Ryan Webb

I was always an athlete. For most of my adolescent and adult life, my world revolved around track and field. I ran in high school, and then for VCU. I never really thought about life after serious track competitions ended, but eventually it did end. So I spent the next 4 years coaching and looking for something to do for myself in my down time. It was then that I finally gave Crossfit a try. My Crossfit journey did not start at Crossfit Bezel. It started at a gym that threw a brand new member and novice lifter directly into the fire, only to quickly and somewhat frighteningly injure my lower back. So I left, and decided at that point that Crossfit really must be what you see on the news. About 6 months later my wife, Katy, and I noticed that a Crossfit box had moved into the old karate place less than a mile from our house. My wife wanted to give it a shot, and I promised her that if she liked it that I would join once the school year ended. So in January 2014 Katy went through her elements classes, and joined the gym. I was impressed to see the elements classes and hear that Katy was being taught and coached through every movement. She came home excited about what she was doing, and encouraged me to join earlier than the summer. So in March of 2014 all of the FUn began. From the first night that I met with Chris and Taylor I knew that things would be different. They tested me in all of the lifts to make sure that I wasn’t going to hurt myself or anyone else, but more than anything they coached me. I quickly found my strengths, weaknesses, and physical flaws. When these flaws showed up Chris and Taylor always had a recommendation of how to work on it. No where was this more noticed that in my hip mobility. When I was playing soccer in middle school I tore both of my hip flexors over the course of two years. Because of this, the mobility in my hips has always been limited, and any time that I would quickly transition from squatting to standing my hips would catch. After four months of dedicated hip mobility work, I was pain free and able to touch my rear end to my heels in a squat with no pain.

My weight was another issue that I was battling in the years since my running career ended. In college my racing weight was around 150 pounds, but with three years of low motivation and bad eating I had puffed up to 190. I had never been “soft” before in my life, so to get to this point in my mid-twenties was something that I was really having a hard time with. So when I started at CFB I also got their nutrition guide. What seemed like radical changes at the time, really just turned out to be eating clean whole foods that make you feel good. Cooking was always a passion of mine, but within the past year my love for cooking has taken off. Knowing that I am preparing food that is going to 1) taste good and 2) nourish my body is incredible, and empowering. The nutrition coupled with the workouts made the weight fall off, and I am happy to say that I am now back at my racing weight, leaner, and a better all-around athlete than I ever was, even when racing in college.

My physical accomplishments in the gym have shocked me as well. I am not a big guy, so I didn’t come into the strength and weight lifting world with big expectations. Thanks to Chris and Taylor’s coaching I have found that I am actually pretty good at this whole strength and fitness game, and I continue to improve. When I started I couldn’t snatch 60lbs. to save my life, which to say the least was humbling. In one short year I have doubled my Snatch PR to 120lbs., improved my clean and jerk to 175lbs., and have gone from squatting under 200lbs to 285lbs. One of my more emotional moments was on September 18th, 2014….. When I hurt my back during my first crossfit experience it was during a deadlift at 185lbs. Needless to say anytime I stood over a heavy bar after that I was somewhat nervous. So when “attempt new Deadlift PR” showed up on the board I was ready to put the movement in its place. As I went through the weights, 225-250-265-275 they all felt smooth, but I knew where I wanted my PR to end that day. So as I loaded 285lbs. onto the bar and stood over it I took a moment to reflect on how far I had come in such a short time. Here I was ready to attempt a weight 100lbs heavier than the one that had put me out of the other gym. As the bar slid up my shins and over my knees, the whole experience just seemed surreal.

ryan's deadlift

So to cap off 1 year in this new crazy Crossfit life, I decided that I would take on the challenge of the 2015 Crossfit Open. This has pushed my limits, shown me that I have come incredibly far, and shown me what I have yet to master.

I don’t know if there is a facet of my life that hasn’t been changed in some way by my experiences with Chris and Taylor. A new dedication to my health, a new sport to challenge me, new ideas that help me coach my own runners, new “dates” with my wife, but most of all a new family of support. I have seen many lives changed around me over the past 12 months, and I am proud to have been there with them. I also look forward to getting more involved with the goings-on around the box this summer, as Bezel starts to roll out its new Bezel Endurance Classes.

In summary, Chris, Taylor, and my CFB Family…….Thanks!

Ryan Webb


Ryan - February 2014

Ryan – February 2014

Ryan - March 2015

Ryan – March 2015

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