Beef ranch cowboy, helicopter finance strategist, and newly-minted father, Alex Ledin is no stranger to putting in the work and is our CFNH male Athlete of the Month for January!
1. When and where did you start CrossFitting?
Here, in New Haven in June of 2015. I had just moved back to the states from Hong Kong, and was in pretty terrible shape. In college, I trained with Army ROTC guys, and that worked really well for me, so I looked around for something comparable. I found CFNH and signed up for the on-ramp class. Amanda cut me no slack whatsoever, but that was apparently the correct thing to do since I’m still here!
2. How have your goals and/or motivations changed in the last year? What goals do you have for 2017?
It seems ridiculous now, but when I first started at CFNH I was just trying to get back to the point where I could pick up a heavy box without having to think too much about how to do it safely. After I started getting some muscle back, going to CrossFit became as much about keeping myself mentally even as it was about progressing physically. There are a lot of people in my family who get depressed if they don’t get regular exercise, and I’m one of them. As far as 2017 goes… my wife and I
are expecting JUST HAD a baby, our first , in the next two weeks!!!. My fitness goal is to take good care of myself physically and mentally so that I can take care of my wife and new daughter.
3. What are some of your recent accomplishments of which you're most proud?
I’m finally making decent progress with barbell and other upper body work. I was really cautious at first because many of my small accessory muscles were so weak, but they’re finally coming back, so I’m able to be a bit more ambitious with overhead and barbell work. That feels really good.
4. Do you adhere to any form of daily/weekly diet regimen to power your workouts? What does your dream cheat meal/day look like?
I’m usually a 5:30 / 6:30am guy, so I usually have an apple with some almond butter and a cup of tea before class. If I don’t eat before the workout I can definitely tell the difference - I usually bonk pretty hard 30 or 40 minutes in. After I get back from class it’s time for breakfast #2, which is usually another piece of fruit, bacon and eggs. I’ve got a bunch of food allergies, so I was eating a diet pretty close to paleo even before it was called paleo. My dream meal is anything eaten while on a multi-day backpacking trip in some beautiful and rugged place. Nothing tastes as good as what you eat when you’ve been outside all day, walking around paradise with a pack on your back.
5. Design 2 WODs: 1 that is your bread & butter, filled with your movement strengths; 1 that is all goats (movement weaknesses you feel you need to improve).
This one’s pretty easy. Lower body cardio’s my strong point, so running / rowing / box jumps / etc. are my meat and sweet potatoes. If you wanted to kill me, you’d design a WOD that was all double-unders (I haven’t figured out the rhythm to them yet) and upper body work, and particularly bar work, like pull-ups. You could also toss in a bunch of bear crawls, since my lower back muscles still aren’t strong enough to do that for any length of time without hating me afterwards.
6. How do you spend your time when you're away from CFNH?
It’s easier to answer the question of where I spend my time...
At home, with my wife, who’s a professor at Yale. We're in the process of renovating a home that we bought last summer, and we’re still trying to get ourselves settled in New Haven… it will probably be at least another year before we’ve achieved a sense of stability here in Connecticut.
At work, at Sikorsky, combining my engineering / business / finance background to try to figure out what it will take to build the next batch of helicopters.
At any of a several dozen places around the world, enjoying the company of friends, or out in California, spending time with family.
7. What is one fact that other CFNHers may not know about you?
I worked as a cowboy on an beef ranch in Arizona, and have the hat and boots to prove it.
8. Do you have any motivational thoughts or suggestions to folks just getting started at CFNH?
The easiest way to be motivated is to find something that you love, or that provides a result that you can’t live without. I really like CFNH - the community, the coaches, and the programming - and it hugely improves my quality of life. But if CrossFit doesn’t suit you, go find something else that you love to do - life’s too short to spend time on stuff that you don’t really care about, or that doesn’t give you the results that you need to be well.