Athlete of the Month: February 2020
A boost in confidence. A supportive community of friends. Physical and mental strength. These are some of the answers you expect to hear when you ask an athlete, “What have you gained since joining CrossFit?” So, when Vincent Tartaglia told us that CrossFit has changed the way he approaches his job as a school teacher, we were intrigued.
“I spend much more time focusing on a mentality that emphasizes where you started and where you finished/how much you’ve grown rather than more traditional models that aim to evaluate everyone on the same scale,” Vincent explains.
What a meaningful takeaway. Who knew that Fran and Murph could have such an impact on the education of future generations?!
Vincent, your students are lucky to have you as their teacher. Congrats on being February’s Athlete of the Month!
Why did you end up sticking with CrossFit?
The coaching, the competitiveness, and the community. The coaches are all incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, and encouraging. I’ve never once felt silly for asking questions and I’ve always appreciated the way the coaches at 718 balance their feedback between praise and next steps. They never allow you to get complacent. I also enjoy competing against myself and others. I was an athlete in competitive sports for a while and that sort of mentality and drive has been missing from my life. Lastly, the community is easy to be a part of. CrossFit has this unwarranted stereotype around it as a haven for meatheads and frat-boy types. It couldn’t be farther from the truth. People care for each other at 718, they push each other, and they never behave like gatekeepers e.g. dissuading or sneering at newcomers. Even though folks are often working on individual goals, there is a clear sense of collective purpose that is infectious.
What kinds of changes have you noticed since starting CrossFit?
I’m a school teacher and I have started to approach grading and student growth/progress in the same way that programs like CrossFit do. We celebrate individual achievements more often, even when they’re below standards, because benchmarks are important and it’s crucial to validate the hard work that facilitates an academic journey toward exceeding standards. I spend much more time focusing on a mentality that emphasizes where you started and where you finished/how much you’ve grown rather than more traditional models that aim to evaluate everyone on the same scale. Physically, I’m in the best shape of my life. Hands down. I never believed I’d be able to do things like, say, bar muscle-ups or Olympic snatches.
How do you make time for working out
Conveniently, 718 is ten blocks from the school I teach at, so I simply head over after work. I also can’t afford not to work out—if I put on weight in the wrong places due to inactivity, I can’t afford to buy new clothes. That keeps me motivated.
What’s your favorite type of WOD?
I love all of the partner WODs because I enjoy teamwork and I love the bonding experience that comes along with partnering up for a long, intense workout.
What recent achievement are you most proud of?
I recently squatted close to 350lbs. for the first time in my life (I’d hit 315 in high school like fifteen years ago!).
What goals are you working on?
I’d love to be able to do pistols at will, I want to back-squat 400lbs., and I’d like to crack 200lbs. on any version of a clean.
What do you do when you’re not at the box?
I’m a sucker for the outdoors, so when I’m not working, I am usually hiking somewhere.