Each month we will feature an athlete that embraces the difficult feat of changing their lives for the better. We all come with our own set of challenges — whether it is work, family, or just a seemingly endless ‘to do’ list. Getting fit, making yourself a priority and finding that balance is hard work. And it is important to celebrate our victories and find inspiration in those who take on these challenges head first. As someone who embodies all of these characteristics, we are proud to present Charles Walker as our May Athlete of the Month!
Both parents are immigrants, so I’m a 1st generation American, born and raised in sunny Southern California. As a 1st generation American, I always had the urge to give back the nation that offered my parents and family a fresh start, so that’s how I ended up in the Army (I know super patriotic lol). As some in the gym already know my main hobby involves cars. As far as fitness history, it all probably started when I started taking Tae Kwon Do classes (I know typical Asian thing lol). When I hit high school, I started trying to bulk up and get that “bod” all the girls liked, but I was stuck with a skinny frame. What some don’t know is that Alyissa and I are high school sweethearts and for some reason she liked my skinny frame…probably TMI. Fast-forward a few years and that’s when I really got into weight lifting for a few years. Sure I got bigger, gained some mass, but I lost a lot of stamina in the process. Then I got lazy and fat.
Fast forward a few more years and here we are in the present. Luckily my good friend Chris Block kept pestering me about this CrossFit thing. To be perfectly honest, I had wanted to try CrossFit for a while, but was put off by the stereotypical CrossFit jock. I finally caved, and I’m glad that I did. From the moment I walked through those at the time eerie looking doors lol…I felt welcomed. The environment was great, and high fives never felt better after a hard workout. I still remember my first workout at the Cove…front squats, I couldn’t walk in a straight line for a week.
What has changed since starting CrossFit?
Although only having done CrossFit for a couple months now, my physical fitness has improved dramatically. I’m seeing increases in strength, stamina, speed, and I can kinda see my six-pack again if I flex hard enough lol!
How has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?
Along with improving physically with CrossFit comes the mental improvements. Mental toughness, feeling more confident, being more comfortable in my own skin, and finally learning to listen to my body and know when it’s time to take it slow.
What do you enjoy about The Cove?
First of all the coaches. I can’t express enough how grateful I am that there are coaches as great as the ones we have at the Cove. Everything from making us feel like we belong, being on my ass constantly about form, making me feel like a badass and pushing me through a workout, and then crushing my scores and serving me a slice of humble pie (whole30 approved pie).
Secondly the community at the Cove. I couldn’t ask for a better group to workout with. The Army has a saying, embrace the suck. Knowing that everybody is pushing as hard as they can through a WOD is awesome. The encouragement, high fives, scores to beat, everything.
Third, it has become my home away from home. It’s a place where I can go after a hard day’s work and just let loose.
Favorite movement? And why?
My favorite movement is probably the snatch. There is something just beautiful about the movement. Although my workout face probably makes it look more like a nightmare lol.
Least favorite movement? And why?
Least favorite…double unders…it’s my kryptonite. The one thing I probably work hardest on, and it keeps punishing me with rope lashes…
Any advice for people who are just getting started at The Cove?
As far as advice goes for any newcomers…bring your big boy (or girl) pants…and drink water! Also wear shin pads if you are practicing double unders lol.