8-28-12 Athlete Update: Tandy Olsen

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11 Burpees
22 Walking Lunges
33 Double Unders

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about everyone that comes to the box and how I can better help and inspire everyone to be the best you can be, because that’s what it’s all about! Looking around I realize that I myself am inspired by each of you daily.  I’m rewarded to witness your stories of change and dedication to working hard and eating right for better health and fitness.

I thought I would share with everyone some perspective from some our members that have been with us for a while now.  Our community of athletes truly make CrossFit IoTA who we really are.  Each and every person that has stepped into the box play an important part in building what we all have and all share together.

Tandy Olsen was one of the first athletes we profiled over two years ago. It’s been a pleasure to watch him change and grow over the past few years.  His wife Cheri joined him earlier this past year and Tandy’s 3 boys came through the summer as well, so to say the least, CrossFit has found a place in his life.  Here are some thoughts from Tandy about his experience thus far. (Photos courtesy of Mindy Anderson)

How long have you been Crossfitting? Since May 2010

Has CrossFit changed you? If So how? Before CrossFit I thought I was in good shape.  I have considered myself a runner since high school and really all I did for exercise was run.  CrossFit has taken fitness to a new level for me, teaching me to do Olympic lifts, pullups, and to exercise at an intensity that I had really never before experienced.  It has also given me much more confidence, as it requires me to do hard things every day.

What roll does competition play in this process? I think competition is important in motivating me to work hard and keep coming. I need to have a goal, and races or competitions are what does that for me. I also love the competition I experience on a daily basis in CrossFit, which pushes me to work harder than I would if I did the same WOD in my basement.

What are some of your favorite/most memorable athletic achievements, benchmark times/scores or lift numbers, that stand out or have been exciting to achieve?  There are many achievements in the last 2.5 years that stand out in my mind. First for me would be with respect to my running. The fall before I started CrossFit I ran the Top of Utah marathon after a summer of training that consisted entirely of running. By the time I hit the race I was burned out and unmotivated and never wanted to run again. My time was 3:57.00, which was the second fastest marathon that I had run but not anywhere near what I really wanted to do or felt that I had worked for. It was really a terrible run and I wasn’t happy with it. When I started CrossFit in May 2010 I was faced with movements I could not do at all or at the level that was expected, but the goals of actually learning the movements and earning that elusive “RX” kept me coming. By 2011 I had the fire to run again, and I signed up for the St George Marathon. I didn’t want to spend my whole summer running, and was in love with CrossFit, and so I changed my training strategy to run a short runs twice a week and do CrossFit nearly every day. By the time race day came, my training had been mainly CrossFit plus three half marathons that summer and never more than 2 runs in a week. St George was a great race and I got a PR of 3:45.03. I became a believer. This last May I ran the Ogden marathon with CrossFit as my only training (except maybe 2 different 8 mile runs and one 13 mile run) and ran 3:45.31. CrossFit has given me more strength, endurance, and mental toughness which for me, at least, helps in running, which I still love.

The other huge milestone for me was the 2012 Leave No Survivors competition. It was the first time I competed in anything of its kind, and to take 2nd place in the old guys division was big accomplishment of which I am very proud.

Here are some milestones that show that CrossFit has worked for me:

Grace: It took me a year to get my first RX–my time was 10:19. Last time we did it: 3:59 (RX/PR)

Fran: 9 months to get my first RX–my time was 11:07. Last time we did it: 8:55 (RX/PR)

Helen: My first RX on a WOD with pullups, took 4 months to get this. Time: 19:57. Last time we did it: 11:38 (RX/PR)

What keeps you motivated to continue to improve and wanting to get better? There are things that I cannot do that I want to learn. I would love to learn butterfly pullups and muscle ups but I have a long way to go. I want to score better on the benchmarks. There are also lots of athletes at our box who beat me, and I keep trying to catch up to them. When I think of all the hard work that has gone into the last 2+ years to make the progress that I have, it scares me to stop and lose what I have gained. Additionally, the physical changes I have seen have been a definite bonus, and I don’t want to lose the muscle I’ve gained or regain the inches I’ve lost.

I need to throw this on at the end–Thanks Paul, Stacey, and all the coaches who are so encouraging and supportive. It helps to have people believe that you can do things that you don’t think you can do yourself. I love the sense of community at the box and appreciate the friends I have made during this journey. I like working out with people of all walks of life and getting to know people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Thanks to everyone who inspires me every day to work hard and give my best efforts.

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Author: Paul @ IoTA Fitness

I like exersise.

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