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April Athlete of the Month, Shelby Butler

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Shelby first ventured into Upper Limit on the invitation of one of his best friends. Little did Shelby know…that his first crossfit WOD was a Hero WOD! Yikes! I guess he figured that, “Hey, if I can survive that on my first day, the rest is going to be a piece of CAKE!”

Well, we certainly don’t think of cake when it comes to a crossfit WOD but when it comes to showing up, putting in the work and walking out feeling  accomplished…Shelby is a fine example!

Want to know what keeps Shelby coming back for more? Read on…

What made you decide to join CrossFit Upper Limit and how long have you been a member? My good friend Dan Yockey told me several times about the great gym he goes to, and encouraged me to try out crossfit at Upper Limit. I tried it out for a free week, immediately felt at home with the coaches and people, enjoyed the workouts, and signed up. The atmosphere here is absolutely great and well- balanced. It’s not over-the- top competitive, and neither completely hands-off lazy, it’s just the right amount of encouragement and coaching for my taste. I have been there for a very productive year now, with many more to come!

What are your fitness goals? Simply, my main goals are to be strong and healthy. I love backpacking/hiking, and I want to be able to do those hobbies well into old age, as well as keep up with my future kids someday. I also like the technical movements, practicing and getting stronger at them until it becomes almost second nature. One quantitative goal I have though is to join the 1,000lbs club at my work. Which is 3 exercises (bench press, squat, deadlift) one rep each that all equal up to 1,000lbs. I’m almost there, I’m around 900lbs! After that, my ultimate goal is that I would like to be able to at least bench 1.5 times my weight, squat twice my weight, and deadlift 2.5 times my weight (my base weight is about 200lbs). I’ve got goals! Slowly, but surely.

Talk to us about your athletic background. What did you do prior to training at CrossFit Upper Limit? Since high school I worked out (generic weightlifting/cardio) for spurts of a few months at a time typically, followed up by too much couch surfing in the off seasons; I was very laissez-faire about it. Fortunately though, I come from an athletic family, so in my spare time I was usually more often than not informally playing random sports (baseball, soccer, wrestling, swimming, running, etc.) and doing random alternative outdoor sports (snowboarding, skateboarding, bmx, backpacking/hiking, mud/obstacle-runs, etc.). Yet, some of those have resulted in several injuries and a couple surgeries too; which, maintaining good health of those injuries motivates me even more to stay active. As well, most jobs I’ve had in my life were physical labor jobs. It’s only in the last several years I have been at a desk job (resulting in lower back-pain) that I find it imperative I stay active.

What type of diet do you follow? Nothing too rigorous. Whole-food meals and any supplements to fill in the gaps. In college, I took a nutrition class, and since then I told myself to stick to mainly whole foods with proper portions, that are prepared at home so I know what goes in them; no processed or fake foods, no short-cuts! Which, I think most popular diets stem from that same logic in some form or fashion, and so I just have that logic in the back of my mind every time I go to the grocery store or order food. …but of course, if only beer helped you lose weight, I’d be fit as a fiddle!

Favorite movements in the CrossFit program? Funny enough I enjoy rowing; I get into that same runners-high on the row machine that I would get from running races, but my feet and knees don’t hurt as much. Otherwise, I love the staple bro- sets of bench, deadlift, and squats. Moreover though, I love seeing my strength/endurance/ability increase on any movement in the program, even yoga poses. Oh! And stretching! Before coming to Upper Limit, I never took stretching very seriously, and since being here I see that it is just as important as the actual workouts while growing to love stretching before and after a workout.

Least favorite? Thrusters/wall-balls (O_o).

Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you. How about two: I play the classical guitar and I have my private pilot’s license.

How has being a member of CrossFit Upper Limit impacted your life? Well, the older I get, the more I realize how necessary staying active (mentally and physically) is crucial to a good quality of life. Periodically I have lower- back/mobility issues over the last couple years from my desk job, which would also put me in a bad mood. Since I’ve joined Upper Limit, my physical abilities have improved immensely, my pain has subsided quite significantly, and I feel joy whenever I go into Upper Limit. Not just due to the workouts, but due to the coaches/staff, and the overall great group of people who regular the CrossFit Upper Limit gym. It feels very comfortable and family-like here. In general, the program here challenges and encourages me with a well-rounded regimen that ultimately helps me thrive in the day-to- day life, as well as my extracurricular hobbies. Big thank you and much love to my Crossfit Upper Limit family! God bless!