As a growing CrossFit box, we are all getting to know each other and building that tight community we always envisioned. Each month, we profile a CrossFit Grail Athlete that is interesting and inspirational. A person that demonstrates a positive attitude, shows up every day and puts their heart and soul into their workout, never gives up, cheers everyone on and is passionate about the CrossFit Grail Community. And someone who is pretty cool! Although we think everyone has these qualities, we can only pick one.
April 2018 Athlete of the Month: Ben Toth
Why we chose Ben:
Ben is a passionate person and he isn’t afraid to tell you about it. From the moment he stepped in the door, he was all in. Ben is always stepping up to support the community and even volunteered to help judge all 5 Friday Night Lights during the CrossFit Open. Ben is passionate about his kids and has a passion for dogs – and for what caused him to start down the path toward fitness. Read his bio below and listen to this engaging video interview and make sure you congratulate Ben when you see him next.
Check out Ben’s video interview here
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am a Colorado native. I have a younger sister, a younger brother and two younger step-sisters. And as most of my fellow Grail-mates know, I have 4 children – two humans, two canines. I went to college for a year and studied architecture and architectural history before I started my 17+ year career in telecom. I have been training dogs professionally for 15 years as well. I specialize in protection, detection, obedience, socialization and behavioral correction. In 2016, I acquired a United States Police Canine Association certificate to train and title LE dogs through the USPCA. My most recent LE dog went to the New York State Police in the fall of 2017. I currently work at a telecom company called Windstream. I am part of a team of highly skilled network technicians who repair all types of network troubles. I train dogs on the side and am considering starting my own business.
How long have you been doing CrossFit and what got you started?
I have been doing CrossFit for almost 5 months as of the end of March. I was in a peculiar place in life when I decided to give CrossFit a try. I had exited a company I helped start and found myself out of work. I quickly started shopping the telecom market. Around that time, I threw my back out again. I have two severely degenerated lower discs which excess weight and lack of exercise only aggravate. I slipped both discs and tore a nerve. I could not walk for several days. I decided once I was back on my feet (literally), I was done being out of shape and overweight. I started a diet. Lost a little weight. Then I found CrossFit Grail.
What did you do for your fitness before CrossFit?
Before CrossFit I did nothing. Before I had kids, I spent quite a bit of time in big box gyms. So, the last 8 years has been primarily working dogs. No formal diet, gym or training.
What do you like most about CrossFit?
I could say it’s the functionality. We spend the majority of our time performing functional movements that can be applied to everyday life. I could say I like having the option to scale based on our physical restrictions. I could also say it’s having a workout that can be done in an hour timeframe. But what I like MOST about CrossFit is the people. The owners, the coaches and my fellow WOD’ers. Everyone is there to improve themselves all the while encouraging each other to push and do better. That hour is often the highlight of my day.
How has doing CrossFit changed your life outside of the Box?
It has made an incredible difference outside of the box. I can stand straight up out of bed in the mornings. I no longer have to walk around hunched over for 20 minutes before my back loosens up. My increased core strength has allowed me to be far more active with my kids, dogs and in everyday situations.
What motivates you to keep WOD-ing?
How I feel. The workout and the environment have made such a huge difference on my attitude, health and mobility. It’s addicting.
What are your 3 favorite CrossFit movements?
This is a tough one! I’m getting better at some of the weightlifting aspects.
1. As much as I hate thrusters, I love doing them.
2. I don’t know why, but I’m good on the rower.
3. Front Squats. I hated them at first but once I gained the strength and wrist mobility, I really started liking the movement.
What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
My children. Hands down. They’re my reason. I try to inspire them a little every day because they do that for me. They are smart, resilient and motivated. Unconditional love is the best kind.
What is YOUR QUEST?
This month: Make it through the rest of the open without injuring myself. Ha!
This year: Hit my target weight. I want a shirt-off body by summer.
This lifetime: Watch my kids grow to be healthy, happy and successful – however they choose to make that happen. And hopefully be as much of an inspiration to them as they are to me. Maybe find a good woman. Bonus if she likes CrossFit too. Ha!
Check out Ben’s video interview here