JACK DEL NUNZIO is BBCF’s August 2015 Athlete of the Month!
Many of you in the Sykesville/Eldersburg community may better know him as Bert from Mary Poppins or Aladdin, but at Blackbird CrossFit we know him as Jack! He first came to us as part of our inaugural Summer High School Strength & Conditioning Program in 2014. He was an athletic kid, but started on green banded pull ups and needed a medicine ball to help him squat to full depth. He saw great progress that Summer and stayed on as a regular member throughout the school year. We ALL could not be more impressed with this guy! He is not your average high schooler. Jack has always put form and mechanics above all else. Unlike so many who want the quick road to lifting heavy weight and mastering advanced skills, he understands the importance of getting it right and doing the necessary skill work to meet his goals. And it has paid off. In only a year, he can dead lift 300lbs, push press 145lbs, and do 15 strict pull ups. He has an admirable work ethic for a young person. He is committed and consistent in his training. Even with a heavy school, rehearsal, and performance schedule for his leading roles in Century High School plays, he would attend the 5:30am class in order to get in his workouts! As you can imagine, all of this has made him quite the inspirational leader around here. Coach Justin put it best, “Jack is the ultimate role model! All of the high schoolers look up to him. I look up to him. I bet his parents look up to him. He is strong willed, good-hearted, and humble. The perfect choice for Athlete of the Month!” Meet Jack!
My name is Jack Del Nunzio and I am 17 years old. I will be turning 18 (WOHOO!) in November and I’m going to be a senior at Century High (also WOHOOOO!!). I live with my mom and dad as well as my sister in the famous Sykesburg residency. When I’m not at Blackbird, I find myself enjoying time with the people I love or working in Mt. Airy on a vineyard farm.
2. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START CROSSFIT? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING IT?
I started CrossFit because none other than the famous Coaches Justin Metzger and Steve Weatherholt stopped me in the hallway one day to see if I would be interested in doing CrossFit. This was around the Spring of last year. I said “It’s not like I’m busy or anything after school, so WHY NOT?” I’ve never looked back since. Now I do CrossFit literally because it keeps me sane and human. It’s a place I can go to relax, have fun, and feel healthy.
3. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
I am most proud of going from using a green band for pull ups to now being able to do 15+ strict pull ups. The rush of getting my first muscle up was amazing, too.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?
I love doing push press, as well as rope climbs. The idea of putting so much weight over your head is thrilling and climbing is always a grand ole time, as long as nobody gets rope burn. ALWAYS WEAR LONG SOCKS!!
I think many people can agree that thrusters majorly suck. #deathbythrusters
The people. By far the people. Everyone I meet at Blackbird and other CrossFit gyms, are so kind, supportive, and fun to be around. It feels like a family of people working to support each other and be healthy together every single time I step into the box. It’s kind of like a big family dinner. You know, a lot of chit chatting and yelling (all positive OF COURSE), just minus the bloated feeling because nobody wants to do burpees on a full stomach!
6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL?
SO MANY CHOICES!!! I’m going to have to go with a good reuben or hamburger.
My first set of goals included things like muscle ups, handstand push ups, 300lb+ deadlift, and a few more I can’t remember. I have achieved all of those, and now I am working on handstand walks across the gym, as well as, getting a bar muscle up. In general, I want to keep achieving more and more as I get older.
8. WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOU IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
I have noticed a serious improvement in my athletic ability since starting CrossFit. Also, between everything I have going on, I am without a doubt far less stressed and more relaxed. CrossFit has that effect on you, I guess. Specifically in the gym, I have set goals and achieved many of them. I find myself constantly striving for new goals. Overall, CrossFit was never about being the biggest, strongest kid on the block. CrossFit is so much more than that.
9. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE JUST STARTING CROSSFIT OR THINKING OF GIVING IT A TRY?
I would say the most important thing to consider when trying CrossFit or any workout regime, for that matter, is to stay dedicated. It’s NOT going to be easy right off the bat. It’s going to suck, and hurt, and cause a lot of soreness over the first few months. But with dedication and hard work, the payoff is like nothing you could ever imagine. STAY STRONG and everyone is here to SUPPORT YOU. Don’t make it a competition against others, make it a competition with yourself.
I cannot put into words how grateful I am to everyone at Blackbird. Thank you to Matt and Rebekah for everything you do for all of us. You have created a truly wonderful environment and should be so very proud of the business you have grown. Thank you to coaches Justin and Steve, without whom I would have never started, and never would have made it so far. Your support and kindness has been a godsend. Finally, thank you to everyone who has ever come to a class at Blackbird. Stepping into the box is always like a breath of fresh air with something new coming out of each day. It’s been a crazy ride and I am so grateful and excited to continue being a Blackbird CrossFitter.