December 2018: Athlete of the Month – Rob Martinelli
What inspired you start CrossFit? How did your journey begin?
- Following college, my priorities quickly shifted to start my adult life with getting married, having kids and focusing on my career. During this time, I barely invested any time in my personal health to stay active or eat healthy. 10 Years later…I remember the moment very clearly! I began to hire young professionals that had figured out this concept of “work/life balance” and dedicated time almost daily to work out to stay healthy and feed their competitive drive. One of my new staffers was organizing a work out competition amongst my team and I said I wanted in…he quickly said “you are too old and out of shape to keep up”. Queue up “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky… Using that statement as motivation, I went in pursuit of finding a new workout program to bring me back to my college day form…a standard gym wasn’t going to work this time as I wanted to leap frog the goals of my younger team. I was amazed at the newly mainstream Crossfit concept from segments on ESPN and NEWS channels and walked into EJ’s original Empire State Crossfit on Route 202. 4 Years later….Now I’m obsessed with Crossfit…Eagerly signing up on ZenPlanner, checking the daily WOD at 8PM, logging my workouts in SugarWOD, fistbumping my gym mates and checking the scoreboard frequently! BTW…that new staffer that got me motivated now asks me for workout advice!
Tell us a little bit about yourself…what’s is a typical day for you? Anything you’d like to share?
- My home life: I’ve been married for 14 years to my high school sweetheart Kristin and we have two sons Rocco, 12 and Dominic, 9. Kristin and I keep each other motivated by eating heathy and being active regularly by following the same eating plan and workout schedule. My work life: After attending the 5:45AM WOD…I’m the Director, Customer Experience for JetBlue Airways, where I have worked for the past 15 years. My job requires a fair amount of travel to numerous cities and airports domestically and internationally to establish or maintain our airport and flight attendant operations. With EJ’s influence from her program, I’ve discreetly introduced a few concepts from Crossfit at JetBlue to promote teamwork and motivation amongst my team such as: – The Whiteboard: A list of key tasks and deliverables for day/week – The PR Board: Displays my team’s achievements from the past week/month
What was your athletic background before CrossFit?
- Throughout my childhood and high school, I was a mediocre athlete in basketball and wrestling but truly enjoy the camaraderie and friendship with my teammates. However, in college, I started and excelled at weightlifting and training. I always thrived off pushing myself to get stronger and competing against my family and friends.
What has been your favorite CrossFit memory?
- Honestly…the hardest question in this interview! It’s very difficult to nail down one moment or memory but my favorite workouts are always Saturday Partner WODs! Nothing better than partnering with new athletes from different classes tackling a difficult WOD. So challenging and so much fun!
What is your favorite exercise/movement or workout, and what is your least favorite?
- I may be alone here…my favorite movements are anything with Burpees…Lateral Burpees, Burpee Box Jumps and Burpee Pullups! Nothing pushes my mental and physical capacity to master an efficient Burpee movement. As for my least favorite…a tie between Double Unders and Sit Ups! – Dubs…I think I’ve tried every tactic, watch every YouTube video, asked for advice from a few Bear Mountain Crossfitters….but still stuck at singles! I’m not giving up…yet! – Sit Ups…so simple yet so annoying! Don’t select me for a partner WOD that involves situps!
What do you feel has been the biggest fitness goal or movement/skill you have achieved so far?
- A couple of fitness goals stand out…fairly recently! – Kipping- After 4 years, I finally got the coordination and well worth it…no longer have to scale or do strict pull-ups. – Handstand Pushups- When I first got into Crossfit…I thought I would never be able to perform these….now I do them so well, I get requests at parties.
What is at least one fitness goal you have for yourself in the future?
I’m so determined to nail Bar and Ring Muscle Ups! I’m actively soliciting advice from EJ, studying techniques on YouTube and watching fellow Bear Mountain Athletes for the right way. I’m almost there.
Who inspires you/who is your hero and why?
I’m an active follower and fan of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jacko Willink. Nothing more motivating then their simple advice on pushing yourself, never settling and no excuses! They are living examples of their words…not just talkers.
What advice would you give people just starting CrossFit?
Don’t be intimidated…every class has different experience levels! Don’t be afraid to fail and try again…focus on the proper technique and the weight will come! Don’t forgot you have a great coaching staff and crossfit community to keep you motivated and provide encouragement with every AMRAP, EMOM, 1 RM, Hero WOD, Girl WOD and Benchmark.