As this month marks our ninth anniversary, it seems only appropriate to recognize one of our most loyal, longstanding members: Jeff Ball. Jeff has been with CrossFit 718 since before the box technically existed. One of Coach Israel’s personal training clients from his globo gym days, Jeff supported us as we took the biggest leap of our professional lives. We’re proud of the progress he’s made and the strength he’s built over the last decade, and we’re honored that he continues to trust us with his health and fitness.
Read our Q&A with Jeff and get to know November’s Athlete of the Month!
When did you join CrossFit 718?
Coach Israel was my trainer at NYSC. As soon as he left NYSC and started the gym, I was one of his clients. I hated that gym but thought he really knew his stuff, and I was right about that.
Why did you end up sticking with CrossFit?
1) Because of the personal training given to me by Coach Israel.
2) Because of the camaraderie shared between staff members and clients.
3) Because it is like a family and now, with people having babies, it is intergenerational.
What kinds of changes have you noticed since starting CrossFit?
I have worked out there so long that I can’t remember what it was like before CF718, but…
1) My mind and body are both well developed from working out here.
2) I am more confident in my strength because of the moves and routines that Coach Israel introduced me to. With patience, concentration, and skillful coaching, I have been able to do things (mainly lift weights) that I never thought I was capable of doing
In my experience, working out at CF718 turns a lot of my negative energy (aggression, anxiety, etc) into steam (or sweat) and I can’t hold onto it, which is a good thing
How do you make time for working out?
Hey, it’s one hour per week, and once I got married (he lives in Pennsylvania) it’s less than that. But working out with Coach Israel is a priority that I value highly.
What’s your favorite type of workout?
My favorite lift is the clean and jerk. The workouts that Coach Israel and I do these days change as I get older (I’m 59) and stiffer and don’t work out as regularly or intensely as I used to.
As long as I’ve known Coach Israel, he has always mixed up my routine. It is never the same; sometimes we pay attention to aesthetics (I am a gay man after all), most always to increasing strength but maintaining flexibility and agility as well.
As I’m aging, Coach Israel is incorporating more stretching (especially of my lower back) into the routine which keeps me going and hopefully aging gracefully.
What do you do when you’re not at the box?
I’m a hospitalist for the leukemia service at an academic medical center in Manhattan. I take care of adults with leukemia when they are in my hospital.
I got married three years ago to a wonderful man named Tony Rodriguez (he lives in Ambler, PA). Getting married was the best decision I ever made; sticking with Israel Gonzalez and CrossFit 718 is the other decision that I am proud of and grateful for.