Around the Whiteboard: Christopher Crowder

Time to go Around the Whiteboard again! Next up, Coach Christopher Crowder:44611_490027307746524_1816534924_n(1)

Crossfit Level 2 Coach
USA Weightlifting Level 2 National Coach
Catalyst Athletics Weightlifting Level 1 Coach
Crossfit Certs in: Mobility, Olympic Weightlifting, Rowing, and Gymnastics.

Favorite WOD:
Angie, because the last time I did it I was only seconds behind Laura the Air squat and sit-up queen.  It’s the WOD’s where you have people right beside you the whole time I love the most.

Favorite Lift:
Snatch, it’s a love hate relationship.

Favorite Food:
Making whatever with my 6 year old Daughter as its never the same meal twice.

Favorite Movie:
Grosse Point Blank

Dream Vacation Destination:
To take my Daughter (and wife) to see some of the places I have been around the world.

How did you find CrossFit and what drew you to getting started?
“I found it via a weightlifting seminar at Crossfit Atlanta’s first location about 7 years ago.  At the time there weren’t any crossfit gyms outside of Atlanta so I had to wait until No Excuses opened to get involved again.”

How long have you been doing CrossFit?
“About 4 years at No Excuses.”

Tell us about your unique health issues growing up and how that has lead you to where you are today.
“It seems most people in Crossfit have some sort of sports background whereas I wasn’t medically cleared to do much of anything physical until I was in my early 20’s due to a heart condition which involved multiple surgeries and pacemakers.  Once all the issues had been addressed, and fate being a funny thing I found myself at 22 weighing 130 lbs trying to figure out how to improve with little to no guidance.  To me everyone is capable of change if they have the desire and determination to take that first step.”

How CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?
“I worked out for years at various gyms and always laughed how no one ever spoke or helped one another.  So When I found CrossFit and the community it was culture shock in the best way.”

Have you always known that you wanted to be involved in training and coaching others?
“Ha ha, Heck no.  I never had a coach as a kid and the only thing I knew about coaches is they never knew what to do with me growing up.  So as fell in love with the community at No Excuses I found myself sharing what I had learned and really loving helping others, despite myself.  So when I heard about the level 1 course I signed up and that evolved into becoming a coach.”

What do you love most about coaching others?
“Seeing them ‘get it’.  I know I talk a lot, but my hope is that people will get a sense of my personality and know they can email me, call me, talk to me about any questions they have at any time.”

You have personally gravitated towards the pursuit of olympic weightlifting. What would you say to someone who was interested in getting started or doing a meet?
“Sign up for a local meet and don’t care what you lift compared to others, as this isn’t about them, it’s about you.  I am part of a non-profit weightlifting club called Team GA that has all the major age groups represented from Youth to Juniors to Seniors to Masters (old people like me).  It is one of the few Olympic sports you can compete in on the same day as your children or grandchildren and do the exact same thing as them.  With Team GA we go to events as a group and cheer each other on and support each other much like a family.”

What are the main differences between weightlifting and crossfit? What do you think are the advantages of being involved in both as a coach and an athlete?
“CrossFit incorporates many different sports including weightlifting to make up a general physical preparedness program that is perfect for folks who have ADHD like me.  Weightlifting is one of those disciplines.  With CrossFit we are concerned with your overall fitness and doing what it takes to improve the total body, whereas weightlifting is about 2 lifts and 6 total attempts at them.  I think you can be a great coach without actively participating in the sport but for me I feel that I relate better by suffering and getting frustrated like everyone else involved.  I am no Jordan, and lack most anything resembling natural ability, so I have had to work and struggle for anything I can do moderately well and because of that I really want to help others see what they are capable of.”

Tell us about a CrossFit moment or achievement that you are particularly proud of.
“When I became part of a team that coaches the USA Weightlifting Level One coaches course.  This is the course sponsored by our Olympic Committee designed to help others learn how to coach the lifts.   Having now been involved in hundreds of people’s education, often times CrossFit coaches as well as high school coaches, I feel as though I am helping educate the future of weightlifting as well as CrossFit.”

What is your funniest CrossFit moment?
“Just sit back and watch me one day at the gym, I am sure to give you a laugh for something.”

What is one goal you have yet to achieve in CrossFit (or weightlifting) but are working hard towards?
“I set a goal a couple years back to podium at a National weightlifting event and I achieved that last year.  Within the next 2-3 years I want to truly be in contention for first place.”

Do you have a personal motto or life mission statement?
“”He who has a why to live can bear almost any how” ~Nietzsche.  Kinda dark, but when they were constantly working on my heart and its problems I refused to every give an inch and knowing that had I not had surgery I would have been dead by 20, I think anything is possible.”

What are your hobbies and interests outside of CrossFit?
“My family, my continuing education in all areas (Master’s degree in Finance as well as seminars in movement and exercise), shooting sports and pretty much anything that looks interesting that I can learn something from.”

What is your advice for new members?
“Just walking through the door that first time was a big step for folks.  Know that we understand that, and the vision Kyle has for the gym is a place where everyone is welcome no matter of ability, age, etc.  Ask questions, get to know people, have specific goals and write down your progress as you will amaze yourself as time passes.”

What do you love most about No Excuses CrossFit?
“The community.  It’s the people and the friendships as cheesy as that sounds.”