Spring time brings us a new AOTM here at CrossFit South Brooklyn. And just like March certainly did not go out like a lamb, we are honoring one of our lions...Josh Martinez!!! Josh is relatively new to the CrossFit game but has made a big impression during his time with us. We coaches respect his humbleness, coach-ability, and desire to be better while being one of our top performing athletes from early on. Plus, he already came to us with tribal tattoos and an uncanny willingness for taking his shirt off during met-cons...he was born for this! Jokes aside, Josh is a super nice guy and we’re proud to have him as part of the community. He’s literally built part of the building at Degraw street with his bare hands, doing work on the office, the sound system, the medicine ball racks, and countless other things around the box. Ladies and gents, Josh Martinez.
Fox - Josh! You’re our Athlete of the Month! Congrats!
Josh - Really? Man, how do you guys come up with this stuff? You were doing so good until now...(there’s the slice of humble pie)
Fox - Whatever, man. It’s about time it was you. Your name had actually come up a few times before, but now it’s you. Ready to be uncomfortable? (many of you may not know, but Josh is not super talkative)
Josh - Yeah, I don’t know how you’re gong to write this though. I’m pretty simple. I was looking at the other profiles and I feel like I’ve got nothing to say.
Fox - We’ll start at the beginning. How did you first come to CrossFit?
Josh - Dueño (Josh’s long time Karate teacher and mentor) kept telling me about it and bringing me by the gym for countless conversations with Coach Shane. A student of his that I was training with told me that if I wanted to step up my game I needed to give CrossFit a try. Eventually, I relented.
Fox - You and Raul (Dueño) used to roll by all the time. What eventually changed your mind? (note: Raul Dueño is also a NYC Police Officer. It was...interesting, when he and his partner Joe Abate would roll up on a regular basis to talk with us while we were working with clients)
Josh - I had you-tubed a bunch of CrossFit videos and thought it was whack. At first I didn’t think I could get what I needed with that short of a workout. I had been going to a Bally’s and spending like 3 hours in there working on stuff. Then through searching on the internet I came across this thing the CrossFit Fighter's Challenge and did it, by myself, at Bally’s. It floored me, and I decided to give it a go.
Fox - What had you been doing up until then, fitness-wise?
Josh - I’ve been in martial arts since I was a little kid. My dad would show me stuff, and teach me routines. I started doing Kyokushin Karate with Raul when I was 13 and was really into it from the get-go and still am. In fact I started CrossFit as a way to get better at Karate. As far as in the gym, I would research different routines online and try to complete them. They were mostly body part split routines like, Monday - chest and tris, Wednesday - back and bis, etc... I had never even squatted before CrossFit!
Fox - You eventually just signed up for Foundations, no teaser class or anything. How’d you like it a first?
Josh - Honestly, it was sloooow...I wanted to just GO! Looking back though I’m glad that it was slow. I didn’t realize then how little I knew about lifting. I’m better for it now.
Fox - You’ve competed in a few local CrossFit Comopetitions, and you’re competing in the CrossFit Open Sectionals both as an individual and as a CFSBK Team Member. What’s that been like so far?
Josh - It’s been really great. I love competition. I really think more people should compete even if not with winning in mind. It’s cool to see what others can do, and to find out what I can do too. There’s been such a cool vibe at the events I’ve been to so far and I really dig it. I’m looking at this years CF Games as a test year to see how I perform and what I need to improve for next year.
Fox - Have you learned anything so far? What do you want to get better at? Have you developed your own fitness philosophy?
Josh - I’ve realized I need to be able to mentally relax in the heat of the moment. There are three things I want to get better at as far as competing. 1- Focus. 2 - Lungs. 3 - Push. I need to stay calm and focused, I need to get my conditioning up, and I need to push when it starts to get hectic. I see guys like Ryan just go harder and faster, and I need to work on that. My fitness philosophy is that I should be ready for now, not for any particular day down the road. To be as close to a peak as possible all the time.
Fox - You get those things going and you could be a Finals athlete. You came to us with a solid base of natural ability. Do you have any early CrossFit memories? Anything that humbled you early on?
Josh - Oh yeah...I remember doing Barbara along side Carlos, thinking “how the heck is that guy still going? And, passing me?”. I had to call it quits after 4 rounds, I didn’t even finish. Needless to say, the great Guerra did.
Fox - You did Coach Jeremy’s Strength Cycle. Tell me about that.
Josh - It was great. Again, I thought it was slow in the beginning, but it really started adding up on me a few weeks in. The biggest thing for me was learning and getting comfortable with the low bar back squat. It’s like second nature now. It’s been difficult realizing that getting back to CrossFit means my 1rms won’t be the same but I realize that I’m stronger overall.
Fox - You also took your CrossFit Level 1 Certification recently. How was that?
Josh - It was, awesome...It gave me a deeper appreciation into what coaching is all about and how much goes into it. The nutrition stuff was a bit new to me. That lecture was an eye opener. I left the weekend super excited about CrossFit in general. I’m really looking forward to furthering my CrossFit career.
Fox - Alright, tell me some stuff outside of the fitness realm. What are your hobbies?
Josh - I said, I’m pretty simple. I do CrossFit and martial arts. I’ve been away from karate for a bit and have been training Muay Thai for a while. I’m also a speed and adrenaline junkie. I’ve owned a few bikes and used to race motorcycles until I had an accident where I broke both wrists. I was wearing a helmet though! I remember laying there and somebody saying “oh no, he’s dead!” And I was laying there eyes closed thinking, “What? No I’m not. I’m fine”. This month is my birthday and I’m planning to go skydiving. Any SBKers want to join me?
Fox - Definitely not me...You recently decided to change careers, what are your plans?
Josh - I was in the carpenters union for a few years and still am actually. I enjoyed it for a while but decided that I wanted to get away from that before I had no choice in the matter. Working on houses was fun but when I started doing industrial buildings it got boring, seeing the same site day after day for a few years. My plan now is to take the FDNY test, or maybe the NYPD test. I’m working on getting the required college credits to be eligible for either. I want work that’s challenging in a new way every day.
Fox - So Josh, why did you decide to stay with CrossFit South Brooklyn?
Josh - The vibe, the environment, and the guidance. I appreciate that I’m never on my own as an athlete here. There’s always good coaching nearby. It’s verrrry diffreent than at Bally’s. There’s a true lack of the stink eye because people are so supportive of each other. I really want to visit other CrossFit gyms and see what all the fuss is about here, maybe I’ve been spoiled. I’d like to see what’s out there.
Fox - Alright Josh, last thing. What should we look for in a future Athlete of the Month?
Josh - I think competing is important. Someone who puts it on the line to see if the training works. I think it’s important to test yourself, and I respect the people who do that.
Thanks again to Josh, who met with me for a second appointment when I left the gym with him waiting for me for our first appointment (Sorry again, Josh...). You’ve been a great asset to the gym in your short time here, and although you’re kinda alright now we coaches also look forward to seeing what the future holds for you! Continued good luck in the Sectionals and beyond!