Observer. Ryan Tyler is a quiet observer. For the past year, he attends the 9:30am class, which is predominately ladies. While the ladies have their fun, he patiently absorbs it all. Each day his mechanics improve, each week he gets stronger, and every time a coach gives him direction, he follows it. He asks the right questions and makes the right adjustments. He is one of the most diligent and coachable athletes we’ve worked with. To the point where one day you look up and there is Ryan in a locked out position of a bar muscle up on his first try because he had spent a few minutes each class sneaking in some extra practice on his chest to bar and belly to bar kipping. He understands the importance of great mechanics and then can easily apply them when he feels his strength is ready to take him to the next level on his movements and lifts.
The 2016 CrossFit Open was where we all really got to see Ryan’s first four months of hard work in the gym on display. He was an integral part of The Quad Squad’s success during the Blackbird Open Team League, placing numerous weeks in the Top 3 of the Scaled Division during Friday Night Lights. Again, most of the time he was just quietly doing his thing during classes, and next thing we know he’s digging deep and showing his competitive side. He was crushing challenging WODs and showing us what he was made of for 5 weeks. We feel like ever since then, the fire inside of him was lit and has been even more focused and driven. He is nailing the advanced gymnastics movements left and right, and the weight on the bar is coming along nicely. He is humble and consistent and an all around cool guy. Did we mention that his daughter Hattie is one of the cutest kids on the planet? MEET RYAN…
Hello my name is Ryan Tyler and I am thirty-four years old. My education and work background comes mostly from my time spent in the Navy. My wife Becky, our daughter Hattie, and I live in Finksburg Maryland and we are expecting our second baby in April. I used to have interests but they slowly disappeared as home remodeling/repairs and spending time with the family took over, which is fine because I really like our home and I love my family.
2. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START CROSSFIT? WHY DO YOU DO IT NOW?
My wife Becky is the reason that I started CrossFit. I had thought about joining in the past but had always been too intimidated, so when she mentioned Blackbird and that childcare was available I felt we didn’t have any excuse. Now I can’t imagine not coming in every week and I know that as long as I walk through the door I can expect a great workout. I don’t think my reasons to come have changed, I wanted a fitness program that I could continue on indefinitely and I think that exists with CrossFit and the coaches at Blackbird.
3. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS AFTER YOUR 1st WOD?
I remember after the WOD sitting down with Becky and Rebekah to stretch and Rebekah was talking about something, but I have no idea what because I could only focus on keeping my meal from earlier that day from leaving my stomach. So my thoughts were:
- “Dammit I’m never eating cashew chicken again.”
- “Hopefully she’s done talking because I’m walking to the bathroom anyway.”
- “I feel so much better now after puking!”
The first WOD was not what I expected. I was too intimidated to come to a CrossFit gym previously, but Matt and Rebekah showed me how wrong I had been. They were incredibly helpful to Becky and I and, along with all of the coaches, continue to be the reason that we come back.
4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT?
I’m the type of person who reads the directions as soon as I open the box. CrossFit is explicit directions to obtaining my fitness goals. I love that I don’t have to plan anything out and if I have questions or need direction there is someone there to fill that gap. If I went to just a regular gym I would probably end up wandering aimlessly trying to figure out what to do.
5. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
Recently Becky and I made it to one year at Blackbird, I don’t know if it’s my proudest moment but I am proud that I have been able to maintain a fitness routine, that I actually enjoy, for an entire year.
6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?
I think I enjoy body weight movements the most; rope climbing, pull-ups, push-ups and others maybe because of their simplicity. As far as least favorite I would say that wall-balls have always been a struggle for me, not one or two but when a WOD has many wall-balls in my head I know I will be struggling.
7. WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
I have had a hard time making specific goals for myself, I suppose in general I have just wanted to be able to perform the prescribed WOD. For many workouts I have been able to perform them as prescribed, but I have a lot of work to do still in accomplishing this goal.
8. WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOU IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
Before Blackbird I did not have a fitness routine now diet and physical fitness are an important part of my life.
9. WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HOW HAS IT CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED CROSSFIT?
We have been pretty successful at cutting back on grains, dairy, and added sugars from our diet. Trying a more paleo style diet started after joining Blackbird and the effects have been great, there are some weeks when I slack because of traveling for work and I definitely feel the difference. I have no idea how much weight I have lost. I have never been great at tracking my weight but I can say that I have had to buy a lot of new clothes after losing at least one waist size on my pants.
10. IF YOU COULD CREATE A WOD, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
I suppose it would be something with body weight exercises, rope climbs and running. Okay, so basically build an American Ninja Warrior obstacle course for us to run through.
11. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF?
I think most people understand that it is important to your health to exercise but sometimes people forget that by taking care of yourself you are more able to take care of those you love as well.
12. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE NEW TO CROSSFIT OR THINKING OF GIVING IT A TRY?
Don’t get discouraged, just keep walking in through the front door and if you do get sick after your first WOD who cares it will probably just be that one time.
13. IN YOUR OWN WORDS, WHAT MAKES CROSSFIT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FITNESS PROGRAMS THAT YOU’VE TRIED IN THE PAST?
I think the instruction provided by the coaches is the difference for me. Just having someone to provide knowledge and direction helps me reach my fitness goals more efficiently.
I just want to say how thankful I am to all of the coaches for their dedication to making Blackbird so awesome. Matt and Rebekah have composed an amazing team and they do a great job at building community and making everyone feel valued when you walk through the door. I am also grateful my wife Becky forced me to come check it out last October.