"Robert Varga"

Hometown: Palm Desert, CA

Occupation: Teacher

When did you first start CrossFit? August 2011

What is your favorite exercise? Power Clean & Jerk

What is your least favorite exercise? Wall Ball

What is your sports / fitness background? I’ve been doing gym workouts since I was 18 years old, sometimes with a trainer. I am also a fan of yoga which I have been doing weekly for abut 15 years. I swam up to a mile, five days/week from 24-28 years old, then I joined a softball league and played until broken bones and soft tissue injuries forced me to quit in 2010. From 2007-2009, I earned my black belt in Shotokan Karate.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? I was first exposed to CrossFit through a co-worker so I searched local gyms, found DCF and the rest is history.

Describe your first WOD. Were you scared? Excited? How did you feel after you were done? During my Intro to CrossFit classes I watched the WOD’s of the more seasoned members and was really excited to get going on those. I thought I would “kill it”, NOT TRUE. After I completed by first WOD, I was so exhausted and sore, but I FELT GREAT once I caught my breath.

When did you know something had to change before you joined Desert CrossFit? I was tired of my gym workouts, they weren’t very challenging and they were boring. I was gaining inches around the waist and my exercise routines weren’t helping.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF? After the soreness of a WOD goes away, I feel AMAZING. I sleep more soundly, I get sick less, I have more energy, especially from morning WODs. I have increased vital lung capacity, and I’ve never been stronger. I can move and lift items from positions most of my friends and family cannot. For example, I was able to squat and lift a 50 lbs. bag of concrete from the ground for my buddy after he hurt his lower back trying to lift it incorrectly. I “box jump” into the bed of my pick-up truck for efficiency of movement, which always brings positive attention from anyone who sees.

Tell us about an area of your life most impacted by your decision to join Desert CrossFit. My job performance. As a teacher, I have to keep up with ten year olds all day long. As the years went by and I inevitably got older, I lost energy and even willingness to match the students’ energy level. Once I joined DCF, that energy returned. In particular, I recently have started doing the 5:30am WODs religiously. Doing those WODs in the morning really boosts my physical and cognitive performance throughout my day. It is SOOO MUCH BETTER than coffee.

Can you describe your most memorable Desert CrossFit experience for us? I’ve never really been social at the box. But a couple of years ago, a chunky, young guy joined. He seemed quiet and shy, much like me. We chatted a little and I felt that we formed a bond over warmups and WODs. This bond was special for me because my shyness kept me from talking a lot with the other guys. Over the years, I’ve watched him transform his body and reach his goals, which was inspirational for me personally. I think about him every day as a source of inspiration in all parts of my life.

When have you used CrossFit outside the box? I teach my students exercises I’ve learned at CrossFit during our PE classes. Also, whenever I’m on vacation, I find the hotel or resort gym and do the “CrossFit Warm up”, which helps keep me active. When camping, I dead lift my pop-up trailer hitch onto the tow ball, which helps save time and frustration.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Cooking and baking are my primary interests/hobbies. I love watching movies from all eras and genres. I also have an affinity for travel and immersing myself in different cultures (especially their cuisine). I try to travel far and wide whenever my funds allow.

What are some of your CrossFit goals for the next year? I LOVE MY BODY right now. I want to maintain my strength, flexibility, and agility. I hope to cheat time from taking too much of that away from me.

What are some of your favorite cheat meals and why? French fries with gravy, mozza cheese, and ketchup. My Canadian kin call it Poutine. Also, two whole wheat pancakes with two eggs, over-easy, sandwiched between. Then it’s slathered with real maple syrup.

Any advice for people just getting started? Your first month is going to be painful, but don’t give up. Once your body and mind reach a new “normal”, that is when you start to see amazing results that will change your life forever. WODs are like wild animals, you have to show them respect to survive. If you don’t you’re in a for a world of hurt, and you’ll probably quit. Know your body, and your capabilities. It takes small increases in weight and not huge leaps to get stronger safely.