Athlete Spotlight: Dave Cohen


Athlete Spotlight: Dave Cohen

David before (L) - 133#. David After (R) - 150#

David before (L) – 133#. David After (R) – 150#

It’s 2/12/2016.  I am at Grand Valley State as an Assistant Distance Coach with Marquette.  I am racing in the 5k with student-athletes 10 years younger than me.  I am in the front group of my heat and there is a mile to go.  This is when you dig deep.  This is when it hurts.  All I can think about while I go through the motions of racing is I don’t care anymore.  Why am I doing this?  I knew with a mile to go in that race that it would be my last.

I did a month of no exercise at all.  Then I got the itch again, but what to do?  I had heard of CrossFit and saw on google maps that there was a gym less than 2 miles from my house.  I can try at day at Badger CrossFit for free?  I thought I was fit and I was at running.  I remember trying to do push presses with the barbell, nope.  Maybe #20 dbs, 1, 2, 3 reps…too heavy.  I settled on #10s and man did my shoulders burn.  I don’t remember any other exercises we did except stretching before and after was so painful.  My hips were knots from my 17 years of running.  My hammies were unwilling to loosen.  It was 3/13/2016 and I was sore for 4 days straight.  That night I signed up for Function 3 days a week.  I was 133 pounds and decided being strong was a goal worth pursuing. 

After a week or two I switched to Unlimited as I wasn’t as sore anymore.  I was hooked on a medium in which my starting point was so low that I could keep getting better and better at something at the age of 31.  In running I was getting slower and slower compared to my times in my early 20s.  Plus, there was so much I needed to work on with so many different exercises in Function.  Every day was different and running had become so mundane to me.  I started showing up everyday my work schedule allowed which was about 5-7 days a week.  It had become my favorite part of my day.  But, I saw the CrossFitters in the big gym.

It seemed so challenging and fun.  I love competing and challenging myself.  I started e-mailing and asking Tyler every other week if I could switch to CrossFit from Function (I wasn’t ready just yet — needing more fixing).  On May 14th, I began CrossFit.  I seem to remember a lot of box jumps and wall balls my first day.  I think we also did “filthy fifty” in my first week.  I scaled everything. I still do.

I am 6 months into my journey at Badger CrossFit now.  Lately I have found a sweet spot doing women’s RX weights.  I have also shifted towards doing Performance workouts.  About once a week or so I find there is an aspect that shifts me back to Fitness WODs, but it makes me realize how much I have mastered already.  I am now 150 pounds and I PR nearly every week in some lift or for a lift with a given amount of reps.  I still finish DFL (look it up on Urban Dictionary) in every single strength workout, but that’s why I come everyday.  I still have so much to work on and it’s a blast.