Athlete of the MonthJanuary

John Allen

Career: Insurance and Employee Benefits Broker

When I first started, I was way overweight and my triglycerides were in the high 700’s. Per my doctor “a heart attack waiting to happen”. Today, I have never felt better and have never felt healthier.

Hometown: Kennett Square

Age: 49

When did you first start training at CFKSQ? I started in the winter of 2015 but not seriously. I took a 2-year sabbatical from 2017 to September 2019 by working out on the couch. September 2019 is when I caught the “bug”.

Favorite WOD:  Cindy – I don’t need to write it down and the math is easy!

Least Favorite WOD: SCHELOCTA – I could feel my heart pounding through my teeth at the end!
60/50 Calorie Row
30 Power Cleans (205/145)
60/50 Calorie Row

Tell us about your sports & fitness background: This is pretty varied. Baseball was pretty big back in the glory days of high school. There was a long period of running and local gym workouts. Racquetball was “my thing” for a while there too. I also remember a period of some serious, knock-em-down hacky sack way back in the day especially in the parking lots before and after Grateful Dead shows. Yea, no way I’ll be running for political office in this lifetime.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I started my journey in partnership with Rob Brand. After a year or two of: “We should check out CrossFit”, he and I finally made the commitment. I don’t remember the first WOD in detail but, I do remember Cat being so supportive when I thought: “death was imminent”. I also remember Cat saying that CrossFit warm-ups are harder than most people’s workouts. I still agree with her somedays (especially Mondays).


What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? The changes have been awesome. When I first started, I was way overweight and my triglycerides were in the high 700’s. Per my doctor: “a heart attack waiting to happen”. Today, I have never felt better and have never felt healthier. Today, I can tie my shoes with ease (except for the occasional age-related groan). Today, I can step out of the shower, take a few moments to do a couple body builder, beach-muscle poses (C’mon, admit it, we all do this. Right?) and feel pretty damn good about myself and the hard-work I have been putting into fitness. All objects (muscles) look bigger than they appear in the mirror! (bigger/closer – whatever…). Sorry to put that image in your head.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I am truly grateful for what CrossFit and, more importantly, the coaches have done for my life. I have what seems to be endless energy to be the father my daughter deserves; to play on demand and put forward an example of health and fitness that she can emulate. (My CrossFit muscles also help to enforce my masculine ego when playing dolls or dress-up with her.) I also catch my wife checking me out more often and giving me that “look” that says she hopes our daughter, Olivia, falls asleep soon. Of course, that “look” could also mean “leave me the heck alone you annoying man”. Who knows…

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFKSQ moments: Without a doubt, my favorite CrossFit moments are when, towards the end of any WOD, you hear the cheers of encouragement to give you the push you need to make it through.

Any advice for people just getting started? Throw out your ego and listen to your coaches. Every single time I am not happy with my performance with a workout, it is because my ego got involved.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? It is amazing how many more hobbies I have today than I did before and it is because I now have the energy to do more things: Snow skiing, water-skiing, fishing, hiking, and, most importantly, being the best father and husband I can possibly be.

Thank you CFKSQ Community!