July Member of the Month: Chad Walker

Chad Walker is coming up on his 4 year anniversary with CrossFit Sanitas this July and so it’s only fitting that he is our Member of the Month! Chad is one of our most consistent members over the past 4 years. You will usually find him at the 8:30 WOD, where the shirt will come off quite frequently and is the namesake of the phrase “Abs like Chad”. After the WOD, he usually puts back on his clothes (sometimes) and is known for his impeccable style as he leaves the gym.

Always a guy with a smile on his face, chatting up other members before the WODs, and ready for action as soon as the clock starts! He has competed in both our Monster Mash and Tuff Love competitions in the past and we look forward to him bringing the heat again this upcoming year.

Lets get to know Chad a little more with our Member of the Month Questions….

How did you get started with CrossFit? What was the primary driving factor?

I was an endurance athlete for a looong time – I endured so much damn endurance! About 4 years ago I went out for a ride, got 10 minutes into it and thought, “You know what? I think I’m done.” It was like a curtain came down. After so many years in the saddle, I just couldn’t imagine another long, repetitive road ride. Ever.

I turned around, rode home, and hung up my bike for good.

I wanted to try something totally different. I wanted variety. I wanted more balanced strength. I’d been a boxer for a couple of years when I lived in Brooklyn, but the idea – and the reality – of getting punched in the head before going to work everyday had lost some of its appeal. So that was out. But I’d heard a lot about CrossFit and always found the idea intriguing. I came to Sanitas for a drop-in the day after my final road ride and I’ve never looked back. I was hooked from that first class. I remember setting the barbell down at one point, early in a round of work, and Michael Butts, who was coaching the class that day, walked by and said, “Huh. That’s funny. I thought you came here to workout.” I knew right then that I’d found my home.

What are your goals for the upcoming 2019 CrossFit year?

Heavier overhead. Snatches, thrusters, push-press and jerks. The movements feel good, but I want to get more comfortable with heavier weight. The difference between my 1RM clean and my 1RM snatch is pretty glaring. So, getting more confident with more weight overhead is something I really want to work on.

What has been your biggest challenge you have had to overcome since starting CrossFit?

Patience. Being patient with the movements, the points of performance. As an endurance athlete you sit on the bike and you turn the cranks, or you strap on your shoes and run, or you cinch up your little Speedos and swim. Survival, not skill. Pilgrimage not performance. (I could go on like this for a while.) That’s what I was used to. Lock in and just repeat. So, CrossFit challenged me in a lot of ways. I couldn’t just come out of the gate and have it all figured out.

The first year or so, whenever I did snatches, it looked like I was having some sort of violent disagreement with the barbell. And the barbell was winning. But we have the best coaches in the business – in my never humble opinion – and they slowed everything down for me, which encouraged me to do the same. And then things started to click. Anyone who’s come in here not knowing these movements and has felt that click of “Oh! That’s how it works!” knows what I mean. Your first good squat snatch. Your first long set of dubs. Your first muscle-up. When all the separate movements finally work together as one. It’s truly a great feeling.

What is your favorite CrossFit Workout/Movement?

Muscle ups, ring or bar. Pull ups. Cleans. Strict HSPUs. Dubs. Rowing. (This list could get long)

What is your least Favorite CrossFit Workout/Movement?

Overhead walking lunge. I don’t like them and they’re not crazy about me, either.

What advice can you give to those just starting out in CrossFit?

Be patient with yourself. You might feel like a clown show for the first little while. That’s ok. Because seriously, look around the gym. All those people who are cruising through the WODs? We were all our own little clown shows at the beginning. It’s part of the process. Don’t feel self-conscious, because we’ve all been there. And we’re all here to support you. So, be patient, put in the work, and you’ll start clicking. Before you know it, you’ll be one of those people moving through the WODs much more comfortably.

And listen to our coaches. They’re all so good. I travel a good bit for work and have dropped in to a lot of other boxes. I’ve never seen the level of coaching we have. Not even close. The detail, the exactness, the care and attention. We’re very very lucky.

Lastly… what is your most memorable moment in Crossfit?

There are a lot of great memories. My first muscle-up. The first time I strung together a bunch of double-unders.

But I would have to say the singular one is my first Murph. I did Murph the first time on Thanksgiving a few years ago. I was still pretty new to CrossFit. And it was as hard as hell to do and really satisfying to finish. I remember being so excited to have done it that I just kept walking around the gym fist-bumping and high-fiving anyone I could find. It was really fun. I’ve done Murph every year since, at least once, and it’s always special. But never like that first time.

A couple additions for the Member of the Month Workout.

What’s your birthday?
December 28, 1971

What’s your lucky number?

Do you like endurance style wods or strength style wods?

AMRAPs or For Time?

Member of the Month WOD *to be performed on Monday July 8th

“Abs Like Chad”
28min AMRAP
71 Double Unders
19 Power Cleans at 95#/65#
12 Overhead Lunges at 95#/65#
12/8 Bar Muscle-Ups

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