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Athlete of the Month: Jim Anderson

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Our Male Athlete of the Month for March is Jim Anderson! Jim has quite the Committed Club streak going, making it every month since September 2018. He joined BeachFit a year before that and started off with somewhat of a sporadic attendance as most do. A year ago he made the transition to CrossFit classes and has become a staple in our 7am class. Also, like most, Jim didn’t think he had what it takes to be on the CrossFit side and when asked by Coach Melissa to transition, he voiced his hesitations but went for it anyway. Seeing Jim now in CrossFit, it’s hard to believe he hasn’t been doing it for many many years. And…it’s hard to believe he’s 57 years old. Jim is now approaching 600 workouts at CFPB and will be there soon with his 5-6 WODs/week routine. Jim’s two daughters and wife have also worked out alongside him at CFPB. We love seeing families getting fit together in our fit family. We are grateful to have you in the CFPB family Jim!

Describe your work and family life for us? A brief background of where you’ve been and what in your journey of life has made you you?
Patty and I are lucky enough to be married for 32 years and have three awesome kids. Graham our oldest turns 30 later this month. He works at NextEra. Kiera is 26 and is a Physical Therapist Assistant and now lives in Colorado Springs. She was a regular at 7:00am and is the one who convinced me to make the jump to CrossFit. Laine is 24, crews on a large private yacht and travels all over the world. Before she started that she was a regular BeachFitter and is the one who talked me into trying it one day about 2 1/2 years ago. I’m trying to convince Graham to come join CFPB, that would complete our family circle in the CFPB Family! Patty was a committed Beachfitter, but has a lingering back injury (from an unrelated sports activity) that curtailed her days at CFPB, she misses it though.

We moved to Jupiter 16 years ago from Chicago. Patty and I grew up there, and decided we wanted our kids to experience living in a different part of the country. 7 years ago we moved from Jupiter to Tequesta to get a little closer to the water, and shortly after arriving here Patty and I opened our business Waterview Kitchens. We are grateful for the chance to work together every day and are also really grateful for the amazing group of people who have come to work with us.

What do you do for fun? Any hobbies?
We have a lot of fun with SUP whenever we can get out. We also enjoy finding great places to hike and bike ride. We joined a boat club a few years ago and really enjoy that as well. Although I’m a really terrible player, I love guitars and music. Patty and our family is my favorite thing above all else. I’m a pretty lucky guy.

Were you athletic growing up? Did you play sports?

I was also lucky to grow up in a very active and athletic family in a town north of Chicago called Northbrook. My family always hiking, camping, canoeing. The town was amazing for its support of all types of sports. I played a ton of soccer. It had a really strong cycling and bike racing community that was like a big family. I grew up about two blocks from an Olympic-caliber bike track, I think I was in late grade school before it dawned on me that not everyone had one available to them or had ever actually seen one. Many of my earliest sports heroes were bike racers. Naturally, my family started riding and racing. During the winter months many of the cycling families we knew would turn to sports like speed skating and cross country ski racing, a sport that would eventually take me to some amazing places. Just before I started high school I decided to really commit myself to training year-round for those winter months of racing. Back then I was self-training several hours a day, there was no internet (OK dating myself) so training involved a lot of trial and error and comparing notes with other racers. The only training dietary supplement we had was brewer’s yeast, terrible stuff, but back then it was “the shit”. My family was on the road every weekend in the winter racing and having fun. In one event during my Junior year of high school I had the chance to race against a some guys from the US Ski Team, and I beat a few of them. From there I decided to really see where I could go. I had the chance to ski at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and enjoyed training 4-6 hours a day in a formal program under a great coach, more travel and racing weekends. It was a really great experience. It taught me how to focus and pursue long term goals.

After college I stayed active with soccer, cycling, windsurfing. Patty and I got married, and as our kids came along we decided to bring them into our world of all the outdoor activities we loved. We wore out a lot of running strollers and bikes and skis and had a blast no matter the weather.

