Congrats to our Athlete of the Month for June, Mr. Jared (aka ja’Red) Naito! We are so honored to have him as part of our community. Continue reading to see what he has to say about his journey and experience so far…

“My CrossFit journey began in December 2015, a few months after I returned to Santa Barbara after living in South America. No longer reliant on walking places and once again able to indulge in all my favorite (read: “not the healthiest”) foods, I found myself quickly putting on weight. Wanting to nip that trend in the bud, I knew I had to eat better and exercise.

Working at a startup, there’s never enough time in a day. After putting in long hours at the office, it can be difficult to find the motivation to work out. The problem with the activities I liked was that they took too long to get a good workout in or they just didn’t work me hard enough. I didn’t want to ride my bike for hours just to get home and have to go to sleep. I wanted something more intensive than climbing. Then I heard about CrossFit.

Admittedly, I was skeptical. CrossFit has a stereotype – one I wasn’t especially keen on. I wasn’t a bro looking to get jacked; just a guy with a slowing metabolism who wanted to get back into shape. But my roommate, coworker, and friend Ryan wanted to join a gym, and I figured I’d be held more accountable if I worked out with him. The concept of HIIT workouts was intriguing to us both, so we signed up and scheduled our movements classes.

I remember my first day at the Gray facility. Julian was going ape shit per usual, people were hucking themselves up and over bars, and everyone was sweating and breathing hard. It looked intense – maybe too intense. But you have to give things a shot, so I did. I will say that the first few months weren’t all that enjoyable. I’ve always been a competitive person, and though I can’t say I’m athletically proficient, I like to think I’m coordinated and hold my own. But with CrossFit, I struggled; my form was never quite right, my timing was always a bit off, and I would finish dead last in most workouts. In most environments, I would have been dejected and demoralized. But not at CFSB.

Looking back, I probably wouldn’t be doing CrossFit today had it not been for the extraordinary coaches and community at our box. Though I was constantly being corrected, criticisms were constructive and tips were encouraging. Fellow members were always there to support and encourage me to do things I didn’t know I could do. I’m still getting those corrections and I’m still receiving that encouragement, and that’s why I love CrossFit so much.

To me, it’s not about getting huge. It’s not about having a six-pack, lifting more than the next person, or being #1 in workouts. In my eyes, CrossFit is about continually striving to be better than you were the day before. There’s something about working your ass off for an hour every day to discover you can do things you didn’t know you could the day before that is immensely satisfying. And when you lift, sweat, swear, tear, fist bump, and drink beer with friends, you’re always looking forward to the gym. So thanks everyone! I couldn’t ask for a better place or group of people to spend my time with.”

Jared, we are so proud of you and your work ethic, and the determination to grow every day. Congrats and we love ya!

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