Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. (Where did you grow up, where do you work, Family,etc.)

I grew up in Sudan with my parents and older sibling. I moved to the US about 4 and a half years go. I work at ViaSat, which was very convenient and one of the biggest factors to stick to CrossFit. I’m a network/service engineer (no I can’t fix your computer. I’m not that kind of IT). I’m the youngest in my family, so I got my way almost every time (well when my mom would let me). All of my family members live in the East Coast, and none of them wants to come and enjoy the beautiful West Coast.

What hobbies do you enjoy outside of the gym?

I used to play soccer, volley ball, tennis, hand ball, and basketball. Never stuck to any of them though. I like video games (bought a Nintendo DS just to play Pokémon), and I’m addicted to Catan (the board game) at the moment. Also, I enjoy traveling to different places and explore cities.

What did you first expect when you joined CrossFit?

Not to be as intense. But surely it would make me fit. I’ve never been fit in my life, so I wanted a program that helps me get better in shape and keeps me motivated and excited. CrossFit delivered 🙂

What are some of the things you are most proud of accomplishing in and out of the gym?

Well, in the gym, I would say my most proud moments when I get pull up. Before CrossFit, pull ups were just a dream that I would one day accomplish. Now, I can do both kipping and strict pull ups. Plus, I can deadlift, back squat, and front squat more than my body weight. As for what I’m most proud of outside of the gym, I would say my career. Without the help/support of God and my family, I would have not been where I am.

What has been the hardest part of joining CrossFit? Most rewarding?

The hardest part I would say about CrossFit is sometimes the intensity. For the first three months after every workout, I would have to convince myself it would get better (that was not an easy task). Plus, I’m a competitive person. I wanted to be the first/RX every workout right away. The most rewarding thing about CrossFit  is seeing the result. With the help of coaches, their pointers and patience (a whole lot of patience), I was able to progress and improve my movements. From focusing on technique to doing accessory movements, I was able to get steady pace in push-ups, pull-ups, high deadlift, back squats, etc.

What are some of your goals, personal and fitness, for the future?

For fitness goals, I would say getting my first HSPU, muscle-ups, ring dips, etc (the list is long). As for personal, beating Pedro, Manuel, Mariya, Jamie, Derek, and finally Mason in a WOD (I didn’t say it was a short term goal)

What is your favorite workout?

My favorite workout would probably be anything that has cleans/power cleans, wall balls, deadlift, back squats, and row (most recently pull-ups). Not a big fan of snatches and strict presses.

How has CrossFit benefited your life beyond fitness and the gym?

I look at Crossfit like a stress/anxiety reliever. When I come to the gym, I don’t think about work or life in general. I just do the BUY-IN and the WOD, follow the coaches’ pointers and finish the day with accessory work. I always love the feeling of achievement/accomplishment that I get after RXing a WOD. Plus, I get to know great people, who won’t hesitate to help/guide you in the right direction.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in the gym since you’ve joined?

There are so many of them because I’m one of the clumsiest people you may meet. But if I have to choose, it would probably be when I was using the band for pull ups. One day I was practicing strict pull when the band slipped between my legs (yup you guessed right) and hit me. I screamed like a little boy for 2 sec before realizing the band didn’t actually hit me. I clinched just in the right time to stop it before. It was 2 inches away from hitting me. Luckily a few saw what happened, the rest were doing a WOD

What made you decide you wanted/needed to start CrossFit?

I always wanted to be fit, but I didn’t know how. I played sports (didn’t work), and I lifted weights (got bored eventually) One day, I saw a video of the CrossFit Games a couple of years ago (don’t remember the exact time), and what pulled me in that video was the title that was given to the winner “FITTEST ON EARTH.” That’s when it hit me. I need to try CrossFit.

Later that year, my brother-in-law started going to couple of CrossFit classes and wouldn’t stop talking about how amazing CrossFit is

What results have you achieved since joining our gym?

Oh, so many. I became more active, and I can’t stop feeling better about myself after every workout. As of right now, this the fittest that I have been in my life.

Furthermore, I can deadlift, back squat, and front squat more than my body weight (getting there on the cleans).

What would you say to someone on the fence about joining our gym?

Probably slap them (joking; didn’t work with my brother-in-law). I would say Try a class or two. You will get a good workout and get to know great people and community.