CFLA Athlete Profile – Tom Lee
Hometown: Arcadia, CA
Occupation: Mobile and Web Application for DIRECTV.
When did you first start CrossFitting?: June 2011
When did you first start training at CFLA?: June 2011
Favorite WOD: I don’t understand this question.
Least Favorite WOD: Anything with thrusters, med-balls or running with a sandbag.
Tell us about you sports & fitness background: I was involved in little league and soccer at a young age. I wasn’t very good at them, but I always tried my best and I enjoyed being outside and being part of a group. If I wasn’t playing some organized sport I was outside doing something active like climbing up trees and jumping out of them. I played a little football and tennis in high school, but wasn’t good enough to make varsity. I took up golf after college and started running to keep the weight off, even doing a handful of 10Ks and half marathons. I discovered snowboarding in my late 20’s and I’ve been hooked since. My winters are spent in the mountains and the rest of the year I’m just waiting for winter to come around again.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I broke my back in Nov of 2010 from falling off a cliff while snowboarding and after finishing rehab I was looking at something to get me back into shape. My friend who had been doing CrossFit for years suggested I try it. I don’t recollect my first WOD, but the thing that stands out for me during my first several months at CFLA was how much I struggled just stretching and warming up during class. I remember constantly dripping in sweat, feeling spent and wanting to quit after the stretching and warm up portion of each class.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I always felt a lot of soreness and discomfort in my lower back due to my injury. It was a pretty constant thing from the time I got up to the time I went to sleep. After more than 3 years at CFLA I often forget that I broke my back. In fact, my back is much stronger than it has ever been. I’ve definitely seen other dramatic changes to my body as a result. I remember losing so much weight after the first 6 months and even more when I did the Whole Life Challenge. One of the best things about the level of fitness I’ve gained is that I can go out do things I enjoy or try new things without feeling destroyed.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I know that I’ve become a much more positive person as a result of CrossFit and CFLA. Looking back my attitude towards myself was pretty cynical and generally negative. I always focused on my failures instead of my successes. Now I’m able to focus on my strengths and work on areas that I’d like to improve. I’m able to maintain a positive attitude despite the situation or environment. As Jonesy would say “I’m comfortable being uncomfortable”.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: Triathlon training with Coach Jamie and my teammates, finishing my first triathlon with the CFLA community cheering us on, competing with Pete Mann in the Buddy Battle and having fun and laughing in the 7AM class and still being serious about getting the work done.
Any advice for people just getting started? I wish I had the one-on-one (Fundamentals) training that CFLA does now with new athletes because they’re getting personalized training on the movements. Focusing on correct form over weight or speed is way more important and will actually help you lift heavy and be stupid fast. Keep at it and keep coming to class.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I love snowboarding so you can usually find me searching for powder in the winter. When it’s not snowing I’m usually playing golf with my friends or I’m trying new sports like doing a triathlon. Lately through some encouragement I’ve been rediscovering my love for photography so I’m trying to get out more with my camera (thanks Shirley). I wouldn’t consider myself a foodie but I do enjoy trying new restaurants and new foods. I’ll try anything at least once.
A) 3 Rounds for quality
10 Sandbag front squats
B) HSPU skill practice
C) 5 Rounds for quality on the 3:00
Max Effort Bench press (BW / ⅔ BW)
**30 Sec cap each round**
And Coming Monday
A) Kipping pull-up skill practice
B) EMOM 15
1st min: 125-175m Row
2nd min: 5-8 Dumbbell burpee deadlifts
3rd min: 10-15 V-ups
C) 7 Rounds for quality
3 Snatch-grip deadlifts
3 Hang power snatches
3 Power snatches
**Hold onto bar during each round**
**60sec rest between rounds**