Congratulations to Jeff Sawulski on being our November Athlete of the
Month! Check out Jeff’s interview below and learn more about Jeff’s
passion for exercise and zest for his dedication to his fitness despite
his near death experience in May of 2006. This near death experience
fuels Jeff’s fire for CrossFit and makes him appreciate his body’s
wellness even more. We appreciate Jeff and what he brings to our
community, enjoy his story…
Tell us about the day you walked in to Stockyard CrossFit.
Winter Swolsitice 2015. My wife Nikki had been a drop in for a few months and asked me to compete.
Collegiate Athlete. Siena College Football 1993-1996.
What was your first Crossfit workout like and what did you think about it?
A WOD from Rob Orlando’s Strongman WOD site. All I remember was it
was heavy and horrible. I really like Rob’s programming as a transition
from traditional power lifting/standard gym movements to traditional
The biggest change physically is my midline stability and
position/body awareness. I still struggle with this in just about every
workout. The biggest change mentally is for me to constantly stay in a
zone at is extremely uncomfortable. I have never been so challenged in a
fitness training environment. That includes my time training in
What do you like about Stockyard Crossfit (or do you? Haha!)
I like the brutal yet elegant programming. I am a closet Crossfit
nerd and look at a lot of programming online. Ryan and Lindsey program
as well as any affiliate in the world. The art of Crossfit is the
programming and I feel that is one piece that separates Stockyard from
many gyms locally and nationally.
I was hooked before I started at Stockyard. I had been following the
home site and other affiliates WODs at work and in my basement for over a
year and a half before I joined. To put yourself through a Crossfit by
yourself in your basement I knew I had a problem. Like they say
“Crossfit it’s better than Crack”
What or who got you started in Crossfit or how did you learn about Crossfit?
I learned about Crossfit through the Fire Department. I can honestly
say I thought it was total bullshit. Another fitness fad. It really took
me doing it for a while and reading the Crossfit Journal to truly
appreciate the totality of the Crossfit program. It was not just a bunch
a jokers exercising on YouTube. I will suggest everyone look at the
articles at Crossfit home site to see how much it has to offer
What is your most noted Crossfit/fitness accommplishment or achievement to date?
I completed my Crossfit Level 1 certification.
What’s your best advice you have ever received, as it relates to Crossfit or your life?
Crossfit – You come to the gym not to be better in the gym but to be better out of it.
Life – Speak softly and carry a big stick : Theodore Roosevelt.
What’s in your gym bag?
Wrist wraps, knee sleeve, jump rope, 4 rolls of tape.
What’s on your IPod?
Nothing. I only stream music on Slacker.
What’s your favorite cheat meal?
I don’t eat that clean so I cheat a lot. I have a donut addiction. Cake not dough.
What motivates you?
Ryan. I don’t ever want to disappoint my main man. Also my accelerated age.
What’s your best piece of advice for folks new to Crossfit and/or Stockyard Crossfit?
You will not be sore forever. It just feels like you will be. And
what you feel is impossible today will probably not be impossible
forever if you work at it.
Nikki my wife and my kids Cooper (6) and Cade (4).
Other than Ryan Bauer?
Favorite book or movie?
I have a very dark sense of humor.
Movie- Inglorious Bastards/The Departed/American Psycho.
Starlite. Nothing healthy and good beer selection.
On May 1, 2006 I had an exercised
induced cardiac arrest while on duty as a firefighter. I was hypoxic,
without oxygen, and in Ventricular Tachycardia, a non sustainable heart
rate, for approximately five to seven minutes. In a clinical sense I
died that day for a period of time. I was defibrillated and intibated in
the field by other members of my fire department and regained a
pulse. I was then transported to the emergency department and was in a
medical induced coma for three days. On day three I was taken off of
sedation and experienced no mental or physical deficits. Then after
going through all of the normal cardiac testing protocols including
cardiac catheterization, no structural damage or abnormalities were
found. I am believed to have a condition called cardiac channelopathy.
This is a condition in the cellular level of my heart that causes a
direct line electrical path in my heart’s nervous system. As a safety
precaution I have an Internal Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) implanted in
my chest. This device has three wires that screw into my heart and a
small computer that monitors my heart rate. If my rate becomes too fast
or is non sustainable it will pace my heart rate or defibrillate me. I
have had my ICD for almost 10 years and it has never had to be used to
adjust my heart rate.
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