January Member Profile

Brad Frithsen

Nickname: Currently none but open to suggestions.

Occupation outside of being a Crossfit & our 3rd Paleo Challenge champ: I’m a project manager at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Hometown: Gloucester born and raised baby.

Favorite WOD: I haven’t done many benchmark workouts (I promise I don’t cherry pick) but I really enjoyed Angie for some reason. She kicked my butt and it took me forever but for some reason I really enjoyed it. Other than the bencharks though I generally like any WOD that incorporates deadlifts.

Favorite Lift: I love trying to lift heavy crap so I’d say deadlift. I also enjoy handstand pushups because I think it’s something that 6 months ago I never would have imagined doing.

Which class times do you usually attend?
I’m an early bird at the 5:30 am. We’re building a great crew at that time! Although I have to also give a shout out to my former 7 pm crew…they got the ball rolling for me!

How long have you been Crossfitting?
A little over six months now.

How did you find Crossfit?
My lovely wife told me about CFCA. It took me a month to finally build up the courage to come down. Best decision I’ve made in a while.

How does Crossfit differ from your last gym or exercise routine?
Two things for sure. The first is the variety. Last week was the first time that I did a WOD for a second time in six months (Fran). By my calculations if I was still working out on my own I would have completed the same “chest and back” workout 48 times! The second is the community. It’s great to know that everyone in the box is always cheering you on and that this encouragement is totally genuine. People want you to succeed!!

Do you have an athletic background or were you too busy in the basement playing dungeons and dragons?
I was always pretty active in sports growing up. I played a lot of tennis and then played football and baseball in high school. My senior year I threw the shot put.  I wanted to get in shape for baseball season so I did Winter track. I was too slow and fat to run anything respectable so I threw the shot put. That was actually pretty enjoyable.

How has Crossfit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?
Man, where to begin. I haven’t been in this kind of shape since I was in my early 20s…I’d even say I’m in better shape now. I can do things I was never able to do before (see pullups, rope climbs, handstands, Olympic lifts of any kind, etc.). I can eat MEAT, BACON, and FAT again. Crossfit has definitely made me a more positive person. It kind of lends itself to giving you this attitude that says, “Ya, I can do that”. That positivity has worked itself into all facets of my life and I have no doubt that Crossfit is the reason behind that.

What motivates/inspires you?
Well obviously my wife does and now I can say my future son does as well (coming in March). I want to live as long and healthy a life a possible for them. There was a time not too long ago that I had just resigned myself to the belief that I would always be kind of out of shape and didn’t think I had much control of that. Now I realize I do and look forward to a healthy future.

In Crossfit what motivates and inspires me are the extraordinary accomplishments from everyday people. We have moms deadlifting double their bodyweight, dads crushing prescribed WODs, and people making 180 degree changes to their lives in less than a year. Really what else do you need to get motivated?

Name one goal/personal achievement that you would like to achieve through Crossfit.
I completed the Blackburn Challenge last year in a sea kayak. Maybe next year I’d like to do the Presidential Range in the White Mountains. I think a big hike is in my future.

When not dominating at CFCA, what other hobbies/interests outside of Crossfit do you enjoy?
I love being outdoors so I spend a lot of time kayaking, hiking in Ravenswood or Dogtown, and snowshoeing (are we ever going to get some snow??). I’m currently on winter break from school right now so enjoy reading anything other than textbooks. I’m currently reading Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods.

What’s your favorite aspect/part of CFCA?
Without a doubt the community. Initially I was totally intimidated to check out CFCA. The workouts looked hard and let’s face it the people were all fit! Anyway my fears were quickly put at ease because new members are truly welcomed with open arms. Like I said earlier, people want you to succeed and try their best to help you reach your goals. Another of my favorite things of CFCA is constantly surprising myself. A comment that I have heard a lot of members make is that they made huge progress so quickly. It’s kind of exciting to walk into the gym expecting to hit another PR.

As our 3rd Paleo Challenge winner (Congrats again!), any sage advice for new folks attempting the challenge later this month?
Sage might be a bit of a stretch but here are my two cents. First off educate yourself with some basic reading. I read Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution because it’s a bit geared (OK totally geared) towards my inner biology geek and gets into the molecular level of what’s going on in our body when we eat the food we eat. Build your confidence cooking paleo with some basic recipes and then experiment (I just bought some cow tongue that I’m trying to build the courage to use). Finally take advantage of all of the collective paleo experience at CFCA. I asked tons of questions and people were more than willing to help.

You are just about as chipper at a 5:30am class as you are at any of the Crossfit evening gatherings we’ve held … how the hell do you do it?
Amphetamines are paleo right? Just kidding. I’ve always been a morning person but honestly who can’t help but be happy when all those other folks show up that early in the morning!

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