Check this awesome Q & A with our April Athlete of the Month Jonathan Abramson!
1. When did you start CrossFit and why?
I started doing CrossFit in Feb of 2013. Honestly, I had been interested for a while, but couldn’t pull the trigger with a consulting job that I had. When I changed jobs, I made a New Years resolution to myself to just sign up and figure out if I liked CrossFit, once and for all. I haven’t regretted that decision.
2. What time of day you come in?
I’m a Night Owl, so I’m usually at the box during the week Monday through Thursday around 7p. On rare occasion, I make an appearance on a weekend for a Partner WOD. It gets COLD in the morning!!!
3. What is one movement you hate and one you love?
Hate (such a strong emotion): Snatch
Reason: Probably because this is the movement I practice the least.
Reason: The uniqueness and technicality of the movement are awesome. Also, (personal victory) a gymnastics buddy of mine always used to hold this movement over my head and now he can’t. (Handstand walks are now his fallback bragging movement…)
4. Any big goal(s) set for the next year?
Well, I like to align my goals with perceived weaknesses. That said, I would like to significantly increase my Snatch and Clean 1 Rep Maxes. I have a feeling that the Snatch-gate Open WOD, 17.3, will be the repeat and I want to confidently say that I can attempt, and be successful at, the 185# bar. Even if that WOD is not repeated, I want to be able to confidently attempt 185# snatches. Another goal is to work on my Handstand Walks. Right now, they are … non-existant. But with some more Gymnastics work, I should be able to start holding a free-standing handstand!
5. Tell us one fun fact about you.
When I was in 8th grade, I was involved in the Student-to-Student ambassador program with my school. We took a trip to Australia as a cultural learning experience. When my cousins found out about this, they insisted that I become SCUBA certified. Being a kid, I was like “Hell Yea, that sounds cool!” I was the only kid on the trip to SCUBA dive the Great Barrier Reef. All of the other kids were snorkeling. Related to this, I had to give a presentation on SCUBA diving to the rest of the kids on the trip, so I donned the full SCUBA attire and presented in a library… not awkward at all.
6. You were left on a deserted island. What one food and thing (i.e. book, music player, etc…) would you want to be left with?
Food: Mushroom Tortellini in an Alfredo sauce, with Steak and Broccoli. (Oddly specific, but it was the first thing I just thought of.)
Thing: Lacrosse Stick and ball. I could entertain myself forever.
7. How has CrossFit helped you in sports? Life?
The easy answer is that CrossFit has helped me stay in waaaaaay better shape than I probably would have by myself. Probably obvious, but I had to state it. I’ve always been athletic and love to play sports. But just playing sports sporadically doesn’t help you stay fit and in shape.
The elements of the CrossFit mentality that I’ve appreciated the most are from the people that I’ve been able to meet through various workouts; Coaches and Participants. When I moved up to White Plains, 3 years ago, I literally knew no one or where to go in the area, and my job allowed me to work from home. In my opinion, these factors; working from home, no friends, no knowledge of what to do, tend to lead a very isolating and unhealthy lifestyle. What I’ve learned, is that the CrossFit community is a very positive force. Everyone is there supporting everyone else. This positivity breeds friendship and compassion and camaraderie that is hard to replicate with other activities. CrossFit is simply a brand of exercise, the real help comes from those that coach and those that complete workouts.
Another aspect of CrossFit community is that the community members help me expand my political viewpoints on life. Don’t want to get too involved here, but I get to appreciate and understand others’ viewpoints that help me challenge; whether to strengthen or weaken, my own ideologies.
8. How have workouts changed for you over the years?
At the moment, the workouts have felt like they are getting consistently harder. Whether I’m pushing myself or I’m imposing higher standards onto myself or the standards of the movements are increasing naturally, I feel constantly challenged. I’m have a very engineering-oriented mind so I also log all of my workouts and I’m always trying to hit PRs or raise the bar for myself. These days, the biggest change is not weight oriented, but mentally focused. I’m trying to figure out my workout thresholds, when to push through a difficult workout section or when to pace my workout. Trying to go to heavy to quickly tends to lead to disappointment, for myself at least.
I’ve also been able to branch out with the classes I’m taking. Doing specialized classes like Gymnastics or Olympic Lifting has certainly helped me focus my attention onto specific movements/techniques. Extremely helpful; special thanks to those coaches!
Rate your skills: 1-10– 10 being your best.
Endurance – 8
Stamina – 7
Strength – 3
Flexibility – 1
Speed – 5
Agility – 6
Balance – 2
Accuracy – 9
Power – 4
Coordination – 10