Quiet. Shy. Hard-working. Consistent. Tim is not what most people think of when they imagine a CrossFitter. The stereotype we hear most often is that of a highly competitive, Type-A personality, possibly a bit of a meat-head; a description that doesn’t describe most of our members! It actually took nearly 6 months to get Tim to chat it up in class. Which was noticeable, since he’s a regular at the 8am class that used to be only 2-4 people deep. But, he’s out of his shell now and we have truly enjoyed getting to know this athlete! He comes in consistently to learn, to improve, and to work hard. He is competitive only with himself. Using each day in the gym as a time to challenge the person he was yesterday. Tim excels on the gymnastics front and with body weight movements. He’s worked hard to tighten up his movements and it’s paid off with a strict muscle up! Since April, he’s added 55lbs to his deadlift, 30lbs to his shoulder press, 40lbs to his back squat, and reduced his Helen time by 2 minutes and 25 seconds. Strong and fast; that’s a CrossFitter for you!

MEET TIM…

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.

My name is Tim Storck, I am 41 and was born and raised in Maryland, then after high school I moved around a bit. I have lived in North Carolina, San Francisco and New York. After 20 some years I moved back to MD in 2017 with my partner Craig and we bought our first house in Reisterstown where we live with our cat Sophie. I have a master’s degree in Instructional Technology and work remotely for Stanford University building online courses for professional education.

WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT? WHAT HAS KEPT YOU DOING IT? HAS YOUR MOTIVATION CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED?

When I lived in NY, there was a CrossFit gym two blocks from my apartment; however, in my mind I wanted nothing to do with CrossFit based on previous misconceptions I had. I tried many other exercise programs that were much further away, all the while trying to avoid CrossFit. However, I could not find anything I enjoyed so I finally gave in, walked the two blocks, and gave it a try. I was quickly proven wrong and blown away by how much I enjoyed it and became instantly hooked.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING BLACKBIRD?

Quality over quantity. This is a tough one because the competitive side of me always wants to do more and go faster. What I didn’t realize is that by having poor form, I was actually able to do less and took me longer (not to mention a few injuries on the side as well). I still have a lot of work to do on my form, especially with the lifts, but there is no doubt in my mind when I hit something correctly because it feels like it is almost too easy. I also found how easy it is for bad form to become a habit. I have been a runner all of my life, but until I went to P.A.C.E.R. I did not realize I was running incorrectly (I didn’t even know it was possible to run the wrong way). Even though I know now how much form matters, it is always something I have to constantly remind myself to pay attention to.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?

Prior to Blackbird I did CrossFit for two and a half years. I got my back squat to 195 – which considering I had never touched a bar before, I was happy with – but I really wanted to get to 200. No matter what I did I could not get that extra 5 pounds and was stuck at 195 for around a year. I ended up moving and never getting to 200. When I joined Blackbird it had been about a year since I had done much exercise so I knew all my numbers would be lower and I would have to work my way back up. About three months later I hit 200, but funny thing was, I did not realize what I had done until several hours later. I was sitting at my desk and all of a sudden it hit me – I finally did it!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LIFT, MOVEMENT, OR WOD? LEAST FAVORITE?

I love the gymnastic/body weight movements the best, it is something about being able to get a good workout with little to no equipment and there are so many options.  If I had to create the perfect workout it would probably be mixing Annie, Cindy and running (lots of running).  I enjoy the games or when music is added as an element to the movement – Bring Sally Up squat holds, Thunderstruck burpees, pizza game, etc. – these are mostly warm-up movements but I find them to be a lot of fun. 

If I had to choose a least favorite it would probably be any of the overhead bar lifts, not that I dislike them, but having never used a bar before CrossFit, it is where I am least confident in the movement.

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

The fact that CrossFit has a lot of variety and is completely scalable helps keep me from getting bored and/or frustrated.  That being said, not all CrossFit gyms are the same.  When I moved back to this area it was hard for me to find a CrossFit that I enjoyed going to.  There are several other options that are closer to me but spending the extra time to get to Blackbird is well worth it to me.  The atmosphere and excitement at Blackbird helps keep me energized and makes me want to and feel like I can do more.  I also like that there are other options besides the CrossFit classes, so far I have only done P.A.C.E.R. which I really enjoy and would highly recommend, but looking forward to trying others as well.

WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOU IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?

The variety helped me to build strength where I did not really have much.  My exercise came mostly from running before CrossFit.  I would take fitness assessments and most areas (aerobic fitness, heart rate, flexibility, etc.) would all be average to above average, but the upper body strength category would always get a ‘needs work.’  The first fitness assessment I did after starting CrossFit I thought the upper body strength measurement came back wrong, as it had improved so much.  CrossFit has also helped me build confidence, I had never used a bar before and did not think I could do most of the lifts, but with a little work realized I could do more that I ever thought possible.

Outside of the gym I find that I have become more encouraging of getting people to try new things when it comes to working out, and letting them know that they can most likely do more than what they think they can do.  I even get my two-year-old niece to do exercises with me (I think she can do more continuous squat jumps in a row than me) as I find it fun to get people moving.

WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?

I tend to set small goals that eventually lead up to bigger goals.  An example would be, I would like to get to a point where I can do all gymnastic and body weight movements Rx during the workouts.  That being said, I do not think about it often because I would get extremely frustrated, as I have a long way to go. EDITORS NOTE– Humble to a fault. Tim crushes the gymnastics movements!

Muscle-ups – these look fun (fun may not be the best word) and look like they should be easy to do, but they are definitely not easy.  I have gotten to a point where I can do a single strict ring muscle-up now (it is not pretty but I get myself up); my next goals are to string a few together on the rings and to get one on the bar.

WHEN YOU ARE NOT CROSSFITTING, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?

Cooking.  Trying a new recipe or to recreate something you had a restaurant is always a fun challenge.  I have no problem spending all day in the kitchen to create a meal.  I do tend to go overboard and/or over complicate meals especially if cooking for other people.  If I am not trying to make 5 too many items for a meal I am probably trying to find a way to add to a dish to make it better.  I always prefer to make everything from scratch, so if I am making lasagna, I prefer to not only make my own sauce but also my own pasta (takes a lot of time but so worth it).  I like cooking just about anything, but my favorite is desserts, my obsession is making desserts with alcohol in them, recently made a Guinness chocolate cake.

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

I am an outdoorsy person and enjoy doing a variety of things from camping, hiking, and skiing to activities that are a bit more adventurous such as sky diving, white water rafting and zip lining.  I much prefer the warmer weather – it can never be too hot – but also enjoy being in the snow.  I have always thought it would be great if it would snow when it is 90 degrees outside.

WHAT IS THE ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE SOMEONE CONSIDERING CROSSFIT OR WHO IS NEW TO CROSSFIT?

Don’t judge how well you are doing based on what others are doing.  This took me awhile to get through my head; I would look at the whiteboard and see that so many people were ahead of me.  Don’t look at the whiteboard and get frustrated, remember this is most likely the first time you are doing a lot of these moves so it is going to take time to build up your strength and speed and even then working out is not a competition.  The only person you should be competing against is yourself, trying to do better than the last time you did it.  Once you stop worrying about what others are doing and take that pressure off of yourself you will do better.

WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT? WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT FUEL?

It could be better, but I am think I do a pretty good job.  A majority of my meals are cooked at home and try to go healthy-ish as much as possible; instead of having a cheeseburger and fries, I’ll have a cheeseburger salad which ends up being more greens than anything else.  I have tried several of the diets but they just don’t work for me, I either end up extremely weak because I am not getting the proper nutrition or get frustrated because I can’t figure out what I can and can’t have.  I am always on the lookout for healthy recipes that taste good and always willing to experiment and try new options.

RESULTS! TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESULTS!!

Looking back at past performance, from my first CrossFit class to now, I have doubled and in some cases tripled the amount of weight in my lifts.  I always was super scrawny and without a doubt notice a huge change in body composition, something I never really paid attention tobefore.  I also see an increased amount of confidence in what I can and can’t do or willing to try.  Overall, CrossFit has been a really positive influence in my life.

FREEWRITE:

I was completely surprised to be picked as Athlete of the Month and just want to say thank you for the honor to be chosen.  I think the Blackbird community is one of the best there is and I cannot image going anywhere else.  All of the trainers are top notch and truly enjoy coaching.  I am a quiet person so I just want to make it known how much I appreciate the Blackbird community and how much I look forward to coming in each day.