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December Athlete of the Month – Rob Artus


December Athlete of the Month – Rob Artus

When I asked Rob to answer a few questions so I could blog about him for Athlete of the Month, I had no idea that he would write the entire blog for me! Thanks Rob!!!! I would like to say that all of us here at MCCF think Rob has a winning spirit, attitude and of course smile (he’s always smiling). You deserve to be recognized and we are so happy that you are a part of our community!

Congratuations Rob, you are MCCF’s December Athlete of the Month!

Here is Rob’s story:

I started Crossfit at Old Saybrook about five years ago. I sure wish I’d taken advantage of that $5,000 life membership offer back in 2011! Back then it was just Elayne and she was and continues to be my inspiration. So cool. I’m 52 now and am nearly always surrounded by people half my age. But I give it all I have and I hope they can see that I leave everything on the floor, even if I finish last.

Wow, has Crossfit helped my running. This year I ran my fastest half-marathon and feel I am now ready to train for a full marathon in 2017. When Mike, Jeff, Kevin, Elayne and I ran the Mount Washington Road Race earlier this year, we all realized I think for the first time, or at least I did, that it was the sheer dogged determination of Crossfit that gave us the ability to keep going when all we wanted to do was quit. I think that’s why I love the ewods so much – they teach me such patience, perseverance and persistence, plus I love to run of course…Patrick and I have had some pretty cool battles over the years…not that we’re competitive or anything!

I love to run, love to race, and love to be included in it all. I think it took me about two years to realize my most important lesson at Crossfit: and that is that you only get out what you put in. Initially I would show up, do my thing, go home.  And I didn’t really feel part of the box for a long time. And then one day I plucked up the courage and started talking to Emily (who of course, was very kind when she didn’t have to be) and I made a friend and then gradually I made the effort to get to know everyone, person by person. Now, coming to Crossfit is one of the most rewarding things in my life and I certainly do feel very welcome and really part of the family. And now I really make an effort now to say hello to the new people – I just remember how it can be so intimidating to an older person who’s a bit shy and not really a gym-rat. I truly believe that a friendly hello can mean the difference between a new member sticking with it or fading away. So if you can, say hello to the new gal or ask the quiet guy how he likes the workout – you never know, you might change a life. Especially the new members who want to lose weight and get fit – just imagine the bravery and courage it takes for some folks just to show up and do Crossfit with all the young flat-bellies. They deserve a medal just for showing up, so make them welcome – sometimes all it takes is a simple bit of friendly eye contact and a welcoming hello and it can make a world of difference to that person.

I think the biggest hurdle for me early on was realizing that scaling is the most important aspect for older crossfitters: let’s face it, lifting weights at speed is not a good combination, but once I learned to leave my ego at the door and lift what I was comfortable with, at a safe speed, that’s when I really started enjoying Crossfit. Crossfit is a big part of my life now and it has helped me stay and feel young. I truly like everyone and am very appreciative of everything Elayne, Wendell, Mike, Sean, Zack, Kristin, Maggie, Jocelyn, Riky and Kaylyn have done (hope I’m not forgetting anyone!) to make me feel welcome and relevant. I’ll let you know how my marathon goes, in the meantime, Jo, I’m 1 and 0 and I NEVER forget a victory…..not that I’m competitive or anything.