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Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. May’s Athlete of the Month is Ramakrishna Vaitla. Ram was chosen because of his hard work and daily dedication at the gym (and now at home as well)! We have been impressed by his willingness to embrace this at-home period and still make his fitness a priority, the way he has interacted and embraced the community via the FB Community page, and his positive attitude about tackling the at-home workouts and making the most of this current situation. Ram’s hard work is paying off and we love having him as a part of our OPCF community! Learn more about Ram below.

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? It’s been just over 5 months that I started doing CrossFit and I love it.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? I will never forget the day that I almost passed out after doing a workout. I came out and said that I wasn’t going to come back ever again, but later realized that that’s what I’m here for. I remember it had snatch or hang snatch in it and I was using my arms instead of my whole body – how stupid I was back then.

What has been your favorite workout so far? I love burpees and box jumps. It might be because I’m good at them and a light-weighted person. I especially love short interval metcons – it’s less time for a burn.

What is your favorite cheat meal? Hot chocolate brownie cake + Chocolate fudge ice cream + chocolate syrup 🤤. I finish one complete cake in a single day alone most times. I should really stop doing that.

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? I always wanted to travel for my job no matter what the job was. That sounded fun, but not anymore. It’s hard to move from one apartment to another house now 😂. I currently work at Great-West Financial in Overland Park.

What do you like to do outside of work? I love playing cricket with friends and caroms (similar to pool).

 What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? From my personal experience, if you try CrossFit only once then you might not want to come back. I tried CrossFit two years ago and thought that it wasn’t for me. After my second time, I realized I regretted not choosing CrossFit over a regular gym. OPCF is another great reason to workout because the coaches and your group (especially ZDT – they rock) who you workout with are just awesome. They keep pushing you and help you in figuring out how to improve; in no time you will hit PRs and you don’t even realize it. The biggest struggle with CrossFit is actually pulling yourself to the door of OPCF and then the rest is a cake walk. Even in these unprecedented times, OPCF helps keep us moving with virtual workouts and allowing us to rent out equipment.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement? Thrusters combined with Assault bike is a killer. Be prepared for the worst when you see this as a WOD.

What’s one CrossFit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year? I wanted to learn double-unders and bar muscle-ups this year. It took me almost 4 months to learn double-unders, but bar muscle-ups might take me longer than that. However, with this quarantine, it might be faster because I’m working on them on a regular basis.

What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? Increased mobility and using my whole body in most of the workouts. This has improved my overall workout performance and I hit PRs frequently now.

What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far? I couldn’t believe it when I squatted 255 lbs for 3 reps non-stop. I will never forget that.

How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? One simple rule I follow is to start the day with it. It keeps me running throughout the day.

What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet? I know what I lack in CrossFit – Mobility. I should work on my mobility more often.

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