I was honored when Coach Rob asked me to write the Athlete of the Month profile for the first time, and what was even more exciting is that we are recognizing someone who I have become really good friends with. Honestly, this was actually pretty difficult to write, not because this is a novel experience, but because Miguel just brings so much to the table.
Every time Miguel walks in through the back door with his gallon of water and big gym bag, you can’t help but smile, because you know the class is going to be that much better. You can feel it, his energy is infectious. He has all the qualities of a great student: coachability, positive attitude,and strong work ethic. What is even better is that he uses these qualities to be a leader. Miguel is personable, positive, and kind enough to lead with his words, and is always willing to help others. But a lot of the times he doesn’t have to say anything encouraging, his presence somehow brings out the best in people, and if you’ve seen him workout, you know that the guy is more than just kind words, he definitely walks the walk.
Whether you have had the pleasure of meeting him or are basing your perspective of him solely off of this profile, it should be clear by now that Miguel is a truly awesome young man. But this isn’t a popularity contest, Miguel earned Athlete of the Month for a reason. While I would say that it greatly improved his athleticism, I’d be lying if I said CrossFit is responsible for turning Miguel into an athlete. A lot of individuals come into our gym with certain skills that are particularly well developed, and Miguel was no exception. From the get go, he was known as the guy to catch up to on runs or try to beat on calisthenics, but it was clear that he was greatly deficient in one specific area, strength. Fast forward about a year, and Miguel is hands down the strongest athlete in our gym. The crew he works out with has even refers to him as “pound for pound, the strongest guy in the gym”, and make no mistake, this is not an exaggeration. If you were to take his strength to weight ratio and compare it to anyone else’s in our gym, you would see that there is no legitimate comparison. Miguel has crushed every one of his lifting PRs for the past three months. He can now deadlift three times his body weight and swings half his body weight on a consistent basis. To put this into perspective, that’s like a 200lb athlete having a max deadlift of 600lbs and swinging the 97lb bell regularly. Pretty amazing, right? What’s even more amazing was watching this transformation take place. This wasn’t an easy process for him, as developing strength isn’t an easy task for anyone. I’ve seen him struggle, and I’ve seen him fail plenty of times, but these trials and tribulations have only strengthened his sense of resolve. Miguel always had the right approach. Rather than dwelling on the difficulties and frustrations of the process, he always looked forward and worked for a solution. While often times that solution would be correcting a technical flaw, there’s really no secret to getting better, in fact it’s quite simple: hard work. And what separates Miguel from most is that he had the desire and fortitude to do what most won’t, and that is to put in an insane amount of hard work. Whether it was waking up to work out on his own at 5am before coming to our8am class, staying after class for three hours to work out, getting certifications to increase his breadth of knowledge, or coming to classes early to work on his weaknesses, the guy simply mounted up and put the work in, not because he always wanted to, but because he realized it was a necessary means to an end. This is ultimately why he enjoys the fruits of his labors, and why he will continue to do so in all that he endeavors.
I’ve mentioned before that I have much more respect for someone who is willing to push to his/her limits on a daily basis than for someone who can finish a workout quickly. But Miguel is both. If you’re reading this Miguel, this is just the beginning of a lifelong pursuit of health and fitness, but it’s clear that you are on the right path. On behalf of the staff, thank you for your continued hard work, dedication, and contribution to the gym, and congratulations for earning the title of Athlete of the Month. Keep crushing those PRs!