Member Spotlight: Josh Linden

My journey to CrossFit Bexley and its exclusive Bexley beach club, by and large, was born out of a personally dark 2017 that nipped at the heels of a trying 2016, culminating in a need for both mental and physical change. To top it all, January 2018 marked my six year transformation into a sloth, though admittedly I’ll always been hairy enough to be a skinny one.

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Those two years had taken a toll on my body, physically along with the previous four years of sloth-hood, which started in 2012. That year I had wrapped up law school, returned to Columbus, married my dream girl, and began a soul search to avoid practicing law; concurrently I served my body with a cease and desist from all exercise.

Where I had previously used exercise throughout undergraduate and graduate school to balance and focus myself mentally and topple ant hills physically (and to allow myself to eat and drink stupid amounts of food and alcohol), abruptly it stopped. I’m a food guy; I love trying new foods and in no small quantity. Law school also created a whiskey guy, but who am I to turn down a good, craft beer, also. Party foul. For those six years, I had my fair share, and your fair share, of the food and drink that I had previously found in equilibrium with exercise.

After those six years, ushering in New Year 2018, I knew that I could not continue in my downward spiral. Though I dedicate time daily to internal thought, I’m not emotionally intelligent, so I chose to start with changing the physical aspect of my life – get my sloth-like ass moving again. Thank goodness for the continued push and encouragement of my wife; every once in a while her wisdom penetrates my thick head.

My best friend joined a CrossFit box in Austin, TX and within a couple weeks began telling me that it is what I need both mentally and physically – that it is the type of workout that I should have been doing even when we were gym partners back in our OSU days. As the guy who first met me as the kid who slept through Hebrew school with a Cleveland Indians hat pulled down over my eyes and many years later joined me on the adventure of moving to M!ch!g@n to start college and then back after one quarter to attend The Ohio State University, along with many other adventures; how could he steer me wrong?

Mid-January 2018, I began researching CrossFit boxes near my home. I nearly joined a different, newly opened box, in Reynoldsburg, but before I could, my wife’s cousin told me that a new one had recently opened in Bexley. Crossing the threshold into CrossFit Bexley’s box, immediately I could tell that there is a difference in the community from other boxes that I had checked out, starting with the owners and coaches.

As I have come to determine, in my 8th month as a member, that immediately apparent difference is what has kept me at CrossFit Bexley. The WODs can be rough and grueling, but you can physically beat yourself up anywhere (though the programming is great). I’m still here because of the people who so quickly welcomed me, whether in my now typical 6AM class, my intermittent nooner sessions, or my previous afternoon group. It’s a family inside of the box, and it’s a family outside of the box in the surrounding community. And occasionally when you see them at Whole Foods with beer and baby in tow. And on a playground stretching your shoulders from a particularly grueling WOD.

I believe that CrossFit Bexley has been one of the catalysts for my needed 2018 change. To date, I have dropped approximately 15 pounds of fat and have begun regaining muscle weight, improving endurance, increasing strength, and I am continuing to work on mobility. Maybe most importantly physically, my kids love coming to the box to see me exercise and going home to imitate my workout movements while grunting; then laughing hysterically. Though my physical change has been visible, a mental pivot accompanied the physical. I regained the exercise that used to keep me mentally balanced, focused, and less negative (aspiring realist rather than pessimist). I look forward to my continued improvements with the fantastic support and assistance from the community and coaches that keep me reaching for the next level.