Athlete of the MonthMay

Vinay Shankar

How old / young are you?
33

What is your occupation?
Project Management Consultant at Slalom

When did you join Widespread CrossFit?
June 2015 

Why did you decide to give CrossFit a try?
In late 2011 while reading Broncos articles online, I found that former Broncos Running Back, Knowshon Moreno, was doing this thing called CrossFit to improve his performance. After watching a few videos and browsing the CrossFit Journal articles, I decided to give it a shot. At the time, I was traveling from Denver to the Bay Area for work, and so it made sense for me to join a box there. My first CrossFit coach was very good, the other athletes were very welcoming and encouraging, and the workouts were brutal but awesome. Needless to say, I was hooked.

What was your athletic background before starting CrossFit?
Occasionally worked out at 24 Hour Fitness and did weight training, running and swimming. Not very athletic overall as I never made it a consistent habit.

What changes in your health, physique, and overall performance have you seen since starting CrossFit? Despite my poor eating habits, my strength and stamina have increased substantially. It is great to be able to lift and move heavy things in my daily life, and have the energy to do a lot more than I used to. Now if only I can fix my diet.

What advice would you give to someone with regards to starting CrossFit
1. Don’t compare yourself to or be intimidated by other athletes. Don’t say “I can’t do that”. Instead say, “I can’t do that YET, but I’m gonna give it a shot!” This is a personal
journey, and in the beginning the only person you are competing against is yourself. Everyone starts from scratch.
2. Check your ego at the door.
3. Focus on form and safety above all else.
4. You CANNOT outwork a bad diet.
5. Have fun!

What is your favorite and least favorite CrossFit exercises / movement?
Favorite: Squats – any kind, even OHS.
Least favorite: Wall-balls. And for some reason, med-ball cleans during the warmups.

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment so far?
This is a testament to the CrossFitter’s mindset. On a number of occasions, I have been the last person still
working out after everyone else has finished their WOD. And then the other athletes will do an extra round or run another lap with me, just to keep me going and cheer me on. That kind of support is hard to come by anywhere in life – where people just put themselves through something that is incredibly hard, finish it, and then come out and do it again with you just to support you. Pretty awesome. 

What do you like to do outside of CrossFit?
Hanging out with friends and family, and enjoy good food and drink. I’m a big foodie. 

What is your favorite “cheat” food or meal?
Cake / Cookies / Chocolate … the list goes on. I also LOVE traditional homemade Indian food!  

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I quote song lyrics and lines from movies at random times during normal conversation. This drives my wife nuts and amuses me to no end.

Who or what inspires you the most?
Cliché, but the athletes at Widespread CrossFit are
a huge inspiration. Seeing folks push themselves, encourage each other, work through struggles and succeed is a huge motivation. I know we all have our own challenges in our daily lives (work, diet, injury etc.) but we all come in and give it our best shot. 

What is one goal you would like to accomplish through CrossFit?
Pull-ups and double unders. And drop my body fat percentage significantly.

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