CrossFit Gym In Overland Park

March Male Athlete Spotlight - Brian Merriman

September 1, 2020

When did you start CrossFitting? Who/what got you started?I first started about 4 years ago. Some friends had told me about Crossfit 913 so I finally gave it a try and loved it. Unfortunately work and kids’ schedules made it difficult to get in much the first year and I eventually had to stop going for about a year. I started back up 2 years ago and have been a regular ever since. What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?I don’t have a single favorite/least favorite WOD but I prefer the shorter, quicker WODs over the longer grind-it-out workouts. Preferably anything “for time”. My biggest motivating factor in a workout is knowing the harder and faster I go the quicker it will be over. My least favorite are EMOMs. Knowing there is nothing I can do to get the pain over with quicker crushes my spirit.What is your favorite/least favorite movement?My favorite movement used to be my least favorite. Snatches. I’m still awful at them but awful is much better than what I used to be. I’m pretty sure I could hear the coaches cry a little every time they’d watch me snatch. Now they just cringe a little.My least favorite movement is anything that involves lunges. Dumbbell, barbell, plate over-the-head, unweighted, even weighted box step overs. I clearly was born without the balance and muscles required to perform a lunge.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)I grew up in a small Kansas town (Pratt) and played basketball and football throughout high school. I went to undergraduate school at Kansas State and pharmacy school at Kansas where I met Stormy. We’ve been married for almost 17 years and have 2 kids, a 14 year old daughter and 11 year old son (who is now a member of Crossfit 913 preteens). Outside of the gym we like to spend our time travelling, going to concerts and going to KSU football games.What was your workout routine before CrossFit?Before CrossFit I belonged to LifeTime Fitness and Title Boxing for about 5 years. My workouts consisted of lifting, running, basketball and swimming. What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?There were no onboarding classes when I started and my first day was Labor Day weekend. I show up and everyone is gathering around the whiteboard to go over the WOD and TJ looks at me and laughs. They never told me until I showed up that day that holiday weekends they do Hero WODs. So my first workout was a Hero WOD called Hotshots 19. I do not remember what I did to scale it but I do remember I was still shaking when I got home from the gym that day.What were your goals when joining CrossFit? Have you achieved any of those goals?My goal when I first joined was just to get a good workout and that was definitely accomplished. After doing the first In-House Comp and finishing first and second in 2 events and still not making the finals it made me realize you’re only as good as your weaknesses. It forced me to make new goals and work on things that I wasn’t good at. Although I’m still not great at any of them, I’ve been able to cross 4 or 5 movements off the weaknesses list over the past year and a half.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?Without question. No matter what kind of day I’m having I always walk out of the gym in a great mood and a feeling of accomplishment. I definitely notice a difference in my mood towards everything else if I haven’t been to the gym for a few days.Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?Whenever the whole gym comes together for events it’s always a great time. Competing in the In-House Comps and the Friday Night Lights have always been a lot of fun. Getting to be a part of and captain of the inaugural NIAJB Open team was a great experience as is getting a chance to defend the title this year with our new team. And finally making the podium for the last In-House Comp with Jim Skinner.What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit 913?Keep going. Trust and listen to the coaches. Force yourself to work on the things you feel uncomfortable with. The improvements may not be immediately noticeable but at the end of each year you’ll look back and be amazed at everything you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come.Something you might not know about me is?Even though an undergraduate degree wasn’t required to get into pharmacy school at KU, I still took 4 extra classes my last year at KSU (including 2 summer school classes) to get a degree before I left so when people asked where I graduated from I could say Kansas State.

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