February Athlete of the Month – Dan Ross

Dan Ross is loved by the coaching staff and athletes alike, not only because he's an inspiration on the assault bike and rower (have you seen his split time?!) but because he walks into every class with an open mind. He's ready to work hard, take advice from the coaches, and support his fellow athletes. His goal is to continue improving and challenging himself appropriately. 

We hope he realizes that he's already come so far, and continues to improve every single time he shows up. Way to go, Dan!

1.  When and where did you start CrossFitting?
CrossFit New Haven in August 2018! But my fitness journey began a long time ago. I was the fat kid growing up. I first started exercising regularly during my freshman year in high school, walking an hour a day on the treadmill until I lost 70 pounds. I kept up this routine through high school. After graduating from college I started running, and I ran the Philadelphia Marathon in November 2017.

A friend of mine first introduced me to CrossFit in fall 2011, teaching me some simpler movements–especially body weight and dumbbell exercises–because I was traveling a lot for work and wanted to stay healthy. Around that time, I also started frequenting boot camp classes at various gyms, and I kept that up for many years until moving to New Haven. Finally, last summer, I decided to take the leap and signed up for on-ramp at CrossFit New Haven.

2.  It’s a brand new year! – what are some of your goals to accomplish in 2019?
I've wanted to be able to do pull-ups since middle school, and this is going to be the year that I finally get them. I'm also working on double-unders.

3.  What are some of your recent accomplishments of which you're most proud?
On CrossFit Total day in January, I PRed all three lifts!

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 use an app called Ultimate Value Diary to track my eating using the Weight Watchers points system. I like it because of its flexibility…and because fresh fruit doesn't count towards my daily total. I've been known to eat up to eight clementines a day.

I just look at food and gain weight, but If I could eat anything I wanted…
Breakfast: Pancakes with maple syrup and coffee with lots of cream and a stupid amount of sugar
Lunch: Nachos, buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce, and a frozen margarita
Dinner: Pasta with mushrooms and truffle oil and a glass of wine
Dessert: Vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and a glass of bourbon

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).
Bread and Butter WOD:
I like shorter, simpler WODs. Call me crazy, but I'd be excited to see 100 calorie assault bike for time on Wodify.

Goat WOD:
I loathe longer AMRAPs, and overhead squats and push-ups are the death of me. I'm also always scared of box jumps. So I might hit the snooze button if I knew the WOD were something like:
30-minute AMRAP:
10 OHS
20 Box Jumps
10 Push-ups

6. How do you spend your time when you're away from CFNH?
I spend as much time as I can with my wife Jade and our little dog Rashi. Fun fact: my wife surprised me with Rashi for my 30th birthday–she popped out of a box when I got home from a workout! Otherwise, I'm one of the rabbis at the Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale. This means that during the day I can most likely be found enjoying a caffeinated beverage with a student at the Blue State on Wall Street, talking about life. It's a really great gig.

7. What is one fact that other CFNHers may not know about you?
My wife is also a rabbi, and we named our dog Rashi after a medieval rabbi.

8.  Do you have any motivational thoughts or suggestions to folks just getting started at CFNH?
First, pick a class time and stick with it. I come at 8am every morning and it's great to have that camaraderie with my classmates. Second, work out because you love your body, not because you hate it. Don't worry if you struggle with the movements or can't move the Rx weight–you're enough no matter what!


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