Our April Member Spotlight is TP, aka Tall Paul! (Hey Mista…why you so tall!?!?). Paul joined CrossFit last year and immediately embraced the challenges it presented. As he mentions below, his first workout was a chipper with numerous tough movements. Instead of being scared or intimidated, Paul took the challenge with a goal to eventually master those movements. We love his ‘can do’ attitude. This guy will literally try anything we ask of him…usually with a huge grin on his face. He has worked his a$$ off to master his squat and we have seen huge improvements in all his lifts! TP is game for anything, ranging from nutrition challenges, to fantasy football, to in-house competitions, and the Open. You’ll find TP sporting his high socks and rocking his bromance with CLOS at the 5pm class (or perhaps a morning class if a snow flake falls and his school decides to close). Paul, we LOVE the positive attitude and sense of humor you bring to our crazy 203 family, We can’t wait to see you keep checking goals off your list.
Name: Paul Harrison
Where are you originally from? I grew up in Brewster New York.
What high school and/or college did you attend? I went to North Salem High School, received my bachelors in audio engineering at the University of Hartford and my masters in teaching secondary education at Western Connecticut State University.
Favorite sports teams: New York Giants, New York Yankees, New York Knicks :(, New York Rangers, and West Virginia Mountaineers for college sports. You may ask why? I had about six friends go to the University of West Virginia and when I would go and visit we would always attend a sporting event and it was wild.
What do you do for work? I am a High School Math Teacher at Wilby High School in Waterbury CT. I also tend the bar at a fine dining establishment in Armonk NY called the Moderne Barn.
When and why did you start CrossFit: I started Crossfit December 10, 2013. At the time I was big into going to the gym and lifting weights and running a lot. I would go to the gym for two and half hours but never really see any progress. I felt like I knew what I was doing, but never seeing any real improvement, which led me to many questions. I needed to find someone to help direct me and show me the correct way. A lot of changes were going on in my life and I felt like I wanted to do some thing different and more exciting. One day I decided to Google different types of workouts and came across Crossfit 203. The address was right down the street from where I live so I said the hell with it…..I am going to call. I talked to Kirk and he was extremely friendly so I went in for my trial period and was sold ever since.
Favorite and Least Favorite Lift?: My favorite lift would be power cleans even though I still have a ton of work to do with them. My least favorite lift would be the overhead squat. But the good news is, I have been PR’ing every time we have overhead squatted lately, which is awesome!
What was your first workout, and what did you think after finishing? My first workout was “26.” When I first saw this workout I was like, “I have to do all of these movements 26 times!?!?” I was very nervous because I had never done these movements before in my life, like double-unders and thrusters. I even wrote down I used the bar for OHS, the bar for thrusters, power cleans at 65#, and singles for the jump rope, unbelievable. I knew from that work out I wanted to be able to do these movements and do them well. I’ve been trying hard ever since.
Greateast CrossFit Achievement so far: This is tough to respond to just because everything I have done so far is such an improvement since I started. I would say getting my double-unders, stringing T2B, getting into a handstand (which, by the way, was hilarious to watch), and becoming more comfortable with my OHS.
CrossFit Goal for 2015: I have MANY goals but a few of them would be to string together my kipping HSPU, get better at my C2B, muscle ups, and working more on my flexibility.
One interesting thing about yourself not related to CrossFit. I enjoy teaching my students mathematical concepts. I am very intrigued by old mathematicians and enjoy solving and proving mathematical problems. I also played the trombone for 8 years and was in a ska band. (Editors note; I had to ask TP what that was…it’s apparently sort of like a punk band, but with wind instruments). That was an interesting phase.
Complete the sentence, “CrossFit should….”…be the part of everyone’s life. It doesn’t have to be focused on the high intensity workouts but the beliefs that come with CrossFit. Crossfit has taught me so much about having a healthy lifestyle, eating clean, and exercising. Setting goals for yourself and achieving them. Being a part of a community. If more people were able to encompass these beliefs, I guarantee more people would feel great about themselves and feel that they would be able to accomplish anything.
If I’m not at the box, you can probably find me….:…with my beautiful girlfriend going on exciting and adventurous activities, food shopping, exploring different restaurants, hanging with friends when I am not working which really seems like never.
Other comments?: Just want to say thank you to everyone at CrossFit 203 for being such a great community. Having everyone’s friendship and support is one thing that words cannot explain. I am extremely lucky to have found all of you crazy people. I want to also say thank you to all the coaches as well, for always taking time out to help me and listen to my nonsense. I enjoy every day sweating and killing these WODs with all of you!
Vanessa and Kristen teaming up for some weighted plank holds
Will and Natalie handling some weight
It’s not surprising that Kim took her barbell right outside on that beautiful Monday afternoon we had
Migs landing a squat snatch at the end of Tuesday’s tough WOD
Monica rising with a squat snatch
Mike T. locking out a thruster
Steve C. at the bottom of a front squat