We're back this week, in between the holidays, with another member spotlight! I'm gonna get a little mushy and personal on this one. My first time trying CrossFit, I did Coach Andy's workout with him. And I was on my knees begging for someone to take me away from all of it by the second round. Somehow - I came back ;) I was just learning everyone and getting to know people, and not really comfortable. When I admitted I was scared trying another class, Josh said to me, "Go in there and introduce yourself to Dennis - that man's a good dude." He was right. The workout was brutal, but Dennis pushed, encouraged, and helped me finish without feeling like an amateur. He has the rare ability to genuinely listen to you and care about what you say (or , at the very least, he's very good at pretending he does) - and despite his accomplishments both in and out of the gym, he remains extremely humble. The holidays were very special for Dennis and his wife, as they welcome their first daughter into this world! So - when you see Dennis - tell him Congratulations! and also, high-five him for having awesome taste in movies.
Special thanks to Dennis for taking time out of his schedule (not sleeping - 'cause: BABIES) to answer these questions!
Hey there! Where are you from?
I went to Duquesne for my undergrad, stuck around for about 10 years and then moved to Maryland (Baltimore, ugh). I moved back to Pittsburgh in 2013.
What do you do for a living?
I was a Systems Administrator for roughly 10 years. I worked in a very “Office Space” type setting. I have now joined the ranks of Phil Tharnish and Adam McGurk as a domestic engineer, AKA, stay at home dad.
How long have you been doing CrossFit?
It has been nearly three years since I started CF. I took a few intro classes at a box in Baltimore before I had moved back to Pittsburgh.
Tell us about your athletic history…
I played soccer for roughly 15 years. I found the weight room at the local YMCA when I was 16. I was your typical 3-4 day a week weight lifter that hated to do any cardio. Fortunately for me, finding CrossFit has eliminated the need to ever step on a treadmill again.
What brought you to CrossFit St. Clair?
The previous box that I had belonged to was in the middle of a change of ownership and ultimately closed. I tried two other gyms (one was better than the other), but the programming and a difference in “coaching” style is what made me look for a new place to train. I remember the first time that I walked into CFSC; and was greeted by Andy with one of his typical bear hugs.
What’s your favorite way to sweat?
Rowing, Handstand Push Ups, Double Unders, Heavy Squat / Power Cleans. (Definitely not running or bear crawls)
Slap Shot or Caddyshack
Favorite music to work out to?
Jeff Bright has convinced me that Tiesto is best for the longer aerobic AMRAP's. I prefer anything on Spang's heavy metal play list for the shorter RFT style metcon's. That would include Nine Inch Nails, Pantera, Tool, Metallica, Slipknot.
When you aren’t working or working out, where can we find you?
You'll more than likely find me at home with my wife and my baby girl. Occasionally, you may find me at Mad Mex with a gobblerito and a margarita.
How has CrossFit changed you?
CrossFit was a wake up call that I wasn't nearly as in shape as I thought that I was. I was looking for a way to incorporate more cardio into my workouts without getting on a treadmill or a stair climber, which bore me to tears. It has also provided a pretty accurate representation of the importance ofnutrition and proper recovery. When I eat like crap, my workouts suffer. I am definitely more mindful of what and when I am eating. Now, if I could only get more sleep.
What do you love most about CrossFit St. Clair?
The facility – The amenities at the gym are nice to have; especially when I am not overly motivated to try Andy's latest assault bike / burpee sprint. I can choose to POWL, play racquetball or work on a weakness during open gym.
The programming - Andy and Abby have been outdoing themselves with the programming. We may see some of the same movements in our metcons, however A&A always manage to throw something spicy in there to keep us on our toes. (Abby and her bear crawls, for example.)
The community - The people are the main reason why I left my last box and joined CFSC. We all know it, you people are the bees knees.
What 3 words would people use to describe you
Quiet, Easy-Going, Sarcastic
Any mantra, favorite quote, or words to live by?
God will not place a burden on a man's shoulders knowing that he cannot carry it.