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WOD 6.6.11

In teams of 2 complete the following for time:

100 Wall Ball 10' Target 20/14
100 Burpees
100 Box Jumps 24/20
100 Double Unders

Only one partner can be working at a time. Must be done chipper style.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Jack L. doing big things on the platform!

June's Athlete of the Month: Jack Levavi

It was only a matter of time before we got around to recognizing our most senior member, Mr. Jack
Levavi, aka, “Jackie-Boy”. Once I got him to believe that he actually was Athlete of the Month I found out he had a lot to share, so without further adieu...Jack!

Fox - So we’re sitting down for the interview now, do you finally believe me?

Jack - I guess. I thought you were pulling my chain. So now you ask me questions? Ok. Let’s go.

Fox - Alright, the beginning. How did you start CrossFit?

Jack - I had been doing the regular gym thing at an Equiniox for a while. I used to take spin classes which
I was really into for a while, and then I started taking this guy Eric Von Frohlich’s class called “Practice”.
I remember taking that class for the first time and being a mess. After the class Eric walked past me and
just told me to keep coming back, so I did. I did that for a while and really got into it and along the way
developed a relationship with him. That class taught me how to push myself. I still refer to him as “the
man who changed my life”. I eventually asked him what he did to stay in such good shape. He told
me, “the mother of all workouts, CrossFit”. I looked into it and found that there was a CrossFit gym here
in Brooklyn so eventually I gave it a shot. I forget what it was but that first workout over at the Lyceum
was a doosie. It was harder that I thought a workout could ever be (Shane confirms that it was Eva!!!). I remember Charmel, Allison, Jacinto, Jeremy and Shane being there cheering me on and probably
hoping I wouldn’t die on them! I didn’t come back for a while but when I did it was to stay. I was done
with “regular” gyms.

Fox - You in tights on a spin cycle, that’s all I can see right now... What was it like for you coming to
CrossFit after having been a gym regular for a while? Why did you stay?

Jack - CrossFit seemed like the right challenge and the vibe was great. I saw it to be much more effective and fun than my previous routines. It was cool to see all these super fit and nice people. I remember my first impression of Jeremy, that he was like some creature who was let out of his cage every once in a while to lift heavy weights. The lifting always impressed and intrigued me. I have to say that I think the skill set back then was simpler. We didn’t do muscle ups and handstand push ups and all of that stuff, and we did a LOT more burpees from what I can remember. When I first started I felt like a warrior all the time! One day I remember being on a pull up bar and feeling this rip in my shoulder. That was a scare. When I took a look at what was going on, with David Osorio’s help, I realized that I was being stubborn. I had joined this 100 day burpee challenge (1 burpee day 1, 2 on day 2, etc...) that folks were doing and David didn’t like it. I mean he didn’t like it for anybody. He explained to me that it was too much stress to put on the shoulders with too little recovery time and that it would lead to injury. This happened at about day 35 of the challenge. He pointed to Rob (Maldonado) who had recently had
shoulder surgery (after ignoring pain) and asked if I wanted to be that guy. I got the point and I listened
up. That’s also a big reason I stayed. I understood how much the coaches cared about us.

Fox - (hmmm...we must need more burpees in the programming...)Well that’s a good segue. You
eventually landed in Coach Jeremy’s Strength Intensive and haven’t really looked back. Talk to me about that.

Jack - Jeremy is such a good coach, I never question him. I just do what he tells me to. He’s passionate
about lifting, he shows up, and he’s never condescending. My time with him has showed me that the
barbell can be a valuable character builder. Like I said I always enjoyed the lifting. Maybe “enjoy” is the
wrong word but it IS satisfying. Being under that bar is tough but the numbers are absolute. Either you
move the weight and get stronger or you don’t, and then you can learn from the failure. It’s like the
barbell is a cursor, you know, like in the old DOS program? Remember that cursor that would just sit
there and blink, waiting for you to do something? That’s the barbell. It just sits there waiting. It’s really
satisfying when you conquer it.

