Iron Bridge Athlete: John Potter
What was your fitness background and what brought you to Iron Bridge CrossFit?
I grew up playing the big 3 (football, baseball, and basketball). I played recreational baseball and basketball all through high school. I didn't make the high school teams because I couldn't hit and I'm to short to be a force on the court. Plus I cant jump and have lackluster ball handling skills. I played high school football. In college, I played all types of intramural sports and worked out as hard as I ever have (until crossfit). I started working out in 9th grade and have been going strong ever since. My wife Ashleigh introduced me to crossfit and Iron Bridge. I used to make fun of her about being a crossfit junkie. I was definitely a crossfit hater without ever even trying it (which is a poor attitude to have about anything). I had egg on my face after my first visit because I immediately got hooked. Going into a regular gym now doesn't feel the same and it never will...
How has CrossFit improved your life inside and outside the gym?
I already spent a lot of time in the gym prior to crossfit and really thought I was putting work in. Man, was I wrong. After starting crossfit, I really started to notice a change in stamina and my lower body (which I never worked out nearly at the level I should have). I learned all kinds of new lifts as I didn't know anything about olympic lifting. My muscle endurance has improved 10 fold.
What has been your favorite moment at IBCF?
I don't know that I have a single favorite moment. I have enjoyed every day at Iron Bridge. My favorite time period was about 9-10 months into crossfit when I finally started seeing some real improvements in my times. I started creeping up on some of the guys times that I looked up to when I started. I felt like all the work and extra work was really starting to pay off.
I'll never forget my first competition that I did with Keith in Aiken, SC. That was one of the most fun sporting events I have ever competed in. I was as nervous as I have ever been especially competing with Keith who has been doing this a long time. We faired pretty well in the competition (upper middle of the pack) but at that point, that is when I realized that I was hooked. I knew that wouldn't be the last competition I was going to compete in and I have done 4 since then. If you haven't done a competition, I encourage you to do so regardless of the level that you are at. You'll surprise yourself, I promise.
WODs and Movements - what are your favorites and what makes your palms sweat?
Favorite movements, hands down pull-ups and power cleans and in that order. And this is different from most people but I really don't mind burpees (honestly, I like them). I do them a lot (optionally). I love hero WODs. There is something about them that gets me fired up. SNATCHING hates me and I hate snatching. I am working on it but it is one thing I absolutely dread doing. But gotta start somewhere... I still struggle with muscle-ups which is odd considering I love pull-ups. I'll have them down one day.
One piece of advice for someone new to CrossFit
This thing is hard for everyone. Some people might finish three times faster than you. You might finish a WOD first, last, in the middle and there might even be a girl or a newbee that beats you but I promise you, the suck of that workout was felt by everyone. And everyone started somewhere. There are few if any who walked in the gym for the first time and were just good from the start. So don't quit. Stick with it. It gets easier. Crossfit loses its mystic when you don't have fun!!!
What keeps you going in a WOD when your mind is telling you to stop?
The competition. I have always been competitive in everything I do. When I am in a WOD and I look over and someone else is still moving, it makes me want to push a little harder. I can rest at the end...
Anything else you'd like to add.
In terms of fitness, joining Iron Bridge Crossfit changed my life. It changed how I eat, how I approach working out, and how I take care of myself. On top of all that, it gave me a new set of friends. Some of the best friends I have, I met in that gym. Crossfit is awesome but I think it is Iron Bridge that makes it that way. I genuinely believe that every coach in that gym wants to see individuals improve. In addition, I think our athletes want to see their peers improve. All crossfit gyms aren't the same and I honestly believe that there isn't a better gym or community than Iron Bridge. I'm proud to call Iron Bridge my gym.
Must do in Charleston
The beach, any beach. The beaches are what make this place one of the best spots in the country. I also recommend going to Home Team BBQ and getting a large game changer for your beach trip. Just do it and thank me later. Lets be real, I recommend a game changer whether you are going to the beach or not. Just not on your way to work. That wouldn't be a good idea.