Featured Athlete: Nick H
As a young man, I was always fit, playing sport, on the move with my job and regualarly active. Since my late twenties, I have suffered from ankylosing spondylitis (AS) which is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints in the spine. Throughout my thirties, I endured chronic fatigue and severe pain throughout my body. Specialists prescribed a concoction of medication which led to many equally unpleasant side effects.
From my own research, I discovered that inflammation was triggered and being fed by the diet and nutrition I was consuming. Within days of changing my approach to food, I experienced a huge shift and improvement in my condition. Over the years, I’ve found that making smart choices and thinking about what I put in my body can have a huge impact on how I feel, how I look, and how I go about day-to-day life.
For the last six months, I’ve made my health and fitness a priority by training regularly and consistently in the daily WOD’s at Reebok CrossFit Glevum. Before joining the community, I was already doing what I thought at the time was pretty sufficient and smart training in the run-up to a year-long offshore sailing campaign. My routine was to be in the gym at 5:00 AM and training for up to 2 hours alone and with no support. After a while of seeing little to no progress, I started to look for a new approach. At first, I considered hiring a Personal Trainer to help, but it did not tick enough boxes. And then Google kept showing me CrossFit…
My first impressions, like many others, was “there is no way I’m built for this”. The thought of walking in RCFG for a class was terrifying because it was the unknown and I didn’t know what I would be getting myself into. Of course, my initial thoughts were far from the truth. Since the beginning, the whole team of coaches have made sure I’m doing things that are safe and right to do so for my condition. They’re great at motivating us to improve, but as they always say “you want to walk out in better condition than when you walk in”, so often I’m reminded to remember my personal goals and the reason why I’m there.
We’ve come to the stage in the house where we’re all keen CrossFitters. My eldest son Joe, who is 18 has recently completed his “Fundamentals” and now frequently joins me for a workout in the morning before work which is great to see. My wife, Kate, trains regularly with Coach Nick and my two younger ones, Milly & Finn are CrossFit Kids obsessed with Dan in the Teens classes.
Now at the age of 46, I count every day as the opportunity to enjoy life and not waste another minute. Over the last six months, I’ve worked hard to improve and regain mobility which has helped massively in the tasks required by daily life. So much that I’m now able to perform fundamentals movements like full range squats, pull-ups, running (for the first time in a very long time) and even a wall-supported handstand. “Every day is a school day” at Glevum and I love the challenge that comes with it. I’m hoping to soon say that I have regained the capacity to run a 5KM, and have the strength and coordination to perform a muscle-up on the rings.