Fox - I really like that analogy, I’m stealing it! What goals do you have from the Strength Intensives? Any more meets?

Jack - I don’t know if I’ll do another meet. It’s weird, being the only guy in my weight/age group means
I’ll medal every time. I’m not really competitive with others, more so with myself. My first meet I PR’d
all my lifts. In my second meet I missed all my lifts and STILL got a medal. That was a shitty day. Who
knows, maybe I’ll come back to group and do some more conditioning sometime soon to lose this belly.
First though I want to hit a 1000 lb CrossFit Total. That’s my current goal. I need another 40 lbs on my
squat and my deadlift. I’ll get there.

Fox - No doubt you will, Jackie. That’s an awesome goal! What about outside the gym. Any interesting pastimes, past or present?

Jack - I have another passion- I love fly fishing. There’s this whole sub-culture of people who fish in the
wee hours of the night and I used to do that. I’d get home from work and nap until about 10pm, head
to Jamaica Bay and fish until 7 or 8am, run home to shower and head to work. You meet some real
interesting characters out there in the middle of the night. Eventually I had to give up the nighttime
thing. Trust me, it doesn’t go well with working out. I still fly fish, but only by day, like a normal person.
Also, you won’t believe this...I used to teach yoga! When I was a rough-and-tumble young man I wound
up working in a program that used yoga as part of its treatment protocol for drug abuse. I learned hatha
yoga and I taught yoga for about a year to inmates at the Queens House of Detention. My real true
passion though is my family. I’m very family oriented and am fortunate to have been a large part of my
children’s lives. I have a lovely wife, Belinda, who has stood by me through thick and thin. Really I’m just a lucky guy to have such a wonderful family. And, in August we’re expecting our first grandchild. I truly enjoy my life.

Fox - Wait, first spin and now yoga???...That’s great stuff. It’s nice to hear someone truly happy. Alright, Jack, any sage advice from SBK’s elder statesman?

Jack - Listen to your coach. And listen to your body. Learn the difference between soreness and injury.

Fox - Great advice. Last thing. What do you think we should look for in a future Athlete of the Month?

Jack - Someone who’s willing to leave it all on the floor, and keeps coming back when it works and even
when it doesn’t. There are some really amazing people here in this gym, it’s a really special place. I’m
continually impressed with the people here and the things they do, amazing stuff.


Thanks again to Jack for sitting with me and also for all the entertainment and goodness he provided the gym throughout the years. If you didn’t know Jack Levavi before I hope you feel as if you do now. So, next time you hear that howl coming from the crazy old Jewish guy squatting with Jeremy at his side feel free to yell out “UP JACK, UP!!!”. And then give him a high five.


CrossFit Games Regional Update 2.1 CrossFit
Muscle-up and Wall Ball Prep
Mobility WOD

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Reader Comments (34)

As someone who has been privileged enough to work closely with Jack for more than a year now, I can honestly say that nobody works harder under a barbell then Mr. Levavi. Through good days and bad, Jack leaves everything he has on that platform. It's not an accident the man added over 100lbs each to his 1RM Squat and Deadlift, in under a year.That said, the only thing better than getting to watch Jack lift this last year, has been getting to know the man. Jack is a mensch. We are lucky to have him as a member of our tribe.
June 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy
Congratulations, Jack!
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDan R
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShawn$
jack. you're a great man, a gentleman and a f*^@in badass. congrats sir, well deserved.
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter.DMG
Great selection for AOTM!

Jack is the spiritual and emotional core of the strength program.From his warrior cry on the platform to his stylin' dance moves, the thoughtful advice he dispenses over tacos post-lifting, the example he sets as a family man, his reflections on life and working out and what it means to challenge yourself.... all those things and many more make him a treasure to our entire community.

Jack is one of those people whose impact upon your life reveals itself slowly but inexorably as you get to know him. I am so grateful to have had that opportunity.

Much respect and love.

