Love Food!!! Love it! Jeri and I are restaurant people, and Pittsburgh has such an awesome restaurant scene right now. Cure is my favorite restaurant. Loved Morcilla as well. And anything that Big Burrito does (Eleven, Casbah, Umi, Soba, Mad Mex) is on point. I probably eat Chipotle at least once a week. I haven't met a food I didn't really like, and I've been fortunate to be able to try so many different types. I always tell my girls that they should try things once, just once, and then decide only then if they do or don't like it. It works...sometimes. I also tell them about the time that I tried cow brains while on vacation, because you never know if they taste good! (they didn't by the way).
I have a number that I really enjoy. Grew up watching Star Wars, and seeing the 7th episode with my daughters was pretty damn cool for me. I love Inception, Shawshank, Green Mile, Gladiator, and Braveheart, Huge fan of the Halloween series of horror movies. The Dark Knight is still one of my favorite movies I've seen at the theater. But I'm also a fan of B movies. Mystery Science Theater 3000 was hilarious. Student Bodies, Flash Gordon, and comedies like Step Brothers, Three Amigos, and Joe Dirt all have a special place in my heart.
So hard as it is to believe, I actually do read. Not as often as Jeri, but I do. I love Stephen King stories. I've read most of them (I really liked Desperation), both novels and short stories. Jeri gives me recommendations that she thinks I'll like as she knows me best, and that's resulted in me reading some awesome books by Junot Diaz as well as The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
Favorite music to work out to?
Huge fan of harder metal/rock/thrash/electronic beats. Most people have heard my iPod playing, which includes Rammstein, Ministry, Metallica, NIN, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, and Deftones among others. Harder and faster music seems to be what I prefer. And while I love Frank Sinatra, it's not my cup of tea in the gym.
When you aren’t working or working out, where can we find you?
I travel a good bit for work, so there's a good chance I'm in another city. But otherwise I'm with Jeri and my girls most of the time. I love spending time with them whether we're out together or just hanging at our house. I have a tremendous group of friends from all facets of life that I appreciate hanging with. I have a great group of guys from college that I'm still in touch with regularly. And the people from the gym have become a 2nd family to me as I've spent a ton of time with them outside and inside of the gym.
I'm also blessed that I really love being with my family (sisters, parents, in-laws) and that they all live close. While we don't see each other as much as we'd like with our kids' activities and all, we do see and speak with each other often. Sunday dinners are something that I value with my family, just sitting and catching up.
How has CrossFit changed you?
First off it gave me one of the greatest lessons in humility that I could ever ask for. I'll never forget my on ramp class (it was really 1 on 1 with Kylie @ IF) and the 1st WOD she gave me, which had ring rows, push ups, and air squats. Being a former athlete I thought I'd be able to jump right in and hit it without an issue. WRONG! Also, the 1st time I came to class admittedly I remember working out next to some others thinking I was in better shape than they were. WRONG! They say that when you start CrossFit, you should check your ego at the door. I learned that one quickly, and try to remember that every time I step foot in the gym.
It's also exposed me to so many positive people, which of course leaks into my personal and professional life as well. Everyone that comes into class seems to do so to be better than they were the day before. And while we have some friendly competitive banter, we all truly do support each other in our individual journeys. Most people know that I love nothing more than to get in someone's face, yell directly at them, and get them to do 1 more rep than they thought they could. That's something special that I get out of it, whether it's during the Open or during a regular 5am class. I appreciate the people I get to interact with at St. Clair in every way. And the fact that I get to do it every day is a privilege for me that I don't take for granted.
What do you love most about CrossFit St. Clair?
I love the workouts themselves as they are challenging but fun. They push me in ways that I don't push myself. As I said, I've gotten to know some tremendous people during my short time there. The coaches are not only phenomenal and motivating, they have become very good friends to me. I value their knowledge, their commitment to the community, and their friendship.
I love the 5 am crew that I work out with. These goofy people get up at a ridiculous hour, roll into the gym, and leave making themselves just a little bit better than when they came in. I'm inspired by them, and motivated by them all the time.
One of the greatest things though is that I get to share St. Clair with Jeri. While we don't work out nearly as much together, the fact that we go to the same place, do the same workouts, and can talk about it daily has strengthened our marriage in so many ways. She provided me with inspiration that I'll never be able to repay her with, and she motivates me daily to be a better person, a better father, and a better husband. Maybe we could have had that at another gym, but it seems to really fit in with the culture and community at St. Clair.