Tom is our April athlete of the month! He is super dedicated and trusts the process. Although Tom must modify movements to work around a shoulder problem he does not let this hold him back from coming into the gym crushing workouts. Tom really stepped his game earlier this year; through the combination of coming to class 5 times per week and participating in our nutrition program, he was able to lose over 20 pounds in 6 weeks!
We wanted to know more about Tom, so we asked him to share his story with us!
When did you start CrossFit and why? 
I first tried CrossFit a few years ago in Boston. I didn’t have a great experience there but am very glad I gave it a second chance a little over a year ago at Pennant. After moving to Southborough with my fiance I was looking for a gym and being only 5 minutes away I thought I’d give it a try. I took my Elements classes with Ali and with some patience from her I was signed off and ready to give it a go. It took me a few months to make it to class consistently but after my competitive edge kicked in for a nutrition challenge I was hooked.
What is your favorite movement?   
Rowing, no matter what the workout is if there’s rowing in it I’m going to make it in. I’m not the fastest rower but I can maintain a decent pace. Now I just need to work on my sprint to get my times down!
What is your least favorite movement? 
Running would be an obvious choice but I’d have to say Cleans but after tonight Squat Cleans too. I haven’t quite figured out how to use my legs yet and without them my progress is only slowly improving but thanks to all the coaches, Mick and Colin especially, I’m getting there. For the Squat Cleans all I have to say is Gwen, that was rough.
Tell us a little about your life outside the gym (family, job, hobbies, interests, etc) 
I live in Southborough with my awesome and supportive fiance, Kristen, and our dog Otto. I haven’t gotten her into a class yet but she’s promised to give it a try after our wedding in July. I give her a pretty good debrief of the day’s WOD so she’ll have a good headstart on where I started. I work in Boston selling aviation insurance and I enjoy anything and everything aviation related. On the weekends my uncle and I run a small hot air balloon business where we provide scenic balloon rides over the Litchfield Hills in CT. I have to say though Mick’s Endurance Squad on Sunday mornings makes the questionable flights and 3am wake up call a little harder decision!
What were you doing before CrossFit? 
Before CrossFit I mostly focused on cardio. I’d either go for a ride on my bike or ride a stationary bike at the gym. Every once in awhile I’d try to lift some weights but I didn’t know what I was doing and ended up getting bored pretty quickly. Thanks to Pennant I now have a much better idea how to lift and actually enjoy doing it. Well except for cleans, those are still a work in progress.
What were your goals when joining CrossFit and how have you achieved those goals? 
When I joined CrossFit I was hoping to get my weight under control and make a healthier lifestyle for myself. At first I wasn’t coming consistently and wasn’t working towards my goals but with the support of the coaching staff I started coming more regularly. At first it was twice a week, then that slowly became three times a week which turned into 3+ times a week. Now I do everything I can to make it to at least 5 classes a week and even drop-in to other boxes when traveling. Although I saw gains in my strength and I did lose some weight the turning point for me was when I started the nutrition challenge at the start of the year. Under Ali’s guidance I was able to drop 20+lbs and develop healthier habits. I’m not as dedicated now as I was for the challenge but I’m eating much better and maintaining my weight. Looking forward to the next nutrition challenge with Mallory.
How has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym? 
CrossFit has affected my life outside of the gym immensely. Obviously after losing 20+ lbs I am healthier but it goes further than that, CrossFit has instilled in me a desire to workout every day and eat healthy. Before working out and eating healthy were things I had to do but now they are something that I look forward to and want to do. Aside from making me a healthier person outside of the gym CrossFit has helped me become more patient and focused. After seeing increases in my weights/reps and attaining PR’s I am reminded that small changes and improvements add up overtime. I find myself focusing less on one large goal and more on many little goals that will slowly chip away at the big goal.
What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or thinking about giving it a shot? 
 For someone who has never done CrossFit just do it! Come to a bring a friend day or take an Elements class. You’ll have a great time, feel awesome, and make some great friends. For anyone who has tried CrossFit and it wasn’t a good fit give it a second chance, I’m so glad I did. No matter what your experience is if you’re lucky enough to live in the Southborough area you can’t go wrong with Pennant. We have an awesome community with great coaches and athletes.