I can't wait to see the look on his face when he gets that 1000-lb Total.
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermichele
I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Jack yet but he sounds like a mensch indeed!

Great partner workout with Kristin, 7 AM. 23:11 with 8'/14#, modified burpees, 20" box.

Color me SHOCKED at how the double-unders went. I'd never managed to string together more than 4 in a row before and I hadn't done them in at least a month, so I was expecting to count by 1s and 2s. Instead I got 6 in a row for a new PR, and was mostly racking them up in 4s and 5s! Coach Jess said being fatigued means you don't overthink them and I think that's what did it for me today. Yay!
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStella
Jack! I love it! I cannot believe how much weight this guy throws around. What an animal! I love to be on the platforms when he's around, he's very supportive. Great choice!
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJR
Oh Jack! YOU THE MAN...and then some! I have had the pleasure of lifting, laughing and even crying with you. Jack is an amazing and inspiring lifter. He has had a goal in mind for a year now, and he's stuck to it.

Your a great friend and an all-around good person (it's been an honor Jack). If you see this man in the gym, TALK TO HIM...I promise it will be a memorable conversation.
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJuliana
While I rarely get to see Jack, he's someone who I always always hope to see at the gym. So entertaining and inspiring to be around.

Congratulations on being Athlete of the Month - you deserve Athlete of the Decade when it comes up. Go get that 1/2 ton total!
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterariel
Excellent choice! Congrats Jack!
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeb
Congrats Jack! So many nice things have already been said, and every single one of them is true. There is truly never a dull moment with Jack! ;)
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess
Early on when Jess and I first started at CFSBK we had the pleasure of eating a (paleo challenge) meal with Jack. He was downright nice and had some insights on loving your life that still stick with me hard. For all the pomp and comedy Jack is really just a sweet (and strong!) guy. Never a dull moment indeed. It was a pleaseure to interview him for this...Yoga?
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFox
Jack = Legend... and an inspiration to us all. Chrs Jack
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAsh
Congrats Jack, very very very deserving!

I think Juliana hit it on the head- if you haven't met Jack yet and you see him in the gym, go up and say hi. You will be extremely happy that you did.

Hi all from Montana, out here for a week with my brother and dad bouncing around Yellowstone and the surrounding area. Will try and snap a few and send along.
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNoah
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave Byrd
Dont inflate this old goat's ego. We will never hear the end of it.I have never said a nice thing to Jack in my entire life. I never will.

But that dude is legit, and I definitely like him more than he likes me...and that is fine.
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergabrus
Well said folks, well said!

Pure and simple, Jack is an honest-to-goodness inspiration to me-- when I think of Jack, there's no backing down.

Hell yeah Jack, congrats: so well-deserved!
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRob Is
Great interview. Big congrats, Jack!
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris A.
Congrats Jack.

12pm with Coach Fox. that partner wod was tough 14:17 with Josh Martinez Rx'd. Josh has no stop whatsoever fun trying to keep up.

I left one of those iron gym pull-up bars in the lost and found bin. First person to take it can have it. It's one of those pull up bars that fits in a door frame and I dont have the doors in my house to use it anymore.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdanh3
Jack! Jack! Jack!

Calling all crossfiters, inov-8 which do you prefer? 230 or 195
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJosh M
I just got the 230s, did a 5-mile run in them on Saturday, and really like them. Disclaimer: I haven't tried the 195s.
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStella
I was definitely skeptical of Jack when I first met him. He seemed like a loud mouth and a trouble maker and someone who would offend me. I remember once I scolded him for some sexist comment and he later apologized in this very genuine way. It surprised me and made me rethink my opinion of him. For some reason, Jack and I started talking like real people soon after, and I realized that there was a lot going on inside this loud mouth's head. A lot of insight, a lot of life, a lot of humor. I really am so glad I got over my initial feelings about him because knowing him as I do has added to my life. He's just a good guy to have around, and he has a great family who I've also enjoyed getting to know.

