Changes in my athletic endeavors

As the CEO of the World’s Healthiest Beverage company, the father of 2, husband to a beautiful, wonderful woman, and owner of my own body, fitness is a very, very important part of my life. I revel in the fact that our beet kvass can help virtually any athlete accomplish more through the vasodilation benefits of beets as well as naturally occurring probiotics, and I use my own kvass religiously in the constant quest for a stronger, healthier, and more enjoyable body.

Of course, this benefit of our products has led us here at Zukay to greatly explore the opportunities to reach out to all who enjoy athletic endeavors at any level of activity. The LA Lakers use our products regularly to enhance their endurance, and we know of many triathletes, wrestlers, runners, and others both pro and amateur who use our products regularly. But the one thing that kept popping out to us was CrossFit. Because of the very tight relationship between the Paleo diet movement and CrossFit, which actively pushes Paleo as a food lifestyle, there were already many CrossFitters who were using our products, and many more who were extremely interested in our message. As someone who was into “fitness” and had several methods of achieving it (Ashtanga Yoga, Sprinting, Barefoot Hiking, and some Strongman High Intensity Circuit Training), I figured it was time to check it out for myself. So, our man Zac here set us up as charter members of a brand new box close to our plant in Boyertown, PA ( , and a love affair was born.

Before I say why I have fallen in love with CrossFit, I’ll acknowledge there are many vociferous haters out there, some of whom who have done it, and some who haven’t. It’s a human-based activity, and like such, is not perfect, and is certainly not perfect for everyone (or everyone’s goals). It, like most things, is dependent on the skill and care of those in charge, and is also dependent on the participant as well. Baseball, golf, NASCAR, football, soccer, and synchronized swimming all have their detractors and lovers as well. If you love it, you love it, and if you don’t, you don’t. I just preach respect for all who take the time and energy to devote into a love they have that takes nothing away from anyone else.

That all being said, I’ve fallen in love with many, many aspects of Crossfit. I’m constantly enamored with the genius of the random schedule, the fun of having no idea what the next day’s workout will bring, and the challenge of doing things I never did before or didn’t think I could do. Yesterday, I climbed up a rope with no legs for the first time since I was in junior high. Yeah, that felt pretty awesome. I also jumped rope faster and longer than I thought possible, and I still have so far to go. I’ve always been scared of freeweights – I don’t know why, but they were always intimidating. Now, I relish the next opportunity to do deadlifts, snatches, squats (even overhead squats!), cleans, jerks, and presses. LOVE IT. My body fat has decreased more so than any time since I was 23 (I’m 41), and my strength is increasing in almost every way. I know I’m not likely to be a bodybuilder or an Olympic weightlifter, but my body feels better than it has since I was in high school. It’s like a complete rebirth. I also love the fact that the workouts, while super-intense, are generally short enough to allow for a super quick recovery so I can workout many times per week. And if I feel too rough to workout, I just don’t go. I’m in it for the long haul, not to prove anything on any given day.

What about all the other great stuff I was doing before? Well, I do sorely miss Ashtanga Yoga, and over the next few months I’ll be trying to figure out how to add that back in to my schedule. My flexibility, while fine by CrossFit standards, is less than I’m used to, mainly because I haven’t done yoga since I started CrossFit 4 months ago. The windsprints? They became too easy. I used to kill myself to do 6 sets of 30 second on/90 second rest intervals, and now I can do 8 with ease. It’s a nice filler if I can’t do a WOD, and I would like to add them into my WOD’s, and I do miss them too, but I don’t know if I’m really missing something important for my mind and body like I am with yoga. The strongman circuit stuff? I really miss the camaraderie with the guys I used to work out with, and there’s no way I would have been able to get into CrossFit at the level I’m at without it. But those guys are beasts, and I wasn’t – the hour to 90 minutes workouts were killing me, and I was starting to get injured and break down. I wasn’t losing weight or gaining aerobic and anaerobic capacity at the rate I am now. Part of that was that I had a hard time doing the workout more than once a week, while the CrossFit workouts enable me to bounce back for 4-5 WOD’s per week with no problem. It was perfect for our local high school wrestlers, football players, and the insanely impressive guys who’ve been doing this forever. Bless them all and all thanks for really being the impetus to get me in better shape – but CrossFit just works better for me, personally. That all being said, I do miss flipping tires on a regular basis 🙁 Tire flipping rocks.

So, we’re definitely going to be doing more as a company with CrossFit athletes and boxes all over the country. We still love and completely respect all athletic endeavors and styles, and will always reach out to athletes everywhere. They are all valid and wonderful, and keep their practitioners fit through their activities and the magnificent competitive spirit that is at the heart of the human soul. But I wanted to send out my own little bit of love for this growing and awesome fitness regime!

To your health!