberries homemade by my wife Saija, ask her for the recipe.

(D): What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2014?

(J): For what’s left of 2014: Not letting the holiday period mess things up too much with Saija’s holiday dishes! More or less I have some “extreme” stuff up my sleeve that I’d like to have with fun trying in the coming months, with more advanced bodyweight tricks and more unusual WODs. For instance, who wants to join me for “The Burpee Mile”?

(D): What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga CrossFit?

(J): If you don’t have a brave wife who can scout things out, just take a leap of faith… Two points: 1. Achieving changes in your fitness requires making changes in your habits. Developing new habits takes time, commitment, and persistence, but it’ll pay off. 2. What you measure is what you’ll get. Measure and track your workout results and health markers.

(D): 10,000 push presses or 10,000 shoulder presses?

(J): There is a lot of opportunity there to drop a barbell on my head (been there, done that, with both lifts…). I’ll go with 10,000 SPs because if I can get those done, I should have no problem next time with 10,000 PPs. But can you invest in a heavy-duty helmet?

(D): Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?

(J): I want to thank the coaches Dave, Anthony, Brittany, Preston, and Kelly, plus my fellow Cróga members. And, I recall Preston had issues with valet parking Steve’s car during his Member of the Month, so I’m OK with just a dedicated MOTM parking spot.

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