Athlete Spotlight: Drew Gacek

Name: Drew Gacek
Age: 32
Occupation: Program Manager
Which class time do you usually attend? 6:00 pm
Favorite WOD: Cindy
Favorite CF Movements: Power Clean and C2B
3RM Back Squat: 365
1RM Deadlift: 445
Favorite Food: Bone in Porterhouse
Favorite Movie: Super Troopers
Favorite Athlete: James Harrison
Dream Job: Stay at home Dad
Dream Vacation Destination: National Geographic Polar Bear Arctic Exhibition
Favorite WOD Song: ACDC Back in Black
Favorite Motivational Quote: You must always push the limits because if you never fail you will never succeed. – No Fear poster I had as a kid

How long have you been doing CrossFit?
“Since September 2016.”

How did you first discover CrossFit and what made you decide to start? 
“I have several friends throughout the world that have had a lot of fun doing CrossFit. I decided to give it a try after putting on some baby weight and struggling with my own programming.”

Tell us about your sports/fitness background: 
“I played football and embodied the field side of track & field in high school. I survived Navy Dive School early in my career and later in my career was a member of the 3 mile/year club meaning I ran the bi-annual 1.5 mile assessment twice in a year and that was it.”

What sorts of positive changes (mental, physical, emotional) have you noticed in your life since getting involved at No Excuses? 
“I get to challenge myself mentally and physically every time I make it to the gym. Following the programming has allowed me to work on things I am not inherently good at such as gymnastics, form for Olympic lifts, cardio, and mobility. Like many other people, I programmed my own workouts for what I was good at and achieved marginal improvements. My core and overall stability are better than I could have imagined after a year.”

What keeps you coming back and motivated? 
“The community at our gym keeps me coming back. I enjoy working out next to our elite athletes and new faces alike. We all do what we can during the METCON and share similar pain.”

In what other ways do you use your fitness? 
“To trip over a water jug while carrying a 100+ pound dehumidifier, hop 3 times on one leg, and not drop it or fall. My new found core strength and endurance have enabled me to do play harder with my kids, work harder around the house, and to avoid injuries such as what could have been above during my daily activities.”

Who or what motivates/inspires you? 
“I’m inspired by our members that, like myself, are not gifted athletes but still kill it next to me. I am especially motivated by our members that I am shocked at where they are now compared to where they were when I started.”

Please share with us a favorite CrossFit or No Excuses moment. 
“Rebounding from the Assault Bike debacle in WOD 2 of the HUGO Open.”

Name one goal you would like to achieve in CrossFit. 
“I want to compete in the Open RX (not skip movements like muscle ups because I don’t have them).”

Tell us about your hobbies and interests outside of the gym: 
“Sports as competitive as involving beer either during or after, cycling, and golf. I watch football, hockey, and basketball playoffs. I have two young children so I am into whatever wears them out for nap time.”

What advice do you have for someone just starting CrossFit or is on the fence about starting? 
“Embrace the pain and share in it with me (us) and you will be happy with more than just the results. There is no minimum fitness level, no minimum reps during a WOD, but a minimum amount of effort. Stay humble, put more weight on when the coaches challenge you, and more importantly take a little off when they tell you that form is more important.”

What do you love most about No Excuses? 
“The community generated by our members and coaches.”

Coach Brandon’s Take: 
“Drew came to No Excuses CrossFit with pretty good strength in the traditional movements like squat, deadlift and bench press. What’s been fun to see him progress in is the gymnastics movements. He always interested in learning new tips and the finer points of a movement to get better. That’s what makes having Drew so great in class is that he’s very coachable.”