July 2018 Athlete of the Month - Vinny Famularo

 Congratulations Vinny for being our July Athlete of the month. You are very much deserving of this honor. This title is not necessarily given to the best athlete in the gym and it is certainly not a title that someone should "compete" for. Athlete of the Month is given to those who our staff feel best showcases the attitudes, actions and behaviors that we seek in every member. Within that, every single one of these honored members has their own story and interesting background. It's pretty amazing to learn about every member in the gym. Our community is filled with people from all walks of life and numerous talents. 
I worked with Vinny one on one in his elements when he joined. His buddies Jason and Travis had joined a few weeks prior and wanted to get more of their friends in; (fast forward to now, they have resurrected the 6pm hour.) I couldn't read how Vinny was at first and wasn't positive he would stick with the gym. I did know that if  his friends continued to come at 6pm every day that Vinny would be with them. In elements, we spoke about his athletic background in wrestling a bit and I knew he worked in law to some degree (most of their crew does if you need legal advice.) 
Vin is a paralegal at my brother’s law firm right here in Long Beach. "It is called Rosenbaum Famularo P.C. as well as Amazon Sellers Lawyer. We help Amazon Sellers from all over the world fight their suspensions, complaints, and intellectual property disputes."
Something most of you would never know is that Vinny is an avid video gamer. Imagine that, a guy who plays video games, is part of the crossfit community and is social. (Have you kids who won't put down the xbox come talk to Vinny on how to balance these interests.)
Vinny was in fact ranked #1 in the world in Call of Duty Advanced Warfare as well as top 10 in a few other games. That is pretty damn impressive and something you don't learn everyday about a fellow member. If you're into games, go talk to him. It is his passion. 
What solidified my decision to name Vinny our Athlete of the Month was on the day we painted the back wall of the gym. He stayed after class to help move the equipment along with the other members in the gym for the 9am class. He then stayed until 3pm painting with us. During this time, I learned he had planned to do movement testing with Dr. Jeremy but saw that no one else showed up for it so he figured he would help paint and do the testing another time. What a selfless and incredibly polite guy. So Vin, as much as you said you can't believe that you are the Athlete of the Month, believe it! Thank You for being yourself.

Written By: Coach Rob Moloney

How long have you been a member and how long have you been doing CrossFit?
I am finishing my fourth month here at Crossfit Island Park which is how long I’ve been doing Crossfit. It has been the best, most life-changing decision of my life and I am extremely grateful for it.

Why you started CrossFit?
I used to wrestle back in high school but haven’t done anything healthy for my body for the majority of the last ten years. What gave me the motivation to make the change in my life is due to losing my mother from lung cancer this past December. This woke me up to start getting back in shape and really change my whole lifestyle. However, I wouldn’t have gotten this far if it wasn’t for my best friend and fellow member Jason “Admiral” Timchula. He really has pushed me to go and continue to go to the gym even when majority of the days I am waddling to get there. This is still true today since most days I am still waddling my way to the gym for the next workout.

What is your favorite thing about the gym?
There really is no way to single out my favorite thing about the gym. Between the people, coaches, facility, workout plans; everything about this gym is my favorite thing. Everything about this gym is designed to push you through the workout and find new personal ceilings every day.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome since joining the gym?
When I first started the gym, I couldn’t climb the rope and I could barely put the bar over my head. Little did I know, until Coach Rob told me to go see Doctor Jeremy, this was all due to having muscle tendinitis in my shoulder. After a couple of months of seeing Doctor Jeremy while consistently attending the classes I have seen tremendous progress. I can climb the rope, my bench went from 135 to 230, I went from barely putting the bar over my head to putting 155 on clean and jerks earlier this week. Its honestly incredible how much better I’ve been doing, and I surprise myself all the time. But I would have never been able to do any of it if it wasn’t for this gym, the coaches, the people and Jason pushing me to get to the gym.

What is your favorite moment at the gym so far?
This is hard to decide because there are always great moments of the gym. Its either between hitting the PR’s as stated in the last question or during my first week barely losing this ski race when I first started. It was the first time using the ski machine and it was a partner WOD for a 3000-meter ski. We barely lost, but the race was so close and we were all so dead at the end of it. This might have been when I got hooked on CrossFit, the workouts and the competitive atmosphere.

What's your favorite "cheat" food?
There is nothing like the “Dominator” or the “E-train” at the Brands Deli in Long Beach. Those sandwiches are so good, but Jason reminds me how much those sandwiches are going to hurt later when I get to the gym. I also fall for any sort of sweets. Cookies, ice cream and cake are definitely my kryptonite.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about starting?
If I can do it, you can too. Do not be intimidated with all the incredible athletes and how good they are at each exercise. You just need to have the motivation to try and better yourself. This motivation to make yourself better will drive you through every day. What I have been saying since I started doing CrossFit is 85% of the workout is just getting there. Between the people and coaches, you will get through that hour and feel so much better after when you accomplished whatever the workout of the day was. CrossFit has made me, the most unmotivated person in the world, motivated. If it can do all this for me, it can do it for you.

What drives you?
Becoming a better version of myself is what drives me to go to the gym every-day. In my mind that is what CrossFit is. It’s about giving yourself personal goals and attempting to achieve them. Once you do, there is another goal right behind it. It’s a constant opportunity to improve yourself every day. What also helps with these goals is seeing the incredible athletes at the gym every day showing what can be possible with time and work. I call these super athletes “Captain CrossFit’s.” These are the people who just make everything looking easy and each of them should probably be in the CrossFit Games. These people help me push through each workout because they are inspirations. They show what you can become as long as we stick to the gym and the process.

What is your biggest fitness goal right now?
Besides trying to just do better at everything every day I go to the gym, I really want to be able to do those kipping pull-ups as well as muscle ups on the bar and hopefully the rings one day. I know it’s going to be a long road until I achieve these goals, but I am ready to take the challenge.