Congratulations to Mike Hatmaker, Blackbird CrossFit’s April Athlete of the Month. Mike is the Mayor of Blackbird! He’s the friendliest, most welcoming guy. He talks to everyone. He helps new people feel comfortable in classes. He lends a hand whenever needed. He always has a smile and an encouraging word for you. And he sets a positive example for work ethic and attitude.
Mike has literally worked his ass off. He was an athlete trapped in a body he didn’t recognize any longer at 340lbs. He was struggling with his physical and mental health. So he made some big changes in his life. He’s experienced over a 100lb weight loss! In two years at Blackbird he’s put on over 10lbs of muscle mass, went from 26% fat mass down to 18%, and lost even more weight on the scale through 1-on-1 nutrition coaching. Mike has used exercise coupled with the Blackbird community and camaraderie to make a positive impact on his mental health, as well!
He’s made quick work of dialing in technique and adding big weight to the barbell. But by showing up each day and being patient, he has built an engine that can withstand grinding workouts with those heavy weights. And with dogged determination, he’s working towards more high-level gymnastics movements. There aren’t many who can stand up to his drive and perseverance. He puts in 100% each day in the gym. He comes early to socialize and stays late to work on skills.
He has been such a positive influence and blessing to the Blackbird Community and we’re so grateful to have him. He’s feeling good and looking good; a perfect combo.
Check out his inspiring CrossFit journey…
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
Michael Hatmaker and I work in a Transplant Tissue Procurement as a Surgical Specialist Team Leader II. I am a dad of 2 kiddos that always keep me going.
WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT?
I started CrossFit because I was tired of doing the same old things at a regular gym. Once I met with Matt for the introductory one-on-one, I knew BBCF was going to be my new gym.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING BLACKBIRD CROSSFIT?
The biggest thing I’ve learned over the last 2 years at BBCF is to be patient. It’s very easy to see people with more CrossFit experience go out and crush some cool lifts/movements and think “I’ll never be able to do that.” But fitness takes time. I also learned to challenge myself with heavier weights, more advanced scaling options, and to give the workout my all.
WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
I’ve met some incredible people at BBCF. The positivity and support from the BBCF family has helped me live a more positive life. Coming in for workout is a highlight of my day. The feeling after completing a challenging WOD is just awesome. I have dealt with depression for most of my life, especially when I was 340lbs. BBCF has become a positive outlet for me to feel better about myself and to have a more positive outlook on life. This may sound cheesy, but you guys have impacted me and my life in such a big way and I don’t know if I can even put it into words.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
I’d say one of my proudest moments was hitting 305lbs on back squat. This may not seem like a crazy accomplishment, but this is something I haven’t done since I was in high school. This was a goal of mine to hit by the end of the summer and now it’s time to set a higher goal.
WHAT CROSSFIT GOALS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING TOWARDS?
I like to set small achievable goals like getting dubs or chest to bar pull-ups. I have those now, so my next goal is bar muscle-ups. I’m so close to getting them. I know that I just need to keep on practicing. Lifting heavy weights is always something I want to achieve. This takes time, but I like to challenge myself with it. My goal for this year is to start working on the rings that are not attached to rig. I have to get myself outside of my comfort zone in order to learn some new stuff like ring muscle-ups.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BLACKBIRD?
I’ve participated at 2 other CrossFit gyms and there is something special about BBCF. The family atmosphere and the support from the amazing coaches and members. Sometimes it takes someone to believe in you to do something great and to push harder. BBCF definitely has it!
WHAT IS ONE TIP YOU WOULD GIVE SOMEONE CONSIDERING CROSSFIT OR NEW TO CROSSFIT?
One tip I would offer someone new to CrossFit is fine a place that makes you feel comfortable. If you’re not comfortable in the environment, you may not be successful. My other tip is “consistency is key” and trust the process. Coaches know what they’re doing (at least at BBCF they do) and will help you get to your fitness goals. Fitness is not achieved overnight.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LIFT, MOVEMENT, OR WOD? LEAST FAVORITE?
Favorite CrossFit type of workout is definitely an assault bike, heavy barbell movements, and definitely double unders. Least favorite is running. 😅
WHEN YOU’RE NOT CROSSFITTING WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
My favorite thing to do is fishing and hunting. I like to try and get my own protein in the wild.
WHAT IS ONE FUN THING WE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I am a second degree black belt and I’ve one 2 national sparring titles (when I was 14 and 15).
WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT?
My diet is much better now than it has ever been. I worked with Steve for 1-on-1 Blackbird Nutrition Coaching for three months. Having those check-ins with him just opened my mind about the things I was eating. I used to just put food in my body because I was hungry, but now I use food as fuel. I’m eating 212 grams of protein per day and I’m eating more veggies than I probably have in my entire life. 😆
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT FUEL? WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SPECIAL TREAT?
I typically workout in the morning (0930 class) and I make 2 eggs with protein bread (from Aldi), 1 avocado, blueberries, and a an Oikos Pro Greek yogurt. My weakness is definitely Reese’s peanut butter cups.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESULTS!
I’m not 100% sure on weight, but I was sitting around 236 when I started and the last time I weighed in I was 224. I have gained over 10lbs of muscle mass since starting and went from a 26% fat mass down to 18%. Results for me aren’t necessarily numbers. I start to notice little things about myself. Feel a different muscle that I didn’t notice before. I’ll notice some movements have become easier for me to do. My biggest test for results is how my clothes fit. My shirts are tighter in the arms and looser in the abdomen. My pants are loose around the waist but tight in the thighs (big leg problems 😆).
This is such an honor that you all picked me. This means so much to me. BBCF is a big part of my life and I just can’t thank you all enough for what you do for me. I cannot imagine my life without you guys!