November 2016 Spotlight Athlete: Andres Abadia
What made you decide to start CrossFit?
I was very into home-fitness programs and that’s how I started my fitness journey. After a while, I got tired of the monotony and it really is tough to challenge yourself when it’s just you at home, so I decided to give CrossFit a try after binge-watching the CrossFit games.
What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?
Other than a significant increase in strength and stamina, I really enjoy my change in mindset and the way I approach fitness and nutrition now. Before CrossFit, my main motivation for exercising was a “good” physical appearance; this led to an unhealthy diet restriction which in turn affected my mood. When I joined CrossFit I was at 160# body weight and a body fat percentage of 14%; 1.5 years later I am 171# and a PBF of 15%. Now my nutrition is geared more towards performance and I enjoy not having so many restrictions (makes going out to eat way more fun). Now I LOVE being at the gym and is one of my most favorite daily activities.
What do you like best about the gym?
I love that there is like an almost perfect (unspoken) balance between competitiveness and friendliness. You want the person that’s next to you during a WOD to do well, and you want to see them get better and improve, so long as they don’t beat you =) I think it helps us push harder to become better athletes. I love how we all cheer when someone hasn’t finished a WOD or is fighting to get that PR.
What is your favorite exercise or WOD?
Any combination of OHS, toes-to-bar or pull-ups.
What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?
THRUSTERS!! And their mean baby sister, wall-balls.
What motivates you to show up day after day?
I just love being at the gym. The environment, the friendships, pushing my physical boundaries, and just learning new ways to get faster and stronger. I really enjoy doing things that I thought would be impossible for me to do when I first joined; I remember when I first watched someone do a muscle up and thinking “not happening in a million years.”
What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?
It’s really easy to forget everything you’ve accomplished when you’re focused on someone else’s accomplishments; I do this sometimes, but I’m getting better at seeing how far I’ve come and using that as motivation to keep pushing.
What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?
Too many. When I learned to walk on my hands, my first MU, but my all-time favorite was getting those stupid DUBs (my nemesis for over a year!). Also, watching my wife do her first WOD; fitness is so much better when you can share it with your significant other (just ask Kyle and Pete).
What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?
Although it didn’t really happen at the gym, it started there: getting obsessed with handstand walks and then going to my apartment to practice and falling on the dogs’ crates while doing so, and puncturing a hole in my shin (not fun at all).
What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?
Just a few of you know. When I was in middle school I belonged to a club called the “Monkey Monkeys” and we used to climb tall trees and jump from branch to branch. That’s how I fractured my left heel-bone (now I’m a bit less than 1/2cm taller on my left side haha) and my right wrist.
What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?
“Your comfort zone can suck it!” Ryan (to Michelle I think)
What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?
Just want to focus a bit more on strength and be able to lift heavier.
What advice would you give to someone who just started out?
I’d tell them to not listen to me!! I will tell you to just go for it and that some movements are easier than they look. Sometimes this is true, other times is not 😉
What advice would you give to someone who was on the fence about starting?
“People criticize what they fear, and they fear what they don’t know.” Don’t let other people deter you from trying something new out; it may turn out to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made (it was for me). And if it’s not other people, and it is you getting in your own way, remember “you can’t keep doing the same things you have been doing, and expect to get different results.”
Coach’s Comments: Andres joined us in the spring of 2015 as a relatively fit individual. He immediately impressed us as a “good mover” his first official class when he was able to effortlessly learn and execute toes to bar, which is a movement that many people struggle with for months after joining. He continued picking up basic and intermediate gymnastics movements really easily, but struggled more with barbell movements as he was starting out. Gymnastics movements came so easily to him that we kind of figured he was a gymnast as a kid, but nope! He was a dancer through college and that background really seemed to give him the basic strength, mobility, and coordination to pick body weight movements up quickly. In fact, he participated in Rep Your Box 4 just a few months after joining the gym and did great! He went on to take second place in the intermediate division of the Fall 2015 Festivus competition after only about six months of training. Despite some innate natural ability, Andres has a tremendous work ethic. He is generally at the gym 5-6 days a week and routinely does extra work on his own, which has really paved the way for his dramatic improvements over the last year. And he has done all this while continuing to intern and working toward finishing his PhD! His resolve was tested, but not broken, when he bruised his patella recently and was unable to squat for a period. He continued training almost daily working his upper body and pretty much any other movement that he could. Besides being a standout performer, Andres is simply one of the nicest and most welcoming members of the gym. He routinely goes out of his way to introduce himself to new members and help them feel welcome. Andres has also volunteered for several of the competitions that Strongpoint has hosted in 2015 and 2016. He also referred in his wife, Catalina, who has become an outstanding member in her own right. We have really enjoyed working with Andres and look forward to helping him continue moving toward his goals in the future!