Jake Carrion

Trainer

To say that I have always had an interest in elite fitness and good nutrition would be a blatant lie. At age 16 I was a 5’11”, 285 pound, fried food and ice cream eating monster with absolutely no motivation to work out and absolutely no idea how I could fix my situation. Like most people when they decide they no longer want to be fat I went on a “diet” and joined the YMCA. My “diet”, which totaled about 1000 calories per day consisted of a piece of dry toast in the morning, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with milk for lunch, and a can of tuna for dinner. My exercise regime went something along the lines of running on the treadmill for two hours (or until I burned at least 1500 calories), then I would do the typical weight lifting exercises that I saw everyone else at the gym doing for another two hours. Suffice it to to say I was losing weight rapidly, but in no way, shape, or form was I in good health. Time went on and I got down to a weight that made me feel a bit better about myself, but I didn’t look or feel the way I wanted. I began to research and self-test different types of fitness and nutrition found on the Internet and in muscle and fitness magazines but quickly became frustrated. Nothing was giving me the results I was looking for.

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– Certified CrossFit Level 2 Trainer (CF-L2)
– CrossFit Kids Trainer

I first heard about CrossFit in late 2010 from a friend of mine who I worked with. He had started doing it just a few months earlier and was completely addicted. I was reluctant to try it at first because I figured any form of working out that could get someone that excited had to involve hypnotism or drugs. It wasn’t until early in 2011 on our annual week long vacation to Hawaii that he finally convinced me to just try a workout. He made up something simple that we could do at the condo we were staying in; I think it was a tabata consisting of burpees (everyone’s favorite movement), pull ups, and air squats. After finishing the workout I felt like I could conquer the world! If only I could pull myself out of the pool of sweat on the floor that I was slowly drowning in. Who knew something so simple could be so intense and addicting?! Needless to say I was hooked. We did probably 4 more CrossFit workouts just in that week and it seemed like each one was harder than the next but they were all different.

Upon my return home I started to research CrossFit gyms in my area that I could start going to. I have been a resident of Berkeley Heights for many years, so it was a no brainer to check out CrossFit 908 and see what they were all about. After sending Tim a quick email, my girlfriend and I threw on some workout clothes and went over for a Monday night free class. My first experience at CrossFit 908 completely sold me on the whole CrossFit phenomena. Tim walked up to us as soon as we walked in the door and shook our hands. Amazingly he knew both of our names and our information from memory, which was pretty darn impressive. I looked around in awe, never had I been to a gym where so many people were working together towards one goal in intense, grunting harmony. Everyone was pushing each other towards an objective and getting after it. Not to mention there was not one person in the gym with a pair of headphones on! This was a whole new world for us, and all the members instantly made us feel right at home.

After a few months of working out at 908 I began to eat paleo/primal and started to really see the results I had been searching for. The hunger didn’t end there however, I was eager to learn all I could about CrossFit. I finally decided in September 2011 that I wanted to take a trainer course so I could test to get my CrossFit level 1 certificate. I approached Tim and asked if he would let me shadow at the gym if I passed my test. Tim agreed and in October of 2011 I received my level 1 certificate, and I worked towards becoming a trainer at CrossFit 908 for several months until Tim believed I was ready.

CrossFit has and will continue to motivate me to learn all I can about fitness and proper nutrition. The fitness community is full of individuals trying to make a quick buck by claiming to have the answers to quick and easy results from sub par fitness strategies and unnatural diet remedies. I’m here to tell you that the key to reaching a goal and feeling accomplished is found only through hard work and dedication, and that is what CrossFit is all about. I truly believe that the CrossFit community has, and will continue to stand for something real, and anyone who is willing to dig deep inside themselves will receive ten-fold the efforts that they put forth.