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

Although I lived in the Midwest for a good portion of my childhood, I have generational connections to the Heights, and Timbergrove neighborhoods. My grandfather was a minister in the Heights, he raised his family in Timbergrove, and my dad’s family grew up just east of 45. Without really meaning to, I wound up living right in the middle of my parent’s childhood homes. 

My wife, Christa, and I have been married for 15 years and have an 11 year old named Townes. We share our house with two dogs, three cats, and changing roster of random animals that come to us through my work. I’m a veterinarian and one of two owners of Bayou City Veterinary Hospital. Our practice has been open since 2013 and employs a whole bunch of fantastic people dedicated to companion animal health and welfare. 

In my spare time, I sweat at District H, eat and drink with family and friends, read as many books as I can, and try to catch up with the best streaming shows that I am invariably 12-18 months behind watching!

When did you start working out District H?

 I’d seen District H for years, but I decided to come visit the gym after the Facebook Ad wizards targeted me. I met Morrill in December 2021 and finished my onboarding classes with Eileen that month. I’ve been coming as regularly as possible ever since. 

What made you decide to start working out in general?

 I’ve been athletic for most of my adulthood, but I started to get a bit more serious after I decided to train for my first full marathon. I’ve run the Houston marathon 3 or 4 times, run lots of 1/2 marathons, and even completed two Ironman 70.3 races. The thing I like most, though, is weight training!

How have your workouts made an impact on your life outside of the gym?

 Making and achieving athletic goals has built a resiliency and persistence in me that I think would be difficult to build and sustain outside of sport and challenge. It’s easy to see how endurance athletics can build persistence – you get loads of practice at pushing through challenge and exhaustion and little aches and pains to finish the training run or race. But I think that the same opportunities are present in weight training and function fitness environments. There are opportunities in every class to practice persistence, resilience, dedication, and endurance. And what I’ve found is that continuing with the training builds a depth of character that is really independent of how fast or strong or agile your body allows you to be. 

What is your favorite & least favorite workout or movement?

 My favorite movements right now are wall balls and the partner sit-ups where we pass the med balls. I really enjoy how much core is engaged in those movements while still requiring a little bit of explosive movement as well. My least favorite movement is probably everyone’s least favorite – burpees. Those are little death drills!

What is your favorite & least favorite lift? 

 My favorite lift right now is the Z press. I love how restricted it is, how humbling it is, and how much concentration is required to move what feels like a very modest weight. It’s such a great challenge! I don’t know that I have a least favorite lift, but there are a several – cleans and clusters especially – that are so freaking technical and weird, I find them very challenging! 

What are your fitness goals?

 My fitness goals are changing right now. My goals for some of the longer distance activities I’ve done in the past were to be consistent with training and to finish the race to the best of my ability. But at District H, I can step back from endurance only and start to focus a bit more on getting really strong and performing at a different level. Specifically, I’m eyeballing those kipping chin-ups! And I’m a garbage with the jump rope, so that’s an area that I’d like to improve in. 

What is your proudest gym moment/achievement?

 When I finished the Waco Half Ironman in 2021, I met a woman really struggling in the last mile of the run. I’d had a pretty rough race myself and was coming in on fumes, but she was hurting more than me and needed a buddy. I was able to get her up and moving, got her to the red carpet finish, and then get out of the way so she could run in and finish her race on her own feet. I was really proud to finish the race myself, but being able to help coach her to the end was pretty special. I certainly love hitting my own goals and milestones and achieving lifts or speeds or distances, but doing it with a community is so much better. 

What is your favorite quote or words to live by?

 I don’t have a favorite quote or catchy phrase to share, but I do believe that my life is best spent working to bring more care, more compassion, more justice, more honesty, and more help to the parts of the world that I touch. And that principle definitely applies to care and compassion for myself. 

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

 I was bitten in the throat by a boxer dog named Diesel 10 years ago. I had finished working with him and was standing probably 3 feet away and facing away from him when a felt a sharp thud in my throat. He hadn’t barked or growled or given any other audible warning, and since I wasn’t looking at him, I don’t know if he gave any other signs before he just jumped up and bit me in the throat! What an asshole! I had a puncture wound on my trachea and a 3cm wound running across the side of my throat. Fortunately, the wounds were fairly superficial and all the really important stuff that’s in the throat was unharmed. But I’ve got a couple of good scars from that jerk of a dog.  

What advice would you give to newbies?

 My advice to newbies is twofold. First, do your best to put your ego aside and really listen to what your body is telling you it’s ready for. Second, talk to your coaches, even if their giant muscles and athletic prowess scares you! They are, without exception, willing to help you scale up or down, improve your form, and encourage you in your efforts, and you’ll get so much more out of your gym time if you engage with them. 

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