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August Member Spotlight – Derrick Alvarez!

1.TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF. I am a 2016 graduate of Cal U of PA’s physical therapy program. Since August 2016, I have been practicing physical therapy just down the road in Wexford, PA. I LOVE the part exercise has to play in the rehabilitation process, and the integral role I get to play in that process as a PT every day. When I’m not practicing PT, I help others achieve their health and wellness goals as an independent distributor for Advocare (a health and wellness supplement company). When I have down time, nothing beats sitting by a fire with family, friends, my dog Sam, and an ice cold beer. Traveling is always an interest of mine whenever I can squeeze a trip in! I love camping, and volunteering whenever I can as well.

2. WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO TPA? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING CROSSFIT? I saw an ad on Facebook describing a fitness challenge at TPA. Since I really enjoy challenging myself, I wanted to give it a shot. After meeting our fearless leader, Coach Tammy, I knew I was in a good place. I went through an intro class with Coach Sarah, and caught the CrossFit bug! Prior to TPA, I used the internet as my coach to practice CrossFit on my own during my last year of PT school (2015-2016). The amazing coaching staff at TPA showed me what real coaching was from day one.

3. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS AFTER YOUR 1st WOD AT TPA? My first thought was, “This is going to pull me right out of my comfort zone.” This was one of the main reasons I chose to start training CrossFit.

4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT? I thoroughly enjoy the programming method used by the coaching staff. Every WOD embodies the intense, constantly varied training methodology CrossFit is known for. In addition, I love the community CrossFit offers, especially at TPA. I feel like I found a massive family of hard-working people that I have the utmost respect for.

5. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT TO DATE? My proudest moment to date has to be getting my first ring muscle up in front of the entire crowd during one of Coach Alex’s Open Prep courses. It was such a rush! I couldn’t have done it without Coach Alex’s input and the encouragement from everyone in the gym.

6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE? My favorite movement has to be the back squat. It is very simple and straightforward. My least favorite movement is the snatch. Sometimes I feel like a new born deer learning to walk when I perform this lift! Having said that, I will never ignore an opportunity to improve this olympic lift. Perfect practice makes perfect.

7. WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOU IN AND OUT OF THE GYM? My confidence level has greatly increased since I began training CrossFit at TPA. In the gym, I am confident that I can push myself to new limits with sacrificing proper technique (thanks to the incredible coaches). I am performing lifts I never thought I could do (overhead squats, muscle ups, snatches)! Outside the gym, my friends and co-workers have told me that I carry myself with even more confidence than I did prior to joining TPA. In addition, CrossFit has done wonders for my “functional mobility.” I have to get in very awkward positions to work on patients throughout the day. CrossFit has improved my functional strength and mobility significantly, allowing me to get in and out of these positions without throwing my back out during my 12 hour days.

8. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE NEW TO CROSSFIT OR THINKING OF GIVING IT A TRY? I would tell them to be ready to be humbled. There’s a good chance the majority of our WOD’s combine a movement everyone is good at with a movement you may have to scale. Again, it will get you out of your comfort zone. But that’s where all good things in life happen!

9. IF YOU COULD CREATE A WOD, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE? My custom WOD would be a nasty one. I would say: 5 RFT: 15 OTB burpees 12 cleans 9 C2B pull-ups 50 DU’s

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