A HUGE HI – 5 to our November Member of the Month, Ben P.! You can always count on Ben to bring an impressive rockstar attitude and comedy relief to the early 5 and 6 AM classes (not easy to do). Whether Ben is being one of the most consistent online / zoom members during COVID or being a gold star member in the wee hours of the morning, his work ethic, engagement, and focus to improve himself, along with a witty sense of humor, keeps the members and coaches going and laughing. Ben boils it down to making classes that much more memorable. Thank you, Ben, for lighting up the mornings!
Hometown: Libertyville, IL
Occupation: College Administrator
When did you first start FitWit-ing? May 2019!
Tell us about your sports & fitness background:
Growing up, I was into anything that involved contact. Even playing baseball, I wanted to be the catcher because there was a chance I could collide with people. I was a pretty competitive football player and wrestler through high school. I took up martial arts in high school, including a discipline called Eskrima, in which I made it all the way to third place in the junior national championships one year. I didn’t pursue athletics in college and let myself go pretty fallow. I started to work on being healthier and more active about 5 years ago with cardio and some weights.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting FitWit?
I came to FitWit in part because I was looking to build and retain strength while maintaining cardio fitness after losing a lot of weight. When I came to FitWit, I couldn’t do a pushup, and now I can do bunches. I’ve seen improvements on erg speed, plank time, and lots of different areas of strength.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like FitWit that was totally unexpected?
I’ve dedicated my professional life to helping college students develop community and a “third place” in their life, while sort of neglecting my own need for the same. FitWit as a community was something I didn’t expect and have come to value. Also, heading to a state park with the group got me into hiking, which has come in real handy during the pandemic.
Why do you FitWit?
To get and stay healthy while participating in a community.
I know that I’m in the minority here, but I love the bike. I also miss the sleds terribly. Generally, the workouts that balance strength and cardio are my favorites.
Least favorite workouts?
I’m not a runner and not that much of a fan of the outdoor replacement options for running either.
Three words to describe you:
Tough, smart, smart-ass
Any favorite FitWit moments?
I really enjoyed Team Liz’s online meetups over the summer and generally think back about all the COVID-related pivots both coaches and members had to make with pride. I know it doesn’t always feel like it since we’re still in it, but I think it’s special.
Since I’ve conquered the pushup, I’d love to be able to do pull-ups too.
Words to live by?
“Tough times go away, tough people do not.” Walter Payton
Something cool we don’t know about you?
My family has a theme for every Thanksgiving. Superheroes, talent show, Minute To Win It, etc. My favorite all-time was Baconsgiving. Not just bacon in the food, we don’t mess with the staples but imagine pig/turkey hybrid decorations, bacon-inspired poetry readings, etc.