Congratulations to Michael Ducharme for being CFR’s January Member of the Month! He is a loyal member of the Sunday 10 am class!

Note from Mike: I wanted to clarify that 1) I do, in fact, attend more than just the Sunday 10am class, it’s just that the other class times vary based on work & life while I almost always hit Sunday, and 2) the Sunday 10am class is awesome. Without context, the Sunday 10am class sounds like the laziest possible CrossFit class.  Like in instead of WOD’s, we just clean the weights for the strong folk that workout in the Monday 5am class!

1)      What are your hobbies/interest/talents outside of CrossFit?

Spending time with my wife, Amanda, and 2-year-old son, Charlie.  I love reading, hockey, and musical theatre.

2)      Share with us one thing that most people do NOT know about you?

In the days of yore, I was in a college a capella group; we traveled the US and sang in front of crowds of up to 2,000 people.

3)      How long have you been with us at CFR?

3 years!  I took a month off when I had peroneal tendonitis, but then Coach Shannon yelled at me and said I could still go to CrossFit and modify workouts to not use my foot.  So, I came back, rehabbed, and have been consistent ever since. Note from Coach Erik: This is common! All workouts can be modified to work around nagging injuries. Don’t let them keep you out of the gym!

4)      Take us back to your first week here. How did you feel? Remember the workout?

My first workout was a 250m row, 40M lunges, 10 jumping squats, 10-minute AMRAP.  I remember that after I was able to walk again and got into my car, I had to sit there for 15 minutes before I had enough leg strength to use the gas pedal.  For the first couple of months, I’d tell myself in the middle of every workout, “This is horrible.  I’m never coming back.  If my keys were in my pocket I’d leave now.”  But the WODS that feel the worst during the workout, make you feel like the blood of kings runs through your veins afterwards.

5)      What moment/achievement are you most proud of at CFR?

I never lifted weights seriously before I joined CFR.  Even as I got into shape through CrossFit, I found the gymnastics movements much easier to pick up and continued to struggle with every lift.  In order to focus on building strength, I’ve done four Weightlifting cycles and seen all my lifts go up 10 – 50% (my snatch went from 95lbs to 150lbs).  The moment I’m most proud of was competing in my first Weightliftin meet this past fall. 

6)      What other moments at CRF stand out to you?

In order of most interesting:

  • When our strong CFR women beat me! For example, 7-month pregnant Erica Newfang beat me in week one of the 2017 CrossFit Open, and Emma Bond recently out squatted me.
  • For the last couple of years, I have been telling Rob Alarcon that only a full squat snatch counts as a “made” lift. Since Rob is emotionally incapable of squatting below parallel, and (I thought) power snatches didn’t count for a snatch PR, I could always out snatch him. This led to many pleasant opportunities for me to offer to pick things up for him, or help him carry his bags, or make the friendly suggestion that if there is a fire and he needs someone to carry his kids out of his house to call me. All of this led to moment #2: When Rob Alarcon learned that a power snatch counts as a made lift in Weightlifting and then immediately started out snatching me. Note from Coach Erik: As both a USA Weightlifting Referee and a CrossFit Judge, allow me to clarify: While a power snatch is technically acceptable in the sport of Weightlifting, when we say “snatch” here at CFR, we mean a full snatch. Mike, you can still out-snatch Rob. Enjoy your continued heckling.

7)      Design your perfect workout?

Handstand pushups, toes to bars, and pistols.  21-15-9.  Not that I’d enjoy this workout.  It looks awful.  I’m just a competitive person, and this workout would give me the best shot at winning.

8)      What is your least favorite movement?

Wall balls.  You haven’t lived until you’ve done Karen once and then cherry picked it forever.

9)      Have you experienced any changes in your lifestyle now that you have been a CrossFit athlete?

Yes, absolutely – CrossFit changed my life: It took me from someone who never worked out consistently and found going to the gym to be a chore to someone whose finds working out to be one of the best moments of the week.  After being underweight my whole life, I’ve gained 25 pounds and feel healthy, confident, and in control.  I feel like I can keep up with my son and throw him high enough to ensure he wets his pants.  I’m kidding, I don’t do that.  You can feel safe handing me your kids.

10)   What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking about joining or who has recently joined?

  • Focus on technique before you push too hard on weight.
  • Use ‘MyFitnessPal’ to track what you eat. It is eye opening and really helps you improve your diet.  For me, I was eating a weirdly high percentage of my calories from fat. 
  • Take pride in your progress. That will help motivate you to keep coming.