CrossFit Strong  -- Athlete of The Month
  Strong Heart, Strong Mind, Strong Body
 Levi Noecker - Question & Answer  
How long have you been Crossfitting? — Since August 29th, 2009, at an introductory session at Crossfit Strong.
What is your occupation? — System Test Engineer II for a small Telecommunications firm in Plano
Where are you from? — Dallas, Texas.
How did you hear about Crossfit Strong? — A friend of mine started going to the Crossfit Central box, and his successes piqued my interest. I did a search on the site for the nearest affiliate, and Crossfit Strong came up.
December Featured Athlete
See His Profile
 Levi's Transformation  
How have you seen yourself change – mentally or physically – since being a part of CFS? -- I've seen dramatic changes on both fronts. Mentally I've always struggled with finishing or continuing something I've started.That includes long term things like starting the Couch to 5K program (never hit my goals, quite due to injuries after 3 months), and short term things like finishing a jigsaw puzzle. After spending time at CFS I've noticed a shift from my standard "I'll give it a try", past "I think I can", all the way to "I know I can". It's incredibly liberating to approach things with confidence and excitement because you aren't thinking about the ways you may fail, but how you are going to succeed.

The physical changes I've noticed are equally tremendous. I've lost weight, put on muscle mass, and I'm physically the strongest I've ever been in my life. That alone speaks volumes, considering the relatively short amount of time I've been at CFS. I'm reaching a point where I'm proud of what I see in the mirror, and I'm proud of what I've accomplished thus far.
What is your favorite move? — Push press and power Clean
What is your least favorite move? — The combination burpee boxjump. I'm pretty sure that's used as a form of torture in some countries.
What has been your favorite WOD so far? — I'm a big fan of all the birthday WODs. They are always an odd mix of movements that leave you with no idea what to expect.
What has been your least favorite WOD ? — Whatever WOD included the burpee boxjump
What are some of your goals that you have for yourself in the next year? —  First and foremost to maintain a healthy level of diet and exercise throughout the next year. In the past I have been really bad about starting some form of diet and exercise, getting really into it for the first two months, and then giving up shortly thereafter. I think the variability of the Crossfit workouts, as well as the strong community at CFS are two keys parts of the puzzle for me reaching that goal.

Over the summer, I found out I had high blood pressure, and would need to start taking medication to control it. That really motivated me to find something I could start and stick with, so that I could get myself to a point where I was happy, healthy, and didn't need any medication. I'm pretty confident that within the next year I'll be able to stop the medication, and it really gives me something to strive for. Finally, before the year is out I'd like to do a muscle up.
How do you see CrossFit as different from other programs? — The variability of the workouts is key. All health and exercise things I've tried in the past have failed because of their monotony, which leads to boredom and quitting. If you don't quit, you hit a plateau that is frustrating enough to make you quit. With CrossFit I don't know what to expect with any workout, even the benchmarks. I look forward to the CFS workouts so much that I'll take a rest day, and then curse myself for missing what looks like a kickass workout.
Did you think a sport of elite fitness would ever be for you? — Never, not in a million years. As a teenager and young adult I was very active in BMX, but that is a very freeform activity, with no schedule or routine. I never saw myself as someone that could commit to waking up at 5:30 every morning just to go tear myself down at the gym.
How can other people relate to your story? — When I came to the introductory session at CFS, I couldn't run 400m, and I puked my guts up during the skills session, before we even got to the WOD. I was so out of breath after even minimal exertion that people were convinced I must be a smoker, even though I've never smoked in my life. I was about as out of shape as a person could be. After one month I could finish the WODs, and after three months I can hang with the rest of the athletes, and even finish near the head of the pack on occasion. Like the cliché, if I can do it, anyone can do it. All you need to do is bring the determination and willpower, the gym will do the rest.
What is the meaning behind your tattoos? — Most of them don't have any inherent meaning, I simply enjoy the aesthetics of them. The two exceptions are the X's on my back and the equations on my thigh. The X's on my back are a commitment to avoid drugs and alcohol. The equations are for when I graduated with honors in 2006 with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering degree. They are called Maxwell's Equations, and are the four fundamental equations that govern electricity and magnetism.
What is something that no one knows about you? — I have never been drunk or high in my life. When people judge my book based solely on it's cover, they often assume that I am an avid drinker, smoker, or worse. The reality is that I made a decision a long time ago that I didn't want alcohol or drugs in my life, and have worked hard to abstain from them in all forms. I don't begrudge others who like to drink or smoke, as I quite enjoy being with my friends when they choose to imbibe; it's just not for me.

Levi, I think your testimony is great. I do love our box because there are so many people that could be judged by their cover, but our community never does.  Keep up the hard work and motivating us!  I honestly did not think of you as an avid drinker, smoker yes, but that was just the Intro and you meeting the clown.