Congratulations to our March Athlete of the Month – Frank “Man” Maker! Please read his story below:
Name: Frank Maker
Hometown: Livermore, CA
Started CrossFit 580: October 2014
Favorite movement: 415 lbs deadlift. Got it on video too!
Least favorite movement: Thrusters. I feel like my arms are coming detached.
Tell us about your fitness/lifestyle background:
In high school I was very overweight, 235 lbs. I didn’t exercise and ate a lot of junky starchy food. I even worked, and therefore ate often, at McDonalds. It really bothered me that I wasn’t more in shape because I was always very strong. When I went to college I started running at the gym one mile every few days. I remember that one mile was agony. After a few months I started weightlifting regularly. At the time I was able to get my weight down to 210 but, I wouldn’t say I was athletic by any stretch of the word. During this time in my life I met my amazing wife Jenna, who also goes to Crossfit 580. She was a tremendously positive impact on me because she ate much more healthy and also ran regularly. One of the first times I went to her house they had broccoli as the entrée and my response was WTF? Somewhere along the way I got to the point where I felt really yucky when I didn’t exercise at least once a week. Around that time I took up racquetball as a hobby. It is a great sport because you don’t have to be athletic but, you still got a good workout. Later when I moved to California to attend graduate school I joined the racquetball recreational league at UC Davis. This was another great experience because I was around other people who were motived to stay fit. I gradually started to see myself as a more athletic person. During the 2008 Olympics I was really inspired by Michael Phelps’ performance and I started to ask my self a question. Are great athletes born that way or do they just work incredible hard? It was clearly the latter and that made me feel that I no longer had any excuses not to be all that I could be athletically. It was hard to figure out how to motivate myself to try harder so I gave personal training a try. It was expensive so I only did it once a week, but man what a difference. My trainer would really motivate me and by the end I was dragging him around the gym, pushing cars, and other trainers were seriously impressed. Once I finished graduate school I moved to Livermore and started a job in Silicon Valley. My running and personal training routine didn’t work anymore with a full-time job. What to do? A few of my colleagues were doing Crossfit and they seemed really into it. They were always talking about (which I found annoying honestly), but it really seemed to work for them. I looked around and found Crossfit 580, and signed up for an intro session. At first I went at 9AM but I had a lot of trouble meeting that time because of my work. So one week I decided to try the 6AM class. 6AM, so damn early but, the feeling you get when you’ve done more by 7AM then you usually do all day, priceless. I was so hooked. Crossfit offered three things I had never seen anywhere else: 1) Very challenging workouts. You don’t just do a WOD, you defeat it. 2) Athletic people who were welcoming and supportive. 3) A sense of community. That last one really surprised me. Everyone just really wants to see you succeed. With the challenge, inspiration, and support I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit 580? Take us back to your first workout…what was it and how did it feel? I honestly don’t remember the details of my first WOD, but I remember how insanely tired I was. But it made me really pissed that I was so out of shape and I became hungry to get better.
What have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit 580 (before/after)? Lost about 10 pounds and have kept it off since I joined. I also benefited from the positive attitude of people at the gym, especially the coaches.
What changes in your life have you experienced from CrossFit 580 that were totally unexpected? I’m doing the open this year. That was inconceivable to me when I joined. I didn’t expect to get addicted. I’ve been to Crossfit’s now in England and Florida. I never would have expected to be that into it. It has even motivated me to make my diet better.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit 580 moments:
I remember one class where there was a long run at the end, something like 4 laps around the building. There was a wide gap between the first and last person to finish, but everyone waited until the last person finished and cheered them on. That was just awesome, how could not love that?
What are you hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit 580? Well I have two little kids so that’s definitely a “hobby” of mine, lol. I like to ride my motorcycle, often to the box. I also cook, snowboard, and enjoy going to banya with my Russian friends.
Any advice for people just getting started? Self-compassion. It is a long road, you can’t expect to change everything all at once. Often people start out at Crossfit too hard and then burnout. Take your time. Learn the movements the right way. You will be rewarded for your patience.