CrossFit Renaissance Working out

Bryan Healy

So, a little about me:

I’m 34 and a Structural Engineer. I have my professional engineering license in two states. I design highway bridges. I was a high school track and field and cross country runner. I was pretty good. I was recruited by some low Division 1 colleges but decided to go to Penn State. I walked onto the Cross Country team, but after about a week decided that big time college sports weren’t going to be fun at all, so I didn’t go back.

My best track times were: 1 mile (4:32), 2 mile (10:06), 5k (17:08), and my high jump was 6′ 0″

What brought you to CrossFit Renaissance?

I was a runner in high school and after college I wanted to get back in shape, but wound up having two knee surgeries in about 20 months. After rehab, and a few additional years, I struggled to find something to get that athletic fix. I had heard of CrossFit and was curious, but at the time there wasn’t anything downtown that I knew of. I got the Groupon email shortly after moving to the neighborhood and decided it was the nudge I needed to try it.

What was your first impression?

I was pretty terrified. I was sure everyone was going to be all jacked up/special forces type athletes. I actually decided to get a Planet Fitness membership to get into shape to try CrossFit. After the intro class, I threw up and actually crawled up the steps to go to bed. I thought I would see out my Groupon and take what I learned and use it when I needed that athletic outlet.

Has that changed?

My experiences at CFR have completely humbled me, especially my idea of what an athlete is. There is such a broad range of people here, every day is a reminder that I will do something that I don’t think I can do.

What are you currently working on?

I’ve been doing a lot of work with my Olympic lifts, so I’ve really noticed a big jump in strength. But I’ve also realized my cardio and breathing are struggling a little, so I need to focus on that a little now.

What is the toughest part of CrossFit for you?

It’s the mental stuff, turning “I can’t” into “I can”. And just pushing myself a little bit longer. And after so many knee surgeries, I don’t run anymore so any time I’m all alone on the rower, it can be tough. That 5k row was terrible. Also, Muscle-ups. Muscle-ups are hard. Very hard.

What is your favorite memory at CrossFit Renaissance?

It was probably my first time finishing a Hero WOD RX’ed, Randy. I felt like I could anything for a week. It was only a week because the Hero WOD brought me back to earth.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

It’s been about 2 1/2 years, but I had a long time off after a month of traveling and needing another knee surgery.

What kind of results have you seen, both physical and mental?

Physically, I’m stronger than I have ever been. The best feeling in the world is buying new clothes because your pants are too big and your shirts are too small. Mentally, it balances me out. When I got back from an injury, I noticed how depressed I had been. I need to be pushing myself physically to balance the mental stress of everyday life. I freely admit I’m addicted to CFR.

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