Pushing Hard & Winning the Battle: Randy Canare
Written by Libby Landry

I remember the first time I met Ran-Dawg (my nickname for him), before a 6:30pm class. I had seen him doing his Fundamentals in the side rooms of Sorrento Valley. He had finished his Fundies and was ready to join the Group sessions – quiet and reserved (at first), but cautiously excited about CrossFit.

“I had this very pushy coworker/friend (aka the Caveman Brute that pushes light eight in comp class, Bryan Babbitt) who talks about CrossFit all the time. I made a deal with him that I would try it out since I needed to get my health/fitness in check.”

Bryan agrees he was a pushy coworker.

“I met him…and he’d see me always bringing my meals and talking about CrossFit (because that’s what CrossFitters do) and he had the same outsider perspective of ‘I’m not ready for that.’ I made a deal with him that he had 6 months before I made him come with. He smiled and laughed because he thought June 2018 would never come…”

Randy started consistently attending the 6:30pm class. He’d come a little early to ride the bike so I’d chat with him about the workout of the day and see how he was feeling about it. We’d come up with a game plan for how to achieve the desired stimulus while still progressing him in movements, their patterns, or range of motions.

I was always so humbled by HIS humility – there’s no ego here. Anything you ask of him, he’ll do. He trusts the process. He knows where he’s limited and where he can push. So that’s what we did each session. Push where we can, taking a small step forward each time.

“I really couldn’t keep up, couldn’t do a lot of the movements without modifications, and my strength wasn’t nearly as good as I thought it was. The most important part to me in my health/fitness journey is improving every day and being consistent.”

I remember having Randy do step-ups rather than box jumps (to a plate, not even to a box). We’d do burpees without the push-up. Lunges to a target. Rowing for time instead of calories. Etcetera. What I love about Randy is that he always seemed to view his modifications as motivation to improve.

I mentioned earlier that he seems quiet and reserved. Not so, I quickly found out. Randy will talk some smack. He’ll joke around with the other members in class. He’s always smiling. If he’s ever had a bad day in the gym, you’d never know it.

Fast forward and it’s now been a little over 9 months since Randy first joined Invictus. Physically – he’s a smaller human. Randy said he’s lost “roughly 25 pounds since I began, dropped a few sizes in my clothes, and gotten a lot stronger.”

Bryan noted how much he’s noticed not just in Randy’s physical appearance, but in his attitude toward living a healthy lifestyle.

“He dove right in…and our conversations are now ‘do I need these shoes to lift more?’ and ‘should I get a rower?’” Randy made sure to note that his stress levels have decreased. “I can forget about the day when that 6:30 class comes around.”

Where’s Randy now? Literally kicking a$$. He’s PR’d his squat at 265, Deadlift at 275, Bench at 235, and yet he knows that in every strength session, I’m going to say, “Hey Ran-Dawg, put some weight on the bar this time.” And we all laugh at him for this. He laughs too because he knows it’s true.

Outside of the gym, Randy has committed to being more active in his life, enjoying activities with his family. Trying to improve his eating habits has been a struggle for him. While food is a huge part of his culture, and it’s not always easy, he’s taking it one step at a time to limit the “carne asada fries, arroz con pollo, pepper chicken wings, short ribs, ice cream, and cake.”

What about those burpees and box jumps though? Recently we did a workout that Evil CJ has aptly named “Desire”. In this workout, athletes are to complete as many burpee box jump-overs as possible in 5 minutes. In November, he was modifying the burpee and using a 12-inch box. When we tested it again a few weeks ago…he was JUMPING to a 20-inch box (his first time ever) and doing full range of motion burpees.

This is no small feat. I saw his face light up when he successfully jumped to that box. I was so amped (maybe even more than he was!).

“It felt really great getting my butt off the ground and on to the box. The feeling after all those burpees not so good, but was happy to see my battle against gravity is improving.”

If you don’t know him, get to know him. If you know him, keep your eye on him. He’s going places. Ran-dawg, you mah boy.

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