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Rest Day

Underneath his hoodie...a weighted vest!

Happy Belated Birthday to Katie Mo. & Liese Merry!  Happy Birthday to Kristin H.!

Underneath the Hoodie: David Osorio, aka El Oso

By Margie Lempert

Height: 5’6”
Weight: 145
DOB: 11/10/84
Born: Bogota, Columbia
Grew up: Roxbury, NJ
Place of Higher Learning: West Chester University, Kinesiology Major, Nutrition minor

After a long and unintended hiatus, I am pleased to present the next subject in our series.

Imagine an outline of David. Just the black borders tracing a small legged boy, a widow’s peak, and a baseball cap, filled in with the barely discernible vision of tight pants, Horror T du jour and constant stubble. This is David as a child: an approximation of himself. Nondescript, unremarkable, mediocre, even in his own estimation. He was vaguely pained by it, but unable to address it, assuming that once he left for college, he would begin to fill in his frame.

Today he stands in stark contrast to the child that floated along, generally amiable, playing video games during the summer and ice hockey in the winter, but with no real commitment to anything. It’s as though he materialized at age 18, quickly burned through his youth and became an adult, which perhaps begins to explain the precocious success this 27 year old has found already. A year for David is like 5 years for the rest of us, making his true age somewhere around 45.

As he predicted, at college david suddenly became David; 0 to 100%. Despite any real indications in his youth, he knew he wanted to major in Exercise Physiology. He was a good student, president of the Karate Club, and frequent volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. He was the guy programming workouts for his friends. He wasn’t a natural athlete, and so “primal movements” compelled him: they were special and fun and anyone could learn them. He dreamed of a system of exercise that would push regular folks to play hard. Through Karate (for which he earned a brown belt), he organized tournaments and taught classes.  As is still the case, his interest in the physical straddled sport and rehabilitation, and he helped the Exercise Phys department start a 4 year specialization in Physical Therapy.

One of his most formative moments in college happened at a YMCA: a cop who worked out there introduced him to CrossFit.com and that was it.  That was the system David had been dreaming of and knew it would have to play a major role in his future career.
One of his degree requirements was to complete a practical internship. He would often drive by Chuck Mound’s Performance Training which focused on power, speed and agility development for high school and collegiate athletes. That would be his spot. Suited up, he impressed at the interview and made all the students think he was a recruiter. The internship was a mixed blessing. There was no real mentor or structure to his role there, but by then David had a confidence and persistence that allowed him to take control of his experience. He worked with a range of athletes and developed his ability to systematize, lead groups and create curriculum. He taught himself how to teach.

My first day at CF South Brooklyn was preceded by a lengthy email correspondence with David. Because of the way he handled our surprisingly personal exchange, I imagined he was at least my age, if not older. I arrived at the Lyceum a CFNYC member eager to see whether the neighborhood gym could be a viable supplement. As I came down the stairs, I was immediately greeted with “Margie?” and there was David: much younger than I expected, sporting a handkerchief around his neck, possibly a hipster, but actually too nice to be that. I was one of three people in class that day (John Ciambriello and Erik Kelly were the other two, for those of you who know them). I dug it and decided to start going to the two classes per week that were on offer.

Soon I met Mike, David’s former roommate and childhood best friend. He was part of the reason David was even in New York. Back in high school, they’d decided to come here together after college. Holding true to their youthful promise, they found a place in Brooklyn and David put his resume on Craigslist. Equinox called him for an interview where he made such a good impression that they offered him a salaried job as a trainer - a very unusual position in the commercial gym industry. The job was great; as was now characteristic, he became a leader there and was given a lot of autonomy. But he was still entranced by CrossFit and new he had to start an affiliate of his own.

David’s parents were pleasantly befuddled by all this. After all, their picture of young David didn’t really look like this hard working, goal oriented person passionate about health and fitness. But suddenly their son was aiming to be a business owner. At that time, one could affiliate before being Level 1 certified, so David paid his dues and started pedaling his wares.

