Member of the Month - January 2023

Paul is PUSH511's January Member of the Month! Paul has been working with PUSH511 personal trainer, Coach Shannon, for about a year. Paul competes in cyclocross, which is bicycle racing combining challenging terrains and other obstacles. Cyclocross athletes are required to dismount and mount their bikes to navigate these obstacles quickly! Paul brought some pretty big goals with him to PUSH511: he wants to win a cyclocross national championship.

When Paul first came to PUSH511 in January 2022, he was typically finishing around 6th place in the races he competed in. In his words, he "didn't have that explosive power at the end" to reach the podium.

Paul began building strength by working with Shannon three times per week, focusing on creating the explosive power he needed to finish strong in races. Paul has shown up to the gym consistently and put in so much hard work since then, and it has shown in his race performance! In his first race of the 2022 season, the Flower Mart Criterium, Paul finished with a first-place win!

We're pretty proud of Paul's race performance since he joined PUSH511, which includes top finishes in both local and national races:

  • 2022 USA Cyclocross Nationals - 7th (national field)
  • Rockburn Cross - 1st (local)
  • Hyattsville Cross - 1st (local)
  • Charm City Cross - 4th (national field)
  • Gateway Cup Criterium - 3rd (national field)
  • Flower Mart Criterium - 1st (local)

Congratulations, Paul! We're proud to have you at PUSH511!

Now, let's get to know our January Member of the Month:

What's your fitness background? Played 3 sports in high school, soccer in college, taught golf, and now bike race.

What are your fitness & health goals and how is personal training at PUSH511 helping you achieve them? My goal is to win a national championship in cycling. Eating well and aerobic and anaerobic training are key but without the strength component, my power is limited. To win nationals you have to crack the ceilings of fitness when you run up against them. PUSH511 and Shannon's coaching are what I believe are the remaining marginal gain that can help me cross that threshold.

What do you do for work? I am essentially a Behaviorist and Advocate who works with students with disabilities who are hurting themselves or others.

Tell us a little about yourself and your family. Married to Jenny who is also a member of PUSH and we have 4 children ages 16-24.

Tell us something we don't know about you! Most people don't know I had heart surgery last year for tachycardia.

How has working out & personal training affected your life outside the gym? I am certainly stronger, but more importantly, I feel more balanced as an athlete and have more of the tools in my toolbag to bring/use when performing.

What do you enjoy most about PUSH? People smiling when they are getting their asses kicked. Really it's true. After that initial OMG I am going to die moment, most of us smile. There must be something to the work that brings us joy!

What tips would you offer someone who is just getting started with working out? Work on form, have goals, and systematically measure your progress toward those goals. This year across the board Shannon and I are looking to go 10% over the numbers I hit last year. The ultimate goal is to get at a 4.91 watts per kilo (FTP) Functional Threshold Power this year.

What's your favorite song to work out to? Two actually: "Started from the Bottom" by Drake and "Kick Start my Heart" by Motley Cru (the same song that Janet Jackson listened to before she went on stage and she's a badass.)

What's your favorite restaurant? Locally - Jassa Kabob. Regionally - L'Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls

Who's your hero, real or fictional? My grandmother was/is my hero. She lived with rheumatoid arthritis and serious pain from her swollen joints for 20 years but you would never know it--she was also a badass.

Words to live by or favorite quote? "Pain is weakness leaving the body." and "Smooth is fast."

What's your favorite travel spot? Belize for fishing.

If you could win an Olympic gold medal for any sport, real or fake, what would it be? Mountain biking or mogul skiing.

What are your top five favorite movies?

  1. Jason Bourne (Matt Damon as Jason)
  2. Caddyshack
  3. The Matrix
  4. The Champ (I realize I am aging myself here but I still cry at the end)
  5. A River Runs Through It (the book was even better though)
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