Athlete of the Month – May 2017 – Robert Ball

I am honored to be chosen as the May athlete of the month. I’ve been a member at BCF for about 3 and a half years now. Before coming to BCF, I did HIIT workouts utilizing bodyweight, suspension training, and kettlebells, which provided a solid base, but I started wanting to do something different. At the time, I was firmly in the Crossfit-haters group – I thought it was just a bunch of gym “bros” with poor form and constant injuries – so I didn’t even consider it an option. Humorously, I was also plagued with injuries due to muscle imbalances from poor form. The irony was apparently lost on me. Anyway, after doing some Crossfit-style workouts with friends, it started to grow on me and I wanted more. It offered all the variety and intensity of HIIT workouts, but included strength training and more technical movements that appealed to me. Shortly after that, I started coming to BCF, where I jumped right in.

I didn’t really have any goals when I first started. I liked the idea of competing, but I had no real idea whether I would and no plan to get there. Instead, I just kind of moved through the workouts. I was making progress, but nothing earth-shattering. The first small change in that mentality happened two years ago, when I competed in the Portland Highland Games and became more excited about competing. After that, I started focusing more on my technique, especially in the power movements that are essential in those events. However, even that small change didn’t have much effect. Over the course of 2016, I competed in four different competitions and was disappointed with my performance in all of them. It took a little bit, but I finally started making some changes. The last 6 months or so, I have cleaned up my diet, incorporated some essential oils into my routine, put even more emphasis on technique and strength, and stopped sandbagging movements I suck at (pretty much everything bodyweight-related), all of which have had a serious impact.

Everyone at the gym is an inspiration. Coming in every day is not always easy, but getting to work out with a great bunch of people makes it worth it. Even when we’re all sprawled out on the floor after a particularly tough workout!
A special thanks to all the coaches. We are privileged to have a great group of coaches that are knowledgeable and committed to being there for everyone. You guys seriously rock!