Tell us a little about yourself, what do you do for a living, members of your family, do you have any pets (include anything else you see fit!)?

Great question. I am a husband to an amazing wife (Amanda), a father to two loud daughters (Chloe and Elena) and dog whisper to my boxer mastiff (Blayne). I used to work at campgrounds and a ranch but found my calling in student ministries. I have been a Student Ministries Pastor for 10 years now. Oh, fun fact, I have applied to be on the show Survivor for 22 seasons now.

How and when did you get introduced to Crossfit and what made you want to continue coming?

Facebook. For real. There was an ad for Full Armor Fitness (FAF CrossFit) to try out their “Challenge.” Showed up, wanted to cry, I then cried, and returned back for more. What makes me keep coming back…the challenge of more.

When do you normally workout (what class) and what do you like about that group?

I bounce around. 12pm. 4:30pm. 5:30pm. I would prefer 4:30pm for one reason only; I appreciate the motivation and friendship that Eric and Shawn bring into my life. They are pretty rad dudes (is that even a phrase the kids are saying these days?).

What are some of the biggest improvements you’ve made since starting? Have you had any frustrations you’ve had to work through in the process?

Biggest improvement hands down would be my self-esteem. Inside tip about myself; the jokes I point negatively at myself are really a smoke screen for the doubt I have in myself. 4 years ago, I would have never guessed I could do the things I can do now. I have to remember that. I have conquered so much. My biggest frustration, in return, is battling myself. I am my worst critic.

How do you manage to stay consistent in your gym attendance?

Point blank, it’s a priority on my schedule. Some might notice that I sign up for classes a week in advance. My calendar is typically a vomit of different things, but I make this a priority. It’s my escape from a high intensity job. Phós is a place where I can be sarcastic and real all at the same time. Staying consistent isn’t a roadblock (unless I am traveling out with youth trips or other business trips). Plus, my wife gives up a lot so that I can do this. I am so thankful for her sacrifice. Not showing up is disappointing the sacrifice she does for me.

If you had to pick a vehicle/song/movie roll that fit your personality, what would it be and why?

Sexy and I know it – LMFAO

If you were a wrestler what would be your entrance theme song?

Depends on my mood… really. If I was wanting something to hype myself it would be this Seven Nation Army by White Stripes. But if I was wanting to be the stone-cold wrestler it would be Monster by Skillet.

And finally, what do you appreciate most about Phós?

The community and the challenge. For community, we can laugh about things like: Zach McConnell was discovered after being lost in the sea of gym equipment at Planet Fitness. He is a legend in his own mind. As an original FAF member, Zach was taken on as a charity case by the newly established CrossFit Phós West. It was later discovered that he was not a homeless man. And yet, he continues to show up only as motivation to disappoint Coach Fey’s personal mission for 2019. Here are what the other athletes say about McConnell:

“He tries.” -Shawn
“The only thing he can Rx in is sarcasm.” -Danae
“Zach is one of the most strong-willed athletes I know. He always shows up ready to work hard and willing to  improve on his weakness. He is the definition of a great CrossFit athlete… Oh, you mean Zach McConnell. I thought  we were talking about Zach Nolz. Yea, McConnell is none of those things.” -Coach Megan

With challenge, by the time this article is released, I would have completed my first on-site competition. Tackling a huge fear and signed up for GameDay: Mankato in June. I kept that under wraps from most people. My goal (hopefully) is simple: #dontBeLast. Regardless of my standing, I appreciate that I have a community that pushes me to do something I NEVER thought I would do. Sometimes people say CrossFit is a cult… well, I definitely drank the Kool-aid.