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July's Athlete of the Month is the well-deserved Mike Fries. He's the optimist, encourager, intellect, and most goal-oriented athlete in our gym. Mike gives 200% every time he picks up a barbell, focusing equally on his form and strength. He's quietly competitive, so watch out for this guy--he's working hard to pass you up on the leaderboard every.single.day. 

WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO CROSSFIT AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?

I first got into Crossfit because I challenged my friend to a deadlift competition. I needed a place to train and CFHE was just down the street. Every time I show up now I want to be better than I was before. I get excited to come to class. I never know what the workout is going to be I just know I’m going to give it max effort. My goal is to be in the top 5 of every RX workout. (and to beat Animal)

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?

Outside of the gym I love to smoke cigars and be outdoors. I am also a big Netflix/binge watcher. I am totally cool with setting aside 4+ hours for binging. I like cooking and entertaining. We just got a new ceramic Kamado grill which is amazing, and last June we bought a new house.

WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED DUE TO CROSSFIT THAT’S MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?

My wife would say “getting bulked” lol seriously though, I want to be as mentally tough and as physically capable as I can. I use Crossfit to be more confident in my day to day. It’s like a secret super power. My recent goal has been to be in the top 5 of every RX workout. After about 2 years of 3-5 days a week I feel like I’m finally able to “compete” with others. 

IF THERE WAS ONE CROSSFIT MOVEMENT YOU’D LIKE TO PERFECT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Snatch for sure. I’m okay at it but I want to be great at it. I want to be able to at least snatch my body weight (165-170)

ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN TRYING OUT CROSSFIT?

Don’t give up. It’s hard. Crossfit is meant to be punishing. You’ll be amazed at what’s on the other side.

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