Aaron “AJ” Brant
April 7, 2016
Tanja Bardak
April 7, 2016

What made you decide to come to CrossFit RAZE?
I was at Walker Park on Labor Day with my daughter and became mesmerized by a group of people of all shapes and sizes completing what appeared to be a brutal workout with water jugs under the morning sun. They were cheering each other on and pushing themselves and I couldn’t stop watching. Who were these people? What compelled them to spend a holiday morning in this way? I crossed the field as they were wrapping up and said “Are you guys a class? Or doing this on your own?” They chuckled and said “Both. We go to the same gym, but the box is closed today, but our coach gave us a workout we could do on our own and we agreed to meet up to do it.” I was impressed— a coach? Folks who meet up to encourage each other to keep going even when the gym is closed? “What gym?” I asked. “CrossFit Raze,” they replied and grinned. I groaned. “The coach scales everything!” They assured me. I was skeptical. What little exposure I had had to CrossFit in prior years, I was SURE it was not for me. I have never been an athlete. I don’t identify as a physically strong, flexible, or coordinated human being. Yet… I knew I wanted what these folks had. So it seemed I had to give it a try. They assured me the first workout would be free. I spent the week reading about it and thinking about it… and polling friends on Facebook about it… and on September 14th, 2015 I gave it a try. And I didn’t die. So I signed up… and have been coming ever since. I was ready to be challenged— to be pushed harder than I have ever been willing to push myself. And I have not been disappointed.
How often do you workout?
Usually 3-4 times a week.
What changes have you noticed and achieved both mentally, emotionally and physically since being a member at CrossFit RAZE?
I am more likely to seek out exercise in my every day activities— to park further away, to carry my 60 pound daughter on my shoulders while on a hike, to jump rope in a hotel room. I am learning to override the voice in my head that tells me “I can’t.” I’m adopting new mantras, while on hard runs “I’m strong and getting stronger. I’m fit and getting fitter.” I can jump up on a box! With plates on it! I can do 100 pushups in a workout (on my knees! but still!) And the biggest shift— I CAN SQUAT! If only we had a before and after picture of the squat to show you. I have learned to like weightlifting— and even to be excited when a workout is only weightlifting! I’m steadier in my workouts— often slow, but steady. I’m less concerned about being a drag on others.
What are your favorite movements and WODs?
Sit ups— I can do sit ups forever! (O.K., maybe not…), Deadlifts, Box jumps. My most meaningful WOD was the last WOD of the CrossFit Open in 2015… It took me twice as long as everyone else… but I finished. And that was amazing.
What’s the most important thing you have learned about yourself through being a member at RAZE?
I’ve learned from Coach Bobbie that I’m capable of FAR more than I think I am— so I can push myself past my natural stopping point— way past.
What keeps bringing you back to RAZE?
I find it to be excellent stress relief, great community (I’m meeting folks I likely wouldn’t otherwise meet in my new hometown), and I’m getting stronger all the time and that feels great.
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?
If I can do this… YOU CAN TOTALLY DO THIS. What’s the harm in trying once for free?