Hi Niels, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.
I’m originally from Maryland. I went west to Colorado College and then bounced around for a while as a field ornithologist. In the Spring of 2001, I had a job surveying for songbirds recolonizing the burned areas of the Bitterroot National Forest. I was pretty into whitewater kayaking at the time and one evening surfing the ledge 15 years ago I met a beautiful woman floating with her friends. Fast forward to 2016 and I’m now a 42 year old happily married man with 2 awesome sons (ages 12 and 9).
I have been an employee of the University of Montana for the last 14 years until last week, when I started working remotely for DreamHost as a Cloud Systems Engineer.
I started CrossFit two and half years ago with some encouragement from wife as a way to combat my rising blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Since that time my numbers have dropped and I can say I am in better shape now than I was in my late twenties as a field biologist.
You just recently stared working from home. What are the biggest changes you’ve noticed. What’s been really great so far, and what’s the been the biggest struggle?
I just started working for DreamHost on their cloud computing offering – https://www.dreamhost.com/cloud/. April 11 was my first day on the job. Up until now, I have worked at the University of Montana on various technology projects and the last two years I’ve spent my time building a cloud to support research computing in the College of Forestry.
So working from home is a big change from going to an office. So far I really like it. I feel like I really have a lot to learn so I can get quality focused time at home with fewer interruptions than what I used to get in the office. The biggest struggle is making myself stay away from my computer when it is time to stop work. It is harder to get away from the office, since it is only a few steps away.
Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2016?
There are a couple goals that I am shooting for. I would like to back squat over 300 lbs, Right now my one rep max is 295. I would also like to deadlift over 400. I’m also really close with a one rep max of 395 lbs. Most importantly, I would really like to build my stamina. I’m getting better at pacing myself but I still loose it when I have to do something that takes some skill like double unders or toes to bar and my heart rate is jacked.
What is your favorite way to spend your time outside the gym and work?
I love spending time outdoors with my family camping, biking, floating, etc., but skiing is my favorite. Both the boys are becoming little rippers and Zia is one of the best skiers I know so it it is pretty fun to spend a day on the hill with them. I’ve also been getting better at cooking and I actually enjoy it when I am not pressed for time.
What pushes you in CrossFit? When you’re about to drop down for that 50th burpee, or do that 30th pull-up, what keeps you going? Where do you go in your head?
I go blank. I believe some folks call it ‘the dark place’.
Just kidding…sorta’ , I pretty much think about not puking :-).
Actually, at one point suffering my way through 16.1, I thought to myself, “Is this what I consider a good time on a Friday night?… I guess so.”
If you were put in charge for a day at 5 Valleys, what WOD (workout of the day) would you design, assuming you yourself had to participate as well?
I would pick one of the CrossFit girl WODs like Fran, Grace or Helen, or perhaps a hero WOD. I feel like it is interesting to know your scores for those benchmarks. I think that is why I like the strength testing we do at 5 Valleys, it gives you something to compare yourself to. It has been a while since I have done Fight Gone Bad so –
Three rounds of:
Wall-ball, 20 pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75 pounds (Reps)
Box Jump, 20″ box (Reps)
Push-press, 75 pounds (Reps)
In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute.The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of “rotate”, the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.