From Coach Pete:
Ryan has been a leader in this community since day 1, and even before our doors were open. I sit in a unique position where I get to watch people grow and progress through the years. Ryan’s progress has been outstanding through the past 4 years, starting as a video game playing teenager, and progressing into a hero to many as a fireman and paramedic. As a community, we couldnt be more proud of the man he is today. Thank you for your loyalty and hard work through the years, Ryan. It has not gone unnoticed and your best years are yet to come. Continue with what got you to this point and the sky is the limit! Thank you! -Pete
1. How does CrossFit impact your career?
CrossFit impacts my career in a lot of ways. Being a FireFighter/Paramedic I need to be in good overall shape and health. From the simpilest things as picking up a skinny elderly lady, or having to pick up a person who weighs over 300lbs, to having to wear fire gear and move hose. I know it sounds and looks easy when we do it but, heres some numbers to help paint a better picture. Our fire gear weighs around a 65lbs. That’s the boots, turnout pants and coat, and SCBA. That’s not including the tools you have to carry in with you or the hose you have to move. One 100ft section of 2.5 inch hose filled with water weighs over 200lbs. And we on average usually use 200ft. While we typically use a 1.75 inch hose for most fires, when it comes to use the 2.5 hose (which isn’t uncommon)
you know that you’re gonna have to work hard and you better be ready. Okay, now take everything that i just told you and do it with a limited amount of oxygen. Our tanks are 45min bottle tanks…. you’re lucky if you last 30mins on the 45min bottle tank. If you are really working you’ll probably be able to make that bottle last around 20-25mins. That’s why it’s so important to work on your breathing while wearing the SCBA tanks and breathing air. That is why I do CrossFit for my career. It helps with my strength to be able to do all the lifting but also, helps me with my cardio that way I am able to last longer.
2. What have you learned about yourself through training with the CrossFit methodology?
What have I learned…. I’ve learned that sometimes you are not as good at something as you once thought. But, I’ve also learned that you are better at some things that you wouldn’t have thought you would be good at. I’ve learned that I can push myself a lot harder than what I thought was possible. I’ve learned that we all have bad days and good days even while working out. Even if you did bad during the workout the most important thing is that you showed up and did the best you could do at that time. Because, you can’t change the moment, you can only work with what you have at that moment.
3. What barriers have you had to overcome health wise?
Hmmm…. I can say I’ve been lucky and have been pretty healthy my entire life and haven’t had any major health issues. While, I do have scoliosis in my lower thoracic spine and lumbar spine, it hasn’t really played a major issue in my life. Sure here and there I’d get a tweak in my back but nothing serious. And if anything CrossFit has helped strengthen my lower back and core to the point where my scoliosis doesn’t really bother me at all. My only concern was about a year ago. Doctors found out I had a heart murmor and I had to do all these tests. I swear they did every test possible to make sure it was okay for me to do my job and do CrossFit. I remember the Doctors saying that what they found was unusual. I remember I saw 4 different doctors total. Each one sending me to another doctor for another opinion. Some telling me to stop doing CrossFit and some saying they don’t feel comfortable making the decision of what I “can do”. So finally the last doctor I met with was a Sports cardiologist who works with athletes all the time and he explained to me that everything was fine (after I did one more test that morning before I saw). But, the process of going through all those tests and seeing all those doctors frightened me. I thought I wasn’t gonna be able to do CrossFit again or at least at the pace I was going at. I thought I was gonna have to quit the Firefighting/Paramedic career and go find a desk job. And the final Doctor said I’m good to be doing what I’m doing and that I should just do a yearly check up with him to make sure nothing changes.
4. How has CrossFit positively impacted your life outside of the gym?
CrossFit has greatly impacted my life outside the gym. It just makes life easier in a way. As dumb as that sounds it just does. Even just picking up groceries from the car and putting them in the house. CrossFit also, makes me feel good about myself every way possible. I’m happier because of it. It’s definitely a stress reliever for me and boosts my self esteem. Which is huge for me. My self esteem used to be really low. It also, makes me appreciate being healthier more. Being a paramedic I see a lot of people of all ages who can’t take care of themselves because of their health.
5. Why did you start using the CrossFit methodology?
I started using CrossFit because I was getting bored of my old routine workouts at the highschool. I remember just sitting down one day thinking about how I could change up my workouts to make them better. While I was sitting down I remember my 10th grade history teacher talking to me about CrossFit one day and how crazy it was. So I went online I looked it up. I remember watching youtube videos of people doing CrossFit workouts with Clean and Jerks and muscle ups and everything else. I just remember thinking in my head “that looks cool”. So I tried getting into it and I remember I saw a person doing what looked like a CrossFit workout to me. So my skinny nervous ass at the time approached the guy and asked him if he did CrossFit. He said yes and asked if I would like to join him for a workout. I said “yes” and joined him for the workout and I loved it. I knew that this is what I needed to keep me working out regularly. After the workout he said that his brother is a coach and that I should get a hold of him to get more info on CrossFit and to start an offcial program. And so I did and I have loved CrossFit ever since.
6. What is your favorite part of CrossFit in general?
My favorite part of CrossFit…. I don’t know if I can just single down to just one favorite thing. I really like the broadness of CrossFit. It gives you this wide pool of variety. From running, to weightlifting and gymnastics.
Being able to do multiple movements that each work on different aspects is really cool. It’s just not one thing. The power lifter sure lifts a lot of weight. But, how good of a runner is he? How good is he at gymnastics? It’s this wide pool of movements that keeps me coming back. Because, you’re not gonna be great at all of the movements and thats why I keep coming back, to make those weaknesses no more. Another, aspect of CrossFit I love is the community. The community is amazing. It’s by far one of the best places to meet new awesome people but, to also have people push you. It’s awesome to have the community pushing you on a workout that your struggling with. You think that you can’t do it and there these people are cheering you on to finish the workout. It gives you that extra push. That extra motivation that you might need if you’re having one of those bad days. It reminds you that you’re not in this alone and that there are people with similar goals as yours. In CrossFit community we’re all there for each other inside and outside the gym.
7. Anything you would like to add that would help inspire others who want to get involved or anything you want to add at all:
Be happy. Don’t let things get the better of you. Life is too short to give too many shits about everything little thing. Unhappiness comes from comparing yourself to other people. So put down the phone and stop comparing yourself to the person with 2 corvettes and a pool. Or the person who goes on vacation every 2 months. And stop wondering why you don’t have what that person has. You know who got better from comparing themselves to other people?? No one. So stop complaining and go out to make your life better. Because only you can do that. The person who becomes a doctor is the person who studies 8 hrs a day 5 days a week. The person who gets the promotion and moves up the corporate chain is the person who works 70 hrs a week. The person who makes it to the Olympics is the person who trains 5 hrs a day. Yeah the time you put into everything sucks at that time and you may think it’s not worth it but, remember “The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”
If you would like to learn more about what we do here at CrossFit Roaster Barbell, shoot Coach Pete an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin your journey and begin writing your success story. We know you have goals, we want to offer you a path to them!