You might know him as the “guy whose wife bakes the most amazing desserts”, but to us he’s one of the most determined and likeable guys out there. Keith O. is one of our early morning warriors, and has been crushing it ever since he walked through our doors.
A lifelong athlete, he ran high school cross-country and track and weighed 135 soaking wet. But when he got to college he found rugby and the coach told him that wouldn’t fly – he was told he’d be benched until he put on some weight. That he did, and he played all the way through college and for the next 20 years on club teams. Rugby created all sorts of challenges for him injury-wise, and some of them still plague him today.
“Before I got to the Cove I was in a rut. I was probably 25 pounds over what my weight should have been. I was doing the ‘Golds gym workouts’. You know… doing things body part by body part. Then my wife got me a personal trainer and I started working out again for real. The trainer would have me doing ‘mini Metcons’ after our workouts so I got a sense of what CrossFit was about” (his trainer smartly followed CrossFit Football programming)
As a former runner (and avid cyclist), he enjoyed the individual time for himself, but rugby left him with an affinity for teammates and camaraderie that he really missed.
“CrossFit is very similar to my rugby experience. I made lifelong friends with rugby and I love the community and friends I am making here. I’ve got my rabbits I like to chase… the young guys – like Ethan. We came in one Saturday and did a Comp Train workout. I was the even the one who suggested it but also was the stupid one to do so (he said laughing). There are all these jokes about CrossFit and the ‘cult’ of it, but I’ve totally drunk the kool aid. And from the moment I walked in, it just felt personal.”
He’s up before dawn most days. “I’ll be up early working on European time. I’ll wake up at 3:30 to negotiate a deal overseas, but at 6:30 it’s CrossFit time. The 6:30 used to be a small class – the 5:30 was the big class. But now it’s really lively. I love that we have athletes of all ages and all fitness different levels. It gets me up in the morning. This is my sanctuary.”
What’s different since CrossFit? “The mobility is huge. I couldn’t hold a weight over my head without pain when I started. And sometimes it comes back, but I know when not to push it.” But despite his athletic past he says “I think I’m now in the best shape of my life. I’ve lost 25 pounds since I started. It’s hard to compare to when I was playing competitive sports, but back then I was in ‘sports specific’ shape, not ‘functional shape’. I could sprint, but my overall fitness isn’t what it is now.”
And with Memorial Day fast approaching and since we love to honor fallen heroes with special workouts, he shared something truly special with us. “A number of people at The Cove have asked we what the bracelet is that I wear every day. It is a memorial bracelet and I have worn it continuously for many years now. I went to a military high school so a number of my classmates joined the Services. One of those people was my classmate and friend Cliff Patterson. I could tell you stories of Cliff. Great person. Captain of the football team and all of that… but he was just so much more.
The bracelet says:
Maj Clifford L Patterson VA USA
Pentagon 11 Sep 01 VOT
Cliff was killed when the plane hit the Pentagon on 9-11.
I can tell you the bracelet makes me sad, proud and at peace. I know the last part is strange, but during those times of anger, frustration or just stress I look down or adjust the bracelet and it makes me realize what is really important.”
So while Keith is getting stronger, leaner and fitter and honoring his fallen friend, we will look on in awe as we eat his wife’s cake.
Fitness: 7 Strict Pull ups
Performance: 7 Chest to Bar (can be kipping)
Open: 5 Muscle Ups
x 6 Sets
10 min time cap
(all reps should be unbroken if possible)
20 Seconds on Assault Bike
7 Hanging Power Cleans
7 Bar Facing Burpees
Rest 1 minute
15 min Time Cap
Coach’s Tip: For the skill WOD the numbers can be changed! As an example, if you are following the Open track and does not have MUs this is the time to work on some progressions. If you have MU’s but can’t do 30 in under 10 minutes, definitely scale back the number. Use the same thought processes for the chest to bar and strict pull ups. The workout should be fast. Fo for a hard 20 seconds on the bike… and the hanging power cleans should be unbroken so pick a weight you can move!
Meet new(ish) member Bill M…another am warrior!