Please join us in congratulating our Member of the Month December 2017 – Nam Kha
How long have you been at CrossFit Hartford?
I moved to Connecticut in April 2016, and that’s about when I started at CrossFit Hartford. So it’s been about 20 months.
How long have been involved with CrossFit?
At the beginning of 2016, in January, I got bored of working out in regular gyms. I was working in West Palm Beach, so I started CrossFit there for about five weeks. It was a lot of fun, so when I moved I decided to stay with it.
Were you pursuing fitness before you started CrossFit? Do you have a background in athletics?
Before CrossFit I’d do some regular weight lifting, a little bit of cardio here and there. I was trying to put on body mass, but my diet wasn’t right and I wasn’t noticing a change. I saw some of my friends doing CrossFit and their bodies were really changing, so I though I’d give it a shot. I got addicted to it! It’s way more fun than regular workouts. I never played any sports growing up, so I’ve gotten a lot more athletic. I see myself improving in a lot of areas; CrossFit kicks my butt everyday. I’ve noticed improvement in my running, rowing, gymnastics… everything.
What’s the first WOD you remember doing? How was it?
I just remember that Coach Pagån was teaching. I know there were clean and jerks but I don’t remember much else. It felt bad! It was about two weeks after I had stopped doing CrossFit from Palm Beach, and getting back into it was really tough. It was spicy for sure.
(Nam looked up the workout after we finished and the first WOD he did was actually Toes to Bar, Burpee Box Jumps, and Kettlebell Swings! We thought it was interesting that he remembered the other one!)
What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?
I really enjoy the challenge of it. That makes me want to come back and keep working. Every day is different from the day before. The combinations are always changing, and that creates a new challenge each day. It’s very addicting. A friend of mine invited me to LA Fitness last week and it felt… not right. I could never go back to that. Everyone’s on their own, there’s no one to talk to. You go in, do your thing, and leave. Doing CrossFit, there’s a sense of community.
What is your favorite thing to see in a WOD?
I enjoy doing clean and jerks, because I’ve been seeing a big improvement on those. On the other movements I’m having some steady growth, but I feel like the clean and jerks are getting better a little quicker than everything else. Sometimes when I see gymnastics stuff… gymnastics are always really challenging. I have a lot of fun with that. I really like to be challenged.
What is your least favorite thing to see in a WOD?
Rowing! Short-leg problems. Wall balls, too, definitely wall balls! But while I do see myself improving with wall balls, rowing workouts always feel never-ending. Just rowing and rowing and rowing…
What motivates you to train?
As a kid, I had asthma. Working out actually helps me keep it in check. Since I’ve worked out, I haven’t had an asthma attack at all. I noticed my lungs getting way stronger after starting CrossFit. I also don’t want to see myself sitting around, doing nothing, and getting fat.
Since starting CrossFit, what goals have you been able to achieve? What challenges have you had to face and overcome?
I started lifting weights in college. I didn’t see myself making the kind of progress that I should have made in four years. After a year of doing CrossFit, I’ve seen myself getting way stronger. I’d never have imagined I’d hit the weights I’ve seen myself hit. All the gymnastics skills have been big, too. I remember you (Coach Durrett) and Coach Pagan helping me on the handstands, and I never imagined I’d be doing handstands against a wall or anything!
My goal this year was to get double-unders down, and I got it! I didn’t think last year that I’d really be able to conquer them, but I did it.
What big changes have had the largest positive impact on your fitness?
This year, I started noticing that my body is in better shape, my weight had been fluctuating a lot. I’ve noticed this year I’ve been losing a lot of body fat, and I’ve been eating better. The Lurong Challenge really helped with that. The challenge helped me learn how to prep my meals better, and to pay attention to what I’m eating. Monitoring my food intake really helped me turn a corner. After the six weeks of the Challenge, I wasn’t losing weight, but I was in the best shape of my life. That was really cool.
What goals do you still have? What’s next for you in your fitness journey?
Bar muscle-ups, ring muscle-ups. All those trickier gymnastics movements have been really challenging for me. That’s my goal for 2018. I think that’s the fun of CrossFit. There’s so many things we do here that you’d never see yourself doing in a regular gym. When you start doing CrossFit, you’re exposed to so much more, and while you’re trying to learn these new skills, you get way better! Once you get one, you want to learn more and more, and you keep on growing and getting better.
Anything you want to add?
One thing that I like a lot about CrossFit is the sense of community that you guys are always talking about. In a normal gym, you’re all alone, but here you have a whole team. And you see yourself in the team. You meet people who are here for their first day and think “that was me once”, and then you see people like Gerald and Ben and John and think “that’s where I could be someday”. You see everyone’s kids, and you learn about everyone’s lives. That’s not something you expect to get out of a normal gym where you just come in and do your thing and go home. You make friends here.