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Member Success – Ben Poenisch

This member success story is all about Ben Poenisch. Ben started with us in July of 2017, and immediately started positively impacting everyone in our box. He exudes selflessness and the welcoming attitude we love to coach at Summit. Although Ben will tell you we’ve helped him achieve his goals, the truth is it is only through his hard work, dedication, and perseverance that he has done so much in less than a year. We’re so impressed by all that Ben does, and his experience is one we absolutely have to share.

Ben, thank you for being so open with your time, and so vulnerable with your answers. We love having you in our community! Keep up the great work.

Q: What has been your proudest moment in the past 90 days?

A: I think I have to say my proudest moment in the past 90 days was doing my first CrossFit Open. I honestly didn’t believe I could do it, but not only did I complete all five workouts, I even got pull-ups in a WOD (workout of the day) which was a major goal of mine! The Open really fostered that sense of team camaraderie which I love. It felt special and challenging. I always presumed that CrossFit, and especially competitive parts of it, would feel exclusive and judge-y. I was wrong. No one here judges you for anything.

I’m also really excited and proud about my mobility and overhead strength improving. I have never been able to touch my toes before, and I never thought I’d have the strength and flexibility to put heavy weights above my head – last week I overhead squatted 115 pounds. Talk about change!

Q: What was your original goal when you started, and how has your overall goal changed since starting?

A: My original goal was, honestly, to not be fat and depressed anymore. I was so down on myself. As I kept doing the workouts, losing weight and gaining muscle, I developed a sense of pride in what I was accomplishing, and in how I look in the mirror. I didn’t have a specified goal when I started, but I achieved what I was looking for.

Now, I have more specific goals. For example, I want to be at a certain percent body fat. I also really want to get my first muscle up. These are things I never would have even considered when I first started. It’s fun to see the change in my mindset as I keep coming. Also, my girlfriend and I are both signing up to do the Disney Marathon in January of 2019. I never thought I’d be able to do that.

Q: What’s been the biggest surprise since you started?

A: The first thing that comes to mind is how much my body has changed. I’m proud when I look in the mirror now. But, to be honest, I don’t like that answer. It means a lot more than how I look or how much my body has changed.

The more truthful answer is that what surprised me the most has been my ability to stick with this. I’m usually very ADD. I bounce around a lot with my interests. But not with this. With Summit, I’ve stuck with it and that’s surprised me a ton. I think the accountability helps, but even more so is being around the other people at the gym. I love hanging out with them.

What is truly important to remember here is that this member success is all about Ben. He is the hero of this story. He is the one who put in the work, showed up early, late, hot and cold to the box. Even more so, he is the one who took that first step to change his life. We are just the happy recipients of his amazing energy and hard work. We’re better for having him as part of our team. 

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