In teams of 2 complete the following for time:
100 Wall Ball 10' Target 20/14
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.
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.