Why choose CrossFit – What’s your “Why?”
An Interview with our own Captain America, Rusty Carkhuff
One question that often arises when discussing CrossFit is “Why did you decide to do CrossFit?” or “Why do you do it?” or “Why is it important to you? For such a small word, WHY can have a huge impact when asked. It really makes you think. It helps you realize how different we all are even when it seems like we are on the same journey.
I recently had the opportunity to ask that question (and a few more) to one of Clamtown CrossFit’s most loyal members, Rusty Carkhuff. Not only is Rusty an amazing athlete, he’s a pretty great guy who’s been coming to Clamtown the last few months in preparation for his next journey: The U.S. Air Force.
From an early age, Rusty’s parents taught him Love of Country. His father taught him how to properly display the flag, to always shake the hand of any Veteran, and to understand what it means to serve. Rusty participated in the ROTC program during his college years at Rutgers University and will be starting his career as a serviceman later this summer.
Why did you choose Crossfit – Clamtown Crossfit in particular- as your workout regimen to prepare for the Air Force?
I’ve dabbled in Crossfit before and I’ve done workouts on my own. One thing that is really attractive about Crossfit to me is if you watch the top level athletes, the amount of dedication and discipline they have to their craft – whether it’s how they eat, how they sleep, spiritually, physically, whatever it is – they are so dedicated and disciplined. That level of discipline and commitment really attracted me. …Also I’ve always wanted to learn how to do cool stuff like walking on your hands and muscle ups and all that.
Do you think it’s going to help with getting accustomed to your new Air Force training?
(When I asked Rusty this question, he talked about the amount of stress that can accompany new soldiers, both physically and mentally. He has been coming to the gym twice a day to prepare himself for what comes next.)
Yes, definitely. Stress and physical fitness are correlated. If your body can handle physical stress mental stress, you build more grit and your body responds to cortisol levels differently.
What/who inspires you? Who are you doing this for? Yourself? Your family?
This is something I’ve been working on a whole lot recently. My main thing – because service is really big to me -is my faith. Serving God. My faith is a huge inspiration in my life every day. I try to read a little bit of scripture, at least a chapter every day. My family, my mother and my father really push me and inspire me to do better. And I also just want to serve my country. You know, Faith Family Country. And my friends are a huge part. I’m an only child, so my friends – my relationships with the people I’m closest with- are like family to me.
Are you going to miss your hometown?
I’m going to miss this place a lot. I love it here. I’m trying to take this summer to appreciate the small things about this town, this area. It’s really one of a kind.
What food will you miss the most in Pensacola?
(Of course we had to ask this one. Because there are two things that all CrossFitters think about constantly: Workouts and Food.)
New Jersey pizza.
Rusty is looking forward to joining the Officer’s Christian Fellowship program in Pensacola. He will be in Pensacola about a year and a half and then he has committed to a 6 year service contract. He’s hoping to get the opportunity to go overseas in that time and see the world.
I just want to add something here. The first time I met Rusty, he introduced himself with a smile and said, “It’s a great day to have a great day!” That saying stuck with me and really formed the mold for which I base my high opinion of Rusty. From that day, I started looking at my daily workouts not only as a challenge but an adventure. Something to do that will make me better both physically and mentally. Yes, it’s hard work, but so worth it. I thank Rusty for giving me that insight.
One last question…
If you could tell Coach Bob and all the Clamtown trainers you’ve worked with anything, what would it be?
I’m super thankful for this community here at Clamtown. I’m super thankful for this. Back in January, I hurt my knee pretty bad. I was working towards a goal for about 2 ½ years and my knee (injury) kept me from doing that. I tried training through it and working out became a chore. I actually started resenting it. And then when I came to the realization that I couldn’t achieve that goal, I got out of shape. I got chubby. I gained weight. So I came here to Clamtown wanting to get back in shape, but what I’m most proud of coming here is that I’ve fallen back in love with training and working out. It’s not like “I have to come to the gym.” It’s, “I get the opportunity to come here and work out.” It’s a privilege now. It’s what I look forward to in my days.
Rusty leaving for NAS Pensacola on Sunday 8/19/18 to begin his career as a serviceman. Join us for a final workout farewell to Rusty on Saturday 8/18/18 at 10:30AM! You don’t want to miss the “Captain America” WOD designed just for him! Sign up for your free trial here. Existing members, sign up through the WODify app.