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Athlete of the Month: Ryan Hunter

Our Male Athlete of the Month for August is Ryan Hunter! Ryan just hit the 1100 workout mark!!! He’s been a member of our community for so long that he once outperformed routine SugarWod chart-topper Taylor in a partner workout in one of Taylor’s first-ever workouts with us. As Ryan adm

its, that was the only time he even came close to Taylor in a workout. 

We love Ryan’s advice to the newcomer or person who may be intimidated to try FitTown. “If you look around you will see all sorts of people here, very few are super-athletes, many were just regular folks who made that same decision to try this out. The only requirement is willingness and effort.”

Ryan has been giving that willingness and effort over 1100 workouts at FitTown, and probably more since he joined before accurate class tracking was a thing. Thank you Ryan for holding it down in our afternoon classes and always welcoming new members to the afternoon crew. We are grateful to have you in our FitTown family!

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Here’s Ryan to tell his story: 

I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio but work has moved me around quite a bit. I moved to the Jupiter area in 2013 for what was, at the time, a temporary work assignment. I enjoyed the area so much I decided I was tired of moving and wanted to stay. It didn’t hurt that in my time down here I met and married my beautiful bride Rebeca. We have been married since 2015 and are hoping to expand the family in the near future.

As far as work goes, I am an Aerospace Engineer for Pratt & Whitney, which is a company that designs and manufactures commercial and military aircraft engines.

When not at Crossfit I enjoy paddle-boarding, kayaking, and running. I also like to read and the pandemic has prompted me to pick up gardening as a hobby. I am a big sports fan, with my alma mater (The Ohio State University) and the US soccer team being my primary rooting interests. Maybe my Cleveland Browns will give me something to cheer about this year.       

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How did you get started with us over 8 years ago, what were you doing before, and what do you remember most about when you first started?

I started at then Crossfit Palm Beach (when there was only 1 building) when my job brought me down to Florida. I tried just about every Crossfit gym in northern Palm Beach County, but it was a no-brainer that this was the place for me once I dropped in for a workout to check it out.

I had started doing a Crossfit a couple of months prior to moving to Florida. I was introduced to it by a friend of mine (shoutout to Amie!). Prior to Crossfit I would do the whole Globo-gym thing along with running several times a week. 

I think what I remember the most of when I first started was how nice the gym was and the air conditioning, the Crossfit gym I went to Maryland was not air-conditioned….and that was very memorable. 

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What positive physical progress or any new beliefs/mottos, habits, behaviors that you formed since you started have most positively impacted your life?

8 years of Crossfit has certainly instilled many benefits. There are some of the obvious ones like strength and stamina, but I like to see how much progress I made in terms of things like flexibility. I distinctly remember shortly after joining with Andrew trying to help me do an overhead squat. I couldn’t even do the bar just due to how little flexibility I had in my shoulders….now no problem, I actually like overhead squats.

The mental benefits are great too. I find myself applying the same approach I use for tough workouts (break it up in smaller sections, set a small goal – then achieve it and move onto the next one) all across my life, whether it be in my job, yard work, or any other challenge life throws at me.

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Do you have any memorable moments/workouts at FitTown that you’d like to share? 

Oh boy, there are lot of these. I remember in my first month here we did a workout I believe was called something like “The Newport Crippler” which was 30 squats (at 135#) straight into a mile run. I remember being a little to impressed with myself that I knocked out the squats unbroken as I turned to head out the door for the run, my squat-induced newborn giraffe legs failed me and I tripped over the threshold to door. Some good Crossfit karma to humble me! Those first hundred yards or so of that run was probably good TV for anyone driving by at time.

I also remember a partner version Fight Gone Bad in which I was partnered with Taylor Reeves in what was his first or second day in the gym. I smoked him in that workout…..that was the last time I ever came remotely close to outperforming (or even keeping up with) Taylor ever again. I am sure he doesn’t remember that, but I do!

In terms of my favorite workouts, I like The Chief, DT, Fight Gone Bad, I gravitate to those workouts with a high variety of movements/skills but not too many reps of any one thing. Keep moving, keep changing. I have always looked forward to the 12 days of Christmas WOD, but now that the past few years where  Day 1 has changed from 1 burpee to a run….I have less Christmas cheer.

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What keeps you motivated? What do you remind yourself of on days when you don’t “feel” like going to the gym?

It certainly helps to remind myself how good I feel (usually) afterwards and how much I miss it when I can’t go. I remind myself how much of a blessing it is to be able to belong to this gym and have the health and ability to do these workouts, it would be shame to not take advantage of such a gift.

What advice do you have for the person who’s hesitant about starting a fitness program like this?

If you look around you will see all sorts of people here, very few are super-athletes, many were just regular folks who made that same decision to try this out. The only requirement is willingness and effort. Make a contract with yourself to give it 2 weeks, I think you will be pretty surprised with yourself after 2 weeks.

It’s easy to talk about the great equipment, or the good programming, the willingness to evolve and adapt…..or the air conditioning, but the best part of FitTown Jupiter is really the people, both the members and the coaches. We have some really, really neat people that belong to this gym if you stop and get to know them a little. I am always impressed at how Andrew & Tony bring in great coach after great coach after great coach. Over 8 years I have seen my fair share of coaches come and go, and when one leaves I always remember thinking: “ouch, this sucks, they were awesome, there is no replacing them”, but in comes someone new who brings a style and approach that is very unique to them and really enhances the gym. I really enjoy how each coach brings something different and I really want them to know how they really make stepping through the door a really great decision each day. Nick coaches different from Arlan who is different from Jack, et al, but they all really enhance my performance and experience.  

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