When I lived off of campus at UNK, the house I stayed at was named The Thunderdome, which is also where I first met my wife, Shayna.  It was only fitting we chose Climate and The Thunderdome.

Member Of The Month: September 2018

Name: Bryce Gartrell
Age: 26
Profession: Frozen Manager at Hy-Vee
Member since: February 22,2018

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

A little over 7 months. My first full workout was actually 18.1 of 2018 The Open on Friday February 23rd.

Were you scared to start? If so, what motivated you to start?

I was not so much scared, but nervous. I was excited for something new and challenging, but anxious about meeting everyone and being able to do the workouts. I had gotten comfortable going to a regular gym 5 days a week for 7 years and got burnt out on it. I enjoyed lifting weights, but it lacked the social side I heard the CrossFit community offered.  

Angela had talked about Climate at Hy-Vee while we were co-workers and kept suggesting I try it. I finally gave it a go and have been hooked since.

Did you have an athletic background before starting?

I played baseball competitively through high school focusing on first base and pitching. I took part in all intramural sports in both high school and college and enjoy playing softball now. Outside of regular sports I like to hike and backpack!

What has been your biggest accomplishment since beginning?

My biggest accomplishment since beginning I think would be competing in the Railyard Riot. Patrick had agreed to partner up with me and we entered the scaled competition. Just like our workouts in class it was exhausting, but we had to do multiple workouts over two two days. It made me realize how far I could push myself to finish, especially with a partner that I did not want to give up on.

What has been the most challenging thing for you?

Mobility has been the most frustrating or challenging thing so far. Years of lifting mostly upper body and having poor posture have limited my flexibility. I had trouble snatching and overhead squatting the bar when I first started and did not realize how long it would take to improve on it. With the help of the coaching staff my shoulders have gotten better, but I still have a long ways to go.

What time do you usually take classes?

I mainly try and hit the 4:30pm class right after work, but lately with my change in schedules I jump in on all times. Working out early in the morning has been a great way to start the day allowing me get to work with a clear head!

How has CrossFit benefited you outside of the gym physically and/or mentally?

It has definitely benefited me at work. My job is labor intensive with a lot of lifting and moving, so staying constant with the gym keeps me from getting sore and prevents the risk for injuries. It also helps to have mental clarity when dealing with scheduling, inventory, and customers. Having the motivation from our workouts helps me push ahead while keeping a positive attitude.

Give us three words that describe you.

Strong, balding, awkward.

What’s something we may not know about you?

I was President and Treasurer for Delta Tau Delta Fraternity while I attended the University of Nebraska-Kearney. As President I led a group of men towards academic success and excellence which helped me to become a better leader and manager inside and outside of work.

When I lived off of campus at UNK, the house I stayed at was named The Thunderdome, which is also where I first met my wife, Shayna. It was only fitting we chose Climate and The Thunderdome.

What is your favorite activity outside of the gym?

Spending time at home with our dogs and relaxing or going back to North Platte, Kearney, or Hastings to see family and friends. Shayna and I enjoy going on walks or hiking and spending time outdoors when we can.

What is your favorite healthy meal?

Grilled sirloin with a rice side. Iced tea for the drink.

What is your favorite “cheat” meal?

Pizzeria Davlo’s Deep Dish Pizza, breadsticks, and a cold one.

If you could master one skill in the gym that you currently don't have, what would it be?

I would say double-unders. Just when I think I have them down for a workout, I can’t string more than ten together.  It seems we have at least one WOD a week that calls for double-unders so I figured I would have had them mastered already. They raise my heart rate, so if I spend too much time on them they can really affect the overall workout


What's your favorite movement?

Bar muscle-ups because it is a movement I think I have an advantage at and the flow of the movement feels cool.

What's your least favorite movement?

Snatching currently just because I am not very good at it.  I do think it’s one of the cooler movements to see done especially if it’s with a lot of weight.  I can’t say I don’t like it when our workout involves a snatch because the only way to get better at them is to do them.

What would you tell someone who is on the fence about trying CrossFit?

The hardest part for me was getting to the gym itself. If you are nervous or anxious about going, go with the person who referred you or ask to sit in and watch a class. It is amazing how welcoming the CrossFit community is and how encouraging they are when you’re around it.

Everyone has their own strengths that can be used in the workouts that help build confidence. Then when you realize your weaknesses, that the gym, coaches, and members will help you grow stronger, improve your movements, and change your degree of fitness!