The rest of this interview was conducted “Dating Game” style where both Rudy and Justin answered questions about each other — separately.
Favorite WOD or Movement:
Rudy: Justin told me his favorite WOD in a sleepy stupor this morning – it’s Cindy.
Justin: Rowing. Rudy definitely loves rowing. [Rudy: True.]
Least Favorite WOD or Movement:
Rudy: I think Justin’s least favorite movement is the wall ball – I think it’s everyone’s least favorite. That or the thruster. [Justin: I hate squatting.]
Justin: Thrusters and wall balls. [Rudy: Maybe I was projecting.]
What are your fitness backgrounds? What were you two doing before CrossFit?
Rudy: Justin was a swimmer since early childhood. When he was a kid, he was on a summer league swim team as well as a year-round swim team. He also did USAA swimming in high school, for two years of college, and for a few years on a masters team. But when we met, both of us did very little until we moved to New Haven.
In New Haven, we’d run on the track, lift weights, and do yoga. I loved running, Justin didn’t (I was better than him at running). He liked lifting, but I didn’t (he could always lift way more than me). We had to stop working out together because we’d get irritated at one another. Usually it was me that got irritated.
Eventually, I got over it and started working out together again. We joined a Jazzercize class of 50+ women, plus me and Justin. (Justin wore booty shorts then, too.) We loved it. One day, our instructor told us we should try Crossfit, and gave us a ridiculous description (which ended up being far from reality). We thought, “There’s no way in hell we’re doing this.”
When we moved to New York, one of our friends in the building informed us that he had just walked past Crossfit Virtuosity and signed up. It sounded like a competitive version of Bootcamp, and Justin ate it up. He signed up immediately, but I was still too cheap (and skeptical) and refused to join because the whole thing sounded crazy.
After Justin had been coming for a month or two, he finally forced me to try On Ramp in the mornings with Blanco. To this day, I attribute all of my successes and failures to Blanco!
Justin: Rudy swam in high school, he did some rowing in grad school. We would go to the gym together in New Haven to lift weights and do some cardio.
We were those gays who only did upper body and weights so we did a lot of chest and arms, shoulders and back, and then we’d run. I’d do the stairmaster and that was it. Every. Single. Day. (That’s one of the reasons why I love Crossfit – you don’t have to do the same thing every single day!)
Coming to check out CFV was one of the most intimidating moments of my life. The door doesn’t really open easily, so when you finally get in, you’re immersed in this concrete jungle of testosterone with people lifting weights, grunting, listening to rap music. I thought to myself, “Holy shit.” and wanted to leave immediately. Fortunately I decided to step out of my element and give it a try.
After my first On Ramp class, I fell in love with it. It was so different and new – it was all I talked about to Rudy when I came home. I decided that Rudy had to do it. I eventually convinced him to go to On Ramp, his “gay guilt” kicked in, and he was hooked too.
How have you changed since starting Crossfit Virtuosity?
Rudy: Justin has gotten skinner and stronger. Annoyingly stronger.
Justin: Rudy has gotten sexier, that’s for sure. He was always skinny, but now he’s gotten stronger, has bigger muscles, and is even more defined. It’s infuriating how cut he is.
Do you like working out together?
Rudy: I like going to the gym together, but not working out together. I don’t like to lift together (or workout in super close proximity) because I don’t want to be reminded of how he’s stronger than me. I hate it when he cheers for me, especially after he finishes his own workout faster than me.
Justin: I love doing Partner WODs with him. He doesn’t like it, though. I think it’s nice to have a shared interest and love for Crossfit. It allows us to spend some time together during incredibly busy, hectic days. We get to chat on the walk to the gym, and if the workout hasn’t been horrible, then we get to chat on the way home as well.
What are your fitness goals?
Rudy: I think Justin wants to compete in the CF Open again next year, and to be able to finish all of the rounds.
Justin: Rudy’s goals are at odds with each other. He wants to get stronger and faster. Everyone tells me that in order for him to get stronger, he’s going to have to go through a strength cycle and not necessarily do workouts as fast. I think he’d say that.
Any best CFV stories?
Rudy: I was proven wrong about Crossfit. It’s totally worthwhile. The social element particularly motivates me to come in the morning. I enjoy seeing the same people every morning; we’ve all gotten to know one another and become friends.
Justin: One of the things that we both love about Crossfit is that it introduced us to such an awesome group of people who we wouldn’t normally hang out with. We didn’t have any straight friends when we moved to NYC, but I’m happy to say that now we have a bunch! I love that.
What advice do you have for people considering joining Crossfit? What about those who just joined?
Rudy: For those considering, you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel and how quickly you get there.
For those who have just joined, know that it’s the hardest time. It can be very intimidating at first. You go through On Ramp, then start going to classes where you know nobody, but everyone else knows one another. You have to keep coming regularly. Over time, you’ll get better and people will remember you (more-so if you say something hilarious and/or drop all of the weights on you).
Justin: Don’t be intimidated. People are super cool, even if we scream profanities at the top of our lungs. Stick with it because you’ll get better. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get people to help you.
Rudy: I suppose I have become a Crossfit evangelist because I tell everyone about it. It makes me feel stronger, makes me feel better about myself, and, for someone like me who would otherwise exercise for nothing else than gay vanity, it adds another dimension to exercise and fitness.
Justin: I really appreciate the coaching staff. They are incredibly knowledgeable and willing to help people. I love the family atmosphere that they infuse into the culture.