Athlete of the Month

Congratulations Roman!

Hometown: Hmm, it depends… Sometimes I say I am from Russia (usually when I talk about the cold, snow, or vOdka) but I was born in Kazakhstan, like my brother Borat!

Current Location: King of Prussia

Age: 32

Occupation: Doctor of Pharmacy

College: I am a major dork, here’s proof:

Temple University=Biology

Temple Pharmacy School=Pharm.D.

University of Maryland=Critical Care Pharmacotherapy residency

University of Pittsburgh=Cardiothoracic surgery/Heart & Lung transplant residency

How long have you been a CrossFitter? About 4 years but since I am only a 2x-per-weeker it’s equivalent to maybe 2

Did you ever play sports? Born to a semi-pro hockey power-forward and cross-country skier for a father, it’s always been mandatory to be decent at every sport! However a weird childhood neurological disorder resulting in severe daily headaches prevented me from ever competing at a more serious level. I did fool a few physicians and was able to compete at cross country skiing, however the rest of the sports were at a more amateur level including track, ping-pong, tennis, basketball in middle and high school, and of course soccer and hockey mostly on the icy Russian streets. It is recent that I said the hell with the headaches and started pushing harder at the box and started running in local races and within the past year fell in love with triathlon which is now my main focus of training and competing. Got three Olympics scheduled this summer!

Got some cool (or uncool) hobbies you'd like to share? Almost 10 years of competitive ballroom dancing!!! Soo uncool while I was doing it, but now it’s paying off :o) One would think I should be flexible but my front-squat form still sucks! I have an engineering mind. Must be my engineer/architect/designer genes. I’ve been breaking every toy I ever got so I could then fix it. I love construction and remodeling and take every chance I get to build/fix something. So if you ever see me swinging at them monkey bars, it’s only because I wanna build them bigger and longer. I “try” to play my classical guitar, mostly classical or Latin tunes. Can’t find a good flamenco teacher anywhere.

What is your biggest achievement at CrossFit?
Ahm, pretty much everything!!! Muscle-up (working on muscle-upS), handstand pushups (working on stands/walks), butterfly pull-ups, and double-unders!

What do you feel that you still need to work on?
Ugh, what a question to make me feel better about myself. I’d say everything! I don’t have anything perfected, yet!!! Form! Particularly with overhead moves and front squats. Strength. Gymnastics skills. And most of all I am battling my lame mind trying to give up early or count reps that wouldn’t fly in the competition.

Goals for the rest of this year?
I’ll be repetitive and say work on perfecting form and technique. Overcome the fear of a snatch (that doesn’t sound right), handstand walk, and get stronger while staying flexible.

What's your favorite WOD?
The ones I love do not have names. I love WODs with varying tasks targeting all muscle groups and body-weight/gymnastic moves. I’ve learned to love to hate Fran!

How about your favorite food/snacks? Meat! I’d bite a caw in the leg if I ever saw one. I eat bloody steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t care for sweets at all. If wine and vOdka were paleo, I’d be 100% paleo!

What is the craziest workout outside of CF you have ever done? Climbing the Masada Mountain in the desert south of Jerusalem and then jumping into the Dead Sea and feeling every cut and jock itch like it’s on fire.

What’s your least favorite WOD? The one where I forget my fellow athlete’s name and Jason making me do burpees for being rude. I can’t memorize names dude, it’s a disease!!! No disrespect.

Favorite lift/movement? Russian kettelbell swing, Russian bear crawl, Russian….I guess that’s it. I like deadlifts, pull-ups, toes-to-bar, GHDs, rope, bar muscle-ups. All the things that actually make me get great scores, unlike heavy weights.

What’s your least favorite lift/movement? Snatch! It looks so awesome when some of you do it. I look ridiculous. Front and overhead squats need work too. Oh, and the damn pistols.

What skill have you been working on in 2014 the most? Lots of pull-ups! Still working on butterflies. Handstand push-ups. Gotten much better/faster at rope climbs.

What’s your favorite piece of workout "gear"? I have no gear. I like it raw! I should get me those gloves for pull-ups though.

What you say is your biggest improvement since starting CF? Form. I still remember Aimee giving me a dirty look and saying, “ohh God, please stop”, the first time I dead lifted. Also endurance, but I definitely still take too long of a rest-pause in front of the bar during longer WODs!

Who is your favorite coach? Since I am a committed 4:30-er I only had the pleasure of being coached by a few of you. I believe the best education is to learn from many different sources. And I know, I’ve been in school for the past 500 years and have loans to prove it! I love Aimee for yelling at me to put more weight on and stop being a wimp, Stephanie for yelling at me to take some weight off because my form sucks. Jason for giving positive reinforcement during the WOD, Keith for yelling in my face not to put the bar down and get a few more reps in (it works incredibly well), Paul for giving great tips on form with Olympic moves and Guilz for being so positive yet constructive and doing so many WODs with us.

PR's to mention? Goals Reached? Nutrition highlights? Every day is an opportunity to get better. I am not as focused on weight as much as form, technique, knowledge of the body and its limits. That 340lb deadlift hurt a little. I try to push myself daily and when I reach my limit, coaches push me a bit further. Thank you! Even though I have always been physically active, CrossFit liberated my competitive nature. I’m just having a lot of fun training. I got heavier!!! Is that a nutrition success or a failure? I eat everything I enjoy and I love it. I am a huge proponent of diversity and moderation and KOP adds perfect balance to my life. I love training with all the coaches and absolutely love my brazers and seesters athletes who cheer me on to finish the WOD. We ride together, we die together 4:30!!!


Aimee Lyons said...

Congrats Roman!!! Your dedication in the gym and attitude at the 4:30 classes is so inspiring!

prettylady1121 said...

4:30 is the best!!!!!!! Congrats Roman!!

Paul S said...

Congrats buddy, one of the few members left that was wodding when I started. Well deserved. Keep up the hard work you smart russian.