Though every athlete adds something special to the gym, few add more than Warren Jennings. Warren comes in every day ready to not only better himself, but to better those around him. Warren was the first to ask about signs to communicate with Neil when Neil had to take his hearing aids off during especially sweaty workouts and even went out of his way to look up words in Slovakian to greet Lukas in his native language.
Warren is everyone’s cheerleader. He has a genuine desire to push and encourage those around him. He’s the first to introduce himself to a new members and to look up from his pain in the middle of a workout to encourage each member of the class individually.
And perhaps my favorite thing about him is his critical eye, desire to improve and his follow through. When he thought the gym could use a bit more of a community, he organized an in-house competition so people from all classes could mingle and encourage each other. When he thought I was getting burnt out and not coaching my best when covering shifts for another coach, he told me. When he wanted to work on his weaknesses he sought out extra programming to do just that.
As a gym we’re fortunate to have someone like Warren. And, at least for me, I’m lucky to be able to interact with someone of Warren’s life experience and genuine character on a daily basis. You make us all better, Thank You (though you’re still only my second favorite silver back).
When/How/why did you choose to CrossFit?
First, I had to wait 20 years for Crossfit to be created – then another 10 to learn that there are CF gyms all over the place…My family and I were out to dinner with my mother in Canton MA back in May of 2013, and my son Tim pointed out that there were a number of “CrossFitters” in the restaurant (didn’t know it at the time but they were at Regionals). We had seen the CF Games on ESPN and were both interested in CF – this led to a conversation with one group, which led to Tim going to their gym (I still can’t say Box) and he did his first workout (Murph), I happily watched. Soon afterwards I would workout on weekends and eventually built a home CF gym. About a year later I heard about CFA, met Bob C and Brad and immediately joined, I’ve been hooked on CFA ever since.
What is your favorite thing about CrossFit Amoskeag?
The Coaches. Anyone can do Crossfit (functional fitness) anywhere, with or without equipment, you can create your own workouts or find them online, you can workout alone or with friends. The difference is in the teaching – as a person who’s had some experience with fitness, it’s easy to figure out when someone is a good coach (or not). Unfortunately I’ve had some experience with bad coaching in Crossfit – fortunately, I’ve found CFA. Here at CFA, we’ve got some of the Best. Tiffanie, Mike (Brad, Jen) and now Zach are an outstanding Team of Coaches with unique talents and approaches who will lead you in the appropriate direction for your own unique set of circumstances. In my opinion, they don’t teach “Classes”, they’re leading individuals through a process. In addition there is another group of coaches who are more than willing to offer advice and knowledge at any given time or during a specialized class (Carissa, Dan, Nick, Danny, Ben, Mike M, Kyle). We are fortunate to have this group of Coaches.
What role have your family/friends played in your CrossFit journey?
My family fully supports my time and efforts with CrossFit. My son, Tim, has participated with me in the Open twice, and my wife Lisa worked out “once” at CFA last June.
Who at CFA do you look up to, respect or admire and why?
I admire anyone who walks in the door looking to improve themselves, in particular those who are consistent in their efforts. I truly enjoy observing Athletes progression over the months/years. To see their transformation from partial squatters who can’t complete a Wall Ball to loading a barbell overhead and squatting past parallel and then smiling after they do burpees. It just makes me happy.
Specifically, I look to Lisa W for her incredible energy and smile she brings everyday to the 5 AM class; Tom W for his dancing abilities; Billiam who shows me I’ll be able to continue doing CF in my 60’s; Nina for being with me at the 6 AM class more than anyone else; Neil and Rayne for being the only true Lifting-Partners I’ve had at CF – the amount of growth we had last summer was awesome; Jon for his parental/career advice; Emily, Jon and Amy for always having a smile – it must run in the family; Bob B for being on a similar journey with me; Jim B for being an example that being older isn’t an excuse; the ownership-group for creating CFA, allowing us to put on the Peer2Peer event and fixing the shower; Dave R who I learn stuff just by watching; Mike D who, although he’s a Steelers fan, always brings the energy up; the 6 AM regulars who workout and support me whenever they can: Jim, Steve, Tim, Nick, Heather, Maureen, Greg and Lukas and the athletes I see most every weekend: Derek, Gina, Jen, Nicole.
I like Over-Head Squats and the Snatch – it’s complicated.
Least favorite WOD or skill (your “Goat”)?
Anything longer than 20 minutes seems to kick the crap out of me.
And speed Sleds – it’s sort of a love/hate thing lately
Biggest challenge so far (in CrossFit, health or nutrition)?
Getting through my knee surgery; it was very minor but it was stopping me from taking part in a number of workouts and my long-term goals – being sure to take the recovery slower than I wanted to, but knowing that if I returned to regular training, I’d be set back further than the original injury. Patience has paid off so far – I still wear the knee sleeves like a “binky” though.
Proudest accomplishment so far (in CrossFit, health or nutrition)?
Supporting Gene Brown with the Peer 2 Peer event. I think it’s pretty cool what Gene does for Make – A – Wish NH and I was happy that we were able to have some fun in supporting him. You know you did it right when a guy has trouble speaking in front of his friends.
Best experience as part of CFA?
I love Saturdays and Sundays at CFA. An opportunity to make up a workout, work on movements, CF-Kids, Barbell Club, the dogs, and meeting athletes who you otherwise wouldn’t see during the week. It’s a great scene and getting better too. Any thoughts to a Whiskey/Tequila bar?
Favorite quote or motto?
Out-Run the Lifter/Outlift the Runner: because I’m not much of a lifter or a runner so it’s my only shot at greatness.
When you think it’s tough, difficult or impossible, what keeps you going?
I have a son, Anthony who has some physical challenges. I know that what he goes through each day is more difficult than any workout or event we do at CFA. I don’t think about Anthony during our workouts (maybe I should) but I know that if the workout has been programmed appropriately then it can’t be too tough, difficult or impossible to do. This of course does not apply to any workout that Jon Snow puts together on most Saturday mornings.
Beyond getting better at all things Crossfit, I’d like to become L-1 certified this year. I believe there is a real opportunity for coaching in the master’s community.
Your message to readers
Read Greg Glassman’s’ “World Class Fitness in 100 words” – Incorporate as much of it as you can, Take your time getting there.