Sean Cavanaugh loves vintage video games, his family, CrossFit, and blue t-shirts. We’re not 100% sure we got the order correct, but you get the point. He joined Blackbird in August 2018. Since then, he has become a fixture at the 5:30am class. “I really enjoy starting my day at 5:30am with a challenging workout. It really sets the tone for the rest of the day!”
Like all of our AOTMs, we can make a laundry list of all of the reasons we love working with Sean. We especially love that he holds himself to a high standard with his movement and is even currently taking some time to reevaluate and rebuild some foundational elements of his training. He embodies Blackbird’s training philosophy of LONGEVITY!
“Sean is a hard worker and conscientious member. He is supremely coachable and never lets his ego get in the way of moving safely or working around an ache/pain/injury. Sean is really just an all around nice guy who is an absolute pleasure to have in class!” explains Coach Chris.
He’s made huge progress over the past three and a half years. Adding 120 pounds to his back squat, 160 pounds to his deadlift, 60 pounds to his clean, and over 20 pounds to his shoulder press. And according to him, with all of this strength, he now specializes in opening jars with sticky lids for his wife.
But the best results are the ones he shared with us himself:
1) Mental & Emotional Strength
2) Losing about 30 lbs, but gaining lean muscle mass
3) 53 ring pull-ups in a workout
4) Completing a Spartan Super Race
5) Reduced reliance on medications (off blood pressure medicine and 1 antidepressant).
Now that’s true progress in health and wellness!
Check out his story…
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
I am a 38 year-old married father of young twins (boy & girl- age 4). I am originally from just outside of Washington D.C., but my wife and I moved to Eldersburg about 7 years ago from Baltimore. I work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with a mental health specialization. I am employed at a MD state psychiatric hospital, but also have done private practice (psychotherapy) on the side.
WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT? WHAT HAS KEPT YOU DOING IT?
The nature of my job is extremely emotionally draining, so self-care is super important to prevent “burn-out.” I had just become a new father of twins so I was beyond burn-out at that point and needed a way to cope and relieve stress. I always enjoyed being active and playing sports, but had difficulty staying on track and being consistent. CrossFit was something new (to me) and I liked the idea of joining a community of people to support, encourage, and hold each other accountable. It was just what I needed.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING BLACKBIRD CROSSFIT?
I learned there is a lot more to fitness than just “working out.”
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BLACKBIRD?
The owners and coaches have created a very positive, inclusive environment. That was felt immediately when I walked in for the first trial visit session. I really enjoy starting my day at 5:30am with a challenging workout. It really sets the tone for the rest of the day!
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
Hands down, my proudest moment is finally getting 1 (one) strict pull-up. It sounds like a little thing, but to someone who has been overweight as a young person and adult, it almost seemed like an impossible feat.
WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
Mental toughness. Resilience. Helping my wife open jars with sticky lids.
WHAT CROSSFIT GOALS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING TOWARDS?
My goals have changed a couple times over the past few years. Right now, my goal is to go back to fundamentals, refine body mechanics and technique. I’ve found some cracks in my foundation and want to repair them so I can achieve my next round of goals. Sometimes you have to go back, to go forward! My next measurable goal is 10 strict pull-ups (unbroken).
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LIFT, MOVEMENT, OR WOD? LEAST FAVORITE?
Turkish Get-Up is my favorite movement and Squat Clean is my favorite lift. I prefer the long, grueling WODs (20-30min) as opposed to short sprint-type of workouts.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT CROSSFITTING WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
Video games (RPGs, sand-box, old school platforming). I also enjoy taking my kids to the park for nature hikes or exploring museums. I really enjoy cooking, especially vegetarian meals.
WHAT IS ONE TIP YOU WOULD GIVE SOMEONE CONSIDERING CROSSFIT OR NEW TO CROSSFIT?
Take your time and don’t be afraid to scale the workouts.
WHAT IS ONE FUN THING WE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?
My buddies and I entered the RedBull Flugtag competition in Baltimore, where we designed and built an “aircraft” to “fly” off a 30 foot tall platform into the Baltimore Harbor in front of 20,000 spectators. Our aircraft failed spectacularly and the harbor water tasted terrible, but it was a blast. The video is probably somewhere on the internet.
WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT?
I’ve always been focused on nutrition, so it hasn’t changed a whole lot. I am mostly vegetarian, and enjoy fresh wholesome meals. The one major adjustment is decreasing carbs by about 50% and increasing protein 100%.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT FUEL?
My favorite post-workout recovery meal is a spinach salad with tuna on it. Cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, green peas, and some olive oil, S&P. My weakness is peanut-butter. I could eat it all day, every day.
WHAT IS ONE POSITIVE THING YOU TOOK FROM 2021?
That it’s finally OVER and I survived to talk about it.
RESULTS! TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESULTS!
1) Mental & Emotional Strength 2) Losing about 30 lbs, but gaining lean muscle mass 3) 53 ring pull-ups in a workout 4) Completing a Spartan Super Race 5) Reduced reliance on medications (off blood pressure medicine and 1 antidepressant).
Blackbird is the best!