CFLA Athlete Profile – Tom Costain

 In Athlete Profile, Blog
Hometown: Pacific Palisades (Born in Toronto)
Age: 43
Occupation: Editor (film and TV)
When did you first start cross fitting: August 2010
When did you first start training at CFLA: August 2010
Favorite WOD: One that includes running, rowing, barbells, box jumps and/or double unders
Least Favorite WOD: One that includes dips, pushups, hollow rocks and/or burpees. Oh, how I cower at burpees…
Tell us about your sports and fitness background: Having been a kid that was 1 to 2 years younger than my classmates (I skipped 3rd grade), inheriting my mom’s “short genes” (I don’t think I really started growing until about 10th grade), and being skinny enough that I could show my rib cage as a party trick, basically meant my fitness background involved hoping I didn’t get picked last (again?!) when dividing up teams on the playground. Other than playing soccer during my grade school years, my sports activities have been non-team type stuff like running, skiing, and biking. In high school, I was on the cross country and track teams and while my run times were decent, they weren’t stellar by any means. I enjoyed running, however, and that really became my sole form of fitness for many years. I tried joining some “traditional gyms” over time but it always ended the same way; I wouldn’t know what to do, get bored, not see results, and quit.  I like being active and outdoors but it wasn’t until Crossfit that I felt like I was really training and working towards goals.
How did you first get exposed to CF? What was the first WOD? How did it feel?: I had never even heard of CrossFit when a friend of mine told me about it.  I was fascinated hearing about all the different movements, how every day’s workout was different, how you worked out in a class setting with a coach. It sounded so different from the “traditional gym” experience and I wanted to try it out! My first WOD was the Franklin Hill sprints. I remember the other people in the class looking at me with empathy and telling me how brutal it was going to be and how unlucky I was that it was my first CF experience. But the truth is I was just so thankful to be doing a running workout and not a workout with those scary looking barbells or strange balls on the wall! And what the heck were those rings hanging from the ceiling used for?? Those workouts with scary barbells and wall balls came soon enough but I discovered they weren’t all that scary. It was HARD but it was also thrilling to be learning new things and pushing myself physically and mentally in ways I had never done before! My muscles had never been so stiff and sore; but I loved it!
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? My wife is a great cook (who is also gluten free) so I’ve had the good fortune of eating healthy by default. But being a member of CFLA has helped shape my own awareness of food and exercise and how it affects my life. I am more mindful now and ask myself questions like: how much sugar am I ingesting? Have I had enough water or sleep? Did I stretch enough today?  I check ingredients and ask questions now instead of just taking things for granted.Physically, my body has definitely changed since starting CrossFit. I’ve got muscles I’ve never had before. And it feels pretty good when friends that used to describe me as “skinny” now ask what I’ve been doing to be in “such great shape”. But most significantly, regardless of the weight I’m lifting or the rounds I’m completing, Crossfit has really made me look at myself as an athlete. And that’s pretty cool.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking something on like CF that were totally unexpected?I think CrossFit has instilled a sense of confidence in me that I didn’t have before. There’s something significant that happens when you are faced with a challenging workout and you find the strength and ability to get it done; you carry that with you and apply it to areas in your life outside the gym.
Please share with of us any favorite CF moments: One CFLA moment that makes me smile was during a WOD that involved rounds of deadlifts and running the ‘big loop’. I ran into the gym after the first round and Jonesy asked “are you running the big loop or the small loop?”. I confirmed it was the big loop and when I came back after my second round Jones asked “are you SURE you’re running the big loop?”. Haha, that felt good.But, really, its the incremental improvements that are the most rewarding. It is so gratifying to look back and see how you can now do things you couldn’t before; whether it was a movement that seemed too complex or a weight that seemed too heavy. And a lot of that satisfaction of personal growth comes from being part of the community of CFLA. I never expected to find the camaraderie and support and compassion that exists at CFLA. I always look forward to Danette’s smiling face as I start class, or a chat with Niki upstairs, or sharing a joke with Kenny on my way out. I love that people are genuinely happy to see each other in class and are rooting for their efforts. I am continually impressed and inspired by the work and progress people around me are making, whether they’ve been members for 4 months or 7 years!
Any advice for people just getting started?Just keep your mind open and try to leave any insecurities you may have at the door. There’s a great sense of community here and we all want to see everyone succeed so ask questions and get comfortable! The coaches are fantastic so listen to what they have to say. Don’t hesitate to scale the weights and movements down to a level that feels right for you. Pay attention to your body! And get involved with events and activities; the best part about CFLA is the people! Have fun!
What are your hobbies, interests, and/or talents, outside of CF? With such a busy work schedule I really look forward to the time I get to spend with my family. And since I’m usually stuck in a dark editing room, I crave being outside, whether its going for a hike, a bike ride, or even just hanging out in the backyard with the kids. I appreciate good food so a tasty meal always puts a smile on my face. And I play drums!
Friday’s Workout
A) Deadlift (20min)
Work up to heavy 3

B) “Open 13.4”
Climbing Ladder for 7 Minutes:
3 Clean and Jerks (135/95), 3 Toes to Bar
6 Clean and Jerks (135/95), 6 Toes to Bar
9 Clean and Jerks (135/95), 9 Toes to Bar
Continue to add 3 repetitions per round until the 7 Minute Cap.
**Courtesy of CrossFit**

And Coming Monday
OPEN GYM – 6am-9am
Suggested Workout:
CFLA’s 12 Days of Christmas
1-200m Run
2 DL (225/155)
3 DB Thrusters (55/35)
4 Burpee Box Jumps (24/20)
5 C2B Pullups
6 Jumping Lunges (2-ct)
7 RKBS (32/24)
8 Flutter Kicks (4-ct)
9 Toes to Bar / V-ups
10 DB Walking Lunges (55/35)
11 Anchored Sit to Stands
12 Renegade Rows (2-ct) (55/35)

Follow the movements to the tune of the song 12 Days of Christmas.
It will go a little something like this…

1 – 200m Run
2 – DL, 200m Run
3 – DB Thrusters, 2 DL, 200m Run
4 – Burpee Box Jumps, 3 DB Thrusters, 2 DL, 200m Run
… and so on…




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