Congratulations to Ryan Shirley, who has unanimously earned “Athlete of the Week”! Ryan has been consistent in attending class and dedicated to steady progress since his first day in January 2014. Ryan is an excellent example of someone who has put his ego aside to work on moving well before loading and moving on to more complex movements. Because of his willingness to learn and take the time needed, he has come a very long way in a year and a half! Rather than give up because he had to stick to the basics for a while, he worked steadily on his mobility and flexibility and stayed humble and consistent. His progress has been impressive and he continues to strive for virtuosity (doing the common uncommonly well!). We are really impressed by Ryan and how far he has come and look forward to seeing that first muscle up along with all of the other benchmark achievements along the way! Ryan likes to use his improved fitness to enjoy the outdoors and try new things! He is pictured above with his fiance, hiking the Tom Tom Trail in Hawaii!
What or who brought you to CrossFit PAX?
Gibb Dungey!!! When i got to PAX River after my 3 year tour on the submarine, i was in the worst physical shape of my life. I had played Water Polo in College and was trying to find something that would provide a team atmosphere to push me and help me set some goals again. Gibb convinced me to try a fundamentals class and I was sold right away.
What was it like getting started?
Extremely Challenging and Frustrating at times. Flexibility and Mobility were my biggest challenges when i started and it took me quite a while to get mobile enough to do any of the olympic lifting. I was very frustrated in the beginning that I had let myself get that out of shape.
How long have you been a member and what has changed in your life during that time due to your experience with CrossFit PAX?
Since January 2014. My overall health is in a much better state than when i started. I also have found my competitive side again. I look forward to the workouts everyday and I prioritize my day around getting them in each day. I haven’t felt like that since I was playing Water polo in college.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
Finishing my first Murph. I had only been at the gym for about 3 months and was still struggling to keep up. I set the goal that i would finish in under an hour, I did it in 59 minutes.
What are some of your favorite workouts or experiences with CrossFit PAX and your family there?
I enjoy the team workouts, everyone working together to push each other to be better. I find i always push myself much harder in those workouts to make sure i am not slowing everyone else down.
What are your short term and long term goals?
Continue to improve on olympic lifting, get stronger at pull-ups and work toward muscle- ups.
How has your diet changed since starting CrossFit (if it has), and what foods do you rely on most?
Diet has probably been one of the biggest challenges for me. As a kid and all the way through college i was in the pool at least 4 hours a day training. I ate anything and everything i could just keep weight on. Giving up Soda and sweets has been the biggest challenge. For the most part i try to stick with lean meats, fruits and veggies, and limit the amount of sugar, wheat and flour i eat.
What advice do you have for our newer members or those thinking about jumping in?
Stay positive and continue to push yourself a little further each day. Don’t compare your progress to anyone else. I got a little complacent early on and started picking weight in the workouts that i knew i could hit every time because i didn’t want to finish last. I didn’t see as good of results in the beginning because of it.
Congrats again, Ryan, and keep up the hard work! There will always be things to work on and ways to improve and we look forward to taking this journey with you!