Athlete of the Month: December 2019
A little over a year ago, Jorge Taveras’s primary care doctor called him with some unsettling test results. On top of a case of bronchitis, he was diagnosed with high blood pressure, hepatic steatosis (fatty liver), and pre-diabetes. The bad news was just the motivation he needed to make some big changes to his lifestyle, including joining CrossFit 718.
“Now a year later I went back to my doctor and he was the one shocked and happy to see me with 115 pounds less,” Jorge says. “He gave me the good news that my heart was at the best that it has ever been since high school years. I don’t know where I would have been if it wasn’t for CrossFit 718.”
Do you enjoy remarkable transformation stories? Are you ready to be inspired? Check out our Q&A with Jorge and get to know December’s athlete of the month!
How did you discover CrossFit?
I always kind of knew about CrossFit and the scary-looking workouts that athletes do in this sport. But the funny part is that I was not brave enough before to just go in and ask about it. I used to always pass by the CrossFit 718 box since my family lives close to it and it is on my way to work. Every time I passed by and saw fit people doing workouts very early in the morning I was motivated to look for that type of dedication and discipline. Athletes would be doing workouts in the summer on hot days and even in the cold, too. But like I said before, I never dared myself to just go in and ask, “When can I try it?”
I used to tell myself way too many excuses and ended up not trying until one Saturday I said, “Enough is enough. Time to upgrade my life and feel better.” That is how I met the amazing and wonderful coach Tammy. She welcomed me with an amazing warm heart and told me to try it. Next thing you know I was back on the following Saturday doing a fun partner workout that completely changed my way of working out.
Why did you end up sticking with CrossFit?
I’m always looking for better ways to improve myself and my health. CrossFit helps me in all areas of life, even beyond exercise. Plus at CrossFit 718 we are more than just fit people doing fun stuff. We are a family. I love the atmosphere that can be built during high-intensity classes and having professional coaches motivating me to always do better and feel better.
What kinds of changes have you noticed since starting CrossFit?
My personal goal before starting CrossFit was to lose weight and feel better overall with my body. Since I started this journey, I have lost about 115 pounds. My mobility and strength have skyrocketed. Not only have I been crushing this goal of losing weight, but I have also obtained a strong body and mind.
How do you make time for working out?
That is a good question. I barely have the time for it. But I still make it work, and I don’t know how I have been keeping up with it. But one thing that I know is that I will never stop trying my best. Every day I wake up with one goal and it is to make the day count. That is why I love being part of the 6 a.m. Strong class. Yeah, that’s right, I wake up very early Tuesdays to Fridays to make it to the 6 a.m. class. Then on Saturdays, I ruck early in the morning, attend the yoga class that is offered at 8 a.m., and then I stick around to do the WOD or weightlifting class.
What’s your favorite movement or WOD?
I have to truly and seriously confess that I enjoy doing thrusters, snatches, and clean and jerks. I like thrusters because, in this movement, I love how the bar is close enough to the body in a way that allows you to use your whole body to make them look good and feel good when you go heavier. Snatches because I’m finally getting to enjoy the concentration and mobility that the body needs in order to get them just right and feel like you did it right. Thanks to the guidance all of the coaches, and I will always thank you, Dr. Jason T(Gigantor lives), for believing in me and making me enjoy this movement as much as you wanted to master it. Clean and split jerk because, believe it or not, this combination of a lift and front-racking the bar has tested my strength, coordination, and mobility. It’s one of the hardest for me to perform.
What recent PRs are you most proud of?
My most recent PR was during my first weightlifting competition where I hit 75kg (165.3lbs) for clean and jerk. A few months later I hit another PR that I was proud of on 19 handstand push-ups during the 20.3 Open WOD. Trying to stand my heavy and tall body on my hands has been so difficult. My poor legs—now I can understand that they have been doing all of the lifting this whole time.
What goals are you working on?
I’m currently working on getting better on handstand push-ups, double unders, and chest-to-bar pull-ups. I have also become obsessed with getting a heavy thruster at 205lbs.
What do you do when you’re not in the box?
When I’m not at the box, I am a crime victim advocate for a non-profit organization inside of a precinct Mondays to Fridays. I’m also a proud dad of a two-year-old blue nose Pitbull who always has so much energy to go outside and play. Also, I’m a friendly person who likes to make others around me happy.