With the month of March comes the long anticipated CrossFit Open and from what you see online it seems as though the Open is made for these elite athletes who make their career out of exercising. However, the Open is about so much more than that; it represents a time when no matter what your level is you have the ability to test your fitness and see how far you've come. We can think of no other member who represents the Open better than RJ Chang. RJ is a unique kid whose work ethic cannot go unnoticed. Often you will see RJ coming into the gym after a full day of class and work and sometimes when you don't see him it is because he has come in after hours to get in a quick workout before cleaning the gym. With everything that he juggles it would be easy for RJ to throw in the towel and say that he is too busy to participate in the Open this year but instead he signed up, he puts in his best effort for every workout and next year we will see just how far he has come! Read on to find out more about this go getter.
How long have you been Crossfitting?
Since about April 2017, and I joined CFNP middle of June 2017.
What made you try CrossFit?
After working out with Gabe S. and doing his CrossFit-inspired workouts, I wanted to try out the real thing. He also encouraged me to join the "class" setting and experience the difference from working out by myself.
What has been your biggest accomplishment while at CFNP?
Getting a pull-up (kipping). I was never able to do a pull-up with kips or without my whole life.
What’s the best thing(s) about CFNP?
The best thing about CFNP is the community and togetherness of everyone that goes, not only in the class you go to, but everyone from the box.
Which class time do you most commonly attend?
Is competing one of your goals?
I'd want to be able to do many bodyweight movements and gymnastics first, but I'd love to be able to compete now that I've been at CrossFit for almost a year.
Do you have any advice for someone on the fence about trying CrossFit or joining CFNP?
Just Do It. Honestly, you will never find out why people are so excited about it until you dive in. Doing the workout with other people and seeing everyone put out their best effort is inspiring.
What keeps you motivated?
The fact that I am never going to be "my best" (if that makes sense). I have a chance to get better at something everyday I come in, because everyone has a weakness or place they can improve.
How has CrossFit changed your life?
I grew up very chubby and overweight (see first picture below) and through CrossFit, I have been able to become consistent in working out and lost some weight in the process (see second picture below).
What has been your favorite workout and why?
Murph, because it's a grind throughout. It tests your mental toughness through the run and lengthiness (of the WOD).
What is your favorite cheat item?
Sushi or Ramen, you can't go wrong with either one.
What is your favorite activity to do outside the gym?
Church, CrossFit, and school take up a majority of my time, but I enjoy playing with my pets (dogs, rabbits, etc) at home and binge watching Youtube.
Anything I missed that you would like to share?
I am actually a Pre-Veterinary Student at Cal Poly Pomona (Go Broncos!) and am hopefully going to be in vet school in two years. I also played football, basketball, and baseball and enjoy team sports like this outside of CrossFit!