Invictus Athlete Spotlight: Corey Reutlinger
Interviewed by Tino Marini
Corey has been a part of the Invictus community since 2015, you will likely have seen his name on the blog as he is a meticulous record keeper and posts results almost everyday. 2016 was a great year for Corey as he racked up an impressive list of PR’s! If you were to see a video of his air squat a year ago you would not think it was the same athlete. His accomplishments have been outstanding and we thought it would be fun to share his story and achievements with the rest of the Invictus Community.
Life Before CrossFit
Life before CrossFit—whoa, that brings back memories! I was never much of an athlete. In high school, I only played tennis and golf, and stuck mostly to fine arts (band, speech, theatre, etc.). I was your typical high school nerd. It was my freshman year of college when I decided to make a change with bodybuilding, running and swimming. I was a lifeguard in the summer, and knew I had to stay in shape—but I was a skinny kid. I never felt like I was making progress. It was not until I started doing CrossFit that I saw massive gains. Granted, I’m still a skinny dude, BUT I’m skinny dude that feels confident enough to save someone who’s drowning!
I started doing CrossFit habitually in the summer of 2014, right before my second year of grad school at Kansas State University. I am about to do my third CrossFit Open. I joined a box run by my good friend Shely Weinrich (who follows the Invictus Athlete program). She did wonders to my hip mobility and upper body strength, and critiqued me on form. I started seeing massive gains. If she had not initially pushed me, I may not have stuck with the activity.
After working for a year with Shely, and after graduating from the university, she recommended I follow the Invictus competition blog (initially I thought I was going to die from the training volume—whew!). I knew Invictus was the right training program for me after returning to my home community in 2015, and doing a few competitions.
I currently work in a small corner box in my hometown where there is not much space. Mentally, it has been challenging to tackle some of the competition WODs alone. There were days I felt defeated. However, gradually, other members of my community box started to see my improvements—a few have even joined me and are seeing improvements of their own. My biggest challenge, however, has been my squat mobility. During my CF-L1 course I was told I had a “train wreck squat”. That devastated me. So, every day, with advice from CFHQ instructors, I mobilize the hips, legs and ankles. Now, almost a year later, with the help of the Competition Blog programming to build my posterior chain, I increased 15 pounds on my back squat 1-RM. I’ve made several other PRs, but that one right there is a testament to persistence, and the brilliance of Invictus programming.
I spent the majority of 2016 attending CrossFit seminar courses (weightlifting, gymnastics, aerobic capacity, competitors, etc.). I love learning. Most important, I love coaching and giving back to the community. I want others to see the same success I have seen with fitness. I strive to see that smile or that spark in someone’s eyes when something clicks. Still, I know I have a lot of room to grow. I cannot coach what I cannot do; so, I’m constantly pushing my limits, finding my weaknesses, in order to develop unique ways to teach.
CrossFit is actually my pastime—a place where I can de-stress. I’m a college lecturer and a coach who teaches public speaking and competitive forensics. When I’m not in the gym or teaching a class, I spend my weekdays helping high school students hone their speaking skills. I then spend my weekends traveling with my speech team, cheering them on. A lot of what I’ve learned from coaching CrossFit has helped me with coaching public speaking, and vice-versa.
Most people don’t realize I can paint and draw, or that I have a background in mathematics. My dad was an art teacher, and I’ve inherited his eye for seeing small details. I especially love oil painting and colored-pencil drawing because it gives me room to use my analytical skills with art.
I actually wrote out ten New Year’s resolutions because these helped me stay focused last year. Training goals include: improving Olympic lifts, strengthening the shoulders and upper body, working on ankle and wrist stability, trying Renaissance Periodization for nutrition, and getting the ever-elusive strict bar muscle-up. Outside of CrossFit, I’m hoping to start my doctorate in communication studies and publish a few academic articles. Somewhere down the line (a ways away) I want to try the CrossFit Level 3 exam (or a few more seminar courses).
We are honored to have Corey part of the Invictus family and are eager to watch him continue to progress in his journey as an athlete.
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