Featured Athlete – Mark “Flashdance” Petriw

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1. When did you join CrossFit BC?
Started Crossfit at the end of Sept 2016

2. Why did you choose CrossFit?
It looked like a great mix of a complete body workout as well as a great way to make new friends. I felt I needed a new “thing” to help in both those departments and Crossfit was worth a shot.

3. What changes in your health, physique and overall performance have you seen since starting CrossFit?
As for changes in my health, I have a lot more energy and I’d say even a more positive outlook on things during my day. I choose my meals more carefully now and with some consideration to my workout.

My physique has definitely changed. I’ve developed my shoulders, core, and legs more than ever before. I admit it’s motivating when I notice gains and progress towards having a more complete muscular physic. That as opposed how I would build up when I used to focus on isolating muscles with typical gym machines. Also, my youngest son (6) tells me I look like a punching guy now which is pretty cool!

With regards to my performance, I definitely have more stamina and confidence. I feel more comfortable mentally when pushing through fatigue than I did before. As compared to when I started I’d say my lifting technique has improved. I’m lifting significantly heavier weights than when I started but not just because I’m stronger. I’d say instead I’m lifting better.

4. What advice would you give to someone with regards to starting CrossFit?
To someone considering starting Crossfit I’d say absolutely try because it’s the most complete exercise you can ever put your body and mind through, but also commit to a longer trial than you might otherwise with a new sport. Also try to do Crossfit at least 3 days per week. For me it had to become routine before I considered myself as really “doing Crossfit”. That let me get used to consecutive intense workout days. Getting used to intensity is what took some time but now the intensity is the goal more than and particular time or rep count. For me, being good at Crossfit isn’t about eventually walking through a workout easily because I’ll be stronger. It’s challenging my new strength and abilities each time I enter the box.

5. What is your favourite CrossFit exercise?
Clapping push-ups and ring-dips. Those are my happy place.

6. What is your favourite activity outside of CrossFit?
Part of why I started Crossfit was that I didn’t have a lot of physical activities outside of the minimal exertion of an office job, and the regular activities of a parent with two children. Physical activities aside, I’d say I most look forward to a slow Sunday breakfast with my family.

7. What is your proudest accomplishment at CrossFit?
My proudest accomplishment so far in Crossfit has been completing the 2017 Crossfit Open Rx. I also PR’d in nearly every event which if anything tells me that a little extra motivation and focus is all I need sometimes to get to the next level.

8. Have you made any changes to your diet?
I have made changes to my diet. I now meal plan and freeze multiple lunches in advance. These are mostly healthily stews, chilli, and other meals that I design around needing lasting fuel for my workout but also just in general. I also started taking fish oil which I feel helped reduce or eliminate my joint inflammation.

9. Is there something that people would be surprised to know about you?
It initially surprised a few of my new Crossfit friends to learn that I’m married 12 years and we have a 6 and 8 year old. Despite me hoping that it’s because I look youthful, it’s probably more a surprise was that someone could tolerate me for that long or that I could be trusted to raise children.

10. What/who inspires you the most?
This is going to sound self glorifying but along with the countless inspirational moments I witness daily of friends hitting PR’s or them just finishing a gruelling WOD, I’m most inspired by me. Because of my time doing Crossfit and the expert coaching I’ve received, I can do things now that I simply couldn’t do before. That inspires me because it proves that the things I can’t do now are really just things I can’t do yet