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May Athlete of the Month – Zach Ray

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, interests/hobbies, etc).

Originally from Oklahoma City, I’ve lived in Houston since 2012 working in the oil and gas industry. I love to travel, golf, ski, and hang out with my golden retriever, Brodie.

When did you start at District H?

I started around December 2020.

What made you decide to come to District H?

I’ve always had an interest in trying, but just hadn’t ever pulled the trigger. I had tried other group fitness classes, but nothing I found had the strength training component like CrossFit, which is what I was looking for. I grew up playing a lot of competitive sports, so CrossFit seemed like a natural fit for me.

How has District H made an impact on your life outside of the gym?

The “high” that I get from a workout carries over into everything else outside of the gym. Physical activities are so much easier and my energy levels have improved since starting at District H. Another thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve been much more attentive as to what I eat and my water intake. How you fuel your body has a major impact on your workouts. I think twice now before eating something I probably shouldn’t because I know I’ll be regretting during my next WOD!

What is your favorite & least favorite WOD or movement? 

Favorite WOD is anything involving farmers carries or deadlifts. Least favorite is a tie between burpees or wall walks.

What is your favorite & least favorite lift? 

Favorite lift is back squat. Least favorite lift is snatch.

What are your Fitness goals?

Current goals are to consistently go to class 3-4 times a week, back squat 350#, RX workouts on a more routine basis, and improve my double unders.

What is your proudest District H moment/achievement?

Proudest achievement has been doing the shoulder presses (strict, push press, and push jerk) after years of avoiding overhead lifts. I have a history of shoulder injuries from playing baseball growing up. I’ve had two surgeries on my right shoulder and have always had a fear of doing overhead lifts. It was quite an achievement for me both physically and mentally when I realized I could still do presses safely. The coaches have been great about scaling lifts/WODs to accommodate my shoulder issue.

What is your favorite quote or words to live by?

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” – Babe Ruth

Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.

I’m actually a pretty decent cook. I love trying out new recipes and am always surprising friends and family with things I’ve whipped up.

What advice would you give to newbies?

Just keep showing up. The first few classes will be rough, but eventually it’ll get easier and your body will start to recover faster. Stretch frequently, even when you don’t think you need to. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it makes. Log your workouts/lifts. Seeing improvement in your lifts/WODs can be a huge motivation and a great way to measure improvement.

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