Name: Rich Weissman
Nickname: Rich…it’s actually my grandmother’s family name.
Occupation outside of being a Crossfit champ:
I wear many hats at Endicott College, including professor, director of corporate education, and manager of our new Gloucester campus. I just received my 10 year service award so I am officially part of the woodwork.
Elizabeth, New Jersey (Exit 13 off the N.J. Turnpike for those unfamiliar). But I’ve been on the North Shore (Gloucester and Hamilton) since 1978.
Favorite WOD: Any WOD with all weights….partial to DT these days.
This has evolved. I was a deadlift fan. Then I loved the press and actually hit 185# until a shoulder injury last fall. Now I am partial to the clean. Back squat comes in a close second.
Which class times do you usually attend? Monday and Wednesday at 4:15; Friday at 8 AM.
How long have you been Crossfitting?
I’ll complete my 4th year this January. I was at NSCF in Beverly for two years with the immortal coach Danny Vee and 6 months at NSCF in Danvers. I’ve been at CFCA for a little over a year. It’s all been good and I’ve made a lot of friends.
How did you find Crossfit?
My son Scott (Coach Scotty) joined North Shore CrossFit and raved about it. He convinced me that I would like it and that there were other ‘older’ (ahem!) people at the gym that did well. There was a membership contest at the time so I wasn’t sure if he was interested in seeing
me healthier or winning the prize of the flat screen television. He didn’t win the TV but CF is probably keeping his father around for a few more years than forecasted…so I guess we both win on that one.
Do you play sports back in the day or just now coming into your athletic prime?
I’m not one for organized sports but I played lots of neighborhood and intramural basketball. I was also a pretty mean beach football player growing up summers on the Jersey Shore (Bradley Beach). And no Jersey Shore jokes please! It’s really not like the TV show. Well, almost not like it.
What the best and worst part of having your son be your Crossfit coach?
It’s all good actually. The ‘first’ best is getting to spend some extra time with him and sharing a common interest. We chat about WODS and skills almost every day. The ‘second’ best thing is accountability. I tend to work a bit harder in his classes so I represent the family well…not that I don’t work hard in Coach Heather’s classes! He also challenges me to try new things and heavier weights, even when he is not coaching. “You can do that” is one of his usual encouragements. He even ran with me when I did my first official 5K in Rockport on August 5th. He was both a son and a coach that day. That was pretty neat.
How has Crossfit changed your life outside of the gym?
I am down a clothes size and off blood pressure, cholesterol and stomach acid prescriptions. I’ve also developed an appreciation for exercise and preaching the Cross Fit gospel…but I think we all do that. CrossFit is all about ‘functional fitness’ and I can shovel snow and do other chores without a trip to the chiropractor. My wife Rosemary has learned to cook Paleo and that is a huge help. She has been a great supporter of my time at CF….except for the sweaty workout clothes on the floor.
What motivates/inspires you?
I am motivated by staying as far away from the grim reaper as I can. I’m 57 and want to live a lot longer. I’m inspired by people my age who have given up, and by that I mean given in to the aches and pains and sedentary life style of those approaching 60. Being a bit sore from Hell’s Bells is a lot different than being sore from carrying in the groceries. The clock keeps ticking of course… but I do feel younger than ever. I won’t go without a fight.
Name one goal/personal achievement that you would like to achieve through Crossfit.
I ran an official 5k this summer and that was huge for me. I would have never done that without CrossFit. But, the main thing for me is continued good health. The goals of ‘senior’ members are a bit different than the rest of the group. Sure, I love the PR’s that I get from time to time but being off my meds and getting good medical reports is really important to me and my family. But, a strict pull-up would be nice.
I know it’s hard to imagine, but what are your hobbies/interests outside of Crossfit?
Boating! We have a 19 foot center console at Cape Ann Marina that is my other obsession. Family is also very important to me. Family on the boat? Priceless! I also like to write and I really love to teach. At Endicott I teach traditional undergraduate students and also masters students, both in the classroom and online. What’s not to like about being called professor?!
What’s your favorite aspect/part of CFCA?
I enjoy the community and camaraderie. I enjoy having a few laughs and teasing the coaches and my friends. But mostly I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I have when I leave after a tough WOD. I like that.
Any tears shed after the move from Parker Street?
I miss walking behind the building to check out the North Channel and I miss (really miss) running the pier. But, I think Jon and Karen have done an amazing job on the new place and I am very thankful for all that they do for us. I really like the new digs.
Best tip for the newbies?
Show up, listen to your coaches, keep track, and compete against yourself. Take pride in incremental improvement and work hard. And smile! It’s only an hour and you’re among friends.