In my late thirties I decided to try a marathon, and really liked it. The training was great. I worked up to running several races year and had the great fortune of qualifying to run the Boston Marathon three times. The experience taught me about persevering through long training programs and occasional injuries during the build up to a race and being really focused and honest about doing the work in order to fully enjoy the reward of race day.

The last stop before I came to BeachFit was yoga. After one particular marathon I decided to take a one week break from running to recover, and just never went back. I stayed fit doing all the things I loved. Patty had started yoga quite awhile before, and had a really powerful, inspiring practice. She convinced me to try it, and I got hooked immediately. We practiced nearly every day, and my own practice developed to the point where yoga became my sole source of fitness for about 4 years. From yoga I learned how to handle that voice in your head that tells you its OK to quit when a position or movement gets tough and uncomfortable. You learn how to look past the mental drama that can unfold in your head, separate it from what you’re doing physically so it doesn’t become a barrier. That’s become a great survival tool in CrossFit.

How did you find/start BeachFit? What was memorable about starting out?

Laine talked me into trying BeachFit one day. It was so fun, I loved the physicality of it and the sense of community and family that rises during a wod. Yoga gave me the core strength and flexibility to adapt to the workout style pretty quickly, so it was a great segue. I became interested in what was going on in the CrossFit side, but didn’t really think I had the right stuff to make the transition and stay healthy. Kiera crossed over a few months before me, and it was so cool to hear her talking about barbell lifts and rope climbing. What ultimately pushed me to do it was Mel asking me one day, “so when are you going to move over?”, and without thinking I blurted out “next week!”. That was it, caught me off-guard, no backing down. Thanks Mel! So glad I did it.

My biggest challenge in transition was making sure I stayed within my limits on certain things. Before CF I had never touched a barbell, so that was a little daunting. In my very first wod we had cleans, and I remember standing over this configuration of a bar and plates and feeling the weight as it came off the floor. I’m so thankful for all of the coaches on barbell days, always spot-on with help and advice and saving me. Even though the lifts remain my biggest challenge and used to make me nervous, I now look forward to seeing them in a wod, gives me more chance to work on them, even the dreaded overhead squat!

What changes have you experienced in CrossFit?

I have experienced a lot of changes in my first year. I’ve developed strength that I didn’t have before, and that’s helping me progress at an ever-increasing rate. I’ve increased muscle mass and peeled away some of the unsightly things that can gather on you over the years. I’m excited about my progress and can’t wait to see where I am a year from now. My goals are to work on understanding the Olympic lifts more thoroughly so I can work more efficiently on them and start challenging myself with more weight. On the more basic end of things…capacity for push ups and pull ups still can limit my workouts. Really want to learn butterflies and those illusive dubs.

Two things I would recommend to anyone starting: take advantage of the food coaching with Danielle, you will learn how to get the most out of everyday by understanding what your body needs: definitely participate in Sugarwod, recording your stuff really does help, and makes you feel a real part of the community, I stopped doing it for a while and it was my mistake.

Do you do anything for personal growth you’d like to share? Routines, habits, or mottos that help guide you each day?
I really like “Just Show Up”. It’s a whole attitude and outlook that can be extended to so many areas of life outside of a workout – family, work, difficult situations. Just go and be in that moment, you’ll do amazing things, but you have to be there to do them. The world is run by people that show up.

What advice do you have for the person on the couch who might want to start?
Good life-long habits start with one first day of doing something. Don’t let fear of that first day hold you back. Everyone you see when you come on your first day had a first day too, and they all want you to succeed with them.

What do you enjoy most about CF?
I love coming up the back stairs into a place that is so supportive and void of egos, full of people who are there because they want to be there and nowhere else for the next hour plus. I think another really fun aspect is never really knowing exactly how the hour ahead will transpire. On the day of a workout you think you’re going to crush and the wheels come off at some point, and you’re asking yourself what the f just happened here? And the days when you come in feeling low and have the workout of your life. That element of surprise.

Thanks to all of you for making CFPB such an amazing place, you all are the best!! -Jim