Athlete of the MonthMarch

Derek Williams

How old / young are you?

What is your occupation?
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

When did you join Widespread CrossFit?
February of 2018, I went through onboarding and joined my first group classes
during the 2018 Open.

Why did you decide to give CrossFit a try?
6 years ago I got into adventure races like Tough Mudder and Spartan. I’ve
completed a couple dozen of those races. I’ve seen a lot of CrossFit gyms field teams of
athletes in those races and I’ve always been impressed with their athleticism. I also had
a boss and co-worker who adhered to the first rule of CrossFit and “Always talked about
Cross-Fit.” So, it had been on my radar for a while and I figured it was time to check it

What was your athletic background before starting CrossFit?
Besides adventure races, I’ve been big into team sports my whole life. For many
years prior to joining, I mainly played basketball and softball.

What changes in your health, physique, and overall performance have you seen since starting CrossFit?
Matt promised me that the Spartan and Tough Mudder I did over the summer
would be easier, and he was right. For example, my nemesis on the Spartan has always
been the rope climb, and this summer I crushed it. Also, if you fail to complete an
obstacle on the Spartan, you have to do 30 burpees, so besides not having to do as
many burpees as I have in the past, the ones I did do were much easier!

What advice would you give to someone with regards to starting CrossFit?
Have fun. Do your best to ignore the other athletes in the gym and do the
workout to your ability, but push yourself (in my case, easier said than done). And give
yourself time to recover.

What is your favorite and least favorite CrossFit exercises / movement?
Favorite? There are so many to choose from, I can’t pick…
Least favorite? A couple of months ago we did a workout where we did sled
pushes followed immediately by burpees. It’s the closest I’ve felt to wanting to die in a
really long time.

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment so far?
I have several, but most recently happened during the open 19.2 head-to-head.
John Hand came over to me and told me he was mad at me for posting the score I did.
Apparently, he planned to coast through the workout until he saw my score and then
decided he had to beat it. Sadly, he did, and I’m still mad about it.

What do you like to do outside of CrossFit?
I have a 10-month-old girl, so hanging out with her is pretty great. Sleep is
precious right now so naps and binge watching Netflix. In the summer I like to hike and
fly fish.

What is your favorite “cheat” food or meal?
Anything with the word “Reeses” or “M&M’s”. I’m also a big fan of beer and

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I don’t wear a headband when I work out because I think I look awesome in it
(although I do). It took me 25 years of trial and error, but it turns out the headband is
the best way to protect my hearing aids from sweat.

Who or what inspires you the most?
Because of my job I talk with doctors about chronic disease every day. I regularly
hear stories about how people have grand retirement plans but their bodies have
betrayed them due to their sedentary lifestyles and poor diets. They end up not doing
the things they wanted to during their “Golden Years.” So, I’m inspired by future me
and my friends and family who share my grand plans. CrossFit is one of my investments
in that future.

What is one goal you would like to accomplish through CrossFit?
My biggest goal for 2018 was to get to the gym at least twice a week. 2019 is to
get there at least 3 times per week.