Theodore (Ted) John: Featured Athlete of December

  Coachable | Hardworking | Positive

“Ted is a great example of someone who has a huge heart, is involved in a ton of activities, and successfully completed the Help Me Fit program and transitioned into group classes. From the very beginning, Ted demonstrated his commitment and dedication, just by showing up, and then further challenging himself with every opportunity presented. As a veteran (Marines), Ted’s ability to connect with others, push himself in workouts, and be a true support to his classmates is something that shines through every time he’s at the gym. As he continues his journey with our fit family, Ted will always provide a positive attitude and give it his all! Lucky to know him and equally lucky to workout with him!” – Hollie Siegel


Your Name?
Theodore (Ted) John

What is your favorite color?  
Cobalt Blue

What would your superpower be? 
I would like to have incredible intelligence. I’d like to be able to solve the world’s problems like cancer, poverty, hunger, war, etc…

What is your spirit animal? 
A bald eagle

Row? Bike? Run? Ski? Why? 
Yes to all, except I can’t run right now because of an Achilles tendon injury. They all kick my butt while making me into a better butter burning machine.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement and/or workout? 
My favorite workout is the current one of the day. The best thing about CrossFit for me is that it is different every time I go to class. I am never bored. So far, all the workouts have kicked my butt. That is what I come for.

Favorite cheat meal in KC?  
Joe’s Kansas City, Ribs, Beans, and Fries.

When did you start working out at The Hill?  
October 2018 through Disabled But Not Really’s “Help Me Fit Challenge”

What were some of the emotional or physical challenges you were having before you started at CrossFit Memorial Hill? 
I am a disabled veteran with a 100% disability rating through the VA. I suffered from depression and ptsd. I often isolated myself in my apartment for days on end. It was pretty scary there for a while. I was pretty much sedentary all of the time, except for when I walked my dog.

What did the frustration feel like as you tried to solve those challenges before you started at The Hill? 
It was really hard at first to motivate myself to show up. Being that I was the only person in my cohort of Help Me Fit Challenge who was not in a wheelchair, I felt like I had no excuse. The other people I was working out with had to overcome huge challenges just to show up. I had no excuse and felt like I needed to show up and to do my best. I never would have gotten to where I am now without their inspiration.

How have you seen those challenges improve since joining The Hill? What does life looks like now? 
The symptoms of depression and PTSD have largely gone away. I have a joy of living again. It feels really good to be able to laugh and not feel empty inside. Life today is amazing. I am losing weight, I got a part time job at Starbucks, I even was able to convince a girl to be my girlfriend. I contribute all the positive changes that I have made in my life to what I learned during “Help Me Fit Challenge”. So much of that is just doing the basics, drinking water, eating real food, getting a good night’s sleep, keeping a record of what I eat, etc.

How is The Hill different than other gyms you’ve been to?
The main thing that keeps me coming back is the coaching and the camaraderie with my fellow athletes. Before going to the gym was a painful thing to endure. I work out way harder at The Hill and have a lot of fun doing it.

What keeps you coming back? And where do you find your motivation when the workout looks difficult?
What keeps me back is the camaraderie and the coaching. All the workouts look difficult for me. I just show up and do my best each and every time. The longest it is going to last is an hour. I can do ANYTHING for an hour.

How do you make working out fit into your busy schedule?
It helps being semi-retired. I still have a busy life and make working out a priority. I think of it as taking my medication. If I don’t work to cure the disease, I will never feel better.

What would you say to someone thinking about starting CrossFit?
Just keep at it. Listen to your coaches and your body. You more than likely are not going to be able to do muscle-ups on your first day. Just keep showing up and do your best and you will see improvements.

What are some of your goals in or out of the gym? Personal Records or achievements that you are proud of?
Since I have started working out, I have lost about 45 pounds. From May to November, I lost 32 pounds of fat, but gained 12 pounds of lean muscle mass. The first thing I think of being proud of is that I can do a squat properly. I wasn’t able to do that when I first came in. It is the little things that I am improving upon. One day I will look like David Curry.

Anything else you would like to share with our #fitfam?
I am so very grateful that you all have provided me the opportunity to drastically improve my life. I truly am living the dream. I am so grateful to Matt, Josh, Hollie, and Wesley for the opportunity to come in, work hard, and have fun. You all make it possible for me. Thank you!


Categories: Wod