Athlete of the MonthJuly

Chris Jackson

How old / young are you? 46 What is your occupation? I co-founded a technology company, SportsLabs, in 2009 but we’re currently focused on exiting the market. I am currently assessing my next move, so I have more time than usual. When did you join Widespread CrossFit? I joined the gym in September, 2015 and questioned what I was doing every day for the next several months! Why did you decide to give CrossFit a try? I’ve run many marathons over the years and have always been ‘fit’, but I knew I needed to build strength and could achieve a better fitness balance. I was also drawn to the community, which has proven to be one of the most rewarding benefits of Widespread. What was your athletic background before starting CrossFit? I’ve always run, hiked, skied and stayed in shape so I can live an active life with my family. What changes in your health, physique, and overall performance have you seen since starting CrossFit? It took time, but eventually I started to feel stronger and not completely incompetent in the gym! I think I’m a more ‘complete’ athlete now. Whereas running served to build a strong cardio base and tight hamstrings, CrossFit makes demands on the entire body. What advice would you give to someone with regards to starting CrossFit? I tell every new athlete the same thing: the first several months are horrible. You will be unbelievably sore, humbled, and generally uncomfortable most of the time. However, if you make it through those first months, you’ll start to fantasize about keeping up with Coach Nick one day. What is your favorite and least favorite CrossFit exercises / movement? Unlike Kari, who claims to love over-head squats, I can’t think of a more dreadful movement. Wall Balls are a close second. I think my natural bias is toward gymnastics movements because I like pull-ups, T2B, handstand holds, etc. What is your most memorable CrossFit moment so far? It all started to make sense when I observed my first Open. I was struck by the generous support of the community and the courage demonstrated by the athletes. I realized then it was about much more than working out a gym. What do you like to do outside of CrossFit? I’m pretty simple – I want to be with my family and ideally that involves something active outside. I think time in the mountains, skiing, hiking, etc., is the best way to optimize our scarce family time. What is your favorite “cheat” food or meal? I cheat most days, so it’s difficult to pick a favorite. What is something people would be surprised to know about you? I ran Boston the year of the bombings, and my family was with me supporting the runners. Fortunately, we left the finish area before the chaos, but it was a numbing experience. Who or what inspires you the most? At the risk of extreme cheesiness, my wife inspires me more than anyone in my life. She is selfless beyond measure and has a huge heart to serve others. I’m a better person if I can be just a little like her. What is one goal you would like to accomplish through CrossFit? The first thing that comes to mind is a muscle-up. It just looks awesome.