Jon Czerniak –
Jon has training at BCF since last November and has come very far in his training. From overall conditioning to Oly lifting to strength sets, Jon has proven that no matter what you put in front of him, he will conquer it. I have always said that a big part of training is your mental capacity to push and absorb pain…well Jon does that just fine. He is one of the stronger athletes I have seen lately and it will serve him well in the future. I enjoy Jon’s attitude and chest pounding that accompany him during most workouts. Keep an eye out as Jon is coming up and will push us all to be better…great work Jon!
My turning point started in October 2011. We were running ladder drills at the station and my Lieutenant looked at me and said “Czerniak, return that ladder to the engine.” Shoulder surgery the previous year had left me as weak as a kitten for the better part 2011. Although I was improving I wasn’t able to return that ladder without the help of another fire fighter which was pretty embarrassing. We have a saying in the fire service; “Fitness for duty”, and I was not fit for duty.
When I first joined BCF there were two things that I noticed right away. First, the workouts were extremely difficult, and second how nice and accepting everyone was. As I started to meet more people in the gym I noticed something that I didn’t expect of CrossFit athletes. There were members performing at such a high level who had past physical or medical problems. People who had gone through shoulder surgeries, knee surgeries, had insulin pumps, and a variety of other conditions. BCF was a place where they were able to overcome these physical boundaries. They didn’t allow these barriers to keep them from giving it their all, and they became a source of inspiration. Add the positive reinforcement that one receives from everyone at BCF and I joined this group that believed in myself enough to push through my own limitations. When I started I could dead lift 185 lbs, now it’s 315 lbs. My back squat was 115 lbs. and now is 235 lbs. The progress in my strength has yet to slow down. I’m continuously surprised at my gains in strength and fitness, and I know that with the help of Mike, Christine, Bryan, Valentine, Andy, Shawn, Jesse, and all the great athletes at BCF I will continue to make gains.
I owe a lot to Mike, Christine, the staff, and the all the athletes at BCF. They have created an environment that is welcoming, and inspiring. I feel extremely lucky to find a place that pushed me and made me believe in myself and what I can accomplish. A place that has allowed me to move past my physical and mental barriers, has increased my fitness for duty and has helped me develop the strength to get that ladder back on that engine.