Doug Vanderkooi | CrossFitter of the Month

By December 1, 2014 crossfitter-of-the-month
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Congrats Doug on being our next CrossFitter of the Month

Why we chose Doug:

“Congrats to Dougster the Hugster! Doug’s great attitude and willingness to work hard have given him great results. I appreciate his even keeled approach, solid effort, and coachablity in class and love to work with him. Congratulations Doug!”- Doug Z.

“Doug has always exhibited great motivation and dedication over the past years. No matter the workout out or time of day Doug always makes it to class with a smile on his face. He puts 110% into what ever he’s doing and whatever he’s working on, but is always one to laugh it off and have good time doing it. Nice Job Doug, keep up that perfect attendance! “- Ryan R

“Doug V has been a member at CFPC for 3 years and I can honestly say he is one of the most consistent members. I’ve appreciated his coach-ability and willingness to push the boundaries of his comfort zone. Every morning Doug arrives he works on some accessory work which has proved to be helpful in his squat and posterior chain strength. Thank you for your positive attitude, your consistency, and your sense of humor! Way to go DOUG!” Kenzie G.

“Doug has shown consistency and is never complaining in the gym. Although things may be difficult he is always up for the challenge, scaling appropriately, and maintaining good technique. Maybe I’ll be like Doug someday!” Chris S.

“Doug certainly deserves to be our CrossFitter of the month for his awesome positive attitude and consistency in the gym. He is always a pleasure to work with, take cues well, and sets a great example for all of us!” Shannon D.

“Doug always seems to have a positive and laid back attitude when he comes into the gym. I don’t think I have ever heard him complain about a movement or workout and this is a great attitude to have. He works hard and focuses on doing the movements well. He has progressed a ton since he first started and this is due to his awesome attitude, effort, and consistency. Great job Doug, you are the man.” Eric O.


A little feedback from Doug:

When I got the email from Kenzie that I was nominated for CrossFitter of the Month, I thought “WOW!” Then I showed it to my wife and she laughed hysterically, “Maybe they’re just trying to get you to leave the nest and quit going to the Elements class”. Despite what my wife thinks, I’m honored to be CrossFitter of the Month and appreciate all the trainers for even considering me, let alone nominating me. Thank you Chris, Eric, Kenzie, Doug, Ryan & Shannon! You’ve all been a great help and I’ve learned a lot from each of you but most of all – you make CrossFit fun.

I was raised in Northern New Jersey and spent my first 44 years there. You can make all the jokes you want, but NJ’s a great place and I still think of it as home. After graduating from Rutgers, I worked a few years as an engineer for the DoD. I then decided to go to law school (again Rutgers), where I was lucky enough to meet my awesome, beautiful wife Bonita. I spent some time as a tax attorney for a large NJ law firm, and then decided lawyering wasn’t for me and spent the next 20 years working for State Farm Insurance. I thought I retired at the end of last year but my wife decided otherwise and I’m now working for Bonita in her State Farm Agency.

I grew up playing the traditional sports, baseball, football, basketball and stayed pretty active with those into my 40’s. I always liked playing games but never thought of it as exercise or fitness. Started skiing after college but was never any good at it. I never had any intention of leaving NJ, but in 2002 work brought Bonita and me to UT and we’ve loved it ever since. I found out snowboarding is a lot easier than skiing and it’s now about my favorite thing to do.

I’ve always tried to stay active but I never liked exercise for the sake of exercise and was never motivated enough for any kind of organized fitness program. We had some friends who were CrossFitters and Bonita wanted to give it a try. She didn’t want to go alone so she dragged me to the one on ones with Chris & Eric, signed us up and 3 years later I’m surprisingly still at it. I think what keeps me Crossfitting is that it doesn’t seem like exercise for the sake of exercise. I like the variety, the trainers and my classmates who always make it an enjoyable, comfortable place to go. And, it’s something Bonita and I have fun doing together.

I don’t think I realized how unfit I was until I started CrossFit. CrossFit has definitely improved my overall fitness and strength. Even my flexibility is better. When I started, squats were a real struggle and forget about the couch stretch. They’re still not pretty but I’m getting there. A lot of the CrossFit movements can still give me trouble at times but my biggest challenge continues to be endurance and the mental side of CrossFit. I sometimes find the longer, high volume WODs to be daunting. And, as Bonita will tell you, I’ve never been much good at counting. If I had to program my own workout, it would be an 8-12 minute AMRAP of 4-5 low rep movements (and no running!). I probably like Cindy the best of the benchmark workouts. Although it’s longer, I’m not stuck doing any one thing too long.

I never really gave much thought to superpowers but I’d like to go back in time. Not to change anything but just to see what it was like to live 100-200 years ago. I think it would be a good reminder of how good we have it today.

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