The CrossFit 203 December Member Spotlight is Tony!!!! Tony is our kind of guy. As he states below, “I was exhausted, frustrated and very determined to come back and improve” after his first workout with us last year. We LOVE this attitude. Too many people experience the challenge that CrossFit offers and run for the hills. They don’t want a challenge…..they want easy. Tony is a CrossFitter. He’s tough and loves to work hard. He came back to face the challenge to improve his health and performance. And boy has he done exactly that! Tony is tall. Real tall. At first, we couldn’t get him into good deadlift starting position. He was very tight and couldn’t get down that far, so we had to put his barbell on top of bumper plates so he wouldn’t have to bend down so low. Fast forward to today and not only can he get into great/safe starting position, his deadlift is over 300 pounds. Hard work pays off. Tony is always fun to have in class, and it’s always great to see him chew up meters on the rower (he LOVES the rower if you haven’t noticed!). Tony and his wife Kendra joined 203 together and we want to thank them for becoming such dedicated, amazing members. Keep killing it, Tony!!!!
Name: Tony Jaros
Where are you originally from? Wheaton, IL; an hour due west of the great city of Chicago.
What high school and/or college did you attend? Northwestern University for undergrad, NYU for my MBA.
Favorite sports teams: Although I have lived on the East Coast for more than 20 years, I (painfully) maintain my Chicago sports allegiances. I blame my father for this. Bears, White Sox (Cubs suck), Bulls, Northwestern football and basketball.
What do you do for work? I am the chief research officer for an advisory firm called SiriusDecisions. We provide research, models, frameworks, data and guidance for b-to-b organizations to better align their sales, marketing and product functions. I know, I know…you just fell asleep reading that sentence, but it’s actually a lot of fun to work with companies of all shapes and sizes. Plus, I’m the first employee of a company that has grown to more than 200, so it’s been a fun ride to help build this place from scratch over the past 13 years.
When and why did you start CrossFit: August 2013. I had been working out in the dank, windowless basement gym at my office and a gym in Bethel for about 2.5 years and was so tired of the elliptical and the weight machines. I had a couple friends that were CrossFitters, and thought that it looked like a challenge. I had no idea what a challenge I was in for, especially because I had never lifted weights in my life.
Favorite and Least Favorite Lift?: Power cleans are my favorite. And while I hate to be cliché, overhead squats have to be my least favorite.
What was your first workout, and what did you think after finishing? I had check my old book; it was a combination of sumo deadlift high-pulls, push presses, kettlebell swings and burpees. My form was so bad all I could do was lift the 35-pound bar. I was exhausted, frustrated and very determined to come back and improve.
Greatest CrossFit Achievement so far: Competing in October with Kendra, Brendan and Amber at the Battle for the Bell. It felt so great to know how far I’ve come from those early WODs. Oh, and finishing before Kim in a partner WOD so I could yell at her like she yells at me.
CrossFit Goal for 2015: Keep learning and getting better. And double-unders. I’m so close on those. And row a sub-1:30 500 meters…and better toes-to-bar. And get through Filthy 50. It’s gonna be a busy year!
One interesting thing about yourself not related to CrossFit: I have quite a bit of teaching experience at the university level. I’ve taught undergraduate marketing (multiple courses) and journalism at Central Connecticut State University, and in the MBA program at the University of Hartford. Schedules don’t permit me to do it right now, but it’s something I’d love to do again down the road.
Complete the sentence, “CrossFit should….” Be a part of the lives of more 40-somethings. With a murderous work and life schedule, going to 203 is the main way I manage my stress, and I’m stronger than I’ve ever been – even when I was a high school athlete back in the Stone Age. This is the only 4-5 hours during the week that I think about nothing else but surviving the WOD!
If I’m not at the box, you can probably find me….: Running around somewhere, goofing off with the kids and Kendra, or watching some sort of sporting event. Or maybe playing poker.
Other comments?: The great thing about CrossFit is that it is truly a rewarding and humbling experience at the same time. It takes a lot of patience to get better – which is not a trait I’m famous for. Thanks to Kirk, who probably thought there was no chance I’d be here today after how clueless I was in foundations classes. Thanks to Melissa, for kicking my ass from the moment I walked in the door and always challenging me to make one more adjustment. Thanks to the rest of the coaches for all of their patience. And thanks to Carlos, who makes me jump on the 30-inch box with him even though I’m twice his age.