CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our August 2017 Member of the Month, Paul McCoy! He is always in the gym, constantly pushing himself, lifting heavy and setting PR's! Read on to learn more about Paul and his CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!
Name: Paul McCoy
Nickname: Paul (legal name is Charles Paul McCoy)
Hometown: McLean, VA
How did you get exposed to CrossFit?
I had definitely seen clips of what I now know is the games on ESPN, but to be honest my first real exposure was when I walked into CFM.
What brought you to CrossFit Midtown?
At the time purely location - I was living in an apartment building that had a great gym with multiple squat racks, etc. One day they just got rid of all the weights because of the liability, and CFM was simply the closest gym. Back then I really didn't know much about what CrossFit was other than the usual "they don't know how to do real pull-ups", but I figured no harm could come from taking the free intro session.
What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like?
Pretty humbling but at the same time exciting. I've realized part of what keeps me coming back is that almost every day there is something you do really well, and something you realize you're terrible at. I feel like that combination is what got me hooked instantly, as I left feeling accomplished about what I did well and already itching to go back and attack newly discovered weaknesses. I honestly can't tell you what my first wod was, but I remember Mike telling me to flip upside down into a handstand hold and I just looked at him like he was crazy. I believe we also did some pull-ups which you guys can probably guess I enjoyed a lot, followed by some of the ugliest overhead squats you've ever seen.
What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit?
Unbelievable, and continuous improvement. I think if you asked me before I joined CFM I would have said I was in the best shape of my life. 6 months into CrossFit I probably would have said I was fitter than before joining, and now a year and a half in I feel miles ahead of where I was back then. It's pretty amazing to look back and see how far I've come, and even more exciting to look forward and know how much farther you can take your fitness. Back in the globo gym days it was very easy to focus on what I was already decent at, but CrossFit has made me become so much more well rounded.
What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected?
100% the friendships. When I first showed up at CFM I wasn't even sure I would enjoy it or end up joining, let alone make 50-100 of what I would consider very close friends. I'm just going to assume that picture of me and Tom will make it's way onto this page and I think that pretty much sums it up.[Edit: it's the first picture]
Call me crazy, but Murph. Besides the fact there is extra meaning behind all hero wods, Murph has become my go-to wod when I'm on vacation, traveling for work, or just can't decide what workout I want to do. I love the fact that you can push yourself so hard and all you need is a set of monkey bars or a pull up rig.
Least favorite WOD
There was one about a year ago (not sure if it will pop up again...) that involved multiple rounds of a 200m front rack double kettlebell carry. Walking down that hill out front knowing you had to turn around and walk back up was both physically and mentally a killer.
Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment
Last summer after a Saturday wod when Thomas, Kenny, and I all got our first ring muscle ups back to back to back. It took me a couple months to replicate the feat, but the fact that we all pulled it off together was so exciting.
Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit
Number 1 these days is cooking. I love to cook in general but have definitely gone down the rabbit hole with steaks as well as BBQ. If anyone ever wants to talk techniques I nerd out pretty hard on the science behind different methods/temperatures/prep/etc. I'm also attempting to make a return to playing tennis somewhat regularly, but will have to wait and see if that is successful.
Advice for new CrossFitters
Even though it's such a cliche and maybe sounds crazy - make things you don't like your favorite movements. Obviously something that is much easier said than done and is a bit of a never ending battle, but it will make you much stronger physically and maybe even more so, mentally. Personally my mobility was (and is) a huge weakness, so when we did intros in class recently and I said my favorite movement was the snatch I had a quick moment of "did I really just say that?". The majority of us have the goal of just being a healthy, well rounded athlete - so as awful as it sounds if you come in with a great cardio background then consider going a little heavier (with proper form) while sacrificing speed, if you love to lift heavy then maybe lower the weight in a wod and work on your technique or speed.
If you've ever worked out with me you know this is something I struggle with big time, so this might not just apply to new crossfitters. The silver lining is once you do clear the mental hurdle of committing to work on something you don't love, the rate of improvement is insane and without realizing it you'll blurt out that your favorite movement is the snatch :). For most of us showing up is about 90% of the battle so just get yourself into class/barbell club/aerobic capacity/etc. and enjoy the process, obviously enjoy the things you're great at, and before you know it you'll be looking forward to those things you used to hate.