Each class, David would gather up his kettlebells, jump ropes, a sandbag and walk himself over to St Mary’s park underneath the BQE to sit and wait for people to show up. He’d hang around, and then after no one came, he’d gather up his equipment and walk himself home. This happened for a while until one day Jaime (now a long time client) showed up! But they were locked out of the park and couldn’t train. Finally, someone called.  And then another person. And then another. At last, he was training 4 or 5 people on a semi-consistent basis in the park, all the while continuing to earn a living at Equinox.

At some point, it started to get cold. He would have to find a place indoors. David hit up every physical establishment he could find, but no one would rent him space. And then he stumbled across the Lyceum. It didn’t really seem appropriate, but he figured why not. The Lyceum being the Lyceum, they said sure and David was in business!

Intuition and personality have been David’s guiding business principles. He doesn’t see himself as a talented entrepreneur, but rather a persistent person able to use his vision of the ideal training facility to affect everyday decisions. In other words, he can translate his dream into something functional. I distinctly remember David coming over to me in one of the early classes to whisper in my ear about cheering someone on. It made me feel special that he thought my support would matter to someone, and I was happy to be empowered to give it. Inclusiveness has always been a strong theme at CFSBK. Likewise, pursuing excellence. David believes that everyone can recognize excellence and chasing it, rather than money, has been key to the gym’s success.

David still considers himself a student, though now he is learning how to be a manager and business owner, rather than trainer. The humbled and earnest position of learner is pervasive throughout the gym. As he says, a business is a reflection of the person who owns it. He is learning that his vision must become more specific, quantifiable and systematic in order to take CFSBK to the next level, which will hopefully entrench it as a highly respected health and fitness facility irrespective of CrossFit.

Certainly his preoccupation with cleanliness is a major boon. Mama Osorio rubbed off on him hard. For David, cleanliness means order and order means you can manipulate and predict your environment to get what you want. This is the physicalization of David’s life philosophy which draws heavily on quantum psychology. Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead and The Illuminatus! Trilogy were formative books. Ask him about his tattoos sometime.

It is hard to capture David in just a few pages. There is something unbelievably uncomplicated about him which makes him eminently approachable, yet he is not as forthcoming about himself as his manner invites. His maturity and wisdom often belie is age, until he admits to something like his obsession with watching dachshund videos on YouTube. But these charming idiosyncracies have positioned him well and allowed him to build a unique, welcoming and successful community that we’re all proud to be part of.

Parting Shots:

Horror Movie fanatic. Favs incude Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Night of the Living Dead.
Loves soulful girl music.
Played bass in high school ska band.

3 Top Movements: Midhang powerclean, Inversions, Kipping pullups

Favorite Way to Eat Eggs:
Fried, whites burnt and crunchy OR 4 egg omelette with tomato, onion and bacon

Corbett M Needs Our Help with his Latest Project!

CFSBKer and Southern Gentleman Corbett M sent us a line about his upcoming project to share with the community:
Hi CFSBK folks. In our box I suspect we have some really strong minds that go along with our really strong bodies and I could use some help. My partner and I are working on a new venture that will pair artists and one great message, found on an old needlepoint of all places, to create a series of posters to be sold as a benefit for organizations doing critical work for LGBT youth. We're planning on partnering with The Trevor Project, GLSEN, Southern Poverty Law Center, and as many small deserving local organizations as we can find. The initial launch will include around 24 artists, but we hope this will be an ongoing project. A big fundraiser on IndieGoGo will launch in the next few weeks (do I see burpees in my future?) and we are working really hard on our proposal.
I'm hoping a few of you who are willing would read the proposal and give me some objective and critical feedback. I'd love a range of voices from folks experienced in business or non-profits (although our organization will not have non-profit status) to those who work in other fields - artists, novelists etc. Universal appeal is what we're after since we'll need not only to work within our own networks, but to expand outward into the networks of our supporters. The wider the range of feedback, the better. I'd be most obliged. 
If you are willing to help please email me at: corbett<AT>comewhatmayprojects.com and put CFSBK in the subject line so I know who you are. THANKS!

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  • Response
    Superb page, Preserve the wonderful work. Regards.

Reader Comments (59)

Great writeup on David. It's nice to find out the story behind people. Especially ones that have great positive impacts on people and their lives. David has always impressed me with his professionalism, exuberance and of course his ability to remember everyone's names.

