April Athlete of the Month: Chris Cilley

How and when did you discover CrossFit?

I started CrossFit in February of 2014. However, I discovered what CrossFit was sometime after the CrossFit Games in 2013. Multiple times, I saw the replay of the Games showing on ESPN. They showed a bunch of that years events in a few separate airings. There was one event that stood out to me, the Clean and Jerk ladder. I loved watching reruns of Strongman competitions(also on ESPN) and seeing how much those big guys could lift. However, watching the CrossFit athletes, mostly Rich Froning, opened my eyes to a whole new world. These guys could lift super heavy AND had the aerobic capacity to row a half-marathon. After that, one day I was down the deep rabbit hole of YouTube(we’ve all been there, am I right) and a recommended video popped up. You can probably guess what it was. Yes, the Clean and Jerk ladder event. I rewatched the whole hour long event and was(again) blown away by what the athletes could do. I ended up looking for local gyms around me after that. I messaged about checking out a gym that was 5 minutes from my house. My first workout was the benchmark “Jackie.” It absolutely crushed me, but I’ve been hooked ever since. Fun fact: I did my first Open two weeks after starting CrossFit.

How has CrossFit affected you since you started?

During high school, I participated in three individual sports(cross county running, nordic skiing, and track). CrossFit has brought me back to the competitive nature I loved during high school. Yes, you are competing against everyone else in races, but mostly you are competing against yourself. I loved being able to see the progress made over the years and making goals for the next season. I did play on a club sports team(Ultimate Frisbee) during college. Although it was a great experience and I met some of my closest friends, it was never the same as competing individually. CrossFit has also made me the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been. I used to be a very scrawny 130lb athlete in high school. I was very active but I never really lifted weights. CrossFit has helped me fill out my frame and now I weigh in around 170lb. I’d like to believe most of that has been muscle. Although I did not start my CrossFit journey here at EverProven, this community has become like a second family to me. I am very grateful for meeting every single one of you! (If we haven’t met yet, come say hi)

What class do you normally attend?

4:00pm, occasionally 5:15pm

What are your short and long term goals?

Short term- To finally not be injured anymore. (slowly getting there) Long term- Maybe become more competitive again. But maybe not because I’m having WAY more fun now than ever before. My long term health has become more of a priority now that I’ll be hitting the dirty 30 this year haha. Non-Crossfit goals: Run a marathon

What’s your favorite WOD/movement?

BURPEES, handstand push-ups, handstand walks, muscle-ups, toe-to-bar, EverProven CrossFits, double unders. Basically any workout with gymnastics movements in it!

What’s your LEAST favorite WOD/movement?

Wallballs, deadlifts, rowing (getting better though)

What is one interesting fact many people don’t know about you?

I’ve never been outside of the USA (not even to Canada). Hoping that changes this year.

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