Jake Thiess has been named the athlete of the month for December.  Jake is the epitome of someone who puts in 110% effort in every workout. He goes as hard as he possibly can right out of the gate during every WOD and pushes others to do the same.  He really has that blue-collar hard working mentality.

There are a couple things that say a lot about Jake and who he is.  Pull-ups didn’t come easy for Jake so he came in early day after day (including an 8am Saturday after the Wreck Room happy hour/night out) and worked at them until he couldn’t pull anymore.  Only after a few weeks he had reached his goal.  Snatches were much of the same, very frustrating at first so he made sure to be here for all of the following WODs that had snatches in them and stayed patient and coach-able.  He never avoided the things he didn’t excel at or disliked.  Now-a-days you would think he has been doing that lift for years.

At the end of our last cycle we re-tested our clean, deadlift and hero WOD “DT”.  Jake excelled in all three.  He added 10lbs to his power clean and added 90lbs to his deadlift.  For his benchmark WOD he not only went 20lbs heavier but also over a minute faster.

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Keep up the great work Jake.  It will be exciting to watch you continue to excel month after month.  If you don’t know Jake already, find out more about him below.

Tell us who you are.
Hey, I’m Jake. Im 23 years old. I live in Linthicum. I work for Thiess Family Contractors. I’m currently taking classes at AACC. My goal is to study Architecture at University of Maryland.
What made you decide to get started with Wreck Room CrossFit?
My friend Danny McGee had been telling my group of friends for months to give CrossFit a try. The only thing I knew about CrossFit was watching the CrossFit games on ESPN the past couple of years, so its safe to say I was pretty intimidated at the thought of it. Also at the time I was going through a rough patch in my life. I weighed my most ever at 255 pounds, and had just gone through a pretty rough break up. I wasn’t too happy with my life as it was. I woke up on a Friday morning and thought “I need to make a change,” so I texted Danny and that afternoon I went to my first class.
What is your favorite part of Wreck Room CrossFit and is there one particular favorite moment that stands out to you?
My favorite part about Wreck Room is how the people and CrossFit itself makes you feel. I remember walking in the first day and feeling this overwhelming sense of intimidation; But Butch, the other coaches and all the people at the gym do an amazing job of putting those intimidating thoughts out of your head really quick. Also I am a former athlete; and going to the gym and just lifting weights didn’t really inspire me to want to workout. At Wreck Room, I’m going for my max front squat and everyone stops to cheer.
I’m in the middle of a WOD and I’m just pushing myself past my limit because I see everyone around me doing the same. It really made me start to feel like an athlete again. The memory that stands out to me is probably when I maxed my deadlift. I remember doing it, then I stood back, looked at the bar, and thought “wow, I did that.”
What was your activity level prior to starting at Wreck Room CrossFit?
Being a former athlete I am ashamed to admit that it wast very high at all. I would play indoor soccer and stuff like that with my friends, but I had stopped going to the gym and running completely. Also at work, I would find myself being out of breath very frequently throughout the day.
How has Wreck Room CrossFit helped you outside of the gym?
I wake up in the morning, and I’m excited to start the day. I find myself looking on the Wreck Room website every night to see what the WOD is for the next day. At work I find myself having way more energy. I’m also eating healthier because I want to improve my performance in CrossFit.
Tell us about your progress throughout the month of December?
When I came to Wreck Room I had not done pull-ups or push-ups in over a year. I never did any power lifting. So I’d say December is the month where I really started putting all the movements together. The exciting part is that I’ve come so far, but I still have so far to go.
What are your favorite and least favorite movements or workouts?
I really can’t say anything is my favorites. I know I like the challenge of all of the workouts. I know that the things that I can’t do yet (multiple pull-ups, muscle ups) or struggle to do are very frustrating.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get started at Wreck Room CrossFit?
I know everyone says it, and I’ll say it too. Don’t be intimidated. Every person in the gym has had the same feelings and doubts about starting CrossFit. Your physical abilities when you come in are irrelevant. What matters is you have the courage to say you’re ready to make a change.
Anything else you want to add?
I just want to thank everyone at the gym for making me feel welcome since day 1. You guys are the ones who make Wreck Room such an enjoyable place to workout.