Athlete Spotlight: Vince Raia

Name: Vince Raia
Age: 57
Occupation: President, EMC Security
Hometown: Indianapolis
Which class time do you usually attend? 7pm
Favorite WOD: Murph!  But happy it only appears once a year
Favorite CF Movement: Anything involving a barbell; clean is favorite
Least Favorite CF Movement: Turkish Get Up – Too complicated
3RM Back Squat: 235#
1RM Deadlift: 345#
Favorite Food: Steamed mussels served with a local brew IPA
Favorite Movie: Man on Fire – Denzel Washington remake
Favorite Athlete: While not an athlete, but always admired Bobby Knight, winning basketball coach for Indiana University. His quote: “The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.”
Dream Job: Formula One Driver
Dream Vacation Destination: New Zealand
If you could have any super power… Transport between future and present
Favorite Motivational Quote: ”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

How long have you been doing CrossFit?
“Since January, 2016”

How did you first discover CrossFit and what made you decide to start? 
“After a Christmas visit to my in-laws, the reality of what happens when you stop moving as you age really hit me hard.  Watching them give up all of the things they liked to do, because of lack of mobility and strength. I walked in the door of NECF,  read that  CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity, and decided this is exactly what I needed. Signed up on the spot.”

Tell us about your fitness/sports background: 
“Not much participation in organized team sports in school. After moving to Atlanta, stayed active by playing singles tennis, running, mountain biking.  Family, career and other commitments became focus and physical fitness suffered.”

What sorts of positive changes (mental, physical, emotional) have you noticed in your life since getting involved at No Excuses? 
“I have a renewed commitment to physical fitness and health.  Have more energy, stamina and strength. While I did not lose a lot of weight, as expected, my BFI decreased dramatically, so must be converting at least some of that unwanted fat into muscle.  I look forward to working out and pushing myself.”

Who or what keeps you coming back and motivated? 
“I have seen real progress in body composition, strength and endurance. I can do movements that I could not do before, more reps and with additional weight. I like the support of the coaches and others in the class.”

In what other ways do you use your fitness? 
“My 5K run times have decreased, and I don’t tire as quickly when doing hard physical chores.  I transplanted a 20 foot tree in my yard last week without any assistance.  Could not have done that 2 years ago!  I feel more alert and energetic at work.”

Please share with us a favorite CrossFit or No Excuses moment. 
“At the CrossFit Open in 2017, I had been unable to do any more than a single Toes to Bar in regular workouts, and it was on the WOD.  I thought I would have to scale, but the challenge and excitement of the open got to me, and I was able to do all of the TTB and complete the WOD.  It was a great feeling of accomplishment.”

Name one goal you would like to achieve in the next year (doesn’t have to be CrossFit related, but it can be) 
“Double-unders (more than a couple), Bar muscle-up.”

Tell us about your hobbies and interests outside of the gym: 
“I play drums and percussion in our church praise and worship band each week. Can be a demanding schedule. Enjoy jamming with friends in a studio I have set up at the house.  While my three daughters are away at college, I like any time I can spend with them on the weekends or family vacations.  My wife and I have bought and renovated several homes over the years, and are looking for a new project.”

What advice do you have for someone just starting CrossFit or is on the fence about starting? 
“Start now. It does not get any easier as you get older.  Commit to staying with it for at least six months.  After that, you will see results and there will be no going back.”

What do you love most about No Excuses? 
“The coaches. They are really committed to helping you do things right, to challenge you and help you achieve your goals. It is obvious this is more than just a job to them.  NECF is about as close as you can get to having a personal fitness coach with more flexibility on workout schedule and a fraction of the cost.  I like having friends around to encourage and challenge each other for that extra effort.  I like the constant variety of the workouts.  I find myself looking forward to the next workout and the next challenge.”

Coach Brandon’s Take:
“Vince always comes to the gym with a great attitude and a smile on his face. He’s not afraid to work hard and take coaching cues. Those attributes have helped him improve things like his snatch and overhead squat over the years.”