Tristan Fritz: the original Bearded Badass.

It’s hard to say you enjoy something that so often leaves me writhing in agony in a giant puddle of sweat on the floor, but I keep coming back. For me it is that feeling after a WOD, after your exhausted, when you look back and say “Yeah I just did that”. That endorphin rush, that natural high that you get after exercising. Then as you regain your breath, as the blood flows back into your legs, arms and brain, you get that feeling of accomplishment. Slowly you settle down and you get ready to leave the gym and you start thinking I could have gone faster, I could have done one more rep, I could have added weight. Then It’s got you and you can’t wait for tomorrow.

The most important aspect that keeps me coming back is the community of Albany CrossFit. I always look forward to Thursday nights each week because of the friends that I get to see and work out with, they feel like family. The same friends you make at the gym also hold you accountable during workouts. Finishing last is almost more enjoyable with this Community then finishing first, knowing that when your tired and weak the Community will surround you and cheer you on until you finish. I also like knowing that when I can physically help someone else, I can yell and scream and encourage them and know it helps. It makes something that is unpleasant significantly more tolerable. Also the increase in beards in the community, I like to think I started that.

When I started Crossfit I thought that I was in pretty good shape, then I hit my first WODs and I realized I still had a long way to go. In the 6+ months since I’ve started Crossfit I’ve seen most of my major lifts improve by over 100 lbs. I started out being unable to hit many workouts as prescribed, it was an ego check. Now I am able to hit 50% of the workouts as prescribed and when I am unable to complete one I challenge myself to improve. Crossfit presents challenges that you overcome or fail, but you learn through failure and you grow through failure. Nothing is more gratifying than being able to do something one week that you had failed to accomplish the week before. Whether you challenge yourself to pick a heavier weight or set a faster time.

About 3 years ago I made a decision to get healthy. I had already lost 30 pounds and abandoned old habits that were detrimental to my health but I still had more to do when I joined Albany Crossfit. I didn’t buy into the Paleo or Zone diets completely, but I adapted my diet slightly. By making a simple change to my diet, I cut my coffee consumption from 8-10 cups a day to 0 without losing energy. My self-confidence has also increased immensely, constantly pushing myself and challenging myself has changed my perception of what I am actually capable of. While the scale may say I’ve actually gained weight, I feel better, I perform better, and I am much stronger.

It’s quite difficult to pick a favorite story at Albany CrossFit when there are so many. I remember starting Bootcamp and meeting new people including, Renee Fitzgerald. She had a personality that was vivacious and while she struggled through Bootcamp she was determined to change her lifestyle. I’ve been able to watch how Crossfit has completely changed her life. She easily could have quit when it was hard yet she did not. Renee is my favorite Crossfit story because I witnessed the story as it was created.