July Athlete of the Month – James Balderston

Age: 23 

What is something people don’t know about you? I started lifting free weights when I joined in September. Before it was all cardio sports with swimming, rowing, and triathlons. I had never dead lifted or squatted, and definitely never done any Olympic lifts, before last summer!

How does CrossFit influence your life? CrossFit definitely keeps me grounded and gives me clear head space. It’s always humbling to learn that you aren’t the best, or even close to the best, at something. If you don’t push yourself to be in those environments then you are just limiting your worldview and not utilizing the gifts that the Lord gave you. In addition, I have never really had any stress from work school, or life, and I believe this is because of regularly working out. So, Crossfit keeps up this trend!

How long have you been doing CrossFit? How long at CFWDM? I have done CrossFit for about a year now. I joined CFWDM in September, so about 10 months here. I had tried it out for two, one-month stints at other gyms back home in Virginia.                                                      

What class do you usually attend? 4:30 PM crew! I leave work at 4 and the gym is about 5 minutes away, so it works out really well.

What is your favorite lift? I would have to say it rotates depending on what our 6 week focus is. Right now, it is probably power clean and jerk. But, as i get more mobile, I hope that I can eventually say my favorite lift is squat clean and jerk. And then, hopefully, snatch.

What is your favorite move? Probably muscle ups. They still don’t come incredibly easy for me, so each one feels like a small accomplishment.

What is your favorite workout? I like short AMRAPS, or 21/15/9 workouts. I have to do it again, but I was a big fan of Fran last time I did it late 2017

Why did you start CrossFit? I knew that the CFWDM location was on the way to my work, so I decided to stop by and try it out. It was much more interesting than doing hours of bike ride and running a day, so i decided to stick with it. Also, it helps give motivation on the days when you don’t want to work out, so you can just go to the gym and be told what to do.

 What keeps you coming back? At this point it’s an addiction! Getting that great post WOD feel of exhaustion and seeing steady improvement is incredibly satisfying.

What did you do for fitness before CrossFit? I swam until 12th grade about 4-5 hours a day. I was going to swim D1 at UVA, but I decided to try out rowing as I had been burnt out of swimming at this point. From here, I did not like rowing, so I started doing triathlons the past 3 years of college.

What do you like to do outside of CrossFit? I am pretty boring outside of crossfit. Mostly I just hang out with my fiance and my dog. I do love hiking and white water kayaking, however both of those are fairly limited here in Iowa.

What is your favorite cheat/meal snack? My fiance’s buffalo chicken dip. So much cheese. So much good. 

What is your favorite healthy/meal snack? Frozen chunks of mango. I get a big bag for sams club and I have it as a late night snack if I am hungry! Any frozen fruit will do though!

What is the most difficult workout you’ve attempted? I try to make every workout as difficult as I can, but I would have to say anything where you go from cardio to heavy weights is difficult to maintain your composure to lift the heavy weights. Actually … no. Hardest workout was 18.4. HSPUs are not my friends.

How has CrossFit WDM helped you keep on top of your health and wellness goals? It’s nice to hear what like minded people do to maintain their health and wellness. It gives the opportunity to take ideas off of like minded souls.