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May Athlete of the Month:

Shawn Gillenwater


When did you start doing CrossFit?
I did an on ramp class the last two weeks of July 2014 and started my first WOD August 4, 2014 at 5:30 am.

What is your favorite WOD?

What is your least favorite WOD?
Anything involving the Terrible Trio – Box Jumps, Burpees, Wall-balls – or worse…all three in one WOD.

What is your favorite lift?
This might come as a huge surprise, but I would have to say strict shoulder press. Handstand pushups are making a big push to replace strict press though. (Notice the trend…any movement involving pressing with the shoulders)

What is your least favorite lift?
Overhead squat

What is your favorite cheat meal?
Dairy Queen Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough Blizzard (and no Meredith O. I have not had one in a long long time!)… which is    probably why I should be doing multiple classes a day!

Tell us a little about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)
 I have a super amazing wife that has blessed me with a beautiful 10 month old son. We also have two spoiled rotten 95 lb. Weimaraners    (dogs) that pretty much take up as much of our time as our son does. I am a CPA focused in the area of taxes. I work a lot of hours at    different times of the year and Coyote CrossFit has allowed me to continue to get a workout in even when working almost 70 hour weeks. I    enjoy any outdoor activity: hunting, fishing, etc.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Before CrossFit I went to a regular meathead type gym and did those style workouts. Started out doing each main muscle group twice a week, then transitioned to once a week. Then I kind of hit a plateau and did very little.

What were your thoughts after your first WOD?
My first WOD was 50-40-30-20-10 of air squats, sit-ups, pushups, pull-ups, and burpees then a 400m run. Since it was my first day I thought I should pick someone to kind of pace myself with. So I picked what appeared to be, a skinny slow moving guy named Jacob. I discovered rather quickly, meaning he was done with the whole workout while I was starting my third movement, that this was a bad idea. After  begging my body to remember how to breathe during the 400m run and then after a long time laying down to recover, I learned that the    guy I picked was competition Jacob…probably not a good idea for my first WOD. I was not sure CrossFit was for me after that. But, in typical  Coyote CrossFit fashion, everyone in that WOD encouraged me and cheered me on. Once I caught my breath, I was hooked!

What were your goals when you joined Coyote?
My first goal was to survive. If I did that, I wanted to lean down to a healthier physique but also gain some strength I lost the last few years.

Have you achieved any of these goals?
I have survived and manage to make it to the gym 5x a week…a far cry from what I thought after that first WOD. I have also trimmed down some, but have a ways to go. Still working on regaining my strength.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?
I feel I have gained some confidence not only physically, but also mentally. I believe I am a stronger overall person than I was when I went to the meathead gym.

Do you have any special memories/achievements during your time at Coyote?
It was really neat to get on the back boards for max lifts…and then really sad to be beat by 5 lbs. on multiple lifts immediately after joining the boards. But it is all good competition and I wish each Coyote member the best, except for Jeff on strict press. My favorite achievement    is probably getting my first rope climb and actually doing kipping handstand pushups. Pretty sure I broke a few laws of physics climbing that rope!

What advice would you give someone just starting at Coyote?
Do not believe any of the hype you hear about CrossFit in general, whether good or bad. Try it for yourself and form your own opinion.    Coyote CrossFit has some of the best trainers, if not the best, at what they do. They can and will work with you to create a program that    allows you to workout at any fitness level you may be at. All you have to do is show up and commit to improving yourself and you will be surprised at what you will accomplish. You will create some of your closest friendships through CrossFit.

Tell us something we might not know about you?
I enjoy sitting outside by a fire and listening to the outdoors. I would build a fire every day if I could.