Shaheen the Machine - Amoskeag

Shaheen the Machine

Member of the Month



[one_half] Few people have made as much progress in as short a period of time as Mike Shaheen has. Since day one he has walked through these doors with a positive attitude, willingness to listen and drive to improve. He continues to chip away at his GOATs and is a daily reminder of what one can accomplish when you leave your ego at the door and come in to do work. From starting squats on a box to learn where his body needed to be and overhead squatting with a pvc, he’s never let challenges slow him down or dampen his enthusiasm. If he was ever frustrated, he never let it show. He’s never uttered an unkind word or been anything but intensely supportive of his classmates. We’re lucky to have such a positive and hard working member in our community. Keep killing it, Shaheen. [/one_half]


When/How/why did you choose to CrossFit?

[one_half] When I graduated college in May of 2014, I was going through my Yearbook and I found a picture of me that was particularly unflattering. I knew I wasn’t in the best of shape, but I had no idea how bad I actually was and that picture convinced me that it was time to make some changes in my life. I signed up for a non-Crossfit gym in Nashua, but it just wasn’t the right fit for me. I needed more structure in my workout then the program provided. I had noticed a Facebook friend of mine posted a status about Crossfit and a before and after picture. I did some research online, and Amoskeag was perfectly in between where I was working at the time and where I lived in Nashua, so I figured I would give it a go. The rest is history.
Mike - Yearbook Picture[/one_half]


What is your favorite thing about CrossFit Amoskeag?

Where do I even begin.. Definitely the community feeling that Amoskeag provides. I know the coaches are really there to help me and genuinely care about my growth as an athlete and my wellbeing. Even if there are a lot of people in the class, they will take the time to show you exactly each and every move, and even today I still benefit from that. Plus, everyone who shows up to work out helps each other out. You’re not competing against one another during a WOD, you become a team with the people around you and everyone cheers each other on until everyone completes the work out. You aren’t just working out with random people at Amoskeag, everyone doing the workout forms a team against the clock, and when the team is finished, everyone gets a fistbump.

What role have your family/friends played in your CrossFit journey?

My family has been crazy supportive of me during this journey. They have been behind me 100% and have been floored by all the progress i’ve made. They’ve done everything they can to keep me on the right path, even by going as far as to offer to pay for Crossfit when I was laid off from my job back in April to make sure that I didn’t lose any of the progress I had made. My friends were really supportive as well. I got a lot of comments along the way about how they could notice changes in my physique, and it was really cool. Recently, I updated my Facebook with new profile pictures (I am awful at doing this, my last photos were two years old) and the comments came flooding in from people I hadn’t heard from in years and it was a really cool feeling.

Who at CFA do you look up to, respect or admire and why?

Literally everyone who walks through the doors and works out I admire. Its very easy to say “ehh, I can skip today’s WOD. No biggie.” Just the level of commitment I see from everyone who walks through those doors inspires me to walk through those doors. Every day, people walk through those doors and push themselves to their absolute limit, and that is awe-inspiring. Seeing everyone else walk through those doors gives me the motivation to get out the door and into the box in the morning to get my WOD in.

Favorite WOD/Skill?

For some reason, I really like Box Jumps. I guess i’m just kind of partial to the adrenaline rush that being mid-air gives me. Rowing and running are also two of my favorites, just because you really get to push yourself to the limits. As far as barbell exercises go, I really enjoy doing Power Cleans as well as Front and Back Squats. Squats are definitely something that once I got the hang of them, I feel as if they just keep getting better and better.

Least favorite WOD or skill (your “Goat”)?

Overhead Squats would definitely be my least favorite. I can never get the form exactly right, and they always end up looking ugly. Double Unders would definitely be up there as well. With Wall Balls, it’s not that I can’t do them, it’s the fact that they are just awful to do and really wear me out quickly.

Biggest challenge so far (in CrossFit, health or nutrition)?

Probably sticking with Crossfit initially was my biggest challenge. During On Ramp, I was absolutely god awful at most things. I could barely string together 5 single unders on my first night of the On Ramp program. Looking at what the participants in the regular WOD’s did and knowing where I was, it was hard to really see myself getting to the point where I could be as good as they are. Although I thought about saying Crossfit wasn’t for me and looking into what Planet Fitness had to offer, I figured I would finish up what I started with Crossfit at least for the trial month and see how far I could go, and I am really glad I did.

Proudest accomplishment so far (in CrossFit, health or nutrition)?

I would be lying if I didn’t say losing all the weight I have and getting into better shape was one of my biggest achievements. Going from 220 to 170 was something I never thought possible when I first started this journey. For me though, the biggest thing i’ve gained from this is a renewed sense of self-confidence. Everytime I look at a workout on Wodify, I always pick out “I’m going to be good at this”, “I am going to absolutely suck at this”, and now more and more when I do that, I can do the things that I didn’t initially think I could. Now, that new found self confidence from Crossfit and getting into shape is spilling over to more and more aspects of my life and I am grateful for that.

Best experience as part of CFA?

Hands down, Festivus Games. Not even a second thought. When I saw the sign-ups for Festivus, I had no idea if I was physically capable of competing in it. At that point, I had only been doing Crossfit for only 3 months or so, and I was far from the best at it. I signed up for it on a whim, because at the very least, it would give me a good starting point for competitions and take away some of the nerves. I got so much more out of it then that though. That day was basically a big wake-up call for me that I can do the work-outs and that I can compete as a Crossfit athlete. The fact that I didn’t place was irrelevant to me, the fact that I showed myself that I can do it and show my Dad what I had spent the last few months working towards was the coolest thing in the world.


Favorite quote or motto?

“This is going to be ugly..” “Wasn’t terrible.” – Jeff

“Go grab a box and do Box Squats” – Brad (Get well soon man!)

“You’re stronger than you think you are.” – Bob

“Imagine there is a robber right in front of you. Now elbow him right in the face!” – Moonshine

“I’m impressed.” – Tiffanie

“Attaboy Shaheen Machine!” – Zach

When you think it’s tough, difficult or impossible, what keeps you going?

Just looking back at how far I’ve come already and how much more I want for myself keeps me ready to work hard to fight to keep what I’ve already earned and get what I need to get. When I am standing in front of the bar, not sure if I can hit a PR, I think about where I was when I first started and what that version of myself would think if he could see where I am now.

Future goals?

Long Term:

Shaheen Survivor

It’s always been a dream of mine to compete on the TV show “Survivor”. I’ve been a superfan of the show since I was 14, and I started applying to compete on the show when I was 18 with no luck as of yet (Although I did get to play a mini version of the game in Maine this summer). Part of my motivation to work out was to put me in a better position to achieve this goal and I truly feel that becoming #AmoskeagStrong has put me in the best shape of my life and hopefully closer to living out my dream.

I would love to be able to finally do some consistent pull-ups, and eventually muscle-ups. I’ve been getting better and can do a few of them, but I would love to be at the level where I can do sets of 10-20 strict unbroken pullups.

Short Term:

Just keep showing up everyday and being better than I was the day before.

Oh, and double unders.

Your message to readers:

No matter how good or bad you think you are, just stick with it. Crossfit is a journey that if you stick with it long enough and put the effort in, really great things will start to happen. Never in a million years did I ever think I would make the changes I made, but a lot of sweat and hard work got me to where I am today and now I can’t imagine my life without Crossfit in it.


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