Athlete Spotlight: Craig Connolly

Athlete Spotlight: Craig Connolly

This week is going to be Craig’s last week with us before he goes off to wrestle in college. It has been a pleasure working with Craig this past year-and-a-half. He’s both physically and mentally stronger because of his hard work and dedication. We’re going to miss his screams, moans, and hilarious attire! Be sure to show Craig some love this week before he goes!

Hometown: Middle Island, New York
Age: 18
When did you first start training at CF Naples?: March 1st, 2011
Favorite WOD: Well besides “Craig” designed specifically for me, I enjoy any workout with running, pullups and body weight movement!
Least Favorite WOD: Workouts with heavy loads and anything with row… row is my kryptonite!

Tell us about you sports & fitness background: I’m a wrestler; I’ve been wrestling for 6 years, I wrestled at Gulf Coast HIgh School and now I’m taking my talents to Central College in Pella, Iowa to elongate my career. Since I wrestle I’m usually in good enough shape.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? My old wrestling coach, Edwin Rey, introduced me to CrossFit last year and said it would help me gain strength for wrestling, he wasn’t kidding either!

Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? The first workout I can remember coming I remember being pretty nervous. The workout was 5-10-15-20-25-20-15-10-5 Double Unders unbroken; I made it up to 10 the first time. From there on out I stuck with it, learned that I could actually have fun here, and everything has gone for the better since!

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? Well before I wasn’t really strong at all, I wrestled 125 my junior year, and didn’t do as well as expected because I was tired and weak all the time. Then after doing a solid 8 months of Crossfit, I felt alot stronger and wrestled 138 my senior year, that says it all right there, I put on 10-15 more pounds of muscle on me in 8 months. I can’t thank you guys enough! Also, I bench press anytime I can find a bench and for never doing bench at Crossfit, my strength numbers have gone up tremendously!

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I’ve become more mature and grown in patience. CrossFit has inspired me in many ways to always go out and perform at max output each day. I also learned how to take advice from two great coaches and I wouldn’t be anywhere close to what I am today without the help of Mario and Tara, every athlete is really lucky to have the two of them as their coaches!

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CF Naples moments: The Baseline Challenge was pretty cool, I didn’t think of it as anything special at first getting 4:10 on the workout, but then after getting many congratulations from everybody and when I saw my name up there for the top time I realized that it’s a pretty big deal, hopefully some one can top that time so I have something to look forward to when I come back in December!

Any advice for people just getting started?: Don’t get discouraged when you see the advanced athletes at CrossFit tearing through a workout, they were at square one at one time too. What I’ve come to realize, is that Crossfit is alot like golf, it’s not you against the rest of the field, it’s you against the course so just go for your own personal records, and if your happen to get the fastest time in the gym, that’s a plus!

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?: I enjoy wrestling, playing pick-up games of basketball, Xbox (NBA 2K12 the most), running, reading books, listening to music, working out, and tweeting!

-Craig taking a stroll

Saturday’s Workout

Make-Up Day

…coming up Monday

10 rounds for time of-
3 Power Cleans 75% body weight
4 Handstand Push-ups
50 m Sprint
Post total time.