CrossFit Strong  -- Athlete of The Month
  Strong Heart, Strong Mind, Strong Body
 
We chose Joshua Lee for athlete of the month for numerous reasons. His physical transformation is a testimate to his hard work during the WODs and his focus on good form and technique. He is a great leader in the box and always in a good mood and talking to people in class. He attends different class times (due to his busy schedule) but it never keeps him from introducing himself or encouraging others. Thank you Joshua for representing Strong!
 
 Joshua Lee -Q&A  
How long have you been Crossfitting? — I started January 31st, 2011 after my wife Amy purchased a three month membership for me to try out Crossfit. My birthday gift didn’t have me very excited initially. It took LOTS of prodding and encouragement since I thought the workouts were crazy.
What is your occupation? — Capital One for over 15 years now. Started off on the credit card side and have worked in various management positions throughout the company. I now work in the Auto Finance department and I manage Dealer Funding Operations for the North East.
Where are you from? — I was born in Denver Colorado. I was an Air Force brat and have lived all over the US (Northern and Southern California, Virginia, Nevada, Washington, Florida, Nebraska, Utah, Montana, Texas, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Arizona).
How did you hear about Crossfit Strong? -- My wife invited me to a Saturday intro class in 2010. I made it through 1 round of Fight Gone REALLY bad and almost passed out. I thought everyone was really nice but crazy for wanting to do something like Crossfit. Lifetime Fitness wasn’t doing the trick so I finally gave in and signed up in January of this year.
November Featured Athlete
 
See His Profile
 
 Joshua's Transformation  
How have you seen yourself change – mentally or physically – since being a part of CFS? I could write a book on how CFS has changed me. It has changed me mentally AND physically. Prior to coming to CFS, I was sick. Actually, I was more rotten than sick. I was coming off my second sinus surgery in 11 months and I wasn’t feeling better. I got really sick in late 2009. I have always had bad allergies and suffered from them greatly. In November 2009, I came down with pneumonia. I was always coughing and couldn’t breathe through my nose for months on end. I had my first sinus surgery in January 2010 after taking months of different antibiotics. That cleared out the congestion and allowed me to breath through my nose for the first time in a long while. I still had a nasty sinus infection that wouldn’t go away. I continued to take steroid packs and antibiotics until I had yet another surgery in November 2010 to clear out some more polyps. Unfortunately, I was still sick. I was miserable and depressed. My Drs were giving me different meds to treat me for allergies, coughing and the chronic infection in my sinuses. Some of the side effects were depression and pain in other parts of my body. My ENT(ears nose throat) decided he could do no more for me and sent me to an Infectious Disease Specialist. The new Dr wanted to stick me on a PICC line to treat me for my sinuses and said that this treatment probably wouldn’t work. I was in a bad place at that time. I decided to try out a different ENT and went to UT SW to check in with some ENT professors there in January 2011. My wife finally convinced me that maybe I should just live a healthier lifestyle and exercise more aggressively than I was at Lifetime Fitness. I started with a diet called the Makers Diet and with Crossfit that same month. Since then, I switched to Paleo/Whole 30 and have lost 45 pounds (gained back 10 in muscle) and have been infection free since February. I stopped taking all those meds and told the IDS to go stick a needle in someone else. I am seriously amazed that my diet and Crossfit have made such a big impression on me.
What is your favorite move? — Push press. I could barely lift the bar when I started. I can put weight on it now=)
What is your least favorite move? — Front Squat. My form goes south when the weight gets heavier.
What has been your favorite WOD so far? — Any WOD that I can complete. I really like Chelsea.
What has been your least favorite WOD ? — Anything with Thrusters are brutal. The Air Force wod was a hard one.
 
What are some of your goals that you have for yourself in the next year? — I want to keep up with my paleo/whole 30 diet. I 100% completely agree with Gale when it comes to diet. Diet is where I saw my biggest improvements physically. I am almost 40 and eating like I did when I was in my 20s just doesn’t work for me anymore. I cut out bread, rice, dairy, sugar and eat veggies and lots of protein. Life is good now. I can cheat once a week and not gain it all back. The whole 30 showed me foods that when I removed them from my diet (sugar, soy, gluten, heavy beer) I felt better.
How do you see CrossFit as different from other programs? I have tried working out on my own at a gym and no results. I tried a boot camp and it was better but nobody really paid attention to me or my form. I paid out the nose for a personal trainer. It was O.K. but I would see her staring off into space/chatting it up with someone else while I was killing myself on some silly machine. For me, it’s the CFS coaches. I can get feedback at any time before, during and after a WOD. The coaches actually help me and don’t look annoyed that I am bothering them with my questions (I got a lot of that from LTF). I am getting personal training and more challenging workouts than I would if I just hired a trainer and went at it. I know how to lift weights now although I still need lots of work on my form. I also really enjoy Charlie’s MMA class. I can choke Charlie out, if he only he would stand still and let me.
Did you think a sport of elite fitness would ever be for you? — I was quite intimidated by the level of fitness I saw when I first came out. I didn’t believe that I would ever like doing this. Now, I plan my day, work and life around CF. I am not the fastest or strongest athlete at CFS but I work my butt off.
 
How can other people relate to your story? — On the front page of the website, it states “CrossFit is scalable to any age, kids, grannies and us.” The only athletic things I did were play soccer as a young adult and ski. I have broken a leg, foot, my head, my arm twice and shredded my right shoulder. I still have hardware in my body and carried a rod in my femur for a year. I didn’t think I could do this at first glance. I scaled and still do. I am in the best shape of my life now. When I started, I could do one push up and did the rest from my knees. I used a blue AND green band on my pulls ups. All I heard was encouragement. Today, I can do 20 pushups unbroken and pulls ups with no bands. I laugh when my wife tells me “look at your muscles.” Gale told me “stick to the programming, it will change your life.” It did.
 
What is something that others may not know about you? -- I was in the Air Force back in 91-95. I was a Financial Management Specialist for DFAS and worked closely with Civil Engineering. While in the Air Force, I also performed augmentee duty for Emergency Management. I conducted nuclear, biological and chemical detection at Nellis AFB in the 90s. I got dressed up as a ghost buster and off I went. Its really REALLY hot in Vegas so the suits sort of sucked. I went to multiple military aircraft crash sites as part of that duty. This unfortunately led to my fear of flying. Being around NTSB and FAA guys talking about civilian airline crashes at a military crash site wore on me. It’s quite a silly fear as my father is a retired USAF pilot and current Fed Ex pilot.
What is the dumbest thing you have heard at CFS? - I haven’t heard anyone say anything dumb but someone may have heard me say “What the hell is that (as I pointed at a kettle bell)?”

What is the funniest thing you have seen done at CFS?--This past Halloween party, I watched Gumby and Pokey doing burpees and grappling.

What is your most memorable moment here-- Doing my first dead hang pull up. I have NEVER done a pull up in my 40 years of life until just recently. Heck, it would just hurt hanging from the pull up bar. I have come a LONG way. Thanks everybody!
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