September’s Member of the Month, Jeff Northrop!
Again, we are delighted to announce Jeff Northrop as our Member of the Month for September! Jeff is an all-around great guy to call a part of our community. He is friendly, encouraging to his class mates, very diligent about working on his weaknesses, which he puts massive amounts of effort into before, during and after class, seeks out and responds well to feedback from his coaches and is quick to make newer members feel welcome and included. Check out Jeff’s Q and A below. His answers contain a few gems of wisdom on how Jeff approaches fitness, life and longevity. Enjoy!
Now for some Q&A!!
Q: First off, Congrats, Jeff! It’s now your turn to answer our traditional first question; how did you feel to be named Member of the Month in September?
I was truly surprised. See, I’m not the member who comes in the most often, lifts the most weight, runs the fastest or furthest, has the best form and certainly not the one who has shown the most improvement so I never considered myself a candidate for the honor. The title is very flattering.
Q: What is the one thing you enjoy most about coming to GBCF every morning?
Enjoy is kind of a strong word. Let me be clear here: On the deepest, darkest winter morning — when it is pitch black outside, and it is so cold each breath hurts, and the car windows need to be cleared of frost, and the car seats feel even colder than the air — those mornings when I enter the gym and the indoor ambient temperature is in the 50s I most often think to myself, “what the F*$@ am I doing!”
Working out in the morning is the time I go by default, not really by choice. I want to workout, and I do enjoy working out at GBCF, it is just that the morning is the only time I know I will go consistently. If I could manage it, I would work out in the evening or even better the middle of the day. Though I would miss all the wonderful morning gym-goers, it would be awesome to snuggle under the covers for a couple of hours extra sleep.
Q: As mentioned in your M.O.M write up, you have been doing some serious work on your mobility over the past few years. What have you been working on specifically and how have you viewed this experience?
My lack of mobility has been a lifelong struggle. Even in high school my track teammates made fun of my lack of flexibility. That doesn’t mean I can’t improve on what I have though. I’ve found cycling through mobilizing different body parts allows me to progress steadily while preventing me from overdoing it in any one area. One month I’ll focus on my ankles, the next my shoulders, thoracic spine, hips, etc. Using that methodology progress is slow but consistent. I long ago conceded that there is no magic bullet for me. I just need to be patient and consistent.
Q: Can you tell us more about how it has been having your son, Jack attend classes with you?
I really enjoyed having Jack join me in the mornings. It was some good father-son time at an age when that can be hard to find (he is 17 years old). This was his second summer at GBCF and, just like last summer, it is nice to have a partner to travel with and someone who understand why I’m sore, or share my trepidation of the upcoming workout. It was also inspiring to see the progress he was able to make. He packed on a ton of muscle and improved his mobility at an astounding rate. Oh to be 17 again!
Q: I know that you travel from time to time due to work commitments. How do you stay motivated and consistent with your workouts on the road? What kind of advice could you share with fellow road warriors who are struggling with staying consistent with their eating and fitness on the road?
My advice is not to worry about it too much. Workout if you feel like it, don’t if you don’t want to. Travel is stressful enough as it is and compounding that stress by setting difficult goals, like committing to getting up at 5am to hit the gym, is unnecessary. That’s the attitude I take. However, I know if I can squeeze in a workout I know I’ll feel better for the rest of the day so, If I can manage it, I will workout. That ends up being about half of the days I travel.
When the opportunity arises I’ll travel to a local CrossFit, meet some new people and do whatever they have scheduled. More often though I try make it work at the hotel gym, other times I will go for a run (weather permitting) or when all else fails, my go to on-the-road workout is 100 burpees for time. That can be done in just about any hotel room and doesn’t take more than 10 minutes.
Q: Do you find any similarities between your efforts in the gym and the work you do for your occupation? If so, what are they?
On the face of it, no, there are no similarities. I’m a completely sedentary desk-jockey. I could be a 300lbs smoker and do just as well at my job. However, the constant experience in the gym of pushing just beyond my comfort zone (and surviving) builds a sort of confidence that makes work stresses seem much less significant than they otherwise may have been.
Q: What are your goals for your fitness in the future?
I’m not a big fan of short-term performance related goals. I’m getting too old to show constant progress. I know at 47 I’m going to have good months and bad months, therefore I set the simple goal of just showing up 4 days a week to do whatever is programmed and spend a little extra time on my mobility. That way I won’t get discouraged whether my weight goes up or down and whether my performance improves. As long as I feel good I know I’m doing to the right thing.
My long term goal is to be able to move well, have adequate strength and have good balance for as long as I walk this Earth — which I expect to be a good long time!
Q: To wrap things up here, are there any final thoughts you would like to share with everyone?
Everyone should enjoy coming to GBCF. It is a good place with great people. If you’re not having a good time you are doing it wrong.
Thank You Jeff!!!