If you spent a week attending the 6 AM weekday class, you’d find an eclectic group of Athletes who truly enjoy each other’s company: A fashionable Instagram diva who sells yogurt; a Federal Prosecutor who is half the size of most of the felon’s she sends to prison; a warehouse guy who can’t stop talking about how old he is; and then there’s Robert Smith, a U.S. Army Sergeant from Tacoma, Washington with a lot of Texas in him. Strikingly handsome, intelligent and stronger than many half his age, Robert is quick to smile and offer a helping hand to his fellow Athletes. He is always there at the end of the workout with a fist bump and you will quite often see him supporting CFA Athletes at weekend events. His Army instructor voice carries down the length of the turf supporting those who need a little extra drive to finish their heavy sleds or lunges. Robert expects much of himself and raises the class up with him. If you tarry too long after a WOD, you will be gathered up to practice “Toes to Bar” or Mickey’s ab’s routine. We are very happy that Robert has joined CFA this past year. For this and many other reasons, Robert is our December Athlete of the Month. – Warren
When/How/why did you choose CrossFit?
A: I first started CrossFit when I was at Camp Buehring, Kuwait around July 2012. I was an Army Combatives instructor, but with ongoing knee issues I couldn’t be on my knees and on the mat for prolonged periods. So, a buddy and I heard about this thing called CrossFit and that there was a tent, up the sandy road, where we could give it a try. We listened to the intro and did the first workout in boots and utes. Since then there was no turning back for me. I earned my CrossFit level 1 certification at Ali al Salem, Kuwait on my birthday five years ago.
What is your favorite thing about CrossFit Amoskeag?
A: My favorite thing about CFA is the atmosphere and the people. Being on active duty I move around a lot (moving to NH last year was my third move in three years). With that, there’s always that awkward lonely feeling of moving to a new place and trying to figure out where your niche is going to be. So, it’s was nice to be immediately welcomed and incorporated into the CFA community.
What role have your family/friends played in your CrossFit journey?
A: My friends have been really supportive of my CrossFit journey. They’ve always helped me with skills I couldn’t do, helped me be more efficient with the skills that I have, and pushed me to beyond what I thought I could do. They’ve also helped me realize my limitations and tell me when to pullback to save myself from potential injuries..
My daughter has been supportive on this journey as well. She’s a former competitive gymnast and taught me all about the hollow hold. She also finds it amusing how we struggle with ring and bar muscle ups. But, payback was sweet when she went through CrossFit fundamentals course and had to do barbell work.
My wife, Jen, bought me a Concept 2 Rower, a Rogue sled, and other equipment. So, either she’s supportive of me doing CrossFit or she’s dropping very obvious hints that I need exercise more and lose the fat. We look forward to the day when we can have our own garage gym!
Who at CFA do you look up to, respect or admire and why?
A: I admire and respect everyone at CFA. To have the drive and willingness to embrace the suck isn’t something most people are willing to do. But, if I had to choose one person it would be Warren. To have his level of commitment and competitiveness is something I inspire to have when I get to that Master’s level (very soon). He’s a great ambassador for CrossFit and he’s just an all-around good guy.
A: My favorite WOD is DT. My favorite skill…running?? Yah right. If I do have a favorite skill I’d say it would be thrusters. I don’t mind seeing those in a WOD.
Least favorite WOD or skill (your “Goat”)?
A: Least favorite WOD? This is an easy answer…any WOD that has running, pistols, HSPUs, burpees box overs, and is longer than 12minutes.
The biggest challenge so far (in CrossFit, health or nutrition)?
A: My biggest CrossFit challenge so far would be nutrition. I like to cook and love to eat! But, I’m making progress, slowly, at managing my macros and eating right on a daily basis.
Proudest accomplishment so far (in CrossFit, health or nutrition)?
A: My proudest CrossFit accomplishment so far is helping and encouraging others in this sport. I love hearing the positive stories and feedback of people that started CrossFit because I introduced them to it.
Best experience as part of CFA?
A: Honestly, my best experience as part of CFA is being part of the community. We all help and encourage one another and that positivity carries over into my daily activities.
Favorite quote or motto?
A: 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
When you think it’s tough, difficult or impossible, what keeps you going?
A: What keeps me going is seeing the other athletes there pushing through and embracing the suck. If they can keep moving, so can I.
A: My future CrossFit goals are to stay healthy, eat properly, be a positive mentor, and continue growing in this sport.
Your message to readers:
My life has been filled with ups and downs, regrets, sorrow, and joy. It’s be a long broken road and it took me years and years to realize that you should always count your blessings, make someone smile, be able to laugh at yourself, and slow down to enjoy life. As the saying goes, “Don’t be so focused on the destination that you don’t enjoy the journey.”