Athlete Spotlight: Ryan Pedersen

Name: Ryan Pedersen
Age: 39
Occupation: Operations Manager
Which class time do you usually attend? 9:30am
Favorite WOD: Any kind of chipper.  I appreciate a variety of movements.
Favorite CF Movements: Front Squat
3RM Back Squat: 235
1RM Deadlift: 335
Favorite Food: Fried Chicken, at any meal or any point in the day.
Favorite Movie: Big Trouble in Little China
Favorite Athlete: Bo Jackson
Dream Job: Cannabis Farmer
Dream Vacation Destination: Spring time, hiking in the Alps
Favorite WOD Song: Party Up – DMX
Favorite Motivational Quote: ”It’s supposed to be hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it”

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

How did you first discover CrossFit and what made you decide to start? 
“I’d been aware of No Excuses for years as I use Suwanee Dam to access 85.  But it was some random woman, on a chance encounter, out near Sawnee Mountain in Cumming that convinced me to give it a try.  Only took a few weeks for the barbs to set and I was hooked.  Brandon told me after I bought a pair of Nano’s “New shoes? We got ya.”

Tell us about your sports/fitness background: 
“Youth sports, High School sports, Collegiate intramurals.  Nothing grand.  Spent too much time lifting with gym bros that skip leg day.  Now I’m paying for it with these chicken little drumsticks.”

What sorts of positive changes (mental, physical, emotional) have you noticed in your life since getting involved at No Excuses?
“Greater personal conviction that lofty goals can be accomplished over time, but you have to put the work in.”

What keeps you coming back and motivated? 
“Finishing a WOD that really tests your grit after the first few reps or rounds.  That and Benchmark week.”

In what other ways do you use your fitness? 
“Some nights, after I put the kids to bed, I’ll throw on a mask & cape and patrol the streets of Sugar Hill in my Altima.  We have very little crime though, so I usually end up on the couch eating Halo Top and watching BBC America with Clarise.”

Who or what motivates/inspires you? 
“Clarise, Fischer, Jeff Kearse, Dennis, Dave, Barbara, the Roberts, the Wilkins, the Owings, the Whittens.  Pretty much anybody that has directly or indirectly encouraged me to get back to the bar and do another rep.”

Please share with us a favorite CrossFit or No Excuses moment. 
“Finishing my first CF Open Wod (17.1).  My Wife and boys were there encouraging me as I peeled myself off the ground for those Burpee Box Jump overs in the last two rounds.

Also, this last Hugo, I really enjoyed the Ezzell’s trading bar muscle-ups as they approached the time cap.  I’ve got a pair of young boys, gave me some new parenting goals to shoot for.”

Name one goal you would like to achieve in CrossFit. 
“Successive butterfly pull-ups or just a single (clean) bar muscle-up.”

Tell us about your hobbies and interests outside of the gym: 
“Hiking, gardening, watching football, playing with my kids, not working.”

What advice do you have for someone just starting CrossFit or is on the fence about starting? 
“Get yourself to a solid base of cardiovascular conditioning before signing up.  Some of the WODs will push you so hard physically and mentally when you first start that you will likely give up if you aren’t in semi-decent shape.”

What do you love most about No Excuses? 
“The Coaches.  Big, open workout floor.  Fellow CFers.  Sweating next to Eli on the mobility mats.”

Coach Brandon’s Take: 
“Ryan has made tremendous progress in a little over a year of training at No Excuses CrossFit. He’s been so surprised by his improvement that when he did the workout ‘Randy’ a month ago he improved by several minutes. He couldn’t believe it and had me check to make sure he did all of the reps. Sure enough, he did and now now Ryan continues to put up solid scores and times. I’m excited to see how he improves in Year 2 of CrossFit.”