Thanks David for all you do for us.

There are bio rhythm clocks that can wake you when you are not in a dream state. Also try going with an eye mask if you find the sun is too much. (Can you move your bed location so the light is not pouring in so much?)

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W.

it's been a loooooong slog coming back from two injuries and a life implosion that kicked my training in the teeth. but tonight I PR'd my 5-RM squat at 165!

then, and this is awaiting confirmation from the federation authorities, but I think I PR'd my deadlift too - the lift that has taken the longest to "come back" after the dark months, aka The Stregnth Cycles That Shall Not Be Mentioned.

THEN I went to Bierkraft and they had ONE chili dog special left, AND they are playing Hall and Oates' Greatest Hits, so aside from the thing where I dropped 45 lbs on my toe tonight, life is pretty much perfect.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele ma belle

Another gem, Margie. Great write up! David - thank you for all that you do to foster such a fabulous CFSBK community. I'm sure many of us would be interested in a part II that picks up where Herschel came into your life...with lots of baby pics of her, of course.

Corbett - your project sounds great! I'll drop you an email about your proposal.

February 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterRickke

also , jbails lifted ALL the weights tonight,

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele ma belle

Strength Cycle 5.1

Ugh. Took last week of for an impromptu trip and it showed in a way I did not expect. Moved up in weighs everywhere and that was fine, but I could not get all my parts moving in sync on the squat, almost falling forward twice. Yikes.

Squat 215x5x3, not heavy, but not pretty
Bench 160x5x2, 160x5x7. Kinda surprised by 7, in I thought I had 8 or more.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan N

What a touchingly great write-up! Good job again, Margie. I don't know what else to say that hasn't already been said on the comment thread except to tell David that he is more inspiring than he knows. Thank you!

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTraci T.

DAVID! yes.

chief yesterday; decided to work at 135, heavy for me. in an effort to stay consistent and keep my form from deteriiarating too much, i capped myself at three rounds per 3minutes. ended with 16 rounds and 6 pushups. i think i would have gotten a better response if working at 115 or 125.

deadlift 3's: 185, 225, 240
hang cleans; 135, 140, 145, 150, 155 x 1

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJMD

Margie, great write up. David, great person. I know you were saying tonight that you were nervous about it, but it's nice to know some more about your background and it just confirms a lot of the warm good feelings we have about you are well placed.

Great comp class. Skin the cat - I feel like I'm able to now go all the way forward and pull myself back up. Rope climbs were a bit dodgy, but ok, my food placement was off. Handstands felt pretty good, but I'm still chasing getting them w/o any assistance.

Hang cleans with my new Ristos were aaaahmazing. Worked up to 150#, failed at 155. I think the shoes fit well and I definitely landed some stuff today that I know I wouldn't have done with my previous gear. My shoulder is still not right from the jerk work on Sunday, I'm going to ice and mobilize that some more.
WOD: fntsqut @ 105# (70% of hang clean) 10 PU and 45 DU. DU killed me tonight. I don't know what's going on, I need to work on them more with the new rope, I'm not totally used to it yet. Got 3 rounds plus 5frntsqut+10PU+25DU

Put in 14 minutes on the Erg. Worked hard through the first 2K, got through it at the same time I hit a few weeks ago 8:20. I want to take some time to retest that 2K, with a real warmup.

February 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterSarah la Rosa

I knew before the end of the first teaser class that I wanted to join this gym, and 90% of that was because of David. (The other 10% was how good it felt to be getting my ass kicked at a free teaser class.)

I usually don't post about my workouts because I haven't graduated myself out of On-Ramp yet, but I'm feeling good about my progress. I started a month ago with 95lb backsquats and then made a hefty jump to 145 and I'm feeling fine. I feel like I'm starting to do real work and it's great.

I want to give a shout out to Active Recovery. This class is saving my life. I've noticed a tremendous difference in my performance and flexibility during workouts. I took Fox's AR class for the first time, which is significantly more "active" than the Saturday morning version. Sat morning is no walk in the park though. It's 60 minutes muscle demon exorcism.

Thanks to Josh M for the extra calf work after class.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

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