Athlete Spotlight: Josef Roberts

Name: Josef RobertsRoberts_fam
Age: 35
Occupation: New Business Owner
Which class time do you usually attend?  Good question… anything but 6 or 7 pm.
Favorite WOD: Grace
Favorite Lift: Can Toes to Bar be a lift?  If not, then I’ll go with Cleans.
Deadlift Max: 345 lbs
Back squat Max: 215 lbs
Favorite Food: Pulled Pork with Collard Greens and Black Eyed Peas
Favorite Movie: Any movie that can be watched to completion without child interruption
Favorite Athlete: Kim Roberts
Dream Job: Running my own company, which I plan to do soon.
Dream Vacation Destination: Spontaneous European vacation.  2 week trip, no planning until you get on the plane. Simply buy a round trip airline ticket to/from a major city in Europe.  Any takers?

How long have you been CrossFitting?
“Since October, 2014.”

What keeps you coming back/motivated?
“The daily challenge is great.  I have seen huge improvements in my athletic abilities.  I also enjoy watching people give it all they have.  Watching myself and others get more out of themselves than we expect is very motivating.”

How did you find CrossFit?
“I was asked by my wife, Kim, to give it a shot… after she looked at me for a long weekend in the Bahamas.”

What is your athletic background (If applicable)?
“Very little.  My CrossFit experience has turned me into an athlete.”

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?
“I have seen a lot of growth in my life in the past year.  These changes have not been exclusive to my CrossFit experience, but NEC has certainly been a large part of it.  I have been humbled by CrossFit, yet at the same time the community of people around me has lifted me up and helped me.  I have built new friendships and seen existing friendships grow much deeper thru NEC.  Our community is unique and genuine. NEC has become an important part of my entire family’s life, which is a testimony to how much it has changed me.  CrossFit has not made me into who I am, but it has given a tremendous opportunity to continue becoming the man that God intents for me to be.”

What is the one thing you have done here that you never thought you could do?
“I did 4 muscle ups in The Open (15.4) last year.  Big accomplishment, however I have only done 5 more since then.”

Who or what motivates/inspires you?
“I’m motivated by how far I have come in my exercise.  I am motivated by the coaches at NEC too.  They genuinely care and want to help us improve.  Over the past year the most inspiring thing for me has been how God uses exercise to teach me how I can know him better.”

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?
“I was able to post an RX score for all of the CrossFit Open workouts in 2015.”

Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve through CrossFit?
“Successfully doing a WOD that includes muscle ups, thrusters, and double unders. Three things I can’t do or don’t do well. No ideas Chris Fisher…I’m not ready yet.”

Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit?
“I have a relatively simple but busy life.  My hobbies usually revolve around spending time with the family and friends who can tolerate having us around with our 4 kids.  Kim and I are leaders in our church and we spend several nights/days per week in those activities.  When time allows, I do appreciate a round of golf, attending sporting events, and a great date night.”

Any advice for new members?
“It works.  I was a short overweight middle age guy with no athletic experience.  I spent most of my days sitting behind a desk getting up to eat lunch and go home.  My wife asked me to give it a shot.  I started foundations in October 2014.  I remember a 9:30 foundations class where I could barely complete 30 sit ups, now I can do so much more. You can do so much more than you realize.  Don’t let anyone tell you a miserable workout can’t be fun. Stick with it, embrace the challenge and allow the community of people around you to encourage you. All the encouragement that you are getting from others is because everyone was once a new and struggling person at NEC and they know what it takes.”

Any additional thoughts/comments:
“When people ask me about CrossFit, I tell them that it has allow me to feel better at 35 than I ever felt any other time in my life.  I have grown in confidence, embraced challenge, and I fear less.  After a few months at NEC my humble meter was pretty high and I remember getting discouraged.  Then I was overwhelmed by the reminder that my accomplishment (or lack thereof) was of no importance if God was not honored in what I was doing.  For me CrossFit has become more than exercise.  I have seen hurting people changed, community developed, and a lot of people improving their strength and health. I think God is honored in that and I have been a part of it.  For this I am thankful for NEC and will follow rule #1 of CrossFit… tell others about CrossFit.”

Coach Brandon’s Take:
“Josef is the epitome of No Excuses. His work schedule forces him to travel quite a bit, but he’ll still make time to go the gym at 6 a.m. or in the afternoon after coming back in town. He’s also been known to visit another box while he’s out of town to get in a workout. Josef always has an upbeat attitude and comes to the gym ready to work. When he started with us, he had a good skill set with bodyweight movements, but he’s made tremendous progress in the weightlifting movements like the back squat. I’m excited to see how Josef progresses in year two of his CrossFit career.”