Kevin McClenahan...Tri-ing with Lifeworx
_When Kevin first joined us here at Lifeworx, we noticed his presence right away - he carries himself like an athlete. He is a quick runner, a physically well-rounded person with a balanced distribution of strength throughout his body. We knew just by looking at him that he would be a very strong candidate for CrossFit, given his stature and his basic athleticism. At first, Kevin blended in, though...he typically only comes to our late evening classes, so he is rarely seen in here during the day. But then, Kevin started standing out. He started to find his strength and prove his gift to excel as a weightlifter and it was clear that his confidence had suddenly shot through the roof. The most exciting moment for us, as his coaches, was to see Kevin jump in with both feet at our Three's A Crowd Partner Throwdown this past summer. He and his teammate made their competition debut, putting up some amazing numbers with back squats, weighted pull-ups, and a few other incredible lifts.
There is nothing more satisfying for us than to see these athletes succeed and surpass their goals...for that reason, Kevin is a highlighted member and, as such, has earned recognition for all of his efforts. We are certain that Kevin will continue to make huge strides while training here with us and we are anxious to see exactly what he does next, especially with his upcoming Triathlon endeavors!
~ Mary & Shaun
I have always been active and involved in a lot of sports during my life, from playing football, basketball, and baseball in high school to rugby in college. Upon entering my “adult” life I was attracted to the sport of running and have run 4 marathons and numerous half-marathons. However, “just” running started to become monotonous and I started biking and swimming which was a natural progression to participating in triathlons. As I entered graduate school for physical therapy, I met a lot of like-minded people and my progression in this sport increased. Soon, I started doing sprint distances and worked my may up to numerous Olympic and international distances (.9 m swim/24 mi bike/6 mi run). One of the benefits of being a physical therapist is that it is an active profession and can be “physical” for the therapist. I think that I have able to gain credibility with my patients because I can relate to the “weekend warrior” as well as the seasoned athlete, because I have been both. Also, it helps that I can demonstrate exercises, knowing that they work. It was this constant activity that I started to push myself in triathlons and worked my way up to doing numerous half Ironman distance tri’s. Even though I was training for all 3 disciplines, I knew the importance of strength training; however, I found it hard to find the time to add it to my training. This is when my brother introduced me to CrossFit.
My brother was playing rugby at Cal and later in SF and he told me to check out “this site…it is pretty crazy”. I remember seeing all these workout names and being amazed at what these people were doing. The great thing about the site was they listed out the workouts and I started to do them on my own. I had to modify them because I did not have all the equipment. However, it did not make it any easier. The thing I loved about it was how “efficient” CrossFit workouts were: I can do 10-20 minutes of work and I was toast! I was hooked!
As I moved back up to the bay area, I had a patient tell me about this gym “off union ave” and that I should check it out. However, I was wavering on going because I didn’t know if I could “find the time” to put it into my schedule. I was having a hard enough time to get my triathlon training in. I noticed that there was a class that fit into my work schedule and I decided to go in and see what a “real CrossFit workout was”. Furthermore, I was drawn to the family atmosphere that was present at Lifeworx…it was the same mentality we try to work on at our PT clinic.
The one thing I remember when I started was how welcoming and non-judgmental everyone was. It didn’t matter what you could or couldn’t do, just that you do what you can. The perfect example is when I had to use the super bands to assist with pull-ups. Initially, it was a blow to my pride, but then I came “to terms” and decided to suck it up. For me, it was like being a patient and it was my job to get them to do what they can. They say health care workers make poor patients…they were right. Anyways, it took me all of one WOD to realize that it didn’t matter what I couldn’t do, just that I do what I can…either way I was still worked!
I initially joined Lifeworx as a way to progress my strength to supplement my triathlon training and I have seen improvements in all 3 phases: I decreased my 10k time by almost 1 minute, decreased my time for an 800 m swim by almost 1 minute and have increased my speed and ability to climb on the bike. I have yet to test myself in a tri, but hope to sometime next year. However, I think the biggest change I have seen is how much more “work” I can do in almost every movement. I remember being disappointed after one WOD where we had to “max out” our pull ups at the end and I “only” did 15…it took me a minute to realize and laugh: only 6 months prior I was doing pull ups with a green superband. Again, it is just doing what you can do.
The things that keeps me coming back is the chance to always “PR” in something and challenging oneself to see how much you can do. I lost my mom to breast cancer 3+ years ago and the motto our family have attached to our foundation in her honor is “Yes I Can”. This was her mantra as she was battling her cancer for 13 years. I can say that I channel that motto during a lot of the workouts as well. (FYI, our website is www.thekamfoundation.com)
I love the team atmosphere present and how everyone pulls for each other. I think that is one thing I have missed during my triathlon training. I realized this yesterday when I participated in the partner workout and was impressed with the different level of competitors and how everyone was supportive. I felt like I did a triathlon, I was that sore….By the way, there was a time during the recent partner WOD when I was not saying “Yes I can”
The great thing is you can always get better and improve…which is true with all kinds of workouts. I think the difference with CrossFit is that it is fun and FUNctional and, unlike going to the gym, everyone participates at some level.
I know that everyone has his or her own motivational ploys or devices but one final one I will share is:
“Do something that scares you every day…do a WOD”