Dimitriy has been with us for about a year now and it has been an absolute pleasure getting to know him and watch him grow as a more well rounded athlete. He is extremely dedicated, rarely missing his favorite 7:30 pm class unless he has other obligations, and he has a thirst for knowledge on how he can improve and why certain things are making him better. This dedication and curiosity have really been his driving force and have also rubbed off on the other regulars that attend this class time.
In recent months we have seen Dimitriy really come into his own as he has begun to make huge strides in many of the gymnastics movements that we perform in CrossFit and these improvements have carried over to the things he loves most, which are the Olympic lifts.
He was the inspiration for our 7:30 pm Thursday night Olympic Lifting class as he was often the only person to attend this class time and he has built a whole Cróga Oly Crew that attends that class time with him each week to improve on these very dynamic and difficult lifts.
We love his enthusiasm and also his random brain teasers that often go unsolved and look forward to a long and bright future for him and everyone he meets and inspires along the way. Keep up the good work, Dimitriy! Your 10 PRs from last month were no fluke, you earned each and every one of them.
Here is a little Q&A with Dimitriy about his experiences here at Cróga CrossFit:
(Coach Dave): When did you join Cróga?
(Dimitriy): I came in on my 35th birthday in 2014. Dave did not know, so no birthday burpees were mandated.
(CD): What were you doing before for fitness?
(D): I’ve been CrossFitting for over seven years. It all started with a kettlebell class back in Michigan, which then led to doing regular WODs, Krav Maga, and Olympic weigh lifting. I tried almost every strength and conditioning gym in the area, and Cróga is definitely the outlier in many dimensions. On weekends, there are occasional kayak outings, recumbent bike rides, or hikes, with a bit of surfing and paddle boarding thrown in. I also nap for time quite regularly under my standing desk at work.
(CD): What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
(D): When I first came in, I was recovering from a broken leg (PSA: avoid the train tracks north of Davenport). I had not really worked out for almost a year after the surgery and was pretty deconditioned. Even my cherished squatting was off, despite lots of physical therapy. The coaches at Cróga fixed that and then whipped me into the best shape that I’ve ever been in. Progress is slower than when I got started years ago, but it feels awesome to RX a workout that you’ve been doing scaled for years. Folks tell me that I look more svelt. I can also tell you just how many “and now you do what they told ya”s there are in that song Anthony loves to play.
(CD): What’s your favorite WOD?
(D): It’s whichever one they are about to announce on Thursday night during the Open. I love that nervous tingle I get sitting there and hitting refresh and how it takes your mind over until after you finish it. Or anything with heavy kettlebell swings (Russian, natch).
(CD): What’s your least favorite WOD?
(D): I loathe anything with running and high-rep light loads, so Jacket O’ Pain takes this cake: Run 400, S2OH: 100 #65/45; Run 400, S2OH: 75 #65/45; Run 400, S2OH: 50 #65/45; Run 400, S2OH: 25 #65/45. Please don’t program this, Dave! I like being able to comb my hair (well, beard).
(CD): What do you love about CrossFit?
(D): It has all the benefits of a cult without most of the costs: a sense of belonging among the chosen few; resolution to life’s big philosophical questions (squat all the way down); a reason not to worry about life’s big practical questions (warm up and workout are on the board); a clear purpose in day-to-day life (move faster and lift heavier); group meals (Rookies and BBQs); and an unambiguous charismatic leader to look to for direction (Murph). And we all wear the same shoes. More seriously, I like being around supportive people who cheer you on when you PR, and cheer you up when you fail.
(CD): What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
(D): Dave told me about the tongue tacos at Tacos Mexico and Betsey taught me the trick of warming up the egg yolk to room temperature before making mayo. I haven’t had a batch separate on me since, and the taco people know me by name.
(CD): What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2015?
(D): I want to get better at gymnastics movements, like pull-ups, toes to bar, double-unders and HSPUs. I would trade Granny to the Lizard People for a bar muscle up.
(CD): What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga CrossFit?
(D): I never really played sports growing up, and was 310 pounds by the time I started doing this. The first workout was a 500 meter row, 40 air squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 pushups, and 10 pull-ups. It took me nearly 20 minutes, scaled. But if you show up and push yourself—combined with smart coaching, sensible nutrition, and lots of sleep—this
stuff really allows you to make punctuated progress in all domains of fitness. You don’t have to be an athlete to get a whole lot out of it, and you never get bored. Plus, if you stop coming for more than a week, someone will text you the gym’s address.
(CD): 20,000 meters of running or 20,000 meters of rowing?
(D): Definitely 20K row, with Viking metal accompaniment.
(CD): Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
(D): Thanks for adding an Oly class on Thursdays, and for answering all my incessant questions. You guys rock.