Athlete of the Month - February 2018

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JOE RIOLO

Since Joe started back in February of 2017 he has been amazing to have as a member of our community. He is a extremely hard working and dedicated athlete. He is also probably one of the most positive individuals at the gym day in and day out. To be honest, the whole clan is amazing! We asked him a few questions, read more below.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT CROSSFIT UTICA AND WHAT GOT YOU STARTED?

I started coming on Saturday’s in February 2017 after Kathy and Kassie started the “New You Challenge” and I was hooked. It was kind of funny how this all occurred because I have a small gym at home and would consistently say that I would never go to a gym because I could do it all at home.  I was wrong as there is more to fitness than just having some weights and a bench.  You see I know how important exercise is to me based on my family history and desk job, so I knew working out was something I would do 6+ days a week to insure my future was healthy, but I figured I would just do it at home; alone.  The commonality of people coming together with their families to leave it all on the floor and cheer each other on, to eat clean and get a great high out of their hour experience at CrossFit Utica has changed how I look at fitness.  It’s amazing to be able to workout with my family, Kathy and Kassie, but also with my CFU family!

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING CROSSFIT UTICA?

Wow that is a question that I could write a book worth of information on. Aside from the techniques and approaches to the daily WODs; I think at this point I have learned most about myself.  As you all know CrossFit isn’t just physical fitness and mobility, it’s also a mental fitness.  I initially thought that my mental fitness was the toughest of the three, but as I begin to increase my physical fitness and my mobility, I am realizing that my mental fitness is in need of some work.  I believe that the open is teaching me to push my mental fitness to the next level and allow the physical fitness to come along for the ride.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT UTICA OR CROSSFIT IN GENERAL?

The community led by a great coaching staff at CFU.  Its amazing the people I have met, the amount of information I have learned and the things I have been able to experience whether its mine or someone else’s goals attained; this has been an enjoyable first year at CFU and look forward to the future.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?

Wow a moment, I feel like walking out after a WOD every day is a proud moment, but I think my most recent proudest moment was doing 18.2.  I was so mental about doing it as prescribed vs scaled.  I thought that two 50 pound dumbbells were a lot of weight (which it is – you have to respect it).  After talking myself in and out of prescribed weight multiple times I came to the conclusion that I had done more weight with a barbell about the same number of times in an EMOM and realized that it was doable – yes it was a mental thing.  So I put a plan together and set a goal to pace myself to do 18.2 with enough time to try one clean for 18.2a.  I was able to do exactly that with 9 seconds left I raised that bar off the floor and cleaned it like it was nothing. 

WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT UTICA HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?

LOL, if you ask my family, they will tell you that CrossFit is all I talk about.  That is true, mostly, but it has also given me a community to learn and share with as well as a confidence to share outside of that community to inform others of better ways to be fit.  Additionally, in a broader view, there are many people older than I doing CrossFit and my goal is to continue for the next 3 or 4 decades of my life; as long as I can.

WHAT IS ONE TIP YOU WOULD GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT STARTING CROSSFIT OR JUST STARTED?

It’s a journey not a sprint.  Things take time to learn, for me I have to get my body and mind to come together and get it somewhat figured out.  Honestly I have been going to CrossFit for just over a year and I feel like I am beginning to get it a little. I still have a long way to go, but the journey has been incredible.

FREEWRITE

- Current book I am reading is: Learning To Breathe Fire - The Rise of CrossFit and the Primal Future of Fitness by J.C. Herz

- Newest CrossFit exercise – handstand pushups (with 1 mat)

- Looking forward to running the 15K Boilermaker and 2 Triathlon Sprints in 2018 with Kathy.