September Member Spotlight: Doug Michaelsen
Tell us a little about yourself and what got you on the path to CrossFit…
I have been active all my life and was blessed to have parents that set a good example of making health and activity a priority. My mother was an avid swimmer and my father played racquetball several times a week for as far back as I can remember. I played soccer through freshman year of high school and then moved on to recreational running and swimming. Started lifting in college after my roommate convinced me that no one would notice that I couldn’t bench press the bar without help. I continued swimming, racquetball, and weight lifting throughout medical school, residency and beyond. I was consistent but didn’t deviate from the typical Gold’s Gym routine (chest and triceps, back and biceps, etc.) for years.
My sister started CrossFit around 2010 and tried to convince me to give it a shot. After about a year of her talking about how much she loved it I went so far as to meet with the owner of CrossFit Integrity in West Ashley for a walk through his gym. Unfortunately, I was totally put off by the interaction and completely dismissed the idea of trying CrossFit after that.
A couple of years later a friend told me that he saw a CrossFit gym had opened on James Island. I contacted Kyle and he didn’t treat me like I was wasting his time so me and my friend showed up at the 6:30 am class the next day. Brian Gargone took us through a workout and I was hooked. That was November 2013 and I haven’t looked back.
What keeps you coming back each day?
The answer to that question has evolved over time. At first it was because I wanted to look ripped like my sister. I also loved the challenge of learning all the new things that CrossFit had to offer. I had never squatted or done any olympic lifting at all. I had never climbed a rope, tried kicking upside down against a wall, held a kettlebell, jumped on a box, or most
of the other things that we do daily in the gym. I also really learned to appreciate the importance of mobility which is still one of the things that I look forward to with each workout.
After a short time I began to appreciate the added benefit of the community at the gym. I had never been interested in group classes but I actually started to appreciate the social environment at the gym much more than I expected. Friday Night Lights during the Open and Murph have always been highlights for me.
The Life Challenges have also been a highlight for me although I have missed participating in the last few. Greg Glassman has been known to say that the CrossFit methodology allows for the full expression of one’s DNA. According to Glassman, nutrition is the foundation upon which all athletic development depends, an idea that I resisted for most of my life. However, I have learned that you really can’t outwork a bad diet and started to understand more about the real changes that happen when you dial in your nutrition.
Eventually my son Chase and daughter Halle started to come to classes with me. I loved having a chance to spend time with them and we would bond on the way home over our shared suffering after difficult workouts.
Now that Chase and Halle are off at college, I’m back because I still love the challenge of trying to improve my fitness each day and I still love the community. My focus now is to try and be as healthy as possible so that I can keep doing other fun things outside of the gym like surfing, mountain biking, kitesurfing, etc. I will always be grateful for what the community at CFJI has done for my kids. The way that the community embraced them and encouraged them has given them a self-confidence and capabilities that we could not have given them on our own as parents. Never underestimate what a kind word of encouragement or a simple compliment can do to have a sustained positive impact on someone else’s life.
What is your favorite at-home exercise to do?
EMOMs with ECHO bike intervals coupled with something else like kettlebell swings or light barbell stuff.
If you had to do 100 reps of one movement (not running), what would it be?
Burpees, I really don’t mind them. Not sure what all the fuss is about.
What are 1-2 of your goals for 2022? Have you accomplished any of these?
My biggest fitness goal for 2022 was to be more consistent in getting to bed earlier and sleeping at least 7 hrs/night. Looks like that goal will be recycled for 2023 because I’m nowhere close to where I should be.
Least favorite Crossfit movement?
Handstand push ups. I’ve been doing CrossFit for almost 9 years and I still can't do a strict HSPU.
Boomer Sooner (If you don’t know what a Sooner is, ask me - I don’t think too many people know why they are called “Sooners”)
Favorite Charleston Restaurant?
There are too many to choose from to list just one. But I love going out for breakfast and I love the beach so we end up at Lost Dog pretty frequently.
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
I would be a big wave surfer as long as I got to borrow their surfing skills and ability to control fear. Otherwise I would do Kim Kardashian’s job because I’m pretty sure that I could retire after one day and I don’t think that anyone (including herself) really knows what she does.
What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Chill out - Jaime (my wife) will eventually like you back. Technically, I had just turned 14 when we met, but she was still 13 so I’m rolling with it.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
I would meet my mother in law Judy. She died of cancer when my wife Jaime was only 7 years old. Jaime has desperately clung to the memories of her mother for years and I would love to
meet Judy and take Jaime with me so that they could reconnect.
One thing about me people would be surprised to know?
I’m the oldest of 9 kids. I was the second one in my family to start CrossFit after my sister who is one year younger than me. Now almost everyone in my family including my parents does CrossFit somewhere. 2 of my sisters are level 2 trainers, one in Houston and one in OKC.
Also, I used to have thick, curly hair.
If the CFJI coaches came to your
house for dinner, what would you prepare?
I would grill hamburgers because it’s one of the only useful skills that I have. But I can grill like nobody’s business. I would have my wife prepare a salad because she makes the best salads ever and she always changes it up and it's always awesome.
Give us a “Question of the Day” to use in class.
In addition to your regular diet, if you could eat as much as you want of one thing as you want for the rest of your life without it making you feel sick or gaining weight, what would it be?