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Athlete of the Month for June 2019

It is time to announce the Athlete of the Month for June 2019.  This month, we chose an individual who has seen some of the internal benefits of CrossFit lately.  It is easy to see how CrossFit makes us more physically fit.  With consistent monthly benchmarks and max effort lifts, we have a lot of opportunity to see when we are getting bigger, faster, and stronger.  However, we don’t always get to see how our bodies are changing on the inside.  For the June Athlete of the Month, these internal changes are now a reality.  Over eight months of CrossFit, he has improved every marker in his blood work, including returning his cholesterol levels to a normal range.  Alongside his great physical improvements, our June Athlete of the Month always comes to IA with a positive and encouraging mental outlook.  He is the first to lend a helping hand and does his best to participate in our social events.  The Athlete of the Month for June 2019 is:

RICHARD WITHEE

1. Where are you from originally? Pittsburgh born and bred. I actually bought a house in the neighborhood I grew up in. 

2. If not from Pittsburgh, what brought you to Pittsburgh?

3. Where do you work? I am a Communication (Dispatch) Supervisor for STAT MedEvac and an EMT-B. 

4. What is your favorite hobby? Being outdoors. I enjoy hiking, camping, and hunting. 

5. How did you discover CrossFit? My brother and sister in-law introduced me to it a few years ago. I dropped in on a few WODs at their local box. 

6. When did you start CrossFit? I started coming to IA in Oct. of 2018. 

7. Why did you start CrossFit? Encouragement from my brother and sister in-law. I got tired of everything being difficult. Being a morbidly obese guy for almost my entire life, everything was hard. Getting out of bed, tying my shoes, climbing stairs…not being able to go outside and play with my kids. Mobility and good health is a true gift.

I think I have stuck with it because of what my dad taught me about work ethic. When I was a kid he would say things like, “if you see a man with a shovel in his hands digging, you better be shoveling right next to him.” Pushing through a tough workout is easier when I see my friends suffering right next to me.  

8. What is your favorite thing to do in CrossFit? I love the heavy barbell work with a building run in between. 

9. What is your least favorite thing to do in CrossFit? I really struggle with the gymnastics. I look forward to getting better at them though.

10. What is the number 1 thing you want to get better at? Pull ups. I set a goal to get at least 1 strict pull up before I hit 40. 13 months and counting…

11. What is your favorite part about coming to CrossFit at Industrial Athletics? I love the community. Coming in everyday and seeing new or familiar faces. Watching my friends hit new PR’s feels almost as good as when I hit a new PR. 

12. What is your favorite CrossFit WOD? A few weeks ago we did heavy Power Cleans with building runs. I remember finishing that workout exhausted and telling Jen; I <expletive deleted> loved that. The dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins released after those workouts are addicting.