Athlete Spotlight: Pat Fitzgerald
Hometown: Gorham, NY
Occupation: K9 Deputy Ontario County Sheriffs Office
When did you start doing CrossFit? My wife and I started CrossFit in July of 2016. I had recently started a new assignment at work that made me realize I needed to be in better shape. I was having to arrest individuals more frequently as I had been assigned to the warrant division. I needed a change not only for myself but for my family as well. I was slowly on a downward spiral with my health and fitness. Crossfit was the perfect answer for me. It has changed my life. The thing I didn’t expect most…how many close friends my wife and I have made at the gym. It truly is a close community that I have never experienced anywhere else, let alone at another gym.
What is your favorite CrossFit Movement and Why?
Clean and Jerk….I think I like it so much because for me it takes more mental fortitude to get under the bar on a heavy lift. It is such a mental lift more than just raw strength to be successful. When you PR…it’s both a physical and mental win.
What is your least favorite CrossFit movement and why?
The Snatch…does anyone really like this? It’s just always been my nemesis and weakest lift. Burpees and wall balls are my next least favorite. But at the end of the day they are all love hate relationships and I know I continue to get better at them.
What is your sport, health or fitness background?
I always did sports in High School. My main focus growing up was always soccer. Into adulthood it was mainly just going to the YMCA to burn calories but nothing very serious. I was always lost at the gym.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it and how did it feel?
My first exposure to CrossFit was walking in for my first foundations session two years ago and seeing Stefan and Sarah finishing up some sort of lift session or WOD…I don’t remember. I was hoping to see out of shape lumps like myself so I could blend in, but nope….instead I was met with two of the most in shape people I had ever seen in my life. I remember thinking to myself “what in the hell are you doing here. You’re crazy…turn around and leave now!” But thankfully my wife was with me and I continued forward and didn’t leave. Within seconds I was at ease once having met both of them.
First WOD….. I remember Stefan giving us a short WOD at the end of foundations. I don’t remember exactly what it was but it involved sit-ups, box jumps and squats I think. It was awful like most everyone’s first WOD. I hated it right up until I got to the parking lot to leave….then I realized I wanted more.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit? (Before and After)
My body has definitely changed. I have never considered myself an athlete. But for the first time in my life I truly feel like I’m in shape. I feel more confidence in so many aspects of my life because of CrossFit. I want to loose some more weight and still get stronger but I’m happy with where I’m at and confident I’ll continue to work on those goals. I just have to keep showing up.
Share with us your favorite Canandaigua CrossFit memory/moment?
My favorite memory. Probably doing Murph. This is a magical energy to be part of. It is completely unexplainable and something you just have to experience. I also enjoy making memories for all my friends at the gym by capturing them with photography. I absolutely love photographing those moments in CrossFit that we love, hate and everything in between.
Do you have any advice for people who are just getting started?
Starting CrossFit has been the single best decision of my adult life. If your thinking about trying it….give it a shot. Crossfit I think is sometimes intimidating to start. I remember thinking “there’s no way I can climb a rope, lift that amount of weight or do Pull ups”. I soon learned that that everything is infinitely scalable. Now two years later I can now do all the kings I never thought were possible. I can climb ropes, do pull ups and lift weights I didn’t think were possible. Every Dottir, Fraser, Toomey and everyone at the gym had that “first day” just like you. The coaches at the gym will immediately put you at ease and make you successful, you just have to walk through the door.
Outside of CrossFit what other hobbies and/or talents do you have?
Outside of CrossFit, I love to go camping and boating. I also love spending time with family.