October Member Spotlight

This month’s member spotlight is well deserved for Brian Volk! Brian has really began to shine and grow as an athlete. His speed and conditioning is ridiculous (in a great way)…yes we’re all jealous, and his strength is continuously on the rise. Brian shows great dedication and willpower to show up day after day and tackle the WOD. We have no doubt that Brian will continue to make his way to the top and be the best athlete he can be. His efforts do not go unnoticed and we are proud to dedicate the October spotlight to Brian. Congratulations and keep up the amazing work.

A few words from our coaches…

He’s very coachable, scales appropriately, pushes himself and always puts in extra work. His results are a testament to him doing things the right way from day one. -Coach Phil

Brian is a great presence to have in a class. He is always positive and pushes others almost as much as he pushes himself. Brian’s efforts have earned him serious GAINZ in both speed and strength as he continues to get out of his comfort zone each and every workout. Brian is an admirable athlete who is always conscious to evaluate how to best complete a workout and he is always willing to try something new to improve his technique, strength, and speed. Brian is an excellent example of hard work, effort, and dedication paying off in the gym and in life. Congrats Brian!!!! -Coach Christine

Brian has always been a hard worker at the gym, ever since the first day he started. Always willing to learn from others and to help anyone in the same exact way. I remember the first day he worked out at Saturday 7am open gym, the workout was pure death, and he loved every second of it and has been there ever since! Even through some injuries he was always there doing what he could and was always positive. Improving everyday! -Coach Andrew

Let’s learn more about Brian…

Tell us about yourself?
I grew up in Islip. When Kelly and first got married we lived in Sayville, but moved back to Islip four years ago. We have three children, ages 7, 5 and 2.

What do you do out in the real world?
I’m a patent attorney. I run a solo law practice and Stony Brook University is my main client.

What brought you to Islip CF?
My fantastic, and very fit wife, Kelly. Also, one of my best friends introduced us to crossfit several years ago. He served in the military and when he got out he coached for a few years. It was his explanation that got me interested in crossfit, though it took me years to try it out.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?
Ten months.

What was your first CF workout? What did you think after it?
My first workout had some power cleans and maybe box jumps and I thought “wow that was intense.” I will never forget my third workout. It was just Summer and me at the 6 am and the workout included 75 burpees in a row. After that I thought “I’m not so sure about this…”
What changes have you made in your diet or workouts that have been the most successful?
Kelly and I participated in a clean eating challenge a few months before I joined. For the first three days I thought I was starving. For the next week I was frustrated because I didn’t think there was anything I could eat. But by the end of the 6 or 7 weeks, I had decided I would never go back to my old diet – too many carbs, not enough veggies. It took that long for eating well to become a habit and I’ve learned how to keep the right balance to make it sustainable.

Favorite Cheat Meal?
Chicken parmesan hero.

Most embarrassing/funniest gym moment?
I doubt anyone noticed, but at my first workout, I was completely winded after doing line drills for the warm up.

Favorite movement?
Back squats. Don’t skip leg day!

Least favorite?
Handstand pushups.

Benchmark WOD?
The Murph.

Favorite memory OR most memorable moment at Islip Crossfit?
About one month ago, I back squated more weight than I could when I was 22 (I’m now 35). Crossfit works.
What motivates you to keep coming back each day?
The constant variety of the workouts and the camaraderie of the people at the gym.

Something no one at the gym knows about you?
I played the bass guitar in a band when I was in college.

What is your greatest achievement in your fitness so far?
Consistency. Unless I was on a sports team, I’ve struggled to make exercise a consistent habit my entire life.

What has been the most challenging part?
Knowing how much or how little to scale workouts. It took several months for me to figure this out, but I’m getting better at it and I don’t often feel beat up after workouts anymore (though definitely exhausted). Also, keeping up with Kelly – I’m still not there!

Short term goal? Long term goal?
Rx the next open workout… Maintain a consistent healthy lifestyle so I can still do this when my kids are old enough to join.

What/Who motivates or inspires you?
The Isilp CF coaches. They all have such passion and dedication to fitness, it’s contagious.

Favorite Quote?
The only thing between you and your goals is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself. I was “too busy” to exercise for ten years.

What Superhero are you?
I’m a dad and husband. Superman couldn’t handle that.

Biggest Fear?
Losing someone close to me. And I guess miller lite shutting down production.

Favorite workout music?
Rage against the machine.

Best Vacation?

Advice for a new member or someone thinking of trying CrossFit?
Try it for two months. And keep in mind that the people who make lifting heavy weight or flying through double unders look easy, have likely been doing this for years. Most of those same people started out as the guy in the corner sucking wind during warm ups.

How do you find/make time to get your workouts in?
Kelly and I have just made it a priority. We regularly get to the 6 am during the week, try to get there on Saturday and Sunday, and then fit evening classes during the week where we can.

What is your favorite part of Islip CrossFit?
The people. Like any organization, the environment is set from the top down. The Islip CF owners and coaches have created a positive and supportive environment to help people improve their health and have fun doing it.

If you aren’t at the box, where would we find you?
Spending time with my wife and three kids.

If you won lotto, what would you do?
Pay off my student loans, then maybe go out to dinner if there is anything left.

Who is your celebrity crush?
I don’t really have one… If I had to choose, probably Natalie Portman (Garden State and V for Vendetta, not the Black Swan).

Last pic on your phone?
Four racks of ribs and about four dozen chicken wings slow-cooking in my new smoker. You have to brag to the boys about that…

If you could program it, what is your perfect workout?
I’m going to get so many eye rolls for this…
50 Wall Balls
400 m run
40 pushups
400 m run
30 burpees
400 m run
20 GHDs
400 m run
10 bar muscle ups

Summarize your lifestyle in 5 words or less
Work hard. Play hard.


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