Crossfit Blog

Athlete of the Month for February 2013: Derek Gartner!

in Athlete Of The Month by carla

This month's Athlete of the Month is the noon class' own Derek Gartner! He's a big seemeingly quiet guy that you can just tell has a loooot happening under the surface there. He's been keeping busy during his time at CFNH, both kicking ass and getting the top score on the Sergeant Exam. In addition to hearing about Derek nailing the exam in that previous link, there's something else interesting in that article. It links back to two other articles where he was named "cop of the week." Make sure you click on those links and get a good look at both 2010 Derek and 2012 Derek. Amazing changes there, my friend! Now let's find out a little more about Derek who, incidentally, is good at hiding from the cameras...


  • So, what brought you to CrossFit New Haven?
    I have been working out and playing sports my entire life, but a few years ago I overheard some guys at work talking about "CrossFit." When I asked them what CrossFit was, I became really intrigued. For years, I always relied on sports to push me to work harder and obtain higher levels of fitness. Now that I'm all grown up, I don't have a baseball coach or basketball coach screaming at me to work harder. After watching countless YouTube videos of CrossFit workouts, I decided that I wanted to join. But then came the question, "Where should I join?" The commute to Milford seemed a bit too much for me. After several conversations with Mike Defonzo and my idol, Christian Bruckhart, I found out that a CrossFit was opening in New Haven. The three of us signed up and the rest is history.
  • How long have you been CrossFitting?
    I believe August 2010 is when I started.
  • What do you do out there in the real world?
    I am a Police Officer at the New Haven Police Department. I'm being promoted soon (on 2/1) so I may be a Police Sergeant by the time anyone reads this.

  • Are you Paleo? If so, when in your Crossfitting did you start to switch?
    I am Paleo for the most part. I decided to switch in the spring of 2012. I was assigned to a particular Unit at work that involved long hours of very stagnant activity. Although I really enjoyed that particular assignment, it was really tough for me to eat healthy in that environment. I was always grabbing something fast and then back to sitting in the car. So, in the spring of 2012 I decided that I would start incorporating the Paleo diet into my lifestyle. I noticed changes fairly quickly, especially in regards to my performance during the workouts. I had more energy and I was able to sustain a higher output for a longer period of time.
  • Do you have a favorite lift? Power or Olympic?
    Deadlifts
  • Your favorite WOD?
    Fight Gone Bad. I probably won’t be saying this the next time I see it posted on the whiteboard though...

  • Favorite Song to do the WOD?
    I'm not really picky when it comes to the music. The Beastie Boys aren't a bad selection.
  • Any changes to brag about?
    I got a pretty sweet new jump rope from Rogue Fitness.
  • You've just dropped a 45 lb. bumper on your foot and you're surrounded by first-graders. What's the first word out of your mouth?
    "MOTHERFUCKER." That's one word isn't it?

  • What are your current goals?
    I am currently working towards being half the athlete that Christian Bruckhart, AKA "Mr. RX," is. I'm also working on continuing to be Paleo and I'd like to RX every workout.
  • Anything else to add?
    I would just like to thank all the Coaches at CrossFit New Haven for the hard work they put in on a daily basis. You guys are second to none.

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