Kudos to you Mr. Levavi.
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMargie
@Josh M: I love the 195's and haven't tried the 230's. The sole is non-compressible so great for squatting, but super light weight and thin, so I can feel the ground (or whatever surface I'm leaping, running, etc upon) with my feet surprisingly well. A recent hike in CR made me appreciate them even more as I was surefooted despite the off-road terrain.
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDan R
I don't know if a lot of people even realize the extent to which Jack is dedicated to being a member of CFSBK. He will go out of his way to show his pride and contribute to the box in ways both big and small...and with or without David's blessing. : ) And the fact that he shares his passion for the place with his family speaks volumes.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecca
Jack - A lot of wonderful things have been said about you; all true. Great pick. Wonderful to know you.

Very enjoyable WOD even in the modified state that “Team Injured” performed it in. Dani (who rocked it after five months off recouping from an injury - kudos to you!) and I finished in 14:12.Wall balls were modified as neither of us can squat; Dani did KB and I did push ups as a sub for burpees (I did 10 for her 15); I was on 24” box and we rocked the double unders.
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Mak
Jack and I came to SBK on the same day. We did the WOD together and I remember him not coming back for what seemed like a year after that. I thought we'd killed him. The adage what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger probably has never been more true.

It's been incredible seeing the evolution of Jack over the years and I can't wait to see him hit that 1000lb Total.
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShane
Fun 5pm class.

Warmup:-2 rounds of :30 each: mountain climbers, calf march, paleo chair-4x:30 jump rope-wod movement review

WOD:13:37 rx'd-partnered with Christine who is visiting from San Fran CF. Excellent partner! Everything was split pretty evenly until we got to box jumps. I ended up getting most of those in so Christine could hit the doubles hard. She rocked nearly all of the doubles!-full disclosure...some of my reps were just shy of 10ft. need to be more consistent.

Overall fun WOD! Maybe because it catered to many of my strengths...except stupid burpees. Who really likes burpees? ;)
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess
Great Wod ! 18:39. 50 burpees is such a nice way to be welcomed back into the fold! My partner Corbin(?) took the challenge and put forth a really great effort.

I'm not around as much because I've got a few gigs and need to prepare for them. I really miss everyone. For those who don't know, I play guitar with B.T. Express, an old school funk band that had a couple of big records back in the 70's. We will be appearing at Betsy Head Memorial Park in Brownsville Brooklyn this Thursday at 7pm (free!) as part of the citywide Summerstage series of concerts. For more info -http://www.summerstage.org/citywide.html

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercharmel
Did today's WOD w/ Willie, my second partner WOD at xfit. 14:23 rx'd. Willie is 6 foot something, I am 5'6, so we divided the work where he'd do more wall balls and I'd do more burpees. Thought it worked pretty well for us. Very little stoppage between us, and one way or another we got the double unders done.
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W
this WOD seems really awesome. Cant wait til I can make all these.Maybe someone will do it with me on Friday?
June 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershawn$
Thanks, Charmel. Felt like you had my back during that WOD. Those wall balls were HEAVY. Thanks for the encouragement, there were definitely times during the box jumps I wanted to quit.
June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCorbett
Warm up:Jump ropeWall ballBurpeesBox jump

Partner WOD! DanH3 and IComplete for time:100 Wall ball 10' Target w/20lbs100 Burpees100 Box Jumps 24100 Double UndersTime: 14:17

Note:-didn't have to much of a game plan, wasn't really smooth in the transition-50(+)
June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJosh M
When it comes to lifting there is one number that doesn't count - your age. Jack - you inspire me! Thank you.
June 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterradhika vaz

Hey Jack! Hope all is well at CF South Brooklyn.... Just came back across this post. Hope you are still CrossFitting. Thanks again for the shout out. I am not sure if you know that I opened EVF Performance - CrossFit Upper East Side. Stop by sometime to say hi! Maybe we can have a box challenge one day. Eric Von Frohlich

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric Von Frohlich

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