Member Spotlight–Jonathan!

1. Name

Jonathan Ponder

2. How long have you been doing CrossFit (and at TBL)? What class(es) do you normally attend?

I joined TBL in September of 2017, and it was my first time at any CrossFit gym! I’m a morning person, so I try to get up for the 6 am

3. What’s your why? Why did you start? Why do you stay?

After I turned 30, I noticed my body getting a little fuller and a little softer, and I knew I needed some sort of fitness activity. After running on my own for a bit, I joined a gym. I soon discovered that the only way I could make it stick was with the group fitness classes. Finally, when I moved to Manchester last summer, I decided that I wanted to really level up and challenge myself even more. I started with 3 times a week, and now I’m up to 5 or 6. What keeps me coming back is two things: the incredible community of athletes who are supportive and encouraging; and also I keep seeing results, so I keep coming!

4. What does a typical day look like for you? In and outside of the gym!

My day starts at the 6am class, then I’m off to work as an actuary in the catastrophe risk management team at The Hartford. If I have an exam coming up, I’ll be studying until 7 or 8 in the evening. Otherwise, I’m either figuring out how to do some project around the house or catching up on the news and my favorite shows (Currently: Westworld, Handmaid’s Tale, Luke Cage, Grey’s Anatomy, RuPaul’s Drag Race…). I try to get meal prep done on the weekend so I have good and quick meals to eat during the week, but I’m not immune to grabbing junk food from time to time!

5. What do you enjoy most about Silk City Fit? Favorite/least favorite movement?

The thing that I enjoy most about Silk City Fit is the great programming. Working on specific movements over a period, and then seeing results in a short time is SO satisfying! Favorite movement: back squats; least favorite: snatches of any kind!

6. After a hard workout, what is your favorite meal?

Since I’m on the 6am crew, I don’t usually have a huge meal. But I usually make a green smoothie with kale, OJ, some kind of frozen fruit, greek yogurt, and chia seeds.

7. What is one goal you are currently working on?

I’ve been able to get a few double unders down, but I’m trying to get enough to work them into a wod. I’m also pretty close to getting my first hand stand push-up.

8. What is one tip you would give to incoming/new members?

I think I still am in that group! But I’d encourage them to try not to compare themselves with others. One of the best things about the gym is that it’s not about where you come from or how you stack up to everyone else, it’s about can you give it your best every day. You’ll have off days but you keep at it, and your best gets better.

9. What accomplishment are you most proud of (inside and outside of the gym)?

My first pull-up was something that I was working on for a while, and I was thrilled to get that. But I’m probably most proud of my first rope climb. I was terrified and didn’t think I could do it, but I gave it my best and conquered that fear! Outside of the gym, my proudest moment was when I passed my first actuarial exam on the first attempt. I was changing careers and doing something completely different. It was one of the most difficult things I had done at the time, and coming out on top gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and a needed boost of confidence!