Name: Chris Duck

Age: 29

Occupation: Brand Rep at Abercrombie & Fitch

When did you start CrossFit: September 2016

Tell us about your sports and fitness background: Throughout my childhood and teenage year I was always that guy that was never good at sports, nor cared about them. In elementary school I never could climb that damn rope in P.E., and I was not involved with school sports like my fellow classmates in junior high and high school. The biggest “sports” accomplishments I’ve achieved came while in college. During those years I received my Second Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do [2012] and my Naui Scuba Diving Certification [2013]. Regarding fitness, I was beyond subpar. I was that typical person who would join a gym like LA Fitness, go for an hour, update my social media status that I was there and look on with disgust and jealousy at the men with huge muscles. My pitiful regiment at LAFitness would consist of two reps of bicep curls and a few sit ups for good measure before leaving the gym to reward myself with a supersized number three and a large coke at McDonalds. I knew that I wasn’t truly working out, but unfortunately, I had no foundation to build on since I didn’t know of the existence CrossFit.

How did you get into CrossFit? How did it go?  Back in 2016, when I first started working in Downtown Dallas I would walk pass this CrossFit box every day on the way to and from my car. I’d glance over from the corner of my eye at the incredibly fit people, always telling myself that there was “No way I’d ever look like them and do those heavy weights”, and so I’d keep on going about my business. At this time, I was in my third year of being a member of Camp Gladiator [CG], an outdoor fitness group. It was fun at first, however, the worth of the program started to become nonexistent when I opened my eyes to realize that the problem was just that; it was always fun, not challenging. Furthermore, the clientele was made up of people who truly did not want to push themselves, and the trainers were more concerned about “Check-Ins” and games. The realization came that if I wanted to truly change the way I looked and felt that I’d have to push myself with pain, sweat, and blood (later on when I hit myself in the chin doing a push press with 95lbs). So, I ditched CG and joined my first CrossFit community at CrossFit Pac Elm. The amount of attention the trainers at that box put into helping me gain the basic understanding of CrossFit and all the movements was truly the foundation I needed to ensure I got the most out of CrossFit. I felt welcomed immediately upon joining and the sense of community and shared interest in getting those coveted PR’s is what kept me wanting more.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit? Before CrossFit, I ate fast food and drank sodas to the point where I was sure I’d end up getting diabetes. Sometime in 2014, I made the decision to swear off sodas and fast food (going on 4 years strong). Additionally, I no longer eat dairy, grain, sugar, or drink alcohol. Once I joined CrossFit I took the plunge further and dove into the Paleo craze and now intermittent fasting. I’ve seen a truly amazing difference in my body. I was never a “fat” guy, but I no longer have love handles, a bigger stomach and flabby arms. I have gone from 155lbs down to 137lbs, but with more muscle added on. My arms are more defined as are my chest, shoulders, back, and for the first time in my life I have abs that actually show!! At the beginning of my CrossFit journey I couldn’t do a single double under to save my life and my pull ups (which are still a work-in-progress) were laughable at best. But with determination and a little tip from a friend named Ben, I can do double unders fluidly! Every other CrossFit movement is a billion times better now than on Day One.

What impact has CrossFit had on your life? From taking way too many shirtless pictures (according to my mother) and judging harshly on anyone’s decision to indulge in anything that isn’t 100% CrossFit worthy, I have become reborn into a completely different person than I was 3 years ago. I started becoming the equivalent of a Jehovah’s Witness but with regard to CrossFit. There’s always a guarantee that no matter where I am that I’ll somehow incorporate talk about CrossFit regarding a memorable WOD along with an encyclopedia of CrossFit jargon that clearly none of them understand. I have never been more driven to share my experience and hope to persuade others to make the life-changing decision to join a CrossFit box. Also, CrossFit has opened doors to me socially that are otherwise hard to come by. After college it’s difficult to find a group of people you have shared interests with, but with CrossFit I’m able to enjoy the company of truly awesome people while bettering myself physically.

What is your advice for people getting started or thinking about starting CrossFit? Mark Twain said it best by stating “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” So, jump in and give it a chance. If you’re still unsure you can do CrossFit, I highly recommend checking out CrossFit’s Instagram. On their account they show a variety of CrossFit members all around the world (some that are 70+ years old doing overhead squats and box step ups! I swear those European grandmas are incredible!). Also, for those starting off, be prepared for failure, but don’t fear it. There were countless times I failed at snatches by dropping the weight behind me, or jumping up to a pull-up bar only to miss it and fall on my ass. But having a sense of humor and the realization that everyone starts at the beginning is key to not getting frustrated. When the going gets tough I always remember a quote that Winston Churchill said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”.

What are your hobbies, interests, and other talents outside of CrossFit? It’s a running joke in my family that I’ll never have a girlfriend because my life revolves around CrossFit. I also have a bad habit of not only shouting profanity to the far ends of the earth if I can’t make a CrossFit class, but I also proclaim in job interviews that I “Need to be out by 5:00pm because I have CrossFit”. But besides CrossFit I’m a huge lover of traveling internationally. I’ve been to Asia, Europe, Mexico, and the Middle East. I enjoy photography, discussing politics, continuing my learning of Mandarin Chinese, scuba diving, going to concerts (best was Elton John), running, and holding on to my youthfulness through nightly self-care.

What’s the wallpaper of your phone? The wallpaper is a picture of myself and some friends from Australia standing in front of Abu Simbel in Egypt.


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