Mike Rustici has demonstrated one of the key virtues in fitness, consistency. Mike has taken the time to come to class regularly, as well as joining in on mobility classes to help him get better at all of the CrossFit movements. I asked him a few questions, and his answers (and additional questions he felt needed to be addressed), are quite entertaining:
When did you start at CrossFit Talon?
What made you want to start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit a little over a year ago. I had just finished my first Olympic Triathlon and I was looking for an interesting way to stay active over the winter. My plan was to stay for three months, then get back outside. The problem is, I can’t walk away from something until I feel I’ve mastered it. You’re going to be seeing me for a long time to come!
What changes have you noticed in your fitness/health since CrossFitting?
My fitness is off the charts these days (err, well, at least my own personal chart). I thought I was in great shape when I walked in the door. I’ll never forget the ego correction that ensued in those first few weeks.
I feel like I can tackle anything fitness-related these days, but the thing I love about CrossFit, and Talon in particular, is the constant gentle reminder there is so much room for improvement.
I’ve also noticed that my shirts don’t fit in the shoulders anymore and, well, if I may say so, I do get a few extra looks from the ladies now and then.
Part of the reason we selected you was because you are consistent and take advantage of our mobility class – how has the mobility helped you?
We all have our weaknesses. In my case, it is readily apparent that mobility holds me back. I have the flexibility of a steel rod. You can tell when I’m squatting because there’s a coach yelling “Lower Mike!”.
I jumped at the chance to attend the new mobility classes a few months ago and I’m amazed at the results. It’s phenomenal what a few (excruciatingly painful) minutes with a lacrosse ball can do to loosen you up.
Mobility work has helped with almost every movement; squat, snatch, clean, they all require me to bend in ways my body wasn’t ready for. I try to get to class a few minutes early to focus on mobility and loosen up the areas I’ll need for the WOD. I even keep a lacrosse ball in my suitcase so I can mobilize on the road.
Progress is slow, but steady, and the results are undeniable.
What advice do you have for staying consistent?
For me, consistency is all about planning ahead. My calendar often fills up weeks in advance, so I make it a point to schedule CrossFit classes well into the future. I routinely register for classes on Volo three months ahead of time. My goal is to get to three classes a week and then have a “mental health” (long cardio) workout on the weekends. If something comes up, I’ll often switch to another time, but I really try to avoid cancelling.
What are your goals for the future?
One day I hope for my elbow to actually touch my instep.
What do you like most about CrossFit?
I’m amazed at how efficient CrossFit is. In just three hours a week, I maintain a level of fitness that far surpasses what I previously achieved exercising twice as much. I recently ran a half-marathon on a whim. How is that possible?
I also love how quantifiable my progress is. I’m a bit of a myWOD nerd, everything I do goes into my phone. It’s so motivating to see actual progress laid out in a nice chart.
What do you like most about Talon?
Everytime I visit another box, my appreciation for Talon grows. The best way to improve in any endeavour is to surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you.
You need to be around outstanding performers to show you what is possible. You need to be around coaches who can mentor you. You need to be around peers who don’t corners and who don’t tolerate laziness.
We have all of that at Talon and it creates an environment that fosters success for all who embrace it.
Super Power: Back Squat
Nemesis: Double Unders
Pet Peeve: Not running all the way around the cul-de-sac (it’s not the Talon way)
Signature: The Sweat Angel