Manny Jose, January’s athlete of the month, really sets the bar for all other CrossFit 718 members. 

Since joining in October 2016, he’s gotten stronger and made tons (kilos?) of new friends. He always lifts their spirits during circle. 

That Manny – he’s really rowing places.

Okay, we did our best, but we never claimed to be any good at puns. We’ll leave the wordplay up to Manny, the pun master and CrossFit 718’s Athlete of the Month for January 2020! 

Enjoy our Q&A Manny Jose!

How did you discover CrossFit?

I am good friends with veteran CF 718’ers Sean and Sam Pritchard who I have played many years of dodgeball with and noticed the amazing results CrossFit had on them. After some nudging from Sam, I decided to do a trial class and really liked it.

Why did you end up sticking with CrossFit?

I consider CrossFit 718 my home away from home, and the WODs feel like a respite from reality when life gets busy and stressful.

There is always a great group of amazing people I look forward to hanging out with (and sweating with!) and I love all of the coaches who I am constantly grateful for and who literally have my back (squat).

The social aspect, accountability and the safety that the coaches provide have been everything I was missing in going to a regular gym and everything I love about CrossFit 718!

What kinds of changes have you noticed since starting CrossFit?

CrossFit has improved me physically in ways I could not have done on my own, such as strengthening my core and giving me better mobility.

I feel mentally tougher in that I used to be so scared of the barbell and certain exercises but am now willing to try anything. Also, I’m mentally tougher because once I’m at the gym, I will always work as hard as I can.

Socially, I have made a lot of friends here and actually look forward to working out so I can see everyone! I’ve gained the confidence to suck up my pride and work out safely and appropriately (as opposed to trying to compare myself and compete with others) but I’ve also gained the confidence to push myself to actually get those physical gains in a manageable way

How do you make time for working out?

Thankfully, I have a very patient and understanding wife and a fun and busy daughter! Also, I’ve been able to manage around my work schedule and usually try to go right after or just before work.

I guess it’s become such an integral part of my life that I don’t even feel like I’m making time for it.

What’s your favorite type of WOD?

I’m a big fan of conditioning and the Saturday morning partner WODs! My favorite lift right now is the power clean (because I’ve recently gotten better at it).

I’m very grateful to all the coaches who’ve helped me to get better and have watched over me. Thanks, Coaches Tammy, Iz, Hal, Chris, MJ, Leah, Anne, Adam, John, Marcos and Bailey!

What recent achievement are you most proud of?

It’s taken me years to get it (longer than most, I know), but I’ve finally been able to do double unders! I have recently been able to do 50 unbroken (but unfortunately, it all breaks down after that!).

What goal are you currently working on?

I’d like to work on my puns. Thankfully, circle questions help me improve that skill! (Unfortunately, it PUNishes everyone else in the circle.)

Seriously, though, I’d like to get a muscle-up, but I’ll need to slim down and “muscle up” in order to do that!

What do you do when you’re not at the box? 

I work as a graphic designer at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I live and enjoy life with my lovely and patient wife and funny and happy daughter, and I love to draw puns. I’ve actually self-published three books and am planning to do more.