Athlete of the Month: December 2017
Always to class on time; making sure his platform is set up just so with his lifters, barbell, straps, and training notebook; Mark sets the tone right for his olympic lifting class sessions without fail. Mark shows his constant desire to improve in class by taking every cue to heart and has shown swift improvement because of that. Mark is a true team player and is always eagerly assisting new oly participants as well as sharing a platform with the seasoned lifters. He will be competing soon in his first olympic weightlifting meet and we couldn't be more proud for him to represent us at Windy City!
Member since: September 2013
Favorite Quote: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” — Calvin Coolidge
“Since drinking beer and smoking cigarettes wasn’t going to cut it forever I knew I needed to make changes in my life. I remember seeing a picture of myself several years ago and thinking ‘you look like a corpse.’ Shortly after that I began my long overdue journey towards a healthier lifestyle.”
Mark: For most of my life exercise was not important to me, you could say I preferred a life of leisure growing up. Since drinking beer and smoking cigarettes wasn’t going to cut it forever I knew I needed to make changes in my life. I remember seeing a picture of myself several years ago and thinking “you look like a corpse.” Shortly after that I began my long overdue journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Before I started training at Windy City I was going back and forth between seeing a trainer and doing p90x. I didn’t care for either option that much, it was more of a box I needed to check each day. I would use any excuse to skip days and would quickly fall back into old routines and weeks would go by without exercise. I got to a point where I gave up on working out for a while when a friend of mine told me about Windy City. To be honest when he first told me about CrossFit it sounded very intimidating and I was not interested at all, but after a few months went by and I saw how much weight he lost I thought I would give it a try.
I think it is fair to say I was hooked from the start. Everyone there was so encouraging and helpful, which made all the difference. It was within the first month that I was able to kick the smoking habit for good, which to that point I thought wasn’t possible. I no longer view going to the gym as a box to check off each day, it is the part of my day that I look forward to because I know when I leave I am stronger both physically and mentally.
One of the best things about Windy City is the variety in programing, there are so many different tracks to pursue it makes it impossible to become stagnant. For the past 2 years I have been following the olympic weightlifting track and I couldn’t be happier, I am borderline obsessed with the sport. If you are looking to get better at the olympic lifts talk to Coach Eloise, she is a great teacher. Thank you to all the Windy City coaches for making this place a fun environment to learn and grow.
What adventures, events, trips, races do you have planned?
I have a couple trips planned this winter, I hate the cold, so going to Costa Rica in January and Riviera Maya in February. I’m also really excited to compete in my first olympic weightlifting meet in 2018.
What would you do and where would you go if time / money were not object?
Dream big, live big! If money were not an object I would want to travel more. There are still several places on the bucket list I need to check off; England, Germany and Spain are at the top of my list.
Fitness: My main fitness goal right now is to snatch 200lbs. I’m close. Beyond that I just want to be a better olympic lifter and get more involved in the sport.
Professionally: I have been with my company for close to 10 years and can honestly say I still find the work challenging. I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity to not only grow within an organization, but also work with some really great people. My goal is to continue working and growing within the organization.
Personal: I want to get out and be more adventurous. I always enjoy seeing new places and trying new things but rarely make time for it.
Something that most people don’t know about me:
My wife and I base most of our household decisions around what’s best for our dog.
Words to Live By
Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.