Name: Valerio “Vurpees” Da Silva
Hometown: Rome, Italy
CrossFitting Since: March 2012
Favorite WOD or Movement: I’d say my favorite movement is the muscle up because I’m pretty good at it. I enjoy the girl workouts on “Ladies Night” because most of them use bodyweight movements, or lifts with lighter weights. I love challenging myself with bodyweight type stuff. When it comes to lifting weight, I’d say I’m strong, but not strong enough to compete at a high level. When it comes to bodyweight movements, I love doing pull ups, push ups, muscle ups, double unders, etc.
Least Favorite WOD or Movement: I hate the overhead squat, it’s really terrible. I can’t stand it because it kills my wrists and I lose my balance.
What led you to CrossFit? I had been going to a traditional gym since I was about 17 years old, and quite frankly, I was sick of it. Don’t get me wrong – I loved working out (particularly powerlifting), but I was sick of doing the same routine over and over again. Even though I ‘changed’ my workout schedule here and there, it was largely the same routine I had been doing for over five years. Eventually, I asked one of my personal trainer friends in Italy to recommend something different to me. He started giving me CrossFit-style workouts which I liked. When I moved to Brooklyn, I discovered that there was an actual CrossFit gym and decided to give Virtuosity a try. I’ve loved CrossFit Virtuosity from the day I joined. It’s fast – workouts are no longer than one hour. It’s challenging – once you’re there, you have to do the workout. It makes you push yourself every single day. It also has transferable life lessons – it teaches you that you can’t stop, can’t ever give up.
How have you changed since starting CrossFit? I don’t have to worry about what workout I’m going to do anymore. I know that whenever I come to class, it’s going to be exciting and challenging. From an overall lifestyle perspective, I became 100% Paleo since starting CrossFit. I always ate pretty clean, but I would have rice and bread here and there, which I no longer do. I feel a lot better about myself. Eating clean gives me more energy and makes me feel alert. The one drawback is that other people and places don’t live this way (they eat and serve a lot of processed foods). Eating healthy often makes me feel ‘different’ from other people. They often don’t understand that “normal” is what I eat, it’s not the processed foods, pizza, and pasta that they eat. I grew up eating pasta in Italy, so eating strict Paleo has been a drastic change for me. While I’d love to eat pizza filled with prosciutto, I don’t because it makes my body feel bad.
I’ve found that when I eat poorly, my body responds. It doesn’t like it, and won’t accept it. I had a cheat day yesterday and I still feel like shit. CrossFit definitely helped me discover a better way of life.
How has your involvement with CrossFit influenced your relationships or friends? This may seem trivial, but my family bought a juicer and started to make juice because of me. They never did that before. They also started buying almond and coconut milk as opposed to cow’s milk. My brother started exercising and eating better. My roommates were inspired to eat healthier after seeing how I eat. I’m aware that when I’m around friends and family, they see how I eat and ask about it. It strikes up a conversation, which I like. People see that I have a lot of energy and ask how they can achieve that for themselves. I’m really glad that I’ve had such a positive influence over the people in my life. I’m trying to spread the word about being healthy and educate people on what being ‘healthful’ truly is.
I get really excited when I educate people about healthy eating. Many people think that eating processed food, pasta, sodas, etc, is normal because it’s the only way they know. I’m sure they feel sick eating that way, but they continue to do so because it’s the only way the know.
What would you say to people who have tried traditional gyms and gotten bored of them? What’s different about CrossFit? You never get bored at CrossFit. There’s no time to get bored here because you barely have time to breathe. You just have to go for it.
What advice do you have for other people considering trying CrossFit? The first time I told my mom about CrossFit, I told her about how great it was because everyone was doing the same thing at the same time. We are sharing a moment together. For me, it was really bewildering to see twenty five people waiting for the clock to start to do the exact same thing. It really motivates you to finish. You can’t do CrossFit by yourself – you need that group environment to motivate you. You suffer together. When you see someone finish before you, you’re motivated to finish. It’s very beautiful and incredibly inspiring.
Any best CFV stories? Best story? What about the guy running around the gym naked at 3:30pm?
Any other remarks? I don’t even know why I’m the Athlete of the Month… maybe it’s because I’m always late.