For a relative newbie to CrossFit 100, four-year-old Harrison knows his way around the spaces – and the equipment here. His dad, Jonathan Glowacki, shared that Harrison is nimble in a burpee and on the boxes, crushes his barbell work (with PVC pipes), moves pretty effortlessly through his snatches and shows promising form on the rings.
For Texas-born-and-raised Jonathan and his wife Liza, this is what kept their young family coming back to CF100: the welcoming community. They moved to Milwaukee 10 years ago, moved to London for a short period of time then returned to the Midwest, laying down roots in Whitefish Bay. He notes that CF100 is so much more than a workout; rather, it’s a tight-knit community that models what a healthy, active lifestyle looks like for the whole family.
What brought him here in the first place was a rather random set of circumstances. …something to do with a potential business client who was an avid CrossFitter in another city, and a thank you gift from that colleague – a membership to CrossFit 100, which was conveniently located just down the street from his home. Perhaps it was serendipity, because despite the initial lack of interest, the family of four: Jonathan, Liza and their two kids, Harrison and 11-year-old Sophia, are regular fixtures here. We caught up with him recently to hear about his journey.
What initial hesitancies did you have about CrossFit?
I didn’t want to get big – and that is what happened to me in the past when I used to lift. I would get bulky but not lean. I figured if I joined CrossFit (having somewhat heard of it after watching the documentaries on Netflix), that is what would happen. After my first class – CrossFit Basics – I felt challenged. I rowed in college, occasionally did cardio at the gym they have at my office, and started cycling to work in the Summer, but this was different. I hadn’t concentrated on weightlifting in the five or six years prior to joining, but this class was fun and caught my attention.
What made you keep coming back?
I immediately felt drawn to improving upon my form in some movements and building capacity in others. I initially couldn’t get cleans or snatches right. As I kept coming back, I realized there was always something I was bad at, so I naturally just wanted to improve in those areas. Then I started to notice results in the way I looked and felt. There was noticeable boost in energy. So when I started to acknowledge these things, I started coming in on Sundays to focus on the things I was bad at. That led to me into a cycle of finding new things I was bad at, which motivated me to keep working on them… and here we are, a year later and I’m still working.
What do you consider some of your greatest accomplishments here at CrossFit 100?
Changing lifestyle is the thing that comes to mind. I started out thinking – okay, I’ll work out maybe two or three times a week; and at the time, that was all I could do because I was too sore to do more. Gradually, I worked up to about four or five times per week, but in order to do that, I had to roll in some healthy nutrition to recover from that rigor.
When I first started here, I was sore for two or three days after a workout. I mentioned this to Marcela, so she encouraged me to eat more protein. Eventually, I started the nutrition program with Marcela, and the soreness reduced to a day pretty quickly after I made that adjustment, and now I rarely get sore.
Yeah, there’s not really any one particular goal I set out personally to achieve that I mark as my greatest accomplishment; it’s more about the lifestyle, and I really enjoy my time here. I am very proud that Liza, Harrison, and Sophia are supportive and get involved as well.
What have you gained from this experience?
I work with a guy who’s a member here. We talk a lot about the workouts and eating. There is a perpetual joke we have with each other about what we are having for lunch – every day it is the same thing: rice and meat! . That comradery, I feel, is a good summary of what I’ve gained – what my family has gained. It’s a community, and a great community to be part of. It keeps us coming back. We enjoy seeing other people’s progress and that equally serves as a source of motivation to keep forging ahead. We’ll have a drink on Fridays with friends from here, so it’s not all work and no play!
Tell us about working with Marcela on nutrition.
I started CrossFit at 180lbs and I knew for sure that I didn’t want to bulk up. I got stronger pretty quickly, but I also got up to 205. I’m six months into a nutrition program now and I’m down to 195. I did a body comp this week, and with her help, my body fat percentage has decreased from 24% to 17%. So, I’ve maintained muscle but have been able to slim down at the same time. One part I struggled with was “under-eating.” The whole concept of eating more, but dropping weight doesn’t make sense to me, but the proof is there. I’m feeling pretty good; I’m a lot leaner than I was.
I’ll admit that eating is a bit of a challenge now; it’s just a lot of food. It’s hard to eat 200g of protein every day. It gets challenging trying to figure out how to make chicken, chicken and more chicken taste good while staying within the macros, but I am getting better at it. Part of that challenge, though, is to keep my family eating in a way that works for them. Sundays are for meal prep.
What advice do you have to share with folks new to the community?
Try it out. Trust the trainers. Trust the nutritionist. The team here is really dedicated to helping you navigate the process as long as you commit to yourself that you’ll show up to make the change you seek.