As a new CrossFit Box, we are all getting to know each other and building that tight community we always envisioned. Each month we will be profiling a CrossFit Grail Athlete that is interesting and inspirational. A person that demonstrates a positive attitude, shows up every day and puts their heart and soul into their workout, never gives up, and cheers everyone on. And someone who is pretty cool! Although we think everyone brings all these things to the table, we can only pick one.
May 2017 Athlete of the Month: Bryan Helgesen
Why we chose Bryan: Because Bryan was the first actual committed – sign a contract – offer up payment – Athlete. He was on board way back in February – before we even had cement floors, walls, paint, etc., and he even came out to help the first day we had a painting party. Not to mention he is always so positive, generous and has an amazing deadlift! Here’s a little about Bryan in his own words:
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am 51 years young and grew up as a beach-kid in Southern California. I attended engineering school at UCLA and then met my beautiful wife, Jeanna in San Diego in 1989 while starting my career in the aerospace industry. We have been married for 26 years and have six children ranging in ages from 25 to 4, with one grandson to boot!
I have been blessed with not only an amazing family, but a really interesting and challenging job as director of business development for a local aerospace company – Sierra Nevada Corporation. We build spacecraft, satellites and spacecraft hardware for a variety of government, commercial and international customers, and are involved with some pretty cool projects such as technology used to explore Mars and the outer reaches of our solar system, and a winged space plane called Dream Chaser that will start delivery cargo to the Space Station for NASA by 2020.
We homeschool, are involved with our church, Southeast Christian, and love to ski and camp with our kids as often as possible. We also happen to find ourselves recently escaping to tropical places each winter to escape the cabin fever.
How long have you been doing CrossFit and what got you started?
I have been doing CrossFit for more than two years now, and got started after seeing myself in a photo and saw what stress and sitting at a desk for 25 years had done to my physical and emotional health. I had been pretty athletic in high school, but let years of minimal activity catch up with me. One of my co-workers in his mid-to-late 50’s is arguably the most in-shape person at the office. He told me about CrossFit and once I decided to give it a go, I was hooked.
What did you do for your fitness before CrossFit?
I did a lot of down-hill skiing and biking, but nothing that got my heart pumping like this.
What do you like most about CrossFit?
I really like the varied workouts and movements, and levels of intensity, and I am probably in the best shape of my life at 51. But I LOVE the sense of community and encouragement that comes with being an affiliate member.
How has doing CrossFit changed your life outside of the Box?
Even though I am in a perpetual state of soreness, I feel great – even more energetic than I did 20 years ago! I see myself carrying a much more positive and confident attitude into my home and office, especially when I start each day with my crazy rooster crew CrossFitting at 5:30am.
What motivates you to keep WOD-ing?
I love how I feel and what I see in the mirror, and can’t even imagine going back.
What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment (in any area of life)?
My marriage and children for sure, although all credit and praise belong to Jesus. They bring me an amazing amount of joy.
What is YOUR QUEST?
This month: Do 20 consecutive DU’s and string 50 of them together by this summer.
This year: Hit a CF total of 800 (I was at 790 last month so almost there) and get my butterfly pull-ups down!
This lifetime: Keep getting stronger and healthier for as long as I can, and keep enjoying new tropical places with my family.