CFLA Athlete Profile – Clint Lee

 In Athlete Profile, Blog

Hometown: Bowie, MD Age: 33
Occupation: Senior Clinical Research Associate
When did you first start CrossFitting?: February 2012
When did you first start training at CFLA?: February 2012
Favorite WOD: Anything with rowing or hill sprints
Least Favorite WOD: Flexibility is a constant struggle so anything gymnastics related is tough for me especially overhead squats.

Tell us about you sports & fitness background: I have been an athlete ever since I can remember playing baseball, basketball, soccer, ping pong and tennis from a very young age. Once I got to be old enough to take care of myself during the summers, my parents used to drop me off at the local community pool and I would cycle from sport to sport until it was time to come home. I tell people that any shred of athletic ability I have I inherited from my father. He was pretty much the All-American boy growing up excelling in every sport. Even though he is only 5’5”, he was still beating me in most activities until I was much taller than him. Even now, he will tell you that since he defeated me in the last tennis match we played, he is officially still better than me.

Leading up to high school, I was mostly playing tennis and basketball with basketball being my favorite sport. The decision to focus on tennis though was made for me during tryouts my freshman year. Let’s just say the level of athletic ability jumped to a whole different level at my primarily African American high school……and I was no Billy Hoyle. I ended up playing tennis all through high school and was successful in league play during and after college. Since moving to California, I still play 3-4 times a week and even have an official tournament win with Julio as my partner.

Fitness wise, I did the typical globo gym workouts on a regular basis and tried personal training before coming to CrossFit.

P.S. So as not to leave out my mother’s role in my athletic journey, any shred of rhythm or dancing ability I have is credited to her. She was a Pom-Pom in high school.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I have been friends with the Rivera family since I moved to California. I met Julio playing tennis and became good friends with his whole family soon after that. Dizzle started her CrossFit journey about  a year before me and it eventually trickled down to Julio. Once he started improving on the tennis court and was then unable to take a picture without his shirt off, I had to see what it was all about. Dizzle ended up cajoling me to my first class at CFLA where we did…..Filthy Fifty. Some thoughts and memories from that day:

  • You want me to do WHAT?! HOW MANY TIMES?!
  • I remember lots of shirtless yelling during the first heat before I went, pretty sure it was Stanwyck and Sam
  • I remember Ricky Casady trying to show me how to do a burpee without doing a pushup first and also wondering why anyone would want to have a jump rope pass under you twice with one jump
  • I recall thinking it wouldn’t be difficult to do a full squat wall ball and then not even coming close to full depth


 Three months later after I recovered, I joined CFLA…..and still have not repeated Filthy Fifty. 

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)?  Prior to CrossFit, I never really paid attention to what I ate or how I took care of my body. I did calisthenics if they were related to the other sports I was playing and only in college did I start working out casually with weights. When I moved to CA a couple of years after college, I remember buying multiple gallons of milk a week and eating cereal every day since that is how I grew up. Shortly after joining CFLA, I participated in one of the first Whole Life Challenges and it pretty much turned all my thinking and habits on its head. Gone were the milk, soda, cereal and regular grains. This coupled with my regular sports activities and now regular CrossFit workouts transformed my body and overall fitness. I slept better, had more energy and most importantly saw this improvement manifested in my tennis. Today, other than a severe weakness for sweets, I still maintain most if not all of the habits I learned during my first year of CrossFit.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? In general, I think I gained a lot of confidence from doing CrossFit. This confidence translated to my everyday life and also has allowed me to experience many activities that I probably would never have tried. I had never surfed, SUPed, skydived, mountain biked or had done yoga before CrossFit. I joined a running club at one point and was running consistently enough to train for and complete a half marathon as well as a Ragnar Relay event. 

I took separate trips to South Africa and Peru where I hiked to Machu Picchu. I credit CrossFit for the mental training as much as the physical training for those trips.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: It is tough to think of individual favorite moments. Most are related to all the different people I have met over the years and the different activities inside and outside of the gym. Ragnar, Buddy Battle and nights at The Room are just a few. I have made lifelong friendships that stemmed from my original 1 pm time slot.

Any advice for people just getting started? Just to enjoy yourself. I have a competitive streak as much as anyone and you learn very quickly to check your ego at the door. Also to appreciate the people you come to interact with. Since I tend to finish near the end of workouts, the adulation received during this time is just as rewarding to me as the rare moments I finish quickly and get to cheer my fellow athletes on.

 What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Outside of CrossFit, tennis is my main activity. I also travel a lot both for work and pleasure. I am currently planning my next trip that will for sure involve some type of recreational fitness activity.

Besides this, I enjoy reading and attending live music events.

Friday’s Workout
Cycle 7 Test Week – Competition

4 Rounds for total time
60 Double unders
20 Alt. pistols
10 Bar muscle-ups
**2min Rest between rounds*

And Coming Monday

A) Back squat (Use 90% of 1RM as 1RM)
75% x 5
80% x 5
85% x 5+

20 Box jumps with step down (24/20)
10 Toes to bar

C) For Time
2 Squat snatches (70%)
4 Alt. pistols
2 Squat snatches
8 Alt. pistols
2 Squat snatches
12 Alt. pistols
2 Squat snatches
16 Alt. pistols
**5min Cap**



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