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Member Spotlight – Joseph’s Story

Joseph has been a member of CrossFit RA since March 8, 2018, the first day he walked in the doors. I performed an interview with him to dig a little deeper into the person he is and understand his ‘why’. My only regret is that I didn’t record this interview with him – we both cried during this interview and the words in writing don’t quite capture the emotion behind his journey.

With that said, enjoy getting to know Joseph a little better.

Age: 36
From: Born in San Diego. Raised in Yuma, Arizona.

What made you walk in the doors of CrossFit RA?: “I knew I wanted to try CrossFit. I had been researching gyms for about 3 months. Your website was different than everyone else’s. I really liked it.”

What was your first impression of CFRA when you first walked in the door?: “Coach Felipe was the first person I met. I will never forget him. I was a little intimated watching him and someone else working out during open gym. He told me to come back at 3 PM for the 3:30 Class. I came back at 3 and signed-up for the Starter Package.”

What is your favorite part of CFRA? “The way everyone is. They don’t even know you, but you never feel left out. I brought my niece in one day to watch me workout – to see what all the hype was about – I finished the WOD last that day & everyone was rooting for me. Even though I was last, I never felt that way. After that, my niece understood why I love it so much. She didn’t join, yet – but my son did.”

What was your first CrossFit Workout? “First, I completed the OnRamp classes with you. You made me feel very comfortable. I was confident; I was like I got this. You trained me 1:1 at 6 AM and sometimes I would take a nap when I got home – haha. The first workout of the day (WOD) I did in class was 18.4 – Coach Mollie told me she thought I was going to throw up on her. I thought I was, too.”

CrossFit workouts are so hard! What gets you through them? “Whenever it gets really tough, I always tell myself – I love what I do. I love who I am. I love my place in this universe – this gets me through the workouts.

What is your favorite CrossFit Movement: “We did a bunch of them last week…..oh man I love them….squat cleans.”

What is your least favorite CrossFit Movement: “I’ve got a couple of those…box jumps and wall balls. Wall balls look so cool…but they’re not cool.”

What’s your WHY? “My daughter. She’s only 6 months old. I want to live by example. I want to be around when she’s older. I don’t want to have diabetes or health-related issues.”

What was your health background before you tried CrossFit at CFRA? “Nothing. Nothing at all. Except in 2006 – for 8 months that year I would run 5 miles in the mornings, spend an hour and a half lifting weights and run 1.5 miles at night.”

What’s a failure that lead to your biggest lesson? “Well, I might as well tell my story now, because what if no one does?  I spent 3 1/2 years in prison (hence my workouts in 2006).”

What was the lesson? “My whole life turned around. I didn’t want to give my life to the government. I want to enjoy coffee in the mornings. I want to enjoy cuddling my baby girl and laying next to my wife. I really enjoy taking my whole family to dinner. I learned that life is about the small moments. So many people are in a hurry to the next big achievement and they don’t enjoy the small things.”

What is your biggest accomplishment?: “My life. Where it is now. I was raised in a trailer smaller than this kitchen. I drive by that trailer sometimes and I don’t know how we did it. How we lived off of $12,000 a year. I’m giving my daughter a better life than I had. And I’m really grateful for that.”

What is something you’re not very good at? “Haha – you should ask my wife…doing things in timely manner, I’m a bit of a procrastinator.”

What’s something you’re great at? “Making people laugh.”

What was your favorite moment thus far at CFRA? “The School’s Out, Guns Out teen competition. That was so cool – the kids were so inspiring and we had the opportunity to reward them for working hard all year.”

What CrossFit movement do you want to most achieve? “Can I say all of them?…the handstand. I still haven’t kicked into a handstand.”

How has doing CrossFit at Raw Appeal affected your life and mindset? “I don’t get fatigued going up the stairs anymore…I have more energy, feel healthy, I am more positive and motivated. Within a few months I went from a 40″ waist to 36″ and dropped from 230 pounds to 210 pounds. I don’t weigh myself anymore because I feel good and I know I’m doing my best.”

“I believe that when you work on yourself, you align your center of gravity and everything around you is good, too.”

If you could share one message with the world, what would it be? “Fight less. Enjoy life more.” 

Joseph and his son, Miguel

Interview and transcription by Lindsay Wagner

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