Tanja Bardak
April 7, 2016

Kevin Clifford AKA “Tweener” and/or “Grandpa”

What made you decide to come to CrossFit RAZE?
At the age of 50 I had decided to “get healthy”. I was 40 pounds heavier than I had ever been in my life, was eating junk food and smoking one to two packs of cigarettes a day. I began with running and cleaned up my diet. After a few years of running I started participating in bootcamps and conditioning classes. A friend who was doing CrossFit kept telling me that I needed to check this out. When the bootcamps were no longer challenging me I finally decided to check out all the Boxes in my area and after visiting RAZE on a couple of occasions decided it best fit for what I was looking for.
How often do you workout?
I travel a lot for business so it realty varies for me. Most weeks I make it a minimum of threes times.
What changes have you noticed and achieved mentally, emotionally and physically?
I have always enjoyed the challenge of pushing what I perceived my capabilities to be. When I was running, it was a matter of getting faster or running father. That got boring. I then started running obstacle course races. These soon grew to be repetitive. CrossFit gives me the opportunity to be challenged every time I participate. It also gives me the mental and physical edge I need to participate in events such as GoRuck where team members my age are an anomaly. I am almost 59 and I have added muscle. That is something I never expected at my age. I don’t care your age or who you are we all have enough vanity to enjoy an occasional compliment on our appearance. Lean muscle looks good.
What are your favorite movements or WODs?
I don’t think I have a favorite. The barbell movements are probably the most interesting for me. I was completely unfamiliar with these types of movements before CrossFit. Learning proper form and concentrating on moving so that my body is in the correct position in relationship to the bar has been eye opening. “Hero WODs” are always a test, but more importantly help to remind me that there is “suffering” and then there is real suffering.
What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself through being a member at RAZE?
Every person has a preconceived notion of what they are capable of physically and mentally, RAZE helped me learned that it is just that, a notion. Getting physically stronger is great but doing a WOD that sucks 2 minutes in and having another 18 minutes to go helps pair that physical strength with the mental strength to push through. We will have a movement of 21 reps and I find myself thinking, “okay, do 6, now do 5, great, you are more than half way through, now just do 3 more and then it is just 2 more reps and you’re done”.
What keeps bringing you back to RAZE?
Above all else it is the community. There is an old adage that “people who suffer together bond together”. There is support and encouragement I find here that I have never found in other places I have trained. Yeah the results of being physically stronger are great but the atmosphere where regardless of your strength you are surrounded by people who cheer you on, that is special. Everyone is impressed with a person who can lift massive amounts of weight, run at an incredible pace, or string together endless pull ups. That said, I am more impressed with someone who has never gotten a single pull up before, working, training and pushing, and finally getting their first one. Yeah there is a competitive aspect to the WODs but it really is about being physically and mentally stronger than who you were yesterday. It is you vs. you.
If someone is reading this right now and is interested in coming to CrossFit RAZE but still nervous about taking the leap, what would you say to them?
There is a shirt I saw at a GoRuck event one time that read…”Stop screaming! I am scared too.” The same thing applies to being nervous about coming to CrossFit RAZE. We were all nervous. If you walk into a CrossFit Box the first time and you are not a touch nervous, there is something wrong with you. Until you walk in it is all voodoo magic and weirdness. There is all the jargon slang and acronyms…WOD, Cleans, AMRAP. Then you get in and realize it is just a bunch of like-minded people who are working towards a common goal of getting healthier. The people here recognize, encourage and respect that. It is not all blood sweat and tears. We laugh a lot too. It isn’t voodoo magic and weirdness……..okay it is weirdness but it is a good weirdness. If you are thinking about coming in, there is something inside pushing you to get better. Trust me if you are thinking about coming you are ready.