Just yesterday I put up a post about the new gym that I'd joined and how it wasn't quite fulfilling my needs. Well, I wrote that on Saturday and since then I've come across a new place.
I first learned about CrossFit 440 when Gwen told me that she'd lifted here a handful of times while in Mentor on business. I contacted Ben, the owner, about open gym times that I might be able to come in and train. He told me about a few times and I put it in my memory bank.
I kept looking around and contacted Dan Bell of Rubber City Weightlifting (Akron) to see if he had any suggestions of places to train. He suggested I get in touch with Mark Hansbrough who is the weightlifting coach at, you guessed it, Crossfit 440.
I got in touch with Ben first and went by for an open gym lift on Sunday. I felt at home instantly; Ben was very welcoming and they had a good group in there doing the daily WOD and a few guys training powerlifting stuff. I had a pretty good training session and Ben suggested I contact Mark, who invited me in to train with them the following night. I went in and it felt like I was back at Risto with my team...but with less Spanish being spoken. Mark is a very knowledgeable coach with great technique and is fast as hell. The other lifter training was Nate, an 85 who's lift PRs are just about the same as mine. He has a more typical lifters build, short and stocky and way faster than me.
Mark follows the Soviet System, like Coach Rojas, and was very upfront with me by saying that he didn't care if I trained with them but continued to follow my own Coach's programming. This made me feel really comfortable and took some stress off.
I lifted with Nate and while we worked up through our sets Mark quickly picked up on the technique flaws that I've yet to correct: shoulders not far enough over the bar, knees not back far enough at the power position (something Elios had told me a lot about), and I get early into my toes when the bar is in my hips. Staying back on my heels at the final position feels like the weirdest thing in the world to me.
I went back to do some technique work with them last night, and I believe I'll be joining them Friday night and maybe Saturday for a trip down to Akron to lift with their whole team.
This is the best part of a sport like weightlifting; it's a pretty small community and everybody knows everybody else. Finding a group like this is just what I needed to start to feel at home out here. Now I just need to find some decent Chinese food!
Have a great day, go lift some heavy shit.