Athlete of the MonthJanuary

Steven S (he/him/his)

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?

I recently left 15 years of public education (high school mathematics teacher, school building administrator, and school district administrator) to become the National Schools Director for a non-profit. I believe that public education works and all students can reach their unique potential when the correct funding for teachers, curriculum resources, and parent education is in place. Our non-profit ensures that the public schools in our network have all of these necessary resources in place. I am currently hard at work launching an innovative, free tuition virtual school. This has been a huge lift as we develop an instructional program that provides the same quality of education as our brick-and-mortar schools. 

Outside of work I enjoy traveling with Nat S. & Stevie. I find extreme joy in spending time in other cities, states, and countries. I dream of a time where we can move back to feeling comfortable outside of the United States. 

WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO TRAINING AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?

I was in a serious accident on my second day ever driving at 16 years old. I ended up chipping a bit of my L4 disk, leaving my lower back, hips, and hamstrings incredibly out of whack. I took a year off of high school sports and tried to ease back in during my senior year of high school and early college years. After college, I began getting interested in running (mainly because my friends were getting out of shape as they aged and I couldn’t find people to play basketball with…) and stuck with that into my 30s. Throughout many of my marathon experiences my hamstrings, hips, and core would give out at the 22-mile mark. I did some research and decided that Crossfit might provide the training necessary to develop my core strength. I searched Crossfit on Google Maps and found out that Hardware was ½ of a mile away! 

The community at Hardware is what keeps me coming back. I love how Hardware provides an environment to grow as an athlete and as an individual. I have met so many people at Hardware who have improved my worldview and shaped me into a better person. 

WHAT ARE YOUR FITNESS GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?

Honestly, my overarching fitness goal is to not gain weight. I hit my goal a few months back, however, the opening of a Birra taco joint across the street from our house has thrown me for a loop. When it comes to movements, I would love to string together at least three bar muscle-ups. I can currently do one, but I am on the verge of puking each time. I hope that a bit of weight loss and a few months of strength training will do the trick! 

WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED AT HARDWARE THAT MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?

I am most proud of my development in the Olympic weightlifting movements. I remember looking at the whiteboard over the first 12 – 18 months and wondering how I would ever get to the Rx weights for many of the workouts. It has been rewarding to see my hard work pay off as I regularly complete workouts at the Rx weight. The 2021 Open was the first year that I completed each workout at the Rx weight (Go Team Blue!).

FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?­­

I love EMOM (every minute on the minute) workouts! It is fun to have a mini-break and I love the 20 seconds of banter with the people next to me before the next movement. 

LEAST FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?

I am not a huge fan of the AMRAP structure. I like to go fast through my workout and I typically redline midway through an AMRAP. I would much rather earn more rest or complete the workout earlier with a time cap workout or EMOM workout. 

ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN TRYING OUT HARDWARE?

There are so many people who don’t stick with their gym memberships or workout routines throughout the year(s). I had this problem and I think it was due to the individual nature of going to a large gym or running/walking on your own. Hardware provides such a welcoming community for anyone, at any level to thrive and reach their goals.

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