December 2017 Spotlight Athlete: Matt Polimeni
What made you decide to start CrossFit?
I played football all growing up and in college. Working out was more of a job once I was in college, and it became much less fun. Once I graduated and went into law enforcement, I was introduced to CrossFit for the first time at the police academy. I really enjoyed it. I was very impressed with how hard the workouts were, even though they were much shorter than the conventional workouts I had been used to. I also liked how quickly the results seemed to come versus the old style of working out. Lastly, I truly enjoyed the variety in the workouts and the competitive component of CrossFit. I stopped doing CrossFit once I graduated the police academy. Over 7 years later, I was bummed because I really out of shape. My buddy knew Ryan Miller and told me about his gym. I decided to sign up because I knew I would enjoy it, I knew it would be hard, and I knew I would likely get immediate results.
What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?
So, when I first signed up (a few years ago now), I didn’t get lasting results because I just didn’t stick to a consistent schedule. I would come a few times a week, then stop for a few months, and then start back at the bottom again. However, over the past year and a half, I have reached the goal of averaging at least 3 times a week in the gym, I have rearranged some body weight into a much leaner, and more fit frame, I feel much healthier than I did 7 years ago as a police officer, and lastly, I have improved in many of the exercises that I wouldn’t dare try before CrossFit.
What do you like best about the gym?
Everyone is very encouraging, no matter what your skill level is. Everyone knows I really don’t get bothered by what folks think, so it doesn’t affect me too much either way. But, at some gyms people can be very cliquey and not welcoming at all. That can be a huge turn off for people trying something new. Here at Strongpoint, everyone has your back and is always looking to motivate you.
What is your favorite exercise or WOD?
I would say full snatches. Probably because it was the most difficult and foreign exercise to me when I started out, but now I have improved on this lift quite a bit.
What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?
Back squats. It brings me back to college football when back squat day would be like a whole afternoon or morning workout, and it always takes so much out of me. I do have a long way to go down you know…
What motivates you to show up day after day?
Knowing that my wife is better than me at CrossFit and I need to try and keep up. I am also motivated by the fact that once you start making personal gains and changes to your body, you don’t want to lose them by not showing up.
What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?
Not so much thoughts, but my lack of preparation before my workouts. This includes lack of sleep, bad eating habits, and not drinking enough fluids. These are such huge factors that I take for granted too often, and pay for them when I’m struggling in the gym.
What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?
Beating Stephan in the Open competition last year. Just kidding man. Now he’s really going to be ticked off. He’s way better than me. But seriously, my most memorable moments have probably been just doing well in a couple of the WOD’s in the two competitions that I was in this past year. I was surprised by performing better than I expected.
What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?
Being injured recently and not being able to train like I want. The injury was my fault too, not because of CrossFit.
What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?
I took tap, jazz, and ballet dance for several years when I was younger. Yeah, yeah. Go ahead and laugh at me.
What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?
“Or just do whatever you want!” -Ryan Miller when he’s grumpy and trying to coach folks that might not be paying attention like he wants them to.
What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?
I would like to be able to do some consistent bar muscle ups, and maybe a ring muscle up.
What advice would you give to someone who just started out?
Just show up! Seriously. If you just keep coming, you will absolutely get better, no matter what. The CrossFit model is made for you to improve as long as you just keep coming.
What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?
Don’t let the seemingly intimidating, weird “cult-like” atmosphere keep you from starting on a personal fitness journey that will instantly improve your health and physical fitness. It can seem intimidating by all the crazy movements, the equipment, the clothes, and all the dumb jargon and competition talk. But, if you simply show up and give it a shot, you just might get hooked yourself. Oh, and your body will absolutely thank you. So may your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, or future significant other. See you at the gym!!
Coach’s comments: Matt (a.k.a. Meano, a.k.a. Captain Meno) originally started with us during the winter of 2012 in the fabled “old building” thus qualifying him as a Strongpoint OG. While always athletic, he was never able to train as consistently as he wanted due to work and family obligations. That is, of course, until about the last 18 months when he really renewed his commitment to fitness. Oddly enough, he’s probably made more progress in terms of strength, ability, and body composition than he did during his first four years. We have seen his max lifts steadily increase and he has developed much greater capability with his gymnastics skills. Additionally, he used to refer to himself as “Dead Last Meano,” but his improved attendance has also improved his ability to perform on conditioning workouts as well. He competed in the 2017 CrossFit Open this year, which was his first venture into competitive CrossFit, and was able to complete most of the workouts as prescribed. Above all, Matt has a great attitude and has always been very coachable. There is never any ego when one of the coaching staff is working with him. He has a genuinely warm personality and is one of those people that simply never complains or quits. He’s become a real ambassador for the program and we look forward to continuing to work with him and his family in the future!