March 2015 Athlete of the Month

March 2015: Sonny Boy

The legs are slowly catching up, but he’s become a well rounded crossfitter…even more so than sis?

neilMeet Neil!

-Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

My name is Neil (A.K.A. Sonny by Lauren) and I’ve been a wonderful young brother to Lauren for 29 years. In the spring of 2009 I graduated from Radford University with a bachelors degree in exercise science. After graduation I had the opportunity of moving out to California where I completed some graduate course work and worked as a certified athletic trainer. I made the trip back east in August of 2011 and was hired at Advantage Physical Therapy and Sports Performance. I continue to work at Advantage PTSP providing outreach athletic training services within the area.

-How long have you been doing crossfit?

I’ve been at it for about 2+ years. I was coaxed into “drinking the Kool-aid” by Lauren.

-When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

To be honest, there are too many workouts that I’ve pushed through where I thought I was going to die. Although, there was one moment where I wanted to stop what I was doing, get a drink of water, and go home with the thought of never coming back. There was one movement that had made me really frustrated early on with CrossFit, it was hand-stand push-ups. I don’t remember the workout exactly but, I just remember hitting failure and I couldn’t accept the fact that I couldn’t continue. It’s not that I was mad, I was just upset with with myself. It was an eye opening experience showing me how out of shape I was at such a young age (27). That memory is very vivid, almost like a reminder telling me to keep pushing forward.

-What are your favorite crossfit moments? (this question originally said movements but Neil responded with moments so we’ll roll with it!)

My favorite moments are those well spent with the members of the gym.  It’s always great to see a small sample of our community come together during events such as the CrossFit Open, Superfit events, fundraisers etc. The community aspect of CrossFit is the main reason why I decided to give it a try. The encouragement and praise that people give one another in the gym on a daily basis is very contagious.

-What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

I don’t mind most movements but, when muscle-ups or a heavy squat are sprinkled in, I get a little antsy.

-What are your goals?

The main goal is for me to be as healthy and fit as I possibly can. In the near future, I would like to handstand walk 50 feet, run a mile in 5:35, and squat 300 lbs.

-What motivates you to continue coming back?

The community. If Rocktown CrossFit didn’t have it’s members I wouldn’t have continued coming back.

 -What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Haha…within the Coverstone DNA we have a gene for sweets. I LOVE Strites Donuts!!!

 -In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

Definitely more than just an ordinary gym, it’s a community filled with very talented people.

 -Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

These past few years have really allowed me to see what I’m made of.  Following high school, my fitness level and health had declined and I was at my heaviest in May of 2012. Being part of such a great community at “The Rock” has helped me in many ways but, without the encouragement of my older sister, Lauren, I may have never started CrossFit.

A Note from the Rocktown Staff
The longer Neil has been with us, he just keeps getting better.  I’m sure its been gradual but it seems as though in the past 3 months he’s really taken it to another level.  Once famous for blowing out of the gate and dying early, those early starts can now be maintained throughout the workout.  Neil has really spent a lot of time focusing on his weaknesses…there isn’t a day that goes by when he comes in that he doesn’t squat, get upside down, or work on his olympic lifts.  The running joke is Neil sending Lauren a text asking how she did on any given day.  And while she loves to fire-back with “faster than you” those responses have become much less often of late!  It’s been a great few years watching Neil get fit and I believe its also been great for his relationship with Lauren…they have grown very close and would do anything for each other.  Its not often you get to share an outlet like this with a family member, and they do a great job of taking full advantage of the situation.  Neil does a lot for us and anyone who has ailments.  He will be the first to give you insight on your bumps and bruises and can be a great voice of reason when suggesting remedies.  Thanks for all you do Neil, keep up the good work, and I would say cut back on the coffee but we all know that’s not going to happen!
October 2013 from October 2011