There are so many reasons why the coaches agreed that Stan Jones deserves to be Blackbird CrossFit’s November Athlete of the Month. He’s been on the short list for months, but he continues to improve so much each month, that we were all just curious to see how much further he could get and what more we could brag on in his profile! One of Stan’s best attributes is his amazing attitude. He’s positive, humble, kind, hard-working, encouraging to others, and eager to learn. He shows up each day with the perfect attitude…to be better than HE was the day before, not comparing himself to others. These qualities have been the foundation of his ample success in the gym.

Since starting at Blackbird in June of 2017, Stan has added 100’s of pounds to his barbell and incredible stamina and speed to his workouts. That Fran time he talks about in his profile started with a 65lb thruster and pull ups with a blue and green band in 9:45, and now is Rx with 95lbs and unassisted pull ups and completed in only 5:25. In 16 months, he’s added 13olbs to his deadlift, 120lbs to his back squat, and 40lbs to his press. In just the past 7 months, he’s added 65lbs to his clean & jerk. Added strength + speed= impressive results!

“Stan is an incredibly humble and hardworking guy. When I first met him, he was conducting for Century Drama’s Pit Orchestra. It has been my privilege to get to know him outside of school as he became a regular at Blackbird. When he isn’t working extra hours at Century, fostering an unmatched marching band and instrumental music program, he’s at Blackbird giving 110%. As a former student of his, I am so thrilled that he has become an integral part of our Blackbird community. It was been inspiring to witness someone who is so dedicated to his students become more dedicated to himself and his health.”  –Coach Jack

“Stan is an a great role model for his students.  He has worked hard  not only in the gym but also in the kitchen.  I’ve seen so much  amazing progress in Stan and I’m excited to watch him continue to smash his goals in the future.” –Coach Steve

MEET STAN JONES…

1.TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF. 

My name is Stan Jones and I live in northern Carroll County with my beautiful wife Sarah, two amazing children Craig (11) and Ella (6), and 3 crazy dogs Riley, Scout, and Tucker.  I teach students instrumental music at Century High School.   I am coming up on my 40th birthday in December and I am strangely looking forward to it.

2. WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT?

I was in the perpetual rut of starting a “diet” after New Year’s and failing pretty fast after it began.  I was introduced to a nutrition app and started tracking calories.  It made me aware of some of my poor eating choices and I quickly changed my eating habits so I could get the most food for my nutritional buck.  After my weight loss started strictly through diet, I joined a group of teachers on a “Couch to 5K” program that was passed along to us from Coach Justin.  A couple months later I ran my first 5K in years and I quickly signed up for next race I could find!  I was seeing results but I not only wanted to simply finish a race, but rather run fast.  I approached Coach Justin about some other workouts I could do to get a great 5K time and he suggested I try out Blackbird for the free trial and see if it was something that would help.  When I went in on my first day the lift was back squat and the WOD was FRAN.  I used every rubber band I could get my hands on to finish the pull-ups and put the bar down A LOT on the thrusters.  It was a lot more challenging than I anticipated.  To me, that challenge to get better was what really kept me coming back.

3. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING BLACKBIRD?

Not on bands anymore. Stan even has a bar muscle up now!

Read the door mat and check that ego!  Fueling your body with the right types of food is crucial to being successful in and out of the gym with your goals.  Set goals for yourself that you can work on.  If you’re not sure how to accomplish them, ask a coach to help.

4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BLACKBIRD OR CROSSFIT IN GENERAL? 

I enjoy CrossFit because it always changes and it always challenges me in some capacity.  Once I think I have something figured out, I realize how much I have yet to accomplish.  I love coming to BBCF and being able to forget about the craziness of my daily schedule for an hour a day.  The community at BBCF makes it a truly amazing place to be.

5. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT? 

I recently got my first muscle up after A LOT of coaching and encouragement from a lot of coaches and members…that was a lot of fun.

6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?

I have a special relationship with FRAN, since it was my first WOD.  It isn’t necessarily fun, but I always like to see how much I can improve on this benchmark.

The Olympic lifts are challenging for me, but I wouldn’t say they are my least favorite—barbell club has helped me with this significantly!

7. WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?

Inside the gym I am becoming more patient with myself in the learning curve of CrossFit.  I am okay not seeing a star next to my name everyday as long as I know that I have come in to the gym and given it everything I have on that particular day. 

Outside of the gym I have noticed that I have become more disciplined in my daily routine. I listen to a lot of CrossFit themed podcasts and apply the lessons to my job; much to the students dismay I talk about CrossFit…A LOT.

8. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AND HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?

There are a few things I still would like to cross off the list.  I want to transfer my muscle up to the rings and start to string them together.  I would like to be an Rx participant in the 2019 Open—I have some work to put in if this is going to be a reality.

9. WHEN YOU’RE NOT CROSSFITTING WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?

I really enjoy spending time with my family.  We enjoy taking the dogs (a.k.a. the Bumpus Hounds) to the park for a swim or hike. 

10. WHAT IS ONE FUN THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE MAY NOT KNOW YET?

I used to live in Tampa, FL for a little bit.  I originally grew up in Baltimore, but I quit a job, sold a house and moved 1000 miles away to be a bartender while I got my Master’s Degree.  While I lived there, I was the proud owner of a Harley Davidson Softail Deuce.  One day, I will be a bike owner again.

11. THE ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT STARTING CROSSFIT OR JUST STARTED?

Don’t be intimidated!  Come in and see for yourself what it is all about.  Everyone at BBCF is very welcoming and supportive in this community.

12. WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT? 

I try to stay with the tray system—4/day!  I love cooking in my Instant Pot.  I eat a lot of eggs, chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, and brussel sprouts!!  I was going crazy making a lot of recipes each week until our nutrition seminar Coach Steve gave in January.  I am now cooking/meal prepping in bulk and encouraging my entire family to do it.  My workout fuel is apples or bananas—coffee if I am going to the 5:30am since I have to wake up at 4:15am to make it on time!

13. RESULTS? TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESULTS! 

I notice a huge difference in strength, body composition, and energy.  I have had many times in my life where I thought I was “in shape,” but I feel better now than I ever have at any point in my life.

I think the biggest result I have had at BBCF is the sustainable change to my lifestyle.  This isn’t a typical gym membership.  You are constantly learning, adapting to what works best for you and how you can improve!  I am always asking questions of the coaches on the best way to approach a workout or lift, learning something new in the process. 

FREEWRITE:

I want to thank EVERYONE at BBCF for being supportive of me from day one.  I was very nervous about starting at Blackbird, but I was met with nothing but encouragement from everyone in the gym.  It’s a great place to be and that says a lot for the owners, Matt and Rebekah.  You have created a culture here that cannot be duplicated!

Thank you to my Century folks—I love being able to catch lunch with you, share a PD table, talk CrossFit in front of our colleagues, and of course seeing you at the gym. 

Thank you to all the coaches that have helped me grow and improve as an “athlete.”  I have made huge improvements these past 18 months and I owe that to you!

5:30am—Thanks for making getting up so damn early so much fun that I do it even when I don’t have to.  I look forward to making my way back to that class time soon!

Thank you to my wife for supporting this part of my life.  Work keeps me from home quite a bit, so thanks for not punching me in the face when my alarm goes off to get to that 5:30am class in the summer.