February Featured Athlete: Jacob Beaumont
“Weighing in at 334lbs—I caught myself in the mirror and realized that at some point things had gone off the rails.”
Jacob joined The Hill back in August of 2015. Take a few minutes to get to know him by reading the interview below and be sure to give him a high five the next time you see him! We are so glad to have you as part of the family, Jacob!!
What was your first CrossFit experience?
It was in a warehouse out by some railroad tracks in my home town. Some friends had been working out in this guy’s garage, and he had finally expanded into a space where he could run classes. After a lot of convincing, my friends talked me into giving it a go. I don’t remember much about my first workout, except that ended with a bodyweight carry somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 yards. I could barely move the rest of the week.
What was your athletic background?
While I grew up playing just about every sport available to me, I was only ever there for the social aspect of the activity—the running around and physicality was never my thing. My athletic background really started in late 2010 when—weighing in at 334lbs—I caught myself in the mirror and realized that at some point things had gone off the rails. I started running, and like most people it started with a Couch-to-5k program. Running quickly became my everything. Over the next four years I ran myself down to 194lbs. I then found myself with a different problem—I could run all day, but I couldn’t lift to save my life.
Why did you choose CrossFit Memorial Hill?
Honestly, it’s because The Hill is so close to where I live. When I first moved here I had intended to try out a number of gyms, and The Hill happened to be the first on my list because of proximity. After my first fundamentals class things seemed to click into place, so I tossed my list and stopped searching. I really lucked out.
What keeps you coming back?
Earlier, I mentioned that I only ever really played sports as a kid because it gave me an excuse to hang out with my friends. I suppose the social draw of things hasn’t really dissipated as it’s the people that keep me coming back to The Hill. I’ve got a busy schedule, and it’s often that in a given work week, my time at the gym will constitute the entirety of my social life. I count myself as pretty lucky to have found a group of people that are as capable, driven, outgoing, and kind as the crew at The Hill to spend that limited time with.
What’s your favorite and least favorite CF movement?
I love deadlifting and despise thrusters.
What are some improvements you have seen in your life since starting CrossFit?
I’ve made peace with the scale. For the better part of four years my only focus was losing weight. Every single day I would step on it, and I only felt good on days when that number went down. If that number didn’t move, or hell, if it went up, then my entire day would be ruined right there. Now, I am focused on my performance at the gym, and I eat and train accordingly. Has my weight gone up? Yeah, it has. Does it freak me out on occasion? Yeah, it does. But then I find my one rep maxes turning into three rep maxes, my mile time going down, and the movements I have to scale becoming easier, and I am reminded that there’s more to all of this than my weight. The scale now lives in a storage closet. We see each other about once a week.
What would you say to someone thinking about start CF?
Be a blank slate. We live in a world where opinions on fitness and movement are readily available from any number of individuals on the internet, qualified or not, which makes it really hard to go into any kind of gym without a number of preconceived notions in your head about what is right and what is wrong. Leave them at the door and be open to letting your hands-on experience shape your opinions as opposed to some troll on a message board. If, after you try it out, you decide you don’t like it, at least you made that decision for yourself instead of letting somebody say “no” for you.
What’s your favorite cheat meal?
Post-workout donuts every Saturday after class. I head to Lamar’s before the Saturday WOD so they are ready for me in the car when I’m done. The sour cream old-fashioned donuts are champ fuel.
What brought you to KC? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I moved to KC for work. I grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, and was immersed in everything a small, mid-western community has to offer. I also spent some time living out in Las Vegas, Nevada, and had a chance to experience life in a large city. There was a chance to make the jump from politics to non-profit work up here, and I took it. Kansas City has the amenities and opportunities of a big city while feeling like a close-knit community, and that’s hard to say no to. When I’ve got free time I prefer to spend it in the kitchen. I grew up cooking, and cooking is how I like to unwind. After the food has hit the table, generally beer and board games follow. I like to go out, sure, but I’ve got a dorky homebody vibe to maintain.
What are your goals for 2016?
For the last couple of years I have wanted to run an ultramarathon. Finally, after a small break from running, I’ve got a 50k trail race scheduled for mid-May this year. My goal there is to simply finish it. After that, I’d like to take some serious time through the end of 2016 to continue to drill down into the basics of Olympic lifting.