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CROSSFIT-AC ATHLETE OF THE MONTH IS RUSS BURGER!!

Crossfit-AC athlete for the month of June is Russ Berger, this is his story.

Hi my name is Russ Berger. I want to thank Dino, Perry & Francesca for nominating me for athlete of the month. More importantly for having a place like Crossfit Ac for me to come 4-5 days a week and meet new people, feel exhausted and provide a place for me to put aside the rest of my problems and just concentrate on working out. I am 57 years old, I have been happily married for 20 years and own Red Rock Grill in Upton with my wife. A proud father of 3 sons, two who have graduated college as Doctors (one medicine, one chemical engineering) and the third is a senior at WPI. I have three grandchildren and looking forward to many more!

Since I was a young child (since before most of you were born) I have been involved in competitive sports. I grew up a swimmer, but in high school I played soccer and race walked (a 7:12 mile). At he University of Michigan I turned to water polo and crew and was captain of both my senior year. After college I turned to running, ran the New York Marathon, but really never loved it. After moving to Danvers and living on a lake, my neighbors turned me onto triathlons. Through all of this I don’t think I ever lifted a barbell till I joined crossfit. However, my wife, Sherry, used to be a competitive body builder and was always looking for places to workout. She started going to a cross fit in Shrewsbury and it looked interesting to me, but I was happy training for triathons on my own. Then, in the summer of 2012 I woke up one morning in July and my right arm was very swollen. The doctors didn’t know what it was, so they put me on antibiotics. A few days later my other arm became swollen. Right after that I noticed that any place that was bumped or cut would became swollen and the skin painful to the touch. While I was able to run a little, it was painful for me to do anything else including touching anything with my hands. After about 4 ½ months of tests, hospital visits etc. the pain started to subside, but now I had not used my upper body for anything heavy for about 4 months. Any muscle mass I had was gone and I needed to do something about it. I thought, why not try crossfit. I walked in that first day and it was painful to even touch the barbell, but I was determined to give it a try. The first time I attempted to do pull ups, I could only do 2. I quickly became addicted to cross fit and it is now the hour of the day that I look most forward to. There have been times I have been so sore that I was questioning whether or not it was worth it, but that first time I benched more than I did in high school, the first time I did a muscle up, my first double under makes me glad I have worked through the pain. Also, I appreciate the new friends I have made and look forward to seeing the people in the gym everyday. The open’s have been a great experience, watching everybody get together and cheer each other on and even better this year with so many people getting together to watch the announcements. I am also looking forward to many more years of crossfit training and working out in the new space, it looks amazing!

 

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