Justin Dubose, CrossFit PAX Athlete of the Week and mobility master (just a hint of sarcasm), just moved to California so he will miss out on some hearty CrossFit handshakes for his accomplishments and for sharing a little bit about himself with us. Sorry I didn’t get you up here sooner Justin, but better late than never?! We expect to see you back to visit so know you’re congrats will be waiting!
With the Open coming up I believe the main thing I wanted to highlight about Justin will be very appropriate. Justin is coachable. This word is a bit strange and not used often outside of athletics, so here is the definition I will use: Someone who is committed to their own development, who is hungry for feedback from others and open to anything that may improve themselves.
For the most part, if you join CrossFit PAX, or any CrossFit affiliate, you probably want to be coached, right?! However, sometimes our drive to achieve causes us to temporarily forget the process. No one is above this and in many ways this same drive is what makes the best athletes so good. The best athletes are able to strike an effective balance. They know when it’s time to get mechanics and consistency down, and they know when its appropriate to really turn it on. They also know that good instruction will ultimately make them better, and are open to listen.
Justin has always struck this balance very well and I believe this is going to contribute to his success on his CrossFit journey. It isn’t easy on the ego to have someone take weight off the bar, but Justin sought out tough instruction, asked good questions, and if he didn’t understand how to apply a cue he would ask. Sounds simple enough, but it really does show his commitment to personal improvement and not just a commitment to a better time or weight on the white board. So thank you, Justin, for helping to foster that environment and for your humility!
As the Open is upon us and it is time for many of our athletes to really turn up the intensity, let’s remember this point… drive home those mechanics NOW so the intensity can be applied with perfect efficiency! Let’s help each other remember that our ultimate goal is improved fitness, health and longevity, and competition should be a stepping stone in that path rather than a hurdle.
Now let’s hear from about our now Southern California livin’ brother, Justin:
“I started CrossFit because I wanted to make some big improvements in my overall fitness. The old model of chest day, back day, legs day, etc. got really old and repetitive; I found it easy to justify skipping days for other priorities. I had done some CrossFit workouts here and there on deployments, and I loved the motivation of doing time and endurance based workouts with other people.
Initially I was a little intimidated, as I could barely do 10 pull-ups (I could never see myself doing a muscle-up), and a lot of the exercises like handstand push-ups and heavy olympic lifts seemed way above my fitness level. The awesome thing I soon realized was that everything was much more attainable than I thought. I finally figured out how to kip, and a few months later I finally got my first muscle-up, which felt awesome. I can front squat more than I used to back squat, I’m dead lifting twice my body weight (I used to be nervous about 50% of that weight), I can finally bench more than my body weight (235 from 185), and I can string together 50 unbroken double-unders (from 2 a year ago). It was also really nice to see my Navy PRT numbers shattered when I had plateaued for the last 5 years (especially shaving 30 seconds off my 500 yard swim). Most of my accomplishments were far past the goals I had set for myself, and I’m really happy about that. There are a lot of incredible athletes at CrossFit PAX—many of them much stronger/fitter than me—but I just turned 34, and I’m in the best shape of my life.
My goals…I’d really like to see some big improvements on my olympic lifts, like snatching my body weight. I’d like to add on another 50 pounds to my bench, figure out bar muscle-ups, knock my 1.5 mile run time below 9:45, do 20 unbroken dead hang pull-ups, and do butterflies without looking like an idiot.
The #1 reason for my success is the CrossFit PAX community. There is no greater motivator during a hard metcon than knowing you’re being paced by the guy next to you and not wanting to get passed. I’ve never experienced a more encouraging (and non-judgmental) atmosphere between athletes, which is surprising considering how strong that Kool-Aid can be.
My advice to anyone starting out: don’t be intimidated. Go in head-first with a good open-minded attitude, because anyone can see huge benefits from the programming. The good thing about starting out with less experience is that you’ll probably see bigger, faster improvements than a lot of the elite athletes—the hard part is pushing through barriers when you’ve been doing this kind of thing for a while.
One thing I’ve realized over this past year—in my opinion, CrossFit isn’t about lifting more, going faster, joining a [really fit] “fraternity” of sorts, or looking great in your swimsuit (although these are all great benefits). It’s about finding out just what your body and mind are capable of…and then doing more; pushing yourself to and through your limit when you think you don’t have anything left.
Joining CrossFit PAX was by far the best part of my tour here in SoMD. Every one of the coaches is awesome, and if I start naming names I’ll inevitably leave some people out.”
Fair winds and following seas, brother. Let us know when you get that bodyweight snatch. God willing, we will all be here if you come back to visit so drop us a line. Stay humble, stay strong, and keep setting the example!