Member of the Month September 2015: Dennis Walsh

Published September 10, 2015

Congratulations to our September Member of the Month, Dennis Walsh!!!  

1.  How did you find CrossFit?
My regular weightlifting workouts became increasingly uninspired.  I needed something else, so I researched CrossFit.  I loved that everything is objectively scored and it’s in a class setting.  And being physically crushed by a man twice my age was all the proof that I needed (thanks Greg!).
2.  What is your favorite CrossFit exercise or WOD?
Nate.  20min AMRAP.  Two muscle ups.  Four HSPU.  8 KB swings.  I like that the exercises are heavy and complimentary but have low reps.  You can really scale it to focus on your weakness, scale everything and work on cardio, or go RX and work on overall strength.  (I suppose some freaks go RX to work on their cardio … can you infer my jealousy?)
3.  What do you do for a living?
Car dealer and intellectual property attorney.  I like business more than law.  I joke that I’m in two of the three most hated professions — IRS agent is next.
4.  What are your hobbies?
My big hobby is flying.  I think there’s nothing like the freedom and view from the pilot’s seat!  If it’s interesting to anyone else, find me and I’ll talk your head off.
5.  Any advice for future CrossFitters?
Define your goals and limitations. I’m here to get fit, but at root, I’m a desk jockey.  It’s far more important that I come to work uninjured and feeling good than setting a new Fran PR.  But that’s not true for all.  For an officer or firefighter, that Fran PR will have some correlation to their day-to-day performance and safety, so they may be willing to push harder or take more risk.  Just know where you fit on the goals and limitations continuum, and, most importantly, stay true to them.
6.  Best vacation you’ve been on?
The best one is the last one you took!  That was a few days in Maui.  Airfare wasn’t too expensive (relatively), so I encourage others to check it out.
7.  Who inspired you?
Steve Jobs.  How’s that for cliche?  
But his 2005 Stanford commencement speech changed how I think.  Each morning look at yourself in the mirror and ask if you want to do what you’re about to do today.  If you start saying no too often, it’s time for a change.  I had the “big shot” job at an incredible CA law firm, but too many days I woke up and said I don’t want to do what I am about to do that day.  And just like that, I quit.  Walked away from my life’s dream, thousands of school hours, hundreds of thousands of tuition dollars, and most attorney’s dream job.  It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
8.  Favorite book/movie?
Gladiator!  Duh.  Second place to Tommy Boy… “Who’s your favorite lil rascal?  Is it Alpalpha?  … Or is it Spanky?  Sinner."
9.  Are you superstitious and/or OCD?
No.  I don’t even notice the cracks between the gym floor tiles.  And that the weights can’t touch them.  Ever.
10.  What keeps you motivated?
Experiences.  I want to have new and great experiences and create those for others.  Almost everything in my life somehow drives towards creating them.  Another reason I’m in CrossFit — new experiences!
11.  What is your greatest fear?
Not having enough time to truly make a difference.  And someone taking my WOD territory  (it’s in the doorway between gyms 1 and 2.  Just FYI).
12.  Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Batman.  I love toys and he has a lot of them.
13.  What can’t you live without?
iPhone!  But I don’t think it could live without me either.  It’s mutual.
14.  What do you consider your greatest achievement?
CFNWT Member of the Month!  (Seriously, it’s very flattering.  I’ve spent over a year, nearly every day, trying to do a simple air squat.  It’s rewarding to be recognized for the struggle!)
Graduating cum laude in electrical engineering.  I excelled in writing and the humanities but mediocre in math and science.  I had some sadistic need to challenge myself (and be a patent attorney), so I majored in electrical engineering where I competed against gifted math and science students.  Converting my short comings into strengths gave me great confidence that I could shape my life as I saw fit and taught me that real growth happens outside of your comfort zone.
15.  What is your motto?
I actually have four.
The "plural of anecdote is not data" (my nerdy side!) and "the easiest person to fool is yourself."  They go together.  On my never ending self-acutalization path, I'm conscious of my personal biases and mindful that a handful of events may not represent the whole.  
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."  That’s a paraphrased quote from Einstein.  “Not simpler" is key.   
And "Silence is golden, but duck tape is silver."
16.  What keeps you coming back?
Community.  Everyone pays a good amount of money for this difficult experience, so it tends to self-select a group of incredible, improvement focused go-getters.  And of course Kare’s WOD yell.  “WOOOOOOOOOOO!  Keep your rhythm, keep your pace!"
17.  What 4 songs are on your workout playlist?
It’s my biggest CrossFit gripe --  I no longer think about workout music.  
But when I do make the wrong turn and end up at LA Fitness…
The Message — Grandmaster Flash
Bring Em Out — T.I.
Hit Em Up — 2Pac
Go DJ — Lil Wayne

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