Blackbird’s 1st Athlete of the Month, DJ Payne


DJ PAYNE after 3 months of hard work with Blackbird CrossFit and eating Paleo

We decided to honor DJ as Blackbird’s first Athlete of the Month because he exemplifies everything that we preach here…hard work, dedication, good attitude, humility, community-minded, good diet, and FUN! DJ has put in hard work at the box and even harder work at home with a strict Paleo diet. He had some weight he wanted to drop; he has achieved his goals and surpassed all of our expectations. DJ is the life of the party at Blackbird. He brings laughs, encouragement and joy to us each day. We are so incredibly proud of his accomplishments and it’s been an honor to be a part of his CrossFit journey. The best part is, he is just getting started! We look forward to seeing his continued personal growth and strength gains here at Blackbird. Meet DJ PAYNE…

1. Tell us about yourself. 

My name is DJ Payne. I’m 28 and born and raised right here in beautiful Carroll County. I attended Potomac State College of West Virginia University, a D1 JUCO on a baseball scholarship after which, I transferred to D2 West Virginia Wesleyan College to finish out my college career. I’m the youngest of four and in September of last year I married my high school sweetheart, Teresa. We currently live in Sykesville and have a long haired Chihuahua named, Rawlins. I enjoy riding motorcycles, long walks on the beach, METCONS without a run, bubble baths, power cleans and a good chick flick 🙂

 DSC_08492. What made you want to start CrossFit? How long have you been doing it?

I work with Coach Titus and he mentioned that he was opening a CrossFit box in our area. He told me to come by and check it out. I figured what the hell? What could it hurt? I came by the first week to give it a try and I was hooked. I haven’t stopped since. So I guess I started in mid-March 2014.

3. What were your thoughts after your 1st WOD?

My first WOD was Fight Gone Bad. I couldn’t believe how tired I was, not to mention out of shape, but yet excited. It’s an amazing feeling…finishing something you would have never programmed for yourself. Who would have done that on their own? Nobody!

4. What were your goals when you 1st started?

Ha! Goals? Originally, all I wanted to do was try something new so that I could learn some new lifts to take back to my $20/month Globo Gym and possibly drop a few lbs in the process. I didn’t start as open minded as I would have liked, but that didn’t last long.

5. What are they now?DSC_0929

After a week at BBCF my goals were to push myself hard every day and become the best version of myself. I would have never been able to do this without the push from the people at the box or without CrossFit. And I’m gaining major ground on the new version of myself!

6. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?

That’s a tough question. I enjoy everything about CrossFit, from the big successes like seeing your body transform, to learning kipping pull ups and double-unders. But also the smaller victories, the last 10 seconds of an AMRAP, the final steps on any run, or a PR! However, I think what I enjoy most is the community and camaraderie of everyone at the Box. Whether it’s your first WOD ever or your second WOD of the day, I feel like the playing field is always equal. Fair! You have ex-college athletes, Level 1 certified coaches and 35 year old mothers doing the same workout. At the end everyone shares in the same triumph and affects of a kick-ass workout. The support system is what keeps you coming back every day! In what other sport do you get that?

DSC_04077. What is your favorite CrossFit movement/lift? Least favorite?

My favorite lift would have to be the Power Clean or Split Jerk. I really dig both those movements. If you hadn’t realized yet, I really dislike running. But I only dislike it now, I use to HATE it!

8. What is the one tip you would give someone considering CrossFit or new to CrossFit?

CrossFit is a sport where you don’t have to be better than all the other athletes in the gym; you just have to have the aspiration to be better than the one that walked in wearing your clothes.

Don’t be too proud to scale.

9. Results? Tell us about your results.

Currently, I’m nearing my 40lb loss mark. I’m down over 10% body fat. I’ve PR’ed and re-PR’ed every lift since joining BBCF.

10. What has CrossFit done for you in and out of the box?DSC_0373

Overall I feel healthier and happier with my life. I’ve made a bunch of new friends and adopted a lifestyle (Paleo) that I will carry with me forever. Coach Titus asked me the other day how I liked it and I said for the last 27 years I feel like I’ve been running in 3rd gear and with the addition of CrossFit and Paleo I found 4th and 5th gear. CrossFit and the community at BBCF have given me a desire to learn everything I can about this sport.


I just want to thank Coach Titus (both) for all the support and everyone at the box for making it such an awesome environment. I’m not sure I would have drank the Kool-Aid so fast without y’all! CrossFit has literally changed my life!!!