ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT: AARON VILLARAIGOSA!!!posted December 06
Today we’re showcasing Aaron Villaraigosa. Aaron’s been with us for almost a year, and always comes in with a great attitude and a smile on his face. Even though he says he prefers bodyweight WODs, you can still see him Rx-ing heavy WODs on a regular basis. We’re happy to have Aaron as a part of the CFHW community. Ladies and gentlemen: Aaron Villaraigosa!
Name: Aaron Paul Villaraigosa
Height: Technically 5′-10 3/4″
Weight: about 180 lbs
How long have you been a member at CFHW? Crossfit has been putting a smile on my face for the last 10 months. Since February, 2011.
How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness? Where do I begin? Crossfit has changed my life in so many positive ways. Most conventional knowledge I thought to be true about health, diet and exercise went out the window the day I first stepped into the beloved Box. For starters, I had not eaten red meat or poultry since I was 15 and for a few years of my life I was actually on a vegan diet. Not anymore! I am now a bonafied Paleolithic carnivore and loving it. It is a new world of nutrition. No more soy based products and most importantly no wheat. I never feel lethargic or run down and never experience the “sugar blues” anymore.
Next is the physical aspect of Crossfit. Never have I been so strong and fit and solid in my life. Yes I have natural strength, but nothing like what Crossfit has molded me into and challenged my body to achieve. Crossfit is so amazing because it calls for dedication and the general goal of pushing past mediocrity into the best that each person can be. Every day is a challenge with Crossfit WODs and daily I feel I am achieving something positive mentally and physically.
Most importantly, the mental breakthroughs I have achieved while Crossfitting have been most gratifying. To push past self-inflicted fears of ‘breaking my face’ and recognizing that I am foremost a strong willed person mentally are the aide to my goals of achieving physical prowess. I believe that I manifest my life and future, and succeeding at Crossfit is a direct result of that philosophy. There will always be hurdles in Crossfit and life; it is the fact that I aim past them to peer at what possibilities lay ahead that has proven the best method of my personal and physical evolution.
What is your athletic background? The fact that I am writing this as an “athlete” is not only an honor but a tremendous feat for me. It was particularly that word that I used to describe what I wanted to become when setting my personal goals to achieve this year. To make a long story short, I was never very athletic and leaning toward the chubbier side of the scales until I discovered yoga at 18. I avidly practice yoga 2-3 times per week and will never stop. Yoga has allowed my body to remain flexible and fluid and is incredibly calming for me. All the while practicing yoga I wandered in and out of conventional and private gyms, and I did have some physical success, albeit not nearly what I knew I was capable of. I knew my body was capable of so much more. I was always in search of something new and more challenging. The first day of Elements classes with Ty I knew that I had found in the Crossfit ideologies everything I was looking for. I am one of the converted and Crossfit, like yoga, will always be a part of my life.
Favorite WOD: Barbara would have to be my favorite WOD. I prefer to use my own body weight as a compass for personal strength as opposed to weights.
Favorite Lift: Over Head Squats make me feel like the Hulk.
Least Favorite WOD: WODs that shred my hands! No scars! Scars and open wounds are not a determinant of how tough one is. They are unsightly and unhygienic. This especially includes anything with ropes. Those ropes are like razor blades on my skin.
Least Favorite Lift: Most lifting routines are intimidating to read initially but when I complete them I think to myself, ‘ya see, it is all mental.’ The challenge is what I crave and that keeps me striving to be a better athlete.
What are your proudest achievements? My first recognition of achievement was with box jumps. For months I was terrified I would land flat on my face but – I have not, and they are really quite fun to me now. Finishing the 8 Week Christmas WOD 3 under time has to go down in my books. Also, zipping past members in their twenties is always a stroke to my ego.
Name one goal and/or personal record you would like to accomplish through CrossFit? Muscle ups!!! Must achieve muscle ups!
Any advice for someone thinking about trying CrossFit or someone who has just started? Being the person you want to be requires effort, vision and dedication. Anyone can create excuses and convince themselves out of anything. Conversely, you can also convince yourself into anything. The real challenge lies within each person’s ability to coerce themselves into new arenas and forums that lead to greater accomplishments and achievements. Which avenue do you choose?
Favorite place to eat in Los Angeles? Now that it is a red meat extravaganza… It would have to be Boa Steakhouse on Sunset. They have an amazing porterhouse and wedge salad and a pretty sexy scene.
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