Derek Perez (September)

 In BAMF

Well, this is a total surprise! When I was asked if I would accept the offer to be September’s BAMF, it totally caught me off guard. I want to start by thanking the Gardens CrossFit crew for pushing me every day.

I joined Gardens CrossFit the first week of May 2012 as it came highly recommended by my friend, and true bad ass, Scott Wisuri. Before I joined, I was doing the regular grind, going to the “globo gyms” and just lifting stuff over my head, or from my back with occasional sprints on the treadmill… you know, for cardio… I got real tired of the same old grind, non-personable people and lack of progression, so I made the leap and took Scott’s advice. BEST decision I have made in a LONG time, joining Gardens CrossFit. I recall my first class being similar to hell, it involved reasonably heavy front squats and then a 1 mile run, what… the… hell? How do I run after doing squats?! After coming close to death, I was hooked. I was going 5 and sometimes 6 days a week (shout to my 7am crew! But all the classes are great!), it was and still is a true addiction. There’s been many of times where I would be struggling with a workout, and to have a whole class have my back, and push me to finish, was definitely an experience to have. Every person at GCF that I have come into contact with has been super friendly and supportive. I can’t think of anywhere else that that has this type of atmosphere, not even my family is this nice! (Just kidding, my family is awesome.)
The other part that I love about Gardens CrossFit is the Olympic lifting, it might actually be my favorite part! The complex lifts that activate just about every muscle in your body really fascinate me, and they’ve made me better during the CrossFit WOD’s as well.

I can’t say enough about the GCF staff, such knowledgeable people and all around just awesome. Miki is one of the best coaches I have ever had. Some people get frustrated and upset when someone critiques their form, even when it’s horrible! But I welcome it, and she certainly corrects my form often! Miki is always watching over everyone to make we are safe from injury and complete workout’s as efficient as possible. The attention to detail she gives, a long with her WOD programming are second to none. Thanks to her, all of my lifts have been going up and up, especially my OLY lifts. The one I am most proud of would be my power clean, where I started at 165 lbs in May, and now am up to 230 lbs as of the end of September. Not only have my lifts improved, but the most important thing, my health has improved. My blood pressure is down 24/20 (now at 110/58) and my resting heart rate is down to around 52 bpm from 68! Thank you so much Miki!

Lee’s Friday Smack Down’s are always something I look forward to, who would have thought I would look forward to such torture! My mornings are also not complete until Lee walks in for his morning visit and shout’s “DEREK, PICK UP THE WEIGHT!!!”, it certainly does help. Thank you Lee!

Wayne, the nutritional guru, is always quick to help anyone that has questions about diet or supplements. He helped me choose the right foods to bring to my first competition in the end of September, I feel this helped me sustain a high level of energy and kept me in the game. Thank you Wayne!

My limited time with Myra and Paul has also been very positive. They are great additions to the staff and I look forward to getting more instruction from them as well.

Again, thank you to the GCF staff and members for all being awesome people and making GCF such an enjoyable place to be, every day.

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