May’s Athlete of the Month is Larry Harrington. Larry is an old friend of mine and his wife, Gabrielle, is one of my besties. Last summer Gabrielle and I started doing CrossFit on the Northaven Trail early in the mornings. Since then Gabrielle has lost 35 lbs, gained muscle and strength and has a ton of energy! Larry, being one of the most supportive husbands I have ever met, started doing CrossFit to support Gabrielle and to get in better shape himself.
At 53 years old, Larry was a little bit worried when he started because he had back issues. Now, I know this guy. He is tough. I saw him dig out his own sprinkler system in Arizona where the ground was hard as rock. I saw him lay the concrete and create the kitchen counters and pillars for his own home he built. He even took on a thief with a gun with his fists and won! But every now and then he would throw his back out and be out of commission for a week. So I wanted to be really careful not to let that happen again.
We had one little incident with his back coming down from a box jump, but other than that his back became a lot stronger and he stopped having issues altogether. In February we started talking to members about entering the CrossFit Open and taking on The Tough Mudder in October. Larry signed up for the Tough Mudder (and got Gabrielle to do it, too!) He also decided to try the CrossFit Games Open.
The games workouts were really hard – and you couldn’t scale the weight if you wanted to get a recordable score. The first workout was Double Unders and ground -to-overhead with a barbell. The ground-to-overhead was an easy wight for Larry, but first he had to get through 40 Double Unders – a skill he hadn’t yet mastered. Larry took home a jump rope from the gym and practiced so much that it took the plastic off of the jump rope! But he finally learned how to do them and got a great score on the workout. The next workout had overhead squats and chest-to-bar pullups. This was really hard for Larry in the overhead squat department. As many of you know, as soon as you bend your knees it becomes very difficult to balance weight overhead – and this was at 95 lbs! He also didn’t have great mobility in his hips and knees yet so it was really hard for him to get his hip crease below his knees – a judging requirement for the Games. He worked for days and finally managed to get 2 squats in the workout. That may not seem like much to many of you, but it was really awesome to watch! In the remaining workouts Larry didn’t have as much trouble and had some great scores and his determination rubbed off on all of us and helped us push harder to do our best.
To top it all off, Larry is also very supportive of our community. At the Paleo Potluck he brought his portable grill and he and his wife and kids grilled meats and veggies and fruits for everyone. His girls take CrossFit and Martial Arts and they are all involved in pretty much everything we do around here.
So here is to Larry! Congratulations friend!