July 2019 Islip CrossFit Member Spotlight

Congratulations to Ben, our July member spotlight. Ben has shown such incredible growth in less than a year of CrossFitting. Not only has he mastered the art of waking up to WOD at 5am (and capturing it on video :)) but he’s accomplished fitness goals, dieting, and managed to get his CrossFit Level 1 Certificate all at the same time. Ben, your efforts certainly earn respect with us and they don’t go unnoticed.  Congratulations to the guy who always picks us up off the ground after a tough workout, keep up the great work!

I find Bens CrossFit story to be one of my favorites. Similar to me when I first found CrossFit, he completely bought into everything it has to offer. His energy and excitement for CrossFit shows how willing he is to read/listen/watch to make himself a better athlete. Not only have I had the pleasure of working out with him at #5am club but we also spent the weekend together doing completing our CrossFit Level 1 course. He cheered me on through that weekend, just like he’s always the first to be cheering on anyone next to him in the gym. Ben learned early on the importance of scaling and technique. I am excited to watch Ben’s journey continue as he grows as an athlete and coach, it’s only the beginning for him. –Coach Trish

Since day one Ben has been focused on improving his skills, and his efforts inside the gym prove that whether it’s his conditioning, gymnastics, mental game, or technique work, he puts in the work to take a weakness and make it a strength. Ben also does the hard work outside the gym to help hone his abilities and learn how to be the best athlete he can be.  He researches lifts, seeks out a variety of technique tips, video tapes and reviews his workouts, and recently took the CrossFit Level 1 course. The effort Ben constantly puts forward has earned so much respect. Keep up the hard work Ben. –Coach Pete


  • Tell us about yourself?
    • I grew up in Riverhead and went to college in Philadelphia where I met my wife Meg. After college I moved back to Long Island and Meg followed soon afterwards. We currently live in East Islip with our 2 year old daughter Keelyn and 5 year old son Finn. I’m slightly obsessed with motorcycles and am always looking to find time to ride or race them.  I also collect comics plus spend a good chunk of my free time at night playing videogames. My favorite thing though is sharing my hobbies with my kids, watching them take interest in motorcycles, surfing, videogames and CrossFit makes my day.
  • What do you do out in the real world?
    • I’m a CyberSecurity architect, I basically protect companies from hackers. It can be really exciting as the landscape is always changing.


  • What brought you to Islip CF? How long have you been doing CrossFit?
    • I started CrossFit in November of 2018 after having interest in it for a couple of years. Prior to that I did powerlifting for three years at my office gym. However my company got bought out and ended up laying off me and my lifting partner who lives much farther away. With nobody to workout with and almost three months off of work, I decided to give CrossFit a try and Islip was the closest one. When I first showed up I was really intimidated walking in the door, who wouldn’t be when you see Nick and Pete throwing 200lb+ barbells around, but the moment I talked to them I felt welcomed and knew it would be a good fit.
  • What was your first CF workout?
    • What did you think after it? I don’t remember my first workout but I do remember one about a week into it. It was 4 rounds of 100ft lunges, 30 sit-ups and 20 pull-ups with Trish coaching. I did all the pull ups strict, almost puked and I remember thinking that was the hardest workout I ever did. It completely pushed me to my limits and I knew I could improve so I kept coming back.
  • What changes have you made in your workouts that have been the most successful?
    • Taking the time to think about the strategy of a workout and what my pace should be. I try really hard to not get sucked into a pace that will end up with me burning out after the first couple of minutes. I know I start slow but can ramp up quickly once I get moving.
  • Most embarrassing/funniest gym moment?
    • 100% when I did my first ring muscle up, I was so shocked I pulled it off that I fell off the rings.
  • Favorite movement? Least favorite? Benchmark WOD?
    • Deadlifts are easily my favorite, any movement that combines two or three into one is my least favorite (im looking at you clusters). Diane was one of my first benchmark wods and is still my favorite. Doing deadlifts then going right into handstand push ups is a lot of fun!
  • Favorite memory at Islip Crossfit?
    • My first Murph this year is the best memory so far, i spent a lot of time prepping for it learning butterfly pull ups, getting used to the vest, reading strategies, testing them, and it all really paid off. The whole box being there was really exciting and then getting the hug from my daughter at the end cemented it in my memory. O and I actually beat Nick in a workout that day
  • If you could program it, what is your perfect workout?
    • I would mix in cardio, a body weight movement and a lift. It would probably be 5 rounds  of a run, muscle ups/pull ups and a lift.
  • Favorite workout music?
    • Hip Hop or Punk
  • Advice for a new member or someone thinking of trying CrossFit?
    • Leave your ego at the door and focus on your own progress. Don’t be afraid to scale when you need to, and finally just give it a try because once you do it you will love it.
  • How do you find/make time to get your workouts in?
    • I make it a priority and I’m a firm believer that when something is a priority you will always find time to do it. This means I end up going as early as possible, 5ams are always a go to for me or 6ams if I’m working from home.  If it wasn’t for Meg though there is no way I would be able to fit the time in, especially on the weekends.
  • What is your favorite part of Islip CrossFit?
    • The community for sure, it is more then just a gym to me, it is a family. Everyone is incredibly helpful and always pushing each other. The coaches really put the extra effort in to help you too. I couldn’t ask for a better place to workout.
  • What motivates you to keep coming back each day?
    • The results, Crossfit really works and the fact I see myself constantly improving in even small ways makes we want to come back and do it again.
  • What is your greatest achievement in your fitness so far?
    • Muscle ups, after trying them at the CF-L1 course I was determined to get them and I even strung two bar muscle ups together just this week! Now if only I could get double unders consistently…..one day.
  • What has been the most challenging part?
    • Doing movements RIGHT, some of them are really complicated and take a lot of time and effort to learn. There is always something I feel like I can improve on during any movement and I constantly take video to analyze what to fix.
  • Short term goal? Long term goal?
    • Getting to a point where I don’t have any doubt that I can do any movement with confidence. Long term I would like to become an effective coach.
  • What/Who motivates or inspires you?
    • My parents, my mom is 64 and my dad is 74, they both are in amazing shape for their age and my mom just started CrossFit!


  • Favorite Cheat Meal?
    • Cookie Dough Ice Cream with Reeses Pieces
  • What changes have you made in your diet that have been the most successful?
    • Tracking my macros, this made a huge difference in how I feel day to day and prevents me from overeating. When I started I found out quickly that I was eating way too much fat on a daily basis.
  • What is the worst “diet” you’ve ever been on?
    • Can’t say, I never did a diet until I started CrossFit.
  • What’s your go to breakfast?
    • Oats with peanut butter, raw honey and blueberries.
  • Do you eat before you workout? (If so, what?)
    • Nope, I wake up only a couple minutes before most workouts so there is no time to eat anything.


  •  Something no one at the gym knows about you?
    • I used to play paintball competitively and was part of a sponsored x-ball team in college.
  • What was your first job?
    • Busboy at a restaurant in my hometown.
  • If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself when you were a teenager?
    • Career advice, I would have told myself to skip getting a degree in biotechnology and instead get into computer science. Also put all your money into amazon stock!!
  • Favorite Quote?
    • “Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
  • Biggest Fear?
    • The Unknown
  • Best Vacation?
    • Our recent one to Gloucester, MA, it was our first family vacation and we made a lot of happy memories.
  • What Superhero are you?
    • My kids think I’m Mr. Incredible, I feel like it fits.
  • If you aren’t at the box, where would we find you?
    • If it is my usual time to workout then I am hopefully still sleeping! More likely I’ll be running around with the family, fixing a motorcycle or working on a house project (they never end).
  • If you won the lotto, what would you do?
    • Buy a huge piece of land by the ocean in California with a big house, a motorcycle track, and good surfing.
  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
    • Southeast Asia, always wanted to visit and it seems so drastically different from our culture.
  • Who is your celebrity crush?
    • Jewel Staite from Firefly
  • Last pic on your phone?
    • Keelyn and I on my dad’s boat, she refused to open her eyes because she thought it was funny.
  • What’s the wallpaper on your phone right now? The lock screen is a picture of our motorcycles in Oklahoma from a cross country trip with my dad and brother. The unlocked screen is Keelyn and I playing video games at an arcade.
  • What’s the last thing you searched for on Google?
    • “rapid quad zip pack” I was trying to find out the color of my 5.11 backpack so I could order pouches that match it.
  • Summarize your lifestyle in 5 words or less.
    • Nonstop learning, fast moving, persistent

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