Athlete of the MonthApril

Ryan West

Career: Technology Director

Years at CrossFit Kennett Square: 3

Scale where needed, push yourself when appropriate, and don’t get caught up in what someone else is doing. Consistency is the key!

Hometown: Berlin, MD 

Age: 33

Favorite WOD: Maxing out any barbell movement or a short/sprint style WOD

Least Favorite WOD: Burpees are my nemesis

Tell us about your sports & fitness background:  I played sports competitively most of my life.  I grew up playing soccer and baseball, and later made the switch to lacrosse.  In my high school years, I played soccer, ran track (shocking I know), and played lacrosse.  I was fortunate enough to continue playing lacrosse at the collegiate level at Drexel University.  It was during my time at Drexel that I got really serious about not just sports, but also was exposed to weightlifting as a means to improve my fitness level.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I’ve continued weightlifting since my college days, and my close friend introduced me to CrossFit back in 2013.  It was your classic garage setup, but it was a new and exciting fitness challenge for me.  I was on/off with CrossFit style workouts and weightlifting, but I finally took the step to take CrossFit more seriously when I joined CFKSQ.  I started with the fundamentals program, which really helped properly introduce me to CrossFit.  I believe my first workout was a combination of Dips and Running.  I remember feeling great with the dips, and instantly being brought back down to earth when having to run.  I still do my best to avoid running today, but I’ve been hooked ever since that first WOD.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? Since committing to CrossFit, my health has significantly improved.  I’ve not only been able to increase my strength and anaerobic capacity, but I’ve been able to do so without injury, due to proper stretching and lifting form from the guidance of our coaches.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? It’s easy to overlook the impact that CrossFit has had on my life outside the gym, but I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities CrossFit has provided me.  From having energy to play with my boys to doing yard work and things around the house, CrossFit has permitted me to be able to do things I never thought possible.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFKSQ moments:  Outside of my 6 am crew, my favorite CFKSQ moments have to be the Friday night lights series for the Open and the Suns Out Guns Out / Barbell Brawl competitions.  The atmosphere is so contagious and energetic!

Any advice for people just getting started? Be smart about how you approach the workouts.  Scale where needed, push yourself when appropriate, and don’t get caught up in what someone else is doing.  Consistency is the key!

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Outside of CrossFit I’m usually spending time with my wife and 2 young boys, or going out for a motorcycle ride when the